STRAIGHT UP! – Australian Hip Hop Interviews

August 1, 2007

Trials Interview – Vents ‘Hard To Kill’ Production

Filed under: Trials on Vents Production — Force @ 8:45 am


G FORCE (G): Gotta give it up for the production on Vents new album man, shit is banging. Did you go into producing the album on a clean slate or did you have a lot of beats with Vents in mind already?

TRIALS (T): Cheers bro. When I was making the last Oars album me and V were still fucken about in the studio so I was mindful when digging to still go a bit deeper and get the evil darker psychedelic horn kinda records. Once I was done with “The Greatest Hits” I completely dropped the funk mode and went into every beat with Vents in mind. I would never have even looked at the record I sampled for “Silence Means death” for Oars but the vocals and stabs were stupid and I could hear V over the top of it already.

G: Between the two of you you have definitely captured a certain vibe across the album. Was this openly discussed or simply what happened? Any influences worthy of pointing out?

T: Nah man it’s not something we set out to do, me and V have always dug the same 90’s stinking crackly shit and I guess it kinda shows in the hooks like “Watch out” and “NBC”, the blasting repetitive horns and sneaky bass lines. I guess my production is influenced a lot by the greats, Easy Mo Bee, Large Professor, Lord Finesse, Primo, 45 King etc. Anyone that knew the difference between letting a loop ride or chopping it to bits to get the maximum bump.

G: Similarly to Funkoars production the beats are full of big bass lines, horns and just seem a lot fuller or louder than a lot of production. What do you look for when making a beat and any secrets to reveal?

T: I’m not one of those “diggers” that pays a million bucks for some record Dj Shadow sampled and shit, I hit every spot I can find from Salvos to Garage sales driving between Sydney and Canberra to fire damaged warehouses, i’ve done the lot looking for suspicious covers and a few of my favourite labels. I guess the only thing I do is make sure the sleeve reads between 1960-1979, fuck the 50’s, orchestra junk I can’t listen to and the 80’s were only good for slap bands and aids. Most of my shit is heavy, psych, jazz influenced shit because that’s what I listen to outside of rap so when a stab hits me I put on the white gloves and thievery is afoot.

G: Were there any beats you made for this album and thought, “Nah fuck him, I need to keep this one for myself”? If so, did these still eventually get through to Vents?

T: I made a lot of shit and just threw choruses over the top intending on doing tracks on them for Oars or myself and I’d show V and he’d either say ‘….’ or ‘yep, give me that’. Shit like “Fuckemup” and “First of may” were just a few beats I had laying around that we dug back up for the butchering.

G: We saw flashes of this style on tracks such as Blackout from The Greatest Hits but did you find it a challenge to switch up the style a bit from the quicker paced, more funked out Funkoars styled beats to doing a whole album in this style?

T: I make a lot of beats in a lot of styles but the majority of the production people have heard from me is the Oars gear so they assume it mostly sounds like that. If you listen to shit like “Audience with the devil” from the Hilltop “Hard Road” album you’ll notice i’ve been down this dark alley a few times before. Vesa sounds nuts over the moody more eerie cluttered drum pattern shit so the lyrics really get to scream at you so I went down that path again.

G: When it comes to Vents lyrics, some are quite opinionated and politically driven, do you share similar opinions and did this influence the soundscape you provided him with?

T: Not so much the sound but I know I learnt a lot from V’s Anarchist ideals that I definitely subscribe to. I guess in a way swapping books back and forth about dudes like Huey P. Newton who would police the cops to stop the amount of black deaths in the 80’s with nothing but a shotgun and support put me in the mind state that we bounced back and forth on. It’s a nice place to be.

G: On that sort of vibe, had you heard many lyrics and verses before making the beats or were you giving him beats and seeing what he would come back with?

T: A lot of times V would just come to the studio (my kitchen that currently stinks like cat shit), i’d play him something like “Full Metal” while Mortar was sleeping on the couch and we’d all just get pens and bang it out within the hour. For a well thought out lyricist Joe is nice with the on-the-spot spontaneous writing, same as Balboa, there were a thousand times when those two were working on their LP they would rock up with 4 bars and just wing the shit in the booth haha.

G: Most of the guest spots on the album seem to have switched up their writing style and flow a bit to almost match Vents punchy style. Being a guest emcee on there was this intentional or was it Vents influencing you without you even knowing it. Or do you simply disagree with me and believe me to be on crack?

T: Yes, Crack. Mortar is still talking about tanks and I’m yapping about genitals and gorillas. Every track we set some sort of tone wether it be the lyrics or production I guess but when you’re rhyming after someone who in my opinion is easily one of the best emcees Jesus Christ our savior gave us everyone had to bring their A game or it showed.

G: What’s next on the Trials agenda? More Funkoars, full length solo. Whats up?

T: Yeah I’m flat out working on the new Oars album we’re trying to get done for early mid next year, we’re a few tracks in and its very fucking suss haha. I think the hangovers have finally caught up with us. Besides that, Drapht and I have almost finished the LP we started working on a few moons ago.

G: Do you have any cover stickers for Mr Trials, cause mine just came in a blank sleeve and I am a bit upset?

T: What is this Mr Trials you speak of?, sleeves?, I know nothing of the sort, I suspect Briggs is some how behind this.

G: Last time I interviewed you, just before ‘Who’s ya step daddy?’ dropped you mentioned you like the internet and especially noted from the bang bros network. Since then I have seen this gentleman pop up on there from time to time (not that I check these sorid websites). Is it you with a longer beard?

T: I think he eventually got arrested. These days I just scan trying to bust people I know putting up amateur movies of themselves, it’s a hoot.

G: Cool, well thank-you for your time Trials and I am sure we will have our speakers des troyed by you for a long time to come. Any last words, shouts etc you know the deal?

T: Thanks a lot man, and thanks to everyone thats bothered to check anything with my name on it and a quick fuck you to the Veronicas for denying my myspace friend request.

 Check out Trials, the Funkoars and Vents at these links below:  

Trials – 

Funkoars – 

 Vents –   

Vents ‘Hard To Kill’ is out now and so are the Funkoars albums but if you haven’t got them yet I request you to fuck off my page because you are shit, cheers!


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