Emcee Trials, from The Funkoars’ spoke to allaussie hip hop recently as the group prepare to embark on a co-headlining tour with blues artist, Ash Grunwald. The tour kicks off in Melbourne this Friday night (5th Feb) and then heads up the coast to Sydney (12th Feb) and then on to Brisbane (13th Feb). We ask Trials about the move from Shogun to Golden Era, how The Funkoars teamed up with Ash Grunwald and find out what’s on the agenda for The Funkoars this year.
AAHH: Shogun unfortunately had to shut their doors recently. The Funkoars needed a new home and you seemed to find one pretty quickly at Golden Era Records, how has this transition gone?
TRIALS: The transition has been sweet. After Shogun closed it made it hard for a whole heap of people, obviously here and internationally, good guys, like Strutta and Ill Bill. It’s pretty wack, but we had no beef at all with the guys at Shogun, they were great and made it pretty easy for us. It’s just one of those things in this economic climate, I guess. With the move to Golden Era it’s given us another way to branch out, have more spots in Canada and The UK, and distribution wise. It’s good to have the resources of a major but without having their little sticky fingers involved. obviously to head over to Golden Era, with ya mates that you grew up with making hip hop, it makes things pretty easy.
AAHH: With the move to Golden Era we saw the release of The Hangover Premium Edition, which has the new track ‘Little Did I Know’ featuring Ash Grunwald. It’s an interesting dynamic, how did this relationship come about?
TRIALS: Me and Sesta know the dude that does sound for the Hoods and knows Ash through his line of work. So we we’re talking about Ash and I told him that I liked what Ash was doing and he told Ash’s tour manager, turns out that he really liked our shit. So we starting emailing and at that time he was touring Canada. So he started doing up these rough little loops and he would send them over to me. We hooked it up so that when he got back from touring he came and stayed at my house for a few weeks. We made a fuck load of tracks. We used all the little rough fucking loops, and one of the first ones we worked on resulted in the new track, great timing for the Premium Edition really. So now I’ve started doing some production on Ash’s new album, so be on the look out for that.
AAHH: You have three huge shows coming up with Ash in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. Are you expecting some rowdy crowds?
TRAILS: They’re always good man. Melbourne is Ash’s hometown, so he has all his fans there, and we loving playing in Melbourne and up the coast, touring’s great. It helps that we all get on really well with Ash, and that we have similar musical tastes. I’ve never met a blues artist before that knows all the words to every Biggie song. It’s crazy! We’ve been messing around with something, so we may have to bust out a Biggie cover one night on tour. We’ll see.
AAHH: So The Funkoars have had a busy summer already, played a host of festivals, do you have a highlight?
TRIALS: OH Homebake was insanity. Incredible artists backstage and shit and then you had us HAHAHA. Sia was at Homebake and one of her spots were ruined by loud chants of ‘Fuck The Funkoars’. I sent Sia and email and was like, ‘Whats Happening Girl’? But no response yet!
AAHH: So you like to check out other acts at the festivals?
TRIALS: Yeah we check out the line up for sure, it’s good to catch the other bands.
AAHH: Who are you getting in to at the moment?
TRIALS: Oh the lads from Tame Impalar, those Perth guys….they are doing some dangerous psychedelic shit!
AAHH: So what’s keeping you busy for 2010?
TRIALS: Well I’ve just finished off the arrangements for Vents new album, it’s almost done. Just waiting for maybe one or two more joints, that should be dropping soon. Drapht’s also over here at the moment, he has been here for about a week. We’ve been working hard on his new album. That should be ready around July this year. Then maybe a Funkoars album later in the year!
AAHH: Are The Funkoars looking to work with any other ‘non’ hip hop acts on the next album?
TRIALS: Oh we’re never looking to work with any other artists as such, unless if like something fell into our laps….and it was some shit we liked!
AAHH: You’ve been making beats for years now and you have once mentioned that the beat you did for The Hilltop Hoods on the track, ‘Circuit Breaker’, was one of your favourite beats, is that still true?
TRIALS: Yeah it’s hard. Some of the work I’ve done with Drapht on his last album I’ve really enjoyed, some of the new stuff’s looking pretty good though. Circuit Breaker, and the story behind that track and how it was made….puts it up there with one of my favourites.
AAHH: Lastly, The Funkoars have just been announced to play at the Clipsal 500 alongside the Hilltop Hoods and Lowrider. All three crews are from Adelaide, are you looking forward to this hometown gig?
TRIALS: Well I don’t know anything about cars really HA but Adelaide’s always a great place to play. We like to save up all our good shit for Adelaide, we might play some new stuff or try some new things out. Adelaide always gets busy! We recently played a festival in Tassie with the Hoods and Lowrider, so we’re all pretty close. The drummer form Lowrider is always Trials ‘go to guy’ for drums HA!. Usually when we all get together we just drink whisky till we have seizes.
The Little Did I Know Tour kicks off with a massive night in Melbourne this Friday. Sydney and Brisbane need to look out the following week. If you haven’t got tickets for any of the shows, you can do so that by following the link here (via oztix.com.au.). As the flyer states, expect something special.
Low Budget support the Sydney and Melbourne legs, with Coalition Crew playing Brisbane.