allaussie hip hop caught up with Sarm from the crew That’s Them during the week. We ask emcee Sarm about their new track titled That’s Us, which is the crews first track working within the grime genre. We also find out the story behind the You Won’t Remix, label news and what’s to come from That’s Them. Read on….
For those who don’t know, tell us a bit more about the crew that is, That’s Them?
That’s Them is a 2 man crew made up of Myself (Sarm) and Nebs. We both emcee, Nebs looks after all the production and mixing, while I try to pretend to manage the crew. So far we have released a self titled EP, A joint 12″ vinyl with Scott Burns – ‘The Lookupinthesky Mixtape’, our LP ‘Stay Up’ and featured on a few compilation albums. We are also 1/3 of the almighty LookUP Crew with Scott Burns and the Bingethinkers. Keep an eye on both of them for new music this year.
As you just mentioned That’s Them recently released the Stay Up LP which also saw you do a few shows on the East Coast. What was the general reaction to the album?
To be honest anyone that’s heard the album has given it huge wraps, the feedback has been amazing on it. The little east coast tour was nice, we got to finally play in a few places that we had never been which was a great experience. It was really good to tour with label mate Scott Burns and DJ Mathmatics, we had some good times and fine dining too! Hobart has got some killer seafood and wine.
Lets talk about the new track “That’s Us”, and the remixed version of ‘You Won’t’. How do these two joints fit in with your upcoming projects?
First off the remix joint (You Won’t,) was a track that we completed not long after we finished the Stay Up album. The track has just been sitting around ready, but with nowhere to go. We both got a bit tired of it, so Nebs decided to bang up a new heater for the track, so the remix version you hear is actually the original. The now original track will feature on an upcoming project we have in store. That’s Us, is really the first track that we have done working with-in the realms of the grime genre. Something that you will be hearing a lot more of from us with in the That’s Them camp.
The Grime sound originally emerged from the East London area back in the days of pirate radio. How do you guys relate to this sound and how do you think it will fit in with the Australian Hip Hop scene?
For me it’s refreshing to see the hunger that the UK grime scene has, the guys that are coming through it have come from nowhere, with no financial backing and are hitting the top 10’s in the UK charts.
For me I want to try to relate to the work rate that they have, they are really pushing hard with video’s, freestyles, radio sessions and new tracks. In terms of how it will fit into the Australian Hip Hop scene, I don’t really want it to. I hope, that like the UK rap and grime genres that it has its own defined listeners and supporters.
Where are That’s Them going with this new sound?
Both Nebs and I have been listeners of grime for quite a while, recently I found I wasn’t even listening to hip hop anymore, so it was a natural progression for me I guess to start focusing on making it.
There are no real plans on where it will go, I personally don’t know if people will even like it. Hopefully we can bring something unique to Australia and help expand whats happening in the UK plus people dig what we are doing.
This year people in Australia will get a good taste of what Grime has to offer with Fraksha in Melbourne set to release his album, Murky Depths has got an album in the works and the Smashbrothers crew are set to release as well. Expect big things from these guys as they have been pushing with grime for a while now.
We have a free sampler cd which is near completion with another album in the works as well, which hopefully we can get out this year. Either way we will be dropping a bunch of tracks and videos on the net for people to get a hold of.
Free downloads seem to be a popular avenue to take at the moment, do you think this is a direct result of the distro problems facing Australia?
Yes and no, about it having something to do with the distro. Personally I don’t think there is a distro problem. I think a lot of people, us included, are blinded thinking that if they get an album together that it will automatically get distro, JJJ are going to play the shit out of them and that they are going to sell records, we did.
Rap in Australia has grown from having all of about 30 disc’s on a shelf at any one time to having it’s own defined section stacked with new disc’s. So unless you have a fan base prior to your release, you are not going to get someone going in, picking your album up off the shelf just because he had all the other 28 albums, that doesn’t happen anymore. Therefore why would a distro company want to waste their time and resources putting your album on the shelf to only have it returned after 2 years??
Getting knocked back on distro for Stay up was the best thing that happened to us, it has forced us to look at why CD’s don’t sell and what we can do to bring in more fans. Simply making good music doesn’t do it, you need to be able to get that good music in to the ears of the listeners. So to answer your question after going off on a rant is yes people are giving away their music because they can’t get distro, and no, people are giving away their music to build up their fan base at the same time. Did that make any sense?? Ha
Those who are familiar with the SBS Television show Swift and Shift Couriers, may have noticed a few tracks featured from That’s Them. Is there any word on a season 2 and will we hear some more That’s Them blasting out of our TV?
Yeah last year or maybe it was 2008 we had some of our music feature on Swift and Shift couriers, which was a real blessing, it was really cool having people telling us they heard our stuff on tv. In terms of a series 2 I know one was made, I just don’t know when or whether it will see the light of day? I’m not that close to it, other than having my music feature on the first series. Fingers crossed, cause it was some seriously funny shit!!
Monday nights….Triple J Hip Hop Show or Wilfred?
Ha, to be brutally honest neither!! I start work fair early in the mornings so I need to get some shut-eye. I’ll lock in to the Stream on a Tuesday morning at work, and Wilfred gets a watch when I get home on Tuesday night. Thank god for Fox IQ. Ha ha
That’s Them – That’s Us (New Track)