Alternative Energy is the title to your second full length LP dropping today. How are you feeling about the finished product?
I feel like its my best work to date. I’m working with the best producers, I’m writing the best songs of my career, all the guests brought their A-game….I’m really proud of this album…
It’s a slick-looking package for sure, is there any meaning behind the title Alternative Energy?
The human race is headed for disaster….I don’t believe in that 2012 crap but all the signs suggest we need to change our ways. If we don’t find a better way to think/live/treat each other than we are in big trouble. We need to switch from greedy to considerate, from racist to accepting. We need to look for new ways of existing because our current approach is simply not working. Each one of us needs to find our own Alternative Energy.
You’ve just released an amazing film clip for the lead single The Show. What was the creative motivation behind this clip?
That video was a collaboration between myself and the director Prad Deep. We only had 8 days to script, organize and shoot the video…the fact that it turned as great as it did is a testament to Prad and his team’s professionalism. Their company is called Artifact (www.artifactdigital.com.au) They also did the Spit Syndicate “Starry-Eyed” clip, “Nothing To Loose” by Gully Platoon, “I Go” by Jess Harlen and the Astronomy Class”Where You At?” video. Prad is going to be a big director in the future…I can feel it.
We really must mention the beats on Alternative Energy. We see tracks from Dizz 1, P Major, M-Phazes and Kid Fiction, but it’s Elgusto that we see you teaming up with most on AE. What did you think Elgusto could bring to your album?
El Gusto is simply a freak. If you listen to his catalog of music…all the Hermitude albums, all the production he’s done he’s done for Urthboy…there are so many styles, so many fresh sounds. I feel like he is truly original with his production. He’s definitely in the top 3 producers in Australia.
I have nothing but praise for all the other producers, none of whom I had worked with before. They all gave me amazing music, no question. I could write an each on why each of them is dope. The aim of this album was for every beat to sound nothing like ‘Aussie hip hop’ as we know it. I feel like there are too many style of hip hop which are ignored here in Australia…theres too much ‘boom-bap’….while I’m a fan of Bias B, Pegz, Hilltops etc I don’t want the average listener to confuse me with them. I want my own sound. Think about it: If Dizzie Rascal rapped over standard ‘rap’ beats he would never have the success he’s enjoyed…it was by finding his own sound that he separated himself from the pack. I feel like we hit the mark with production on this album…its something fresh for your ears.
I wanted to make a record that would stimulate the listeners body and mind….kinda like when a girl talks dirty into your ear while giving you a really good hand-job.
Was it your idea to put the lyrics in the booklet. We see alot of artist shying away from that these days under fear of lyrical scrutiny.
I express myself through my writing…so I’d like people to be able to read what I write. If you hear a song on the radio once or twice you might miss the more subtle lyrics…if you are at a live show it’s often hard to hear every word. By giving you a lyric-booklet you can see exactly what I’m saying and what I stand for.
The track Proof Of Life gets right on that soulful tip, we loved your approach. How did you feel heading in to the booth to record this one?
Proof Of Life was scary for me to do- obviously I’m not a trained singer nor do I consider myself to be a particularly talented singer. But there are plenty of great artists out there who have average singing voices (Bob Dlyan, Kid Cudi, Tom Waits, Jay from Frenzel Rhomb). They may not sound sweet or hit every note but you can hear the passion and the emotion in their songs.
The music industry is full of people with perfect voices and nothing to say. Also- I feel like Australian hip hop needs more people pushing the envelop…artists shouldn’t be scared to experiment and be themselves…thats how we progress. Too many dudes are putting on an act.
“Alternative Energy” is a cool album because its honest….on some tracks I’m taking the piss, on others I’m damn near crying in the booth rhyming about homelessness. Ask El Gusto…I was choked up while recording “What A Day” because the emotions are all real. People will have a much better sense of who “The Tongue” is after hearing this record.
Oxymoron is one of the stand out tracks lyrically. Here is an example for our readers: “Terrified of cancer, kill for a tan. Hate slave labour still buy the brand”. Do you draw motivation from these types of social and political issues?
That track is about how ridiculous life is. We are all walking contradictions. I AM terrified of getting cancer but I try to get a tan in summer. I don’t eat burnt toast but I do smoke and drink…it makes no sense. We should all be able to admit how back to front our logic is….a lot of people who want to ‘save the whales’ are happy to eat deep-fried chicken.
You just got back from an overseas trip to New York City, what was the highlight?
The whole city is one big highlight. It really does make Sydney seem very tame and conservative in comparison. Every day there is something amazing going on- you go to a bowling alley and Questlove (from The Roots) is djing in the corner…you go to Central Park on a Sunday and Public Enemy are doing a free concert…people there really know how to have fun. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
I think people would have seen the vision by now, for those who haven’t, at your album announcement things got a little heated and you threw down with some jerk reporter. Will there be any repercussions from this?
He was a dickhead and I’m glad I popped his eyeball. The court case is next month…so lets wait and see what happens….although considering I just admitted I’m guilty (and its on tape) I’m pretty sure I’m going to jail.
The single launch for “The Show” will be at the Sandringham Hotel next Friday the 17th in Newtown, Sydney.
We are announcing the national tour next week…I can’t give you details just yet but there’s a good chance it will be a co-headline tour with a big act on Obese Records…we’re coming to all capital cities