Spit Syndicate Interview – Best Intentions: Part 1

Sydney duo Spit Syndicate return with a brand new mixtape project, Best Intentions: Part One. Following on from 2010’s critically acclaimed Exile, the boys have taken a break from touring and have been busy in the studio preparing their third album, due for release on Obese Records in early 2012.  

Best Intentions: Part 1 sees MCs Nick Lupi and Jimmy Nice return to the mixtape format on which they first burst onto the local hip-hop scene. Over the course of 8 tracks, Spit Syndicate drape their trademark flare and observational wit over a range of different beats and genres, ranging from the boom-bap of Pharoahe Monch to the more eclectic, moody sounds of indie outfit the xx. We catch up with Nick Lupi fresh off the back of Spit Syndicates – Best Intentions: Part One release.

aahh: What has been happening in the Spit Syndicate camp since the release of your critically acclaimed LP of  2010 Exile?
Nick L: After we released Exile, we toured the country a couple of times. First on our own tour, then with Cypress Hill and then with The Tongue. We played a few festivals and shows in Sydney and then we took a break from gigging; we felt we’d probably done enough shows off the back of Exile. I went overseas for a bit, Jimmy knuckled down with this study/photography pursuits. But we never really stopped writing rhymes. We continued to write, over our own original beats but also other artists’ beats.

aahh: Spit Syndicate are back at it with a two-part mixtape to be released. The first part drops this week in the form of an 8 track free download, why did you guys decide to come out with a release like this?
Nick L:  We figured that all of these rhymes and ideas we had swirling around in our heads weren’t much good for anyone in our heads, that we may as well put them out there. We’ve always wanted to put out a free release, be it an EP or a mixtape or whatever. We look at it as a way of saying thank you to anyone that’s been rocking with us: buying our albums, coming to our shows, etc. Especially given it’s been two-year gaps in between albums for us, we wanted to have some new music out there to keep people interested and let ‘em know we’re still working on raps!
Our next record is not likely to be out until 2nd quarter 2012 – we wanted to put out two mixtapes before that, so we decided on making it a two-part mixtape. The next one should be out in January and will feature a few more guests on it.

aahh: Part one is titled ‘Best Intentions’, tell us the story behind the name of the release?
Nick L: There’s not a story per se; it stems from an Oscar Wilde quote and it’s pretty open to however you want to interpret it. It’s always with the best intentions that’s the worst deeds are done or something like that. I’m paraphrasing, Oscar, hope that’s sweet. I like it as a quote in general about the world and the way things go down but the way it relates to the mixtape is us both expressing our gratitude for those that show us love and also apologizing for lack of new music.
Two year breaks between records is not the way we’d like to do it, we’d rather put out way more songs than we do currently – but for various reasons, we’re unable to. Like the majority of acts in the hip-hop scene, we balance our music with real-life shit such as holding down (multiple) jobs, study, travelling, etc.
This is a really long-winded answer…basically, it’s our way of saying to our fans “you’re all sickcunts. sorry it’s been a while since we spoke, been busy and that. more new music coming your way..but for now, take this” If you can make any sense of that, you’re doing well. Haha.

aahh: The mixtape is 8 tracks deep, have you used this as a bit of an experimental stage in the lead up to your next album?
Nick L: I guess what’s important to stress is this is a mixtape – there’s a couple original songs but most of it is us rapping over beats and songs we have chosen to write to. Some of the songs have a conventional structure to them but others don’t, they’re just verses. Lyrically, I feel like this is the sharpest we’ve ever been…and there’s also a hunger in the music we’re making – so I think that sort of stuff will come across on our next album.

aahh: We see an acoustic track on the album, tell us about this one. Did you perform this track at the ‘One Dayer’ Acoustic show earlier this year?
Nick L: We did, this is a live recording of “Pretty Girls Make Graves” off Exile. Also a bit of a preview of some new raps at the end of that song – hope people dig it in acoustic form. That was an incredible show!

aahh: Currently Double S fans can catch you on the road with Illy, Sietta and M-Phazes. What is it like touring with those guys, are you looking forward to heading around the country?
Nick L: I’ve never toured with Sietta before but I caught them live in Byron earlier this month and they were super dope. Illy and Phazes are two of our oldest friends in this Aus hip-hop thing so that’ll be fun; the shows are going to be massive and hangovers much the same if all goes according to plan.

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