The Funkoars are back n’ badder than ever and are coming to a town near you with The Quickening Album Launch Tour, which will see them touring extensively throughout the country from September through November. We catch up with Trials as he recovers from a crazy Melbourne show late last week.
aahh: The Quickening is the 4th LP from The Funkoars, would you describe this as the most ‘Classic’ album to date from The Funkoars, in terms of sound and overall finished product?
Trials: As far as OUR take on ‘classic’, yeah, I’d say this embodies everything that makes us work and fail as people and performers. Every single album we’ve inadvertently stepped up our production and recording game just writing, working on other records and incorporating the tricks we learn along the way, also inheriting the Hoods old gear, my studio would be halved if it wasn’t for those guys.
aahh: As a crew, the Funkoars have been together for quite sometime now. How do you keep the creative vibe flowing and coming up with tracks that aren’t at all moosty?
Trials: I don’t know how any body can do what we do without being mates first and foremost. I’m not sure how you’re suppose to tell somebody ‘sorry, you can’t sleep in that bed, there’s blood in there now’ and eat breakfast with them the next morning.
aahh: The amount of production you have done over the past year and a half is staggering. We know there are quite a few budding producers out there who are keen on hearing what tools you’ve been fucking with over that period of time?
Trials: I’ve pretty much always gotten by on barebones and sticky tape so to spout all the shit I’m playing with these days is a bit misleading but until maybe the last few years I only ever used Logic Audio. There’s a universal sound of evil sad sad soul that permeates across genres that appeals to me no matter what and working with Ash (Grunwald) was absolutely a game changer. When his drummer Benny was banging a hammer on a car door for a snare drum I wanted to make that sound, organic but processed, shit loads of soul but red lined enough to stress Flashy out. Since then Fuad and I have been collecting all sorts of dumb (un)necessary fuzz/distortion/verb/octav pedals and I have developed a very unhealthy relationship with my telecaster. If im on the run, Lappy, Native Instruments Maschine, UA solo/110, RNC, Apogee Duet and its awwwn.
aahh: A lot of the beats on The Quickening are absolutely disgustingly large, Sesta, Large Professor and Simplex contribute, just to name a few. Was working with Large Professor on a track high on the bucket list?
Trials: All day. He is one of my biggest influences and any one who knows my catalog, or at least ‘hard to kill’ knows that, fuck off bass line, deadly horn echo and disgusting drums, my favourite. Simmo sent the ‘I Got’ beat for us to rock on for his production album when we were in the final stages of the LP but there was no way we could give it back, it was tarnished and Moose (K21) had already kicked the guts out of it so he let us keep it. We bugged Dazza for a beat since ‘Step daddy’ and I’m stoked he did ‘D’Onofrio’, proper classic Daz beat. Also any body only just realising Sesta is the better producer out of the pair of us is a dick head.
aahh: Tell us a bit about the feel of The Quickening, did you have an overall theme or idea you wanted to centre the album around?
Trials: The Quickening was the full release handy j at the end of a really fucking long and shit massage. When we were writing/touring ‘The hangover’ we were doing ungodly shit to our bodies, mentally and physically as a unit we were fucked. I did an old man number on my back which took us off the road for an entire year which is a life time to a local crew but it allowed us time to recoup, start laughing again and most of all dedicate 100% of our day/night to putting it all into an album. Usually towards the end of the record we cull all of the nonsensical shit, this time we added extra.
aahh: You have already released one massive video clip for the track ‘Where Am I’ directed by Selina Miles, who does an amazing job always. What was the concept behind this clip?
Trials: Sel understands our brand of really average humour and I can’t think of a better team to work with when it comes to the gang http://unitysoundandvisual.com !! The original concept was hotel from hell and us smashing things, then we dropped the hotel angle and just smashed things.
aahh: We’ve all heard the Funkoars obession with Vincent De’nofro but we heard Elliot Stabler (Det. from Law & Order SVU) would fuck him up in a knife fight? What are your thoughts?
Trials: Have you seen Oz? Stabler would fuck him all sorts of ways.
aahh: As a proud Australian with Indigenous heritage yourself, it now seems more than ever that some amazing crews and artists across Australia are now getting the recognition and attention they deserve. The recent Deadly Awards is a perfect example of this. Do you think its been a long time coming?
Trials: I’m unbelievably proud that we have crews like Last Kinection and people like Briggs and Jimblah setting the example and breaking the stereotype of not only what it means to be an Aboriginal hip hop artist, but to be an Aboriginal.
aahh: Currently you are touring the Quickening around the country, with dates all over the nation. Who do you have joining you on this tour and why?
Trials: When you tour you are often spending more time with the touring party than your own family so you have to surround yourself with like-minded people, we have been genuinely blessed by Tom Cruise that our friends also happen to be fucking nuts at what they do. Ciecmate was one of the first people I ever met when we branched out interstate in the early days and puts one of if not THE best solo one man on the mic performance I’ve ever seen and his DJ, Nath is a fucking nutcase on the cut and very tall. Vents & ADFU are my brothers in arms, genuine best friends and having them with us makes it all so much more mentally doable, Mase & Mattic put in more effort at a sound check than most motherfuckers who have the headline spot so missing them early before they pack rooms by themselves is a big mistake! If my frequent flyer points hold up, we’re bringing K21 to as many spots as possible to prepare them for what he’s about to drop, its deadly.
aahh: How has the album been received at the show you’ve already played, we heard you tore the roof off Melbourne the other night?
Trials: I was actually super sick and in bed up until 5 minutes to show time so I’m looking forward to returning quiiiiiickkly to give the germ back but yeah, it was fucking mental, in the year we took off it seems like crowds have become much louder and more shirtless.
aahh: How do the Funkoars deal with the ‘Goblin’ on tour? We’re sure he raises his ugly head a few times?
Trials: Depends who you are really. We’re ranging from the ultimate considerate person Ciecmate to the ultimate king IP Vents, it could go unnoticed, it could be all over the bathroom.
aahh: Is it appropriate to use the term ‘Woooooos’ on a daily basis, especially when dealing with a boss or partner?
aahh: The new Call Of Duty Or Battlefield 3?
Trials: The Battlefield BETA got me itching to fly a jet into some bodies face but I know I’ll cave and be right back in to COD.
aahh: Final comments and shit we’ve missed?
Trials: Thanks to everyone that’s checked the record out so far, we’re shooting a brand new stinker video with Selina Miles next week so there will be no shortage of ugly on your TV. Much much much much much love and big shout out to the originator of our style and king of WA SBX crew Hunter, we fucking love you mate.
(Editors note: This interview was completed on October 19th, the day before the tragic news broke that hip hop legend MC Hunter had passed away from Cancer. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and crew. RIP to a true Australian King.)