Brad Strut Interview: UK, Unfuckwithable, & Unkut Recordings

In 2001 Brad Strut released his debut long player The Authentic LP, an album which marked a turning point in local hip hop. allaussie hip hop catch up with Australian legend Brad Strut as he returns home from the UK. Not only does Strut talk about his upcoming release, we also delve head first with Strut into the other projects he has been working on include Ciecmate’s – Chess Sounds Vol. 1.

aahh: After spending a few years over in the UK you’re back in Australia. How did you find the time spent in the UK and are you happy to be back?
Strut: To be honest. It did take a little while to readjust back into Melbourne life. I was away for five years and had really gotten used to living in London. So many good times were had in those years abroad. It’s been getting near a year since returning and it’s only just now I can say that I’m back into the rhythm of the city that I’ve always called home.

aahh: What was it like to live in the UK?
Personally, I’m grateful to the place for allowing me to exercise my ancestral rights to live and work there. I had some of the best moments of my life in the UK and Europe, wmet some great people, experienced some cool shit. As a Hip Hop fan, I really was in paradise. It seemed like every other week an act I’d been wanting to see live would be coming through, doing shows. It was amazing. As an artist, being based in London allowed me to perform at Hip Hop Kemp in Czech Republic 3 years out of five (attended the other 2/5 ‘cos it’s such a dope weekend.), launch my 2009 release ‘Fallout Shelter’ at the world-famous Jazz Cafe, play dates in places like Spain and Austria, York and Beroun, rock support spots for Guru *RIP*, Immortal Technique and Souls of Mischief, perform in Edinburgh during the festival, work and become good friends with people like Beat Butcha, Chemo, The Last Skeptik, Ghost, Skandal and link with many a UK artist I’d listened to over the years back home. It was a great time, well spent.  It was the best experience of my life so far. No doubt.

aahh: You’ve wasted no time in getting busy, we’ll try to cover everything. Let’s talk about this upcoming project with K21, how did it come about and when are we likely to see this little gem drop?
I connected with the man (K21) over the internet. He’d send me some beats and I’d sift through and occasionally write to some. I eventually demo’d a joint of his last year in London. We dropped it ‘Position’ as a leak on soundcloud for a week or two to gauge response from some heads and they felt it so…from there we sought about getting some kind of EP worked out. Intentions are for the project, titled ‘Fade To Dust’ to drop in the not too distant future. It’s different from my norm and pretty refreshing. An exciting guest feature will rock heads too. The press of ‘Fade To Dust’ will come in a limited edition box set of assorted goodness. Wax, CD, T’s etc numbered 1-500/500 and iTunes will also be available.  

aahh: We’ve just featured an exclusive leak of a track lifted from Ciecmate’s latest album ‘Ciecmate Presents’: Chess Sounds Vol.1′. The track is titled ‘I Need Change’ is on a bit of a different tip. How would you describe the track and what do you think of Ciecmate as an artist?
Ciecmate is one of the best artists we got I think. Super skilled in multiple aspects and a stand up person too. His development over the years has always been progressive and it’s really getting to a point now where he’s unfuckwithable. Don’t get me wrong, he always been nice. It’s just now, this year and the foreseeable next few. Dude is kicking ass. ‘Game Over’ was a big record this year in my opinion.
The joint we worked for the project was recorded by Chemo in London. Ciecers had sent me some beats and I ended up picking the rockyesque banger, put three 16’s of raw honesty atop it and penned, wrote and sang the hook with a view to Chris getting an appropriately skilled singer to replicate my idea with a better range. I’m happy with how it’s turned out. I’m trying to be as honest as possible as an artist and this song fits within my vision. The hook won’t be everybody’s cuppa tea, though I’m cool with it. The verses and beat are undeniably smashers. Buy the product. Support the artists.

aahh: Another track we’ve recently seen a preview of is titled “Enough Of Me” here you’ve teamed up with Doc Felix for one of his upcoming releases?
Similar type of deal. Doc is putting together a project called ‘Guilt by Association’. It’s due out next year. A while back he sent me some beats for his album, I felt that joint straight away. I had it penned and ready but had to delay recording the song as I was about to leave London for South America before coming home to Melbourne. When I got back, I got it done. I’m super happy with that joint too, can’t wait till people get to hear it.  

aahh: Just the other day you were announced by Holscope productions as the brother of the lead role in the upcoming Australian film, based in Melbourne titled “Pinball”. How did this part come about and what do you feel about being on the big screen as compared to performing on stage?
I ain’t gonna lie, I’m nervous as fuck about being on-screen. Stage feels very natural for me so I’m hoping some of the skill set is transferable. Randomly, an old school basketball friend contacted me on FB, the usual fare, hey mate, how’s life and all of that. As it turns out he makes movies now, videos too, did ‘The Festival Song’ clip of all things. Basically he told me he was working on a movie and asked me initially to write a song for the soundtrack to his movie. I was sent an early script to get a feel of the storyline. I read it and enjoyed it so much I emailed him back saying it was great and that if they had any bit parts I’d be happy to chip in as an extra. The director asked if there was any part in particular I’d like to play and I was thinking *crowds gathers around* part of script. I wrote back ambitiously that I’d love to play Kurt, a main part, ‘cos he’s a character I related to but any involvement would be a great experience. The next thing I know, I’m meeting with the director and lead actor and being offered the part. I’m super excited about the opportunity. The cast they have looks great and the tale, set in Melbourne is gangsta as hell. I get to drink, smoke, drive fast cars, shoot guns and bone a hottie. What more could you want? 

aahh: Do you think you’ll be able to get an in with the sound guy and get him to put some of your tracks in the movie?
No need. They will be.

aahh: As a member of the highly regarded Lyrical Commission crew, with Trem and Bob Balans how do view that time in your own life looking back?
Man I’ve been blessed with good timing and a skill with words over percussion. I’ll forever be grateful for all the fond memories of my time with LC at our peak as a live performing group. We played some amazing shows back in the day. Trailblazed f’real! As a group we put out some dope records. We were there when the scene was in its infancy and we’re still fucken here, still fuckin’ shit up! Although, Bob doesn’t really do music no more, so the likelihood of any sort of live or recorded reunion in its OG format is small. LC will always be tho’. The Trem LP. I see that as LC. My music is LC. Personally, I wouldn’t change anything about LC, Trem, Bob Balans, J-Red, Rob Natural, the legacy, the memories. Nothing. LC for Life. 

aahh: “It’s mastery at its finest form, its like hip hop done to its original blueprint..” was how you described the new Trem album. Can you elaborate on that further?
Simply stated, the album now speaks for itself. The video was recorded before the public heard FTTOHNL. It’s all rhetoric now. Proof is in the puddin’ of the Cd into the player. Play pressed, sit back, take it in. It’s mastery of a particular discipline followed to it’s originally intended blueprint. Trem has been my favourite MC since I was sixteen. I’m over 30 now. He’s never wavered in his beliefs on how this music should sound. I’m so happy to see the fruition of the masterpiece.

aahh: You feature on two tracks on the Trem album, firstly Russian Roulette with Kings Konekted and then the track Reminisce. Did you have any objectives heading into the writing of these tracks or did you just want to make some dope hip hop?
Trem came at me with the beats and the directives. He had an overall idea of how he wanted these joints to go. ‘Reminisce’ was a no brainer really. Some take it back and recollect some of our earlier memories and lay it on track for eternity type shit. Cement memories music. That REAL shit, y’know?!! ‘Russian Roulette’ was to be the connecting of LC and K Double on some roll the dice, spin the barrel, pull the trigger type business. Edgy, hard-hitting, eerie shit that no one can touch music. It’s good that heads who didn’t or don’t know, now know, just how dope Kingz Konekted are. So happy to do my bit on two tracks and be a part of it. A must buy if you haven’t got it yet!

aahh: Mid last year Unkut Recordings released a short couple of videos that was sort of a short documentary on you 2001 game changer ‘The Authentic LP’. Tell us about that and will we ever see a full Strut Documentary released?
Josh Davis has been filming me and the crew for near on ten years. He has a cache of tapes and memories that we rarely get a look at. Who knows? Maybe something worthy will come out in a few years. Any nagging requests for a DVD or otherwise should be directed at him. He holds the key. Hahaha….  Add unkutrecordings on YouTube for the latest and greatest, ‘Animal Kingdom’ in particular of which he had a big part to play in. Amazing clip!

aahh: The question on everyone’s lips at the moment is when will we see another straight up Brad Strut solo release and how would you envisage that album taking shape in its sound and delivery?
The answer to the question is a definitive yes. Work will commence 2012 on what will most likely be the jewel in the crown of my solo works. A finale of fury. I’m rounding up producers, concepts and general ideas right now. Expect it to be something special. I also have a book in the works about my involvement in the Melbourne and Australian Hip Hop scenes, circles and cliques. Gonna be a cracker.

aahh: Final thoughts comments and shit we’ve missed?
I love my Mum and Nan. My partner is a gem. Rest in Positivity Robert Hunter. One Love!

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