Friday, February 20, 2009

Hammer Man Cartoon

This post strays from what you'd normally expect to see on this blog but it's a necessary post indeed. MC Hammer was the first hip hop artist that inspired me to listen to the genre and therefore I'll always have a soft spot for him. Hammer Man and Waynehead (produced by Damon Wayans) are 2 of my favorite cartoons from this era. Here's the intro (classic). Sadly it only lasted a season.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Naughty By Nature- Feel Me Flow

This music video from the mid 90's is one of the more memorable one's for me. I mean yeah there's ladies taking their shirt's off and wet t-shirts but for some reason it just seems to be in better taste than the music videos of today, it has that feel to it like it's all in fun. From the use of pagers to the then cliche blurred out t-shirts, this video by Naughty By Nature will always bring me back to my childhood.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Horrorshow Interview

Normally I'm the type to discover music on my own, by way of the internet, magazines or even through related bands. When I first heard about the Horrorshow it was through a good friend of mine. So obviously I had to give them a listen. When I did I was pleasantly surprised. Horrorshow hailing from Australia consists of Adit (producer) and Solo (vocals). With that being said these guys don't need much of an introduction.

Your beats are what first drew me to your music. Do you find you are sampling material, or are you creating original material in the studio?

We do a bit of both to be honest. Adit can play bass and guitar and a little bit of keys as well so he mixes those elements of live instrumentation in with samples and synths and all kinds of shit. Sometimes a beat will be entirely drawn from one sample or a collection of samples put together and sometimes he'll play the whole thing live. There's one track on our album that we recorded with a band and also some others where we got friends to come in and play instruments on top of samples - - it really depends on what we're trying to achieve with the track.

A couple of videos featured on your Myspace show you performing with a live band. Is it hard to take your songs and reproduce them with a live band on stage? Have you ever considered adding a permanent full band to Horrorshow to perhaps gain a more mainstream appeal?
It's not hard to take our music and play it with a live band because when we do that we're not too concerned about exactly re-creating the original track, we prefer to just take the original track as a starting point and develop a version of the track which is gonna work with the live band format. Obviously it's a very different kettle of fish and you can get a very different sound with all those instruments so we like to play around with that - it's more fun that way. As far as making the band permanent, that set was a special one off thing we did for our album launch. With that said, it was a lot of fun and worked really well so it's definitely something we'll think about doing a bit more of in the future. All of the musicians in that video are our friends and most of them we see them or play with fairly regularly. But if we were to do that it wouldn't be for mainstream appeal - it'd be because it sounds fresh. There's something very rewarding about working on a bunch of songs for so long and then hearing a band transform them into something else all together.

Some of your songs mention "Sydney hip-hop politics," with references to clothing and style. How do you see Sydney hip-hop culture affect your music, and in your mind, how does Sydney hip-hop differ from that of mainstream American rap?
Sydney hip hop culture affects, or at least has affected, my mindstate and the way I see the world and my city. Sydney has a great vibe and increasingly alot of dope hip hop is being made here, but there's also some stuff which is pretty wack. I guess in some ways that added to my hunger to try and make our own attempt at bringing what we have to the table. We also all had a keen interest in graffiti while we were growing up in the "scene" and I think through that we got more of a feel for hip hop and all its elements, the importance of style etc. To me hip hop from Sydney is so different from mainstream American rap I'm not sure where to start but in alot of ways they're just reflective of the environments that birthed them, just the same set of tools - beats, rhymes, cuts, call and response etc - being used to reflect on what are two very different societies.

Would you like to take your music worldwide? What do you see the challenges are in bringing your style of hip-hop to a global audience?

Of course we'd like to take our music worldwide. It's not really somethign we're specifically aiming for because in reality it's a pipedream - exporting australian hip hop to the rest of the world is a difficult task I think because in a lot of ways it deals with distinctly australian issues and voices and so it's not always as appealing to people from other countries. With that said I've had people hit us up from Mexico, Germany, Portugal, London, the U.S. and all kinds of other places saying they're enjoying the music so hopefully one day we can take our music in some form overseas. Some acts from Oz are starting to do so now and that's really exciting, hopefully they can break down some barriers for the rest of us.

When I first heard the name "Horrorshow" I instantly thought of heavy metal music. Do you think your guys' name has affected people's willingness to give your music a listen?
Possibly - who really knows. I think it's worked both ways cos we get some pretty scary looking metal fans who add us on myspace obviously having checked us out for the same reason you have. We definitely get very mixed reactions on the name but I'm not too fussed. Alot of people say to me "oh but you guys don't sound like metal" or "I thought you guys would be like horrorcore" but really they're not looking past the initial aesthetic or imagery of the name and looking into what it actually means, which is what it's all about to me.

If someone was to listen to you guys for the first time what tracks would you suggest they listen to and does that differ from your own personal favorites?

I would say No Rides Left, possibly also Waiting For The 5:04, All Summer Long and Choose None or something like that. To be honest I struggle alot with personal favourites, choosing a favourite track is like trying to say which one of your kids you like the best. One might be ugly, one might be funny, one might like to party alot and one might be really depressed but they're all my kids and I love em to death. I think that's the thing with our first album, we were experimenting with creating a lot of different moods and so there's quite a wide spectrum of stuff on there. But yeah - I would say No Rides Left, i think it best captures what we were tryign to do with that album.

So whats next for you guys? What do you hope to accomplish in life and in music?
Touring, a new album - we're trying to stay busy and make the most of what opportunities come our way. As far as what I want to accomplish in life and music? That's a question that I don't really know the answer to. The past 12 months have been absolutely crazy for us and we've already been so lucky to have some of the experiences we've had - touring with Hermitude, getting down with all the Elefant Traks crew and playign some really awesome shows alongside our friends like Spit Syndicate - we're really just taking it as it comes. But hopefully we'll be around (in music and in life) for a while to come..

If you guys were to have a metaphor for your music what would it be?
Um... I'll make one up. Our music is a big fat joint - it lifts your spirits, makes you laugh sometimes, makes you hungry for more, is best when shared with friends and above all it makes you think.

I'm definitely sold on you guys but for those who aren't or may not have heard of you yet, what's something you would say to persuade them?
I would simply say (and I don't know if this would convince people or not) that our music is honest. A lot of people who know me and Adit will listen to our music and be like "yo that really sounds like you guys" and I would have to agree with them. I think it's weird that I should be using that characteristic as something which will differentiate us from the pack or whatever but I feel like a lot of people these days aren't making music that's really that honest. They're making music which is trying to sound like some kind of preconceived idea of what it should sound like - people just copying each other or writing songs which are saying very little at all about themselves and that's not really our style. We're not reinventing the wheel by any means but we are making honest, heartfelt music and we do put a lot of time and effort and thought into it. so check us out... you never know, you might like it.

Make sure to check out the Horrorshow on their myspace and once you do that you can support these guys by buying their new album, The Grey Space.