| 11th of february 2002 |
interview : tadah
how are you?
I'm doing good. Just
sitting here, getting up in the morning.
did I wake you up?
No, no, no. I've been
up for a little bit (yawns).
heard you went to Japan. How was that?
That was incredible.
That was probably one of the most gratifying moments
that I've had just doing music for a living. We went
over there and did a show and we basically sold the
show out, for what it's worth. I mean Krush and Spooky
were on the bill too, but there were tons of people.
And there was this one guy that took his pants and boots
off for me to sign them. And I was just like stricken
with all. It's pretty cool if you are doing music in
your bedroom for five years, and you're going to a country
you've never been to, and there are all these people
that want to say hi and hug you, you know. And it was
the very first time that I've been there. It was pretty
you are back in the States, what's on your schedule
Oh man, I'm a busy
bird for some reason. Jel and I are finishing the new
Themselves record, which is due to be out in August
on Anticon. And we are also finishing the new cLOUDDEAD,
with why? And Odd Nosdam for Mush. And I got a band
called Subtle, with Jel in it, but also four other really
wonderful people, musicians. We are doing four EPs,
kinda like the cLOUDDEAD thing went, and it'll be combined
to a full length. And I'm finally going to do some organized
tours: we are doing the big Mush tour, that is going
on in May. I'm doing a world tour with Themselves. And
that's it. And I'm feeding my cat, you know the usual.
are the tours taking you to?
I'm touring with Hood
in about three weeks, which I'm really excited about.
They are some of my favorite musicians. But that's just
the south west and the west coast of the US. And then
the Mush tour is the whole US, and it looks like a few
dates in Europe. The Themselves tour is going to be
the whole world: I think we are trying to do Europe
first, then the US and then Japan and Australia.
I wanna work like a dog and see how it feels like to
tour for so long (laughs). I'm willing to do anywhere.
I think it will be a total blast. We are trying to do
the entire record live. Well, sort of interpret it.
It's going to be fun. We're trying to push it.
did you hook up with Hood? They are more of a Rock thing,
They are more like
a Rock, Electronica cross. When we got the cLOUDDEAD
10"es, Nosdam and why? sent them to Hood, cause Hood
has been our favorite band, for Nosdam and I especially,
for a long time. When I was living in Cincinnati, I
used to like get 711 coffee and smoke cigarettes and
listen to the Hood record on my back porch. And so we
sent them the 10"es, and they responded and they were
like: "you like our music?" and we were like "yeah man,
we are like die hard fans". And he's like "you sure
you got the right Hood?" - "yeah man, we're positive".
So then we just kept talking and now we are getting
to be like their liaison in the States, and do a little
tour with them. And then I also gave the 10"es to the
Boards Of Canada, who I'm hoping to go and see this
That's two of my favorite groups there on the planet,
and they both responded really well and enjoyed the
music. So I'd say, besides of the Japan trip, things
like that are the biggest worm fuzzy we can get. Meeting
your favorite artists, that's pretty cool. You know,
I complain a lot, because I'm constantly working. But
I'm definitely extremely grateful. And very lucky. Things
are going very well.
mentioned the cLOUDDEAD 10"es. Is it true that there
are going to be twelve of 'em?
Actually we don't know.
We are about seventy percent done with the second record,
and it looks like that there will be definitely four.
But there might be five or six. The seventh 10" is out
right now. "The Peel Session" doesn't count. That's
its own 10". You might even get some music on the CD,
that isn't on the 10"es. And it will be a while from
now, but we are going to do a full world tour with cLOUDDEAD
as well. I would like to at least.
I don't know what happened. That was the music was so
bedroom when we recorded it. And now it seems to be
the greeting card that everyone got. That's pretty interesting.
you've done any other kind of music, before you did
the hip hop thing with "Hemisphere"?
was the thing. I used to be a total battle emcee. I
was in New Jersey and I was Mr Battle Emcee / Freestyle
rapper. But I knew that I wanted to do these six minute
long, intensely complicated rhyming songs, and I was
just kinda following my head and exploring all that.
And I got to the point when I started to follow my heart,
when I started meeting other artists, who were doing
what I was doing. And then I realized that I was on
the right path, but that I was just overdoing certain
things. It all started to settle after we did Deep Puddle
Dynamics and Greenthink. But I definitely came from
a raps over beats origin. And then before that, I never
did any music. I can't even play the piano.
quite a stretch, coming from a battle background and
doing what you are doing right now.
But you know, I wasn't
always doing punchline/funny man battle. I was always
pretty stylistic, pretty refined in what I was doing.
I was an underground head, so had a pretty high bar.
But I've always been the aggressive kind. Even now,
like the new Themselves music, it's really honest, but
it totally has an aggressive edge. Cause that's definitely
what I do. It's intense, I would say, maybe more than
interesting, because the newest Themselves track that
I've heard, the one on the "A Piece Of The Action" compilation,
that one's pretty happy.
Oh yeah (laughing).
That's our happy song. I try to do those every once
in a while. Like after a depression, you are like: "I'ma
do a happy song, so I can remember this". You know,
the new album is all over the place. Like when I work
with cLOUDDEAD, it gets emotional, but it doesn't really
get intense. Maybe it just relates to the fact that
Jel and I love to program drums, and cadences together,
so at certain points it's pretty driving. But yeah,
"Thems My People" was certainly one of our happy songs.
me throw a statement at you: your music is rather masturbative.
It definitely is. All
of our stuff is. But you know it also is over indulgent
and emotional. So we ask to be taken very serious with
that, but then we are constantly mocking ourselves on
record. And we mock ourselves in public and we are humble.
So, as masturbative as it is, it ends up being sort
of silly. As much as we inflate our own balloon, we
are taking our own air out as well. But at least it's
do mentioned that you are working on the beats as well,
but as the Emcee on a Themselves record, how do you
feel about a beat taking away some of the attention
that could be spent with your lyrics?
Well, that's kinda
half the fun for Jel and me. You know we write poems
and some of them take like half a year to write, some
of 'em happen in five minutes. What is art about what
we are doing is, we can bury the poem in the song, or
it can be mixed loud on top of the beat, and the poem
is what it's all about. The at other times, the actual
three minutes of music is what it's all about.
We have some really fast stuff on the new Themselves
where you can't understand the lyrics anyway. We mixed
that pretty low. And then Jel is rapping on this new
record. And he's pretty damn dope. I mean he's been
working with some of the better underground rappers
for a long time, so he has kinda always been able to
are always saying that you write poems. Are you drawing
a distinct line between poetry and just dropping rhymes?
No. The more music
I do, the less I can categorize it all or speak for
it. The line gets more blurred as I go. Sometimes I
sit down and write a rhyming-poem-rap. Some things are
distinctly poetry that I don't use in music right now.
That's like the only new thing in my life, that I have
poems that are to be written. So we started doing books.
There are just certain things that are not to be delivered
like that; they are just to be read.
We don't really read poems at the shows, we do like
an acapella. But that's different. Sometimes when you
are doing your music for everyone, they are not that
you refuse to be put into categories?
You know, the music
refuses it by just not really working into the equation.
For me, I think it's a blast when people in record stores
really genuinely don't know where to put some of our
newer music, like cLOUDDEAD and the new Subtle music
and Reaching Quiet or the why? and Nosdam record. That
shit just is a few things. It's indy rock, it's hip
hop, and it's Electronica.
I think if we have one thing going for us, is that we've
stayed together after the last five years, and we are
still all friends and are doing music. And then the
other one is that people don't know where the hell to
put our records in the store, which is pretty cool.
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