Animal Farm Interview Part 3

This is Part 3 of the interview I did with the phenomenal rap group, Animal Farm. Check out part 1 and part 2. Don’t forget to download the entire interview on the Dope FM podcast page. We always bring you the best of the underground, great interviews, and lots of new music. And best of all, it’s free.

We had a lot of fun on the radio and I hope you enjoy the podcast and this transcript. Without further ado, here’s part 3 of the interview.

Chase: “There’s a lot of sample based production on this album. Can I ask you about like, Gen.Erik are you a big crate digger? Where do you get your inspiration from?”

Gen.Erik: “Yeah, I got crates and crates of records. I get a lot of inspiration from soul music, jazz, a little but of old rock, but pretty much it’s vinyl. We sample vinyl and that’s where we get it from.”

“We also gotta give big ups, props out to DJ Sect, my man Mraxai coming out of Sardinia. He produced like three tracks on the album as well.”

“Sec did Last Call. DJ Sect.”

“He also produced Serge Severe’s album. We gotta get you a copy of that. Concrete Techniques. It’s Dope.”

Chase: “Definitely, alright. Ya know, we went to Youtube and were listening to Ragtime Gal on there. And I don’t know how people just throw things on there, and I don’t know if you’re cool with this, so I wanted to ask you because there’s a picture there and it says ‘download this track now.’ How do you guys feel about downloading?”

Animal Farm: “Ah, ya know, it’s kind of a double-edged sword because in the independent music industry, distribution is pretty hard to come by sometimes. And that means that a lot more people are listening to your music and spreading it around. But at the same time, it means the artist isn’t getting any dough. Ya know, it’s kind of the eternal struggle with that.”

“We’re still getting our name out. So, to me, it doesn’t bother me too much. Ya know, it’s a matter of, do we want people to hear this or don’t we? And I think the answer is pretty easy in that sense. You gotta get it out there so people can start to know who you are and at that point then I’ll probably turn around and sue Napster or something.”

“You gotta kind of fly with the times because it is going to happen regardless of whether you want it to happen or not. So the best tactic is to turn it into a weapon that you can use for yourself and advancing whatever it is you are trying to do, ya know what I mean? Instead of trying to fight it and getting our stuff off of different websites and stuff like that, ya know?”

Chase: “Yeah, that makes sense. One thing that always kills me is that you see these sites or these blogs and they’re putting up all this free hip hop that you can download, all the time, and yet they say support the artists. So I think the best way to do that is that if people are copping stuff and not giving any love to the artist, then what they need to do is make sure that when the artist comes through, that they’re at that show.”

Animal Farm: “Exactly, exactly!”

Chase: “Because that’s where, you probably make more money in your shows than you probably do off the records anyway, right?”

Animal Farm: “Yeah, pretty much. I mean, like you said, that’s where it comes full circle. If someone’s gonna go download our stuff, ya know, cool, whatever, they like it, word of mouth gets spread out, and they come to the shows. That’s really where the big pay off is.”

“Yeah, in today’s age people are quick to download your stuff for free. It’s like when you make a personal connection with them at a live show, you feel like they’ve got something invested in you. That’s when you’re more likely to sell some stuff hand to hand and then they tell their friends. Ya know, that’s kind of how we approach it.”

Chase: “We’ve been playing your music for some time on the station now and we’re getting a pretty good response for it. And we only play what we like. So we’re fans, man, big time. So it’s kind of an honour to have you on the show.”

Animal Farm: “Thank you. Much respect.”

Chase: “So we’ve talked about the throwbacks. We’ve talked about nostalgia. We talked about how you use sample-based production.”

I didn’t do it here on the show or the podcast but I’d like to play “Move It” now before we talk a bit about one of the lyrics from it. So here it is, enjoy!

Chase: “That was ‘Move It’ from the album ‘The Unknown’ by Animal Farm. I like the line where you say ‘give rap a face life back to its true roots.’ So, how ya gonna give rap a face lift?”

Animal Farm: “We give it a face lift back to when it meant something. Ya know, knock of some years past all this plastic crap that’s going on now, ya know what I’m saying? Ya know when I say back to its roots, that’s what I’m saying. Back to when people were trying to mean something with their lyrics. Nowadays you turn on most radio stations, somebody has a speech impediment sounding like mush mouth stuff with some garbage rhymes, ya know? We’re just trying to throw some heat.”

Chase: “Definitely. Ya know, I’m always battling the perception because I’m an elementary school teacher and I try to bring rap into the classroom and parents are always like, ‘Oh rap is crap. That sucks! You can’t be doing that.’ But if ya dig for it, ya know? and ya get a little bit deeper, that’s what’s needed. The hip hop that I’ve actually introduced my students to is stuff like they’ve never even heard of before. Ya know, like Blue Scholars and Animal Farm. Things like that. I mean, I tell them, they come in with their Ipod, I wouldn’t be caught dead listening to anything you got on there man. Sorry but. The kids, they almost don’t know.”

Animal Farm: “It’s just a matter of changing this industry so that there’s some marketing dollars behind acts that actually put some thought into their lyrics. I think that right now, the people running the industry don’t really have a clue of what’s going on and they feel like if they copy what’s working right now, what’s selling millions of albums, that they can keep doing that over and over. But if they’re willing to put that same kind of money into thoughtful artists, I mean, you could tell by artists like Common who’ve actually been successful at putting out quality music. And if they did that, there’s a lot of artists out there that I think could shine and sell a lot of records.”

Gamma Krush: “Yeah, no doubt. I think that’s kind of the problem with the music. Cause you guys mention the whole cookie cutter thing. I mean you go to the local towns and everything, the places where they’re not as big as hip hop but they got hip hop acts. They’ll be like, ‘Yo I wanna blow up like this dude’ and then they’ll copy them. And it’ll sound wacker and wacker. And I also try to tell people, it’s way more beyond BET and MTV. Not only do I inform people about Dope Fm but I let them know about other underground and alternative hip hop shows as well. I mean hip hop’s a lot more that than. That’s what Chase is trying to let these kids know. I mean the whole Don Imus thing. Hip hop took a lot of heat for that two years ago.”

Animal Farm: “I don’t know why hip hop would take heat for Don Imus but I think we get blamed for a lot of ills in society and they automatically say-“

Chase: (mocking) “That hip hop’s garbage, I tell ya.”

Animal Farm: “You see it on TV everyday. It’s like they need a scapegoat and considering hip hop comes from the street, it’s easy to point your finger at it. And just blame it.”

Chase: “Yup, but that’s too easy man. I mean, it’s music and it’s actually about making something from nothing. And the history that this beautiful art form’s come from and how you can actually come from nothing. Ya don’t even have to have a beat, ya don’t have to have gear, ya don’t have to have money, ya just have to have some skill. And ya gotta practise at it and do it and be true to yourself. That’s the best thing because so many pop acts and rock acts aren’t true to themselves and they end up in all this tabloid garbage nonsense.”

Animal Farm: “I think Chris Rock did a really good job in the movie CB4 when they try to get their gimmick.”

“The bagheads, the bagheads.”

“It’s kind of what I see and hear on the radio and whatever like commercials. It’s kind of like the same kind of mocking and mimicking of ignorant and dumb popular culture and trying to make a buck out of it.”

“Yup, that’s why we’re gonna start a new group called the bagheads.”

Chase: “One thing I wanted to ask you is how you go about writing your stuff?”

Animal Farm: “We get together and talk about concepts and stuff. We like to joke around obviously, a lot.”

Chase: “I didn’t notice.”

Well actually I did. You really gotta listen to this and not just read it. These guys were jokes through entire interview. That’s one of the reason I had so much fun doing this. It doesn’t exactly translate to the text on this blog entry though so go listen to it if you get the chance.

Animal Farm: “One good thing about joking around is that it keeps you on your toes. So when writing together, when one of us is saying, ‘Oh, you flip it like this, while I can flip it like that’ and we can come up with something fresh and new and dope.”

Chase: “That’s cool because I remember back in the day hip hop was about being dark and serious. And we can just see even from this interview how much fun you guys are having with it and it’s kind of contagious. I’m telling you just talking to you guys, I want to see you live. So you gotta come up to Hamilton or Southern Ontario sometime man. Toronto area,”

Animal Farm: “Let’s make it work.”

Chase: “Yeah, let’s make that happen. Definitely cause that would be good to see. First exposure to hip hop or first tape bought?”

Animal Farm: “I gotta give big ups to my big brother on that one, Nightclubberlang, representing Boom Bap Project, Rhymesayers. He kind of brought me into this whole hip hop thing. One of the earlier albums Rodney O, Joe Cooley, LA Dream Team.’

Gamma Krush: “Oh, no doubt. All the pioneer west coast cats.”

Animal Farm: “I used to live right across from this wall. This legal wall where kids would come up and piece all the time. Like ‘87 and ’88. And around the same time, some kids I was hanging out with had the new NWA tape. And I remember they made me a dub copy of Gangsta Gangsta. And from there to Ice-T and then my cousin started sending me these mix tapes. And I started writing on things that were mine. It was tonnes of fun.

“It was kind of a funky dynamic back then too. Especially we you start getting into early 90’s. It’s like I’d have in my tape case, Low End Theory and Bell Biv DeVoe, little but of Hammer.”

“My folks used to have discothèque dance parties and my cousins, a bunch of Filipino kids would start breakdancing. I tied it and realized that I was no good at that so I kind of picked up a mic and took it from there. Back then my idols were like Grand Master Flash, Run-DMC, LL, ya know all kinds of old school stuff like that and it’s always stayed in the mix.”

Chase: “Run-DMC I think is the best group ever. I love those guys. Alright, well I think we’re about ready to wrap this up. It’s been awesome having you guys on.”

Animal Farm: “Yeah, yeah, it’s been a pleasure man. Thank you guys. We’ll have to come crash on your couch sometime.”

Gamma Krush: “Oh, no doubt. I just built a new guest room too, so…”

Animal Farm: “Dope!”

Gamma Krush: “So what can we be expecting later this year?”

Animal Farm: “We’re expecting to put out the new album near the end of the year. You can pick up our album, it’s pretty much all over on the web right now.”

Gamma Krush: “Yeah, go cop that Animal Farm ‘The Unknown’ album. Once again this is Dope FM. 93.3 CFMU. Ya’ll keep it locked and Chase, what you got to say?”

Chase: “Yo, this is Chase March. The podcast and the transcript is going to be up on my blog. I just wanna say “Peace” and end this interview with the song ‘Peace,’ featuring Krs-One. This is Animal Farm, thanks a lot guys this has been awesome.