With one ear on the phone, and one eye on the TV, I watch Kevin Rudd give a speech. Is he just another white guy in glasses? Talking to Platinum Pied Pipers, I ask them if they’re excited about the change in their land, the US of A.
“Hell yeah, I mean it’s good. Within the next four years there is going to be a lot of change, Obama has some work to do, there’s a lot of shit going on.
“I’m pretty sure he is going to hit the ground running, running pretty fast.”
Platinum Pied Pipers have gone all anorexic on their name and slimmed down to PPP to coincide with their new album, Abundance, which was recorded under relaxed circumstances.
“I made 90% of the album in my boxer shorts. Hey man it comes out when it comes out you can’t always prepare yourself for the ideal situation, sometimes those ideas just spill out and you got to get to that keyboard as quick as possible, even in you’re in your underwear.”
Although it’s hard to imagine Detroit hip hop artists gathered around the Korg in a pair of tighty whiteys, their unusual style led to a collaboration with the late great J Dilla, your favourite producer’s favourite producer.
“The biggest thing I learnt from Dilla is just work ethic. I mean he just worked non-stop. Also his humility man, all the things that he did meant the world to everybody, he kept pushing, he kept wanting to reach for a new sound.”
“For him it wasn’t about ego, about who can dress the best, who knows the most celebrities, that’s bullshit, it was all about music, that’s all we can be judged on and all that will be left standing at the end of the day. That was his approach and we learnt from that.”
PPP are all about the music, but their dedication and skills don’t necessarily guarantee success. Abundance might be the hottest drop of 2009 but fans could still flock to Akon and his pseudo-Caribbean music.
“A lot of people making music and especially music fans, need to change their ideas, because these labels are basically grocery markets — if the public demands a certain thing, then the grocery market will have a certain product. The fans need to realise it starts with them, if they require or demand a type of music then let it be known, support physically, stop downloading and stealing people’s fucking music and actually buy and put your money where your mouth is.”
But the music industry isn’t that simple. If someone can’t get the album, they’ll be all over that torrent like shit on Velcro. It’s quite the musical conundrum.
“Man, it’s definitely a double edged sword, its like fire. It can keep your house warm but it can burn your shit up too.”
I agree with this strange analogy and offer my own, that the music industry is no longer the domain of the rhythmic and skilled, but open to anyone with a bit of cash and encouraging parents.
“Definitely. Everyone wants to play now, I’m not saying you got to spend time in music class, but a kid buys a keyboard and he thinks he is at the next level.”
“The problem is the over-saturation, like porn. What can I do with a camera and two people?”
At the talk of porn I become distracted, but I tune in just in time to hear some juicy tax fraud information.
“It’s harder for groups like us to even get any attention because of the way it is. Now I might not be the best at filing my taxes but shit, I can play the keyboard.”
Although the IRS (the USA’s version of the tax office) may be raiding PPP’s recording studio as we speak, they still have time to discuss how ladies react to their sexual tones.
“Yeah pretty good, I mean we do alright. I definitely say that to some extent a lot of our music caters towards women, we leave a lot of hard-core hip hop fans out of the loop. But we try to do a lot, keep them in, but they might be a little pissed off.”
If worst comes to worst, and PPP leave too many fans pissed, there is always a fool proof back up plan.
“I had goals to be the biggest drug dealer on the planet when I was young, but music absolutely saved me. I would probably be in jail like most of my friends. It showed me an alternate path, for a regular street kid.”
The addictive sounds of PPP will make sure you buy Abundance in abundance when it drops.