Now, we know we brought you a whole lot of Horrorshow madness for an earlier issue but we thought – since this is the hip-hop issue and since Horrorshow are one of the main reasons why you should be listening to hip-hop – we’d catch up with them again to see what they’ve been up to. I’ll leave it to Solo MC from the group to fill us in on their current tour, the response to The Grey Space album of a coupla months back and just the general love and respect for Oz hip-hop groups like these guys are currently generating.
First off, the tour which Solo and producer, Adit, have taken off on with fellow Elefant Traks stalwarts and premier hip-hop act, Hermitude. They’ve been playing shows since the beginning of October and will be playing every week this month. The further flung shows have been well received with the guys making a great impression on the regional areas.
‘It goes down really well out there, man,’ Solo enthuses. ‘They’re really keen out there. A lot of people are of the mentality there, because they don’t get too many acts there, they don’t get too many people coming through that they’re really appreciative. People just come up and go “hey, thanks for playing in Wollongong” or whatever. But they go hard, man.’
And having played so many shows in such a short time, the guys are wary of growing stale with their sound. They jump from using a whole band, to DJing and even sets of acoustic-tinged beats.
‘I guess we like to change up what we do with our show. We have a lot of people who are incredibly supportive of us and are willing to come and see us play once every couple of weeks-and sometimes even more than that- and we just like to change it up so that it stays interesting for them and so that it stays interesting for us.’
The Grey Space, along with the Herd’s Summertime, will stand as one of the year’s best albums by far. Bringing all the redemptive elements of quiet self-reflection in lyric and mood, they managed to paste together an original, searing set of tracks. It was big enough to get anyone who knew the power of the group together to sell out the Annandale for its launch.
‘That was crazy, hey,’ Solo says with genuine disbelief. ‘The show had been sold out before the doors opened so people were rocking up at like 8 o’clock and being told they couldn’t get in. My phone was fucking blowing up like Beirut with people trying to get in. And I had to turn away a couple of people. When I actually got on stage and looked and saw how many people were there I was pretty taken aback by it. Just the amount of energy and support that people gave that night, and they’d been in that fucking venue for hours – they were all on top of each other and shit and they still went crazy, man. That was the first gig ever where we could here people rapping back, word for word and calling out and doing all the call and response shit. It was just crazy man. It was a really special night.’
As more love and respect comes in the shape of even more people rocking up to the shows, Solo and Adit see themselves in the middle of something massive – and are fucking loving it – but can also see what they might be doing for future releases and shows.
‘[After this tour] we just kinda wanna chill out for a bit, you know. Have a break from shows and try and concentrate on doing most of the work for the next album. Ideally we’d like to have it out next year sometime and we wanna start being able to play some new material, so we’ll be turning our attention to that.’
And on the upcoming Elefant Traks Birthday Show on November 22 (pretty much the Australian hip-hop event of the year, featuring the cream of the label’s crop), Solo – like the rest of us cannot freaking wait: ‘Yeah, dude, it’s gonna be off the hook. I’ve been telling everyone I know. I reckon it’s gonna be a mad party. We won’t be bringing the band out for that one, but we are very much excited and we will definitely work on our set so that it’s appropriate and relevant to the night. I have a feeling that it’s going to be quite a banging party.’
And we say bring it!
Photo By Jim Skouras