The world of Aussie hip hop can be a very confusing one. Ever since The Hilltop Hoods grabbed everyone’s attention with The Nosebleed Section a few years back, there’s been a veritable haemorrhage of new artists flowing from the genres veins, with a speed and tenacity that would put most haemophiliacs to shame.
Part of this artistic blood letting is Phatchance, one of the hardest working MCs to come out of Sydney in recent memory. Cutting his teeth in Natural Causes, featuring on a whole bunch of releases from other artists and touring the nation multiple times in support of everyone from Bliss N Eso and The Herd to internationals like K-Rino and Dos Noun as well as religiously making pilgrimage after pilgrimage along the regional tour circuit with local hip hop collective I Forget, Sorry (with Mind Over Matter and Coptic Soldier), Phatchance has racked up more touring and studio experience than most men could stomach. But stomach it he did, and after wiping his plate clean he’s asked for more, embarking on his first national headline tour in support of his recently released album Inkstains, out now through Obese Distribution.
With credentials like that we couldn’t help but jump at the opportunity to catch up with him again before he goes off to trip the light fantastic.
Music Feeds: So you’re off on you first proper headline tour, how do you feel, triumphant or anxious?
Phatchance: A little bit of both to be honest! It’s a big gamble heading off on a headline tour so early in my career, these things have a tendency to make or break the resolve of young artists, but my thinking is I’ve done so much touring as a support act that I have an advantage over most artists with only a debut to their name. Luckily I already have good street teams and support networks in place in most of the states I’m hitting so that should be an advantage, plus it’s all about the learning experience for me. I might as well do it early when there’s less at stake!
MF: As you mentioned, you’ve spent a lot of time on the road over the past few years, are you excited to be going out again, headlining this time, or has the novelty of touring worn off and you’re just dreading the bad food and relentless traveling?
P: Hahaha, again it’s a little bit of both! I’m a vegetarian so road trips are never as much fun for me, between sub par salad sandwiches and Mcdonalds burgers with no meat – part of me is always waiting to get home so I can cook something green up. With that said it’s just so much fun meeting people and connecting with listeners on a personal level that I’m more amped than anything. My booking agent is already planning a larger tour for later in the year – we’ve tentatively dubbed it ‘Please God Let Me Go Home’ so that one should be the big kicker.
MF: Any on-tour tips for the up and comers?
P: Sleep wherever you find the opportunity because there’s really no guarantee when you’ll get the next chance. Also, use shotgun powers strategically, sometimes it’s better to ride out a window seat stealthily than draw attention to your lack of middle seat action by securing the front relentlessly. These things have a way of getting back to you every time.
MF: Is there any part of the tour you’re particularly excited for?
P: Sydney! Home town advantage + Oxford Art Factory = excitement plus. I’m also really excited to get out to Perth as I’ve never been there and have heard good things. Again it’s a case of jumping in the deep end. I have three shows so hopefully I play to more than that number of people.
MF: I heard you were rocking a face painting party, can you let us know what you’re going to be rocking face-wise?
P: Hahaha, I am indeed, the Sydney shows theme is face paint and all the artists are going to be done up as something or other. My plans aren’t totally firm but I have an affinity with the ying yang and used a ying-yang/ouroboros (snake eating its own tail) symbol for my logo. I’m thinking of doing something conceptual with that and trying to represent it in paint. If that all gets too ambitious I’ll probably go as the zombie kid that likes turtles or something.
MF: I see you’re playing O Week, excited? Ever been in a wet T-Shirt contest before?
P: I have not been in a wet t-shirt contest before, but I’ve heard good things. I think what I lack in cleavage I make up for in enthusiasm, so hopefully if I ever enter one I can score some extra points; I really am willing to put it all on the line to take home the win.
MF: So last time we talked Inkstains was just dropping, how have things been since then, much changed?
P: It’s a slow roll for me. There’s definitely been a lot more interest and discussion in what I’m doing as an artist, I pulled a full coups along the way and got some good promotion but it’s still early days and there’s a lot of work to go. I see the album as a stepping stone to bigger things, thus far it’s enabled me to increase my touring efforts and draw a lot more publicity so to some extent it’s already served that purpose.
MF: What can we expect from the live show, will you be trying to recreate the album live or are we going to see some surprising shit?
P: I’ll be playing most of the shows with a full band, I’ve put a lot of time into designing the set already and I’m going to try and make everything really fun for the audience. I like to include crowd interaction and trippy stuff into my shows and I’ve been trying to do that, I really want to work something out where I get to bang around on some drums (or at least a shaker/triangle) as the seven year old in me loves the idea, but I guess I’ll have to see if it all comes together!
MF: What you got planned for after the tour, any new projects you might have already started working on?
P: I’m already working on the second album and have completed a few features for other peoples releases. I really want to do a short acoustic EP in between the release of this album and my next (which, ambitiously I am trying to work towards finalising by the end of the year) so time is already catching up with me if I want to stay on track. I’m also recording albums for some of the artists I work with; I just finished executive producing a new CD for Coptic Soldier & Miriam Waks and I’m recording some stuff for Elgen & Johnny Utah that will hopefully resonate with people. Mainly though, I really want to tour the release to its fullest and start working my way into the festival circuit, which is notoriously difficult, so I’ll probably need all the luck I can get
Oh, and Phatchance generously provided Music Feeds with another track from Inkstains that you won’t find on his Myspace – ‘Invisible Queen’. Check that out below:[audio:InvisibleQueen.mp3]