The Alterkicks

MusicRemedy had an exclusive interview with The Alterkicks. The band just released their debut EP "Do Everything I Taught You".

1) Why did you release "Do Everything I Taught You" as your debut? Is there a deepter thought behind the song/EP?

Mike Oates (MO): Do everything I taught you seemed like a good way to say hello'€¦ Zane Lowe was already playing the song as a demo before it actually got released, so we though it'€™d be silly to change that. Martin told us the song is about not being sure what your doing with your life and worrying about how others close to you might react, or something like that. Pretty universal stuff I reckon.

2) How do you experience the fact that your video is broadcasted at MTV2?

(MO): Its very exciting really'€¦ I'€™m not a person who likes looking at myself in photos, let alone videos, but having our song on MTV is fantastic and given the tiny budget we think Mark (the director) did a really good job!

3) Now that you becoming more famous are there more women/girls giving you attention? To my opinion Martin, you look adorable in the clip. Are there groupies/fans who will not leave you alone?

(MO): I wouldn'€™t say we were famous by any stretch'€¦ The only time we get any resembling fan attention is after gigs when we are more easily spotted/recognised. As a result, there are no stalkers or oddballs at this point. I decline to comment on Martin'€™s adorability'€¦

4) Are you pleased with the response you have received so far?

(MO): Yeah, it'€™s been great. The crowd responses have been fantastic given that we have been a support act on most of our recent shows and the fact that the ("Albeit ltd") single has pretty much sold out is great to know.

5) Your music sounds a little bit like Biffy Clyro and Belle & Sebastian, how do you experience it yourself? How do you want to call your sound?

(MO): The comparisons vary from place to place'€¦ which is probably a good sign. For instance, I'€™ve never heard us be compared to Biffy Clyro before. That said, there are some that keep popping up. With regard to the last single, we reckon its somewhere between Love, Bowie and the Pixes, but we don'€™t tend to have one particular sound for all our songs. Hopefully it'€™s frantic at times, melodic at other times and full of energy when needed.

6) How do you separate yourselves from other artists?

(MO): We all like different bands and different types of music '€“ we argue enough amongst ourselves about what is good to worry about what other musicians are doing. That said, we scrapped a couple of songs for sounding a bit '€˜80s, which is kind of the in-thing at the moment

7) What would you like to achieve with your music and career?

(MO): As much as we can. I like music that'€™s heartfelt and interesting and has its own personality, be it rock, electro, pop'€¦ but again'€¦ we all have different opinions. What it achieves as a product is out of our hands really..

8) How did you come to the conclusion to begin a career as a music artist?

(MO): Playing music is all about pleasing yourself and your band together at the same time'€¦ It only became a career when some said they'€™d pay us for it. I'€™d hoped to be doing something like this since my mid-teens, so it'€™s all a bit odd that it'€™s actually happened. Good odd mind you..

9) Which band(-s) and/or artists do you like? What did you listen to back in the 'old days'?

(MO): If you mean bands from the past or well established musicians, I like the Beatles, Radiohead, the Pixies, DJ Shadow, Mogwai, Interpol, Sonic Youth and many others. The band tend to agree on stuff like that'€¦ classic Stones, Bowie, Nirvana, etc.

10) How do you, as a band, write a new song? Are there difficulties, because of differences of opinion, when making a new song?

(MO): There are always difficulties, because we tend to go by the rule that all five of us have to be into it if we are going to use it. Over 90% of the time, Martin will present the band with a melody and root chords'€¦ something hes come up with on an acoustic'€¦ and we'€™ll work out a way of doing it as a band together'€¦ making the odd change/addition here and there, but mostly working out our own parts that can embellish the song. Its been fun recording b-sides for the next single. It usually helps to get a demo recorded - we make demos and single b-sides at home with our friend Darren Jones, which is great because we get to try things out more loosely and work out what we do well.

11) What artists are you listening to at the minute?

(MO): This very second I'€™m listening to Tri Repeatae by Autechre on my flatmates computer. Its amazing. Futureheads are great. The best new band from Liverpool is Hot Club de Paris. I saw them again the other night and was beaming from ear to ear.

12) Do you listen to other genres then rock, such like hiphop and dance? And who?

(MO): We like a wide variety of music'€¦ Martins a big Daft Punk fan'€¦ Ollie likes jazz, Mark likes hip hop, Gareths partial to a bit of country and I like ca fair bit of the Warp records type stuff. Good music is good music. It'€™s not to say we sound like any of those things'€¦ but it probably affects you somehow.

13) What celebrity/person would you want downloaded onto your hard drive and stored for all time?

(MO): Marilyn Monroe from Some Like it Hot. Or Bill hicks, but for very different reasons.

14) How is the tour doing and are you enjoying it? Did something special happen during the tour? Are there plans for a tour through Europe?

(MO): We would love to tour Europe and one day hope that happens. Touring the U.K has been a lot of fun and a good chance to find new ways of annoying each other. Nothing out of the ordinary special happened... though we came to realise for the first time just how much alcohol plays a part in being on tour, which is probably a valuable lesson.

15) Do you have anything to say to the's visitors?

(MO): Good music is good music. Bad music is not good music. Treat forest life with respect. Don'€™t buy anything by Robbie Williams ever.

When Radio One'€™s Zane Lowe played the Alterkicks demo in November of 2004 little did he know that, for once, he wasn'€™t the first in the queue. Through a year of shows in their native North West Alterkicks had quietly gone about building a solid and widening fanbase without any notice from the rest of the country. Once the demo was played, that soon changed and the record companies also pricked up their ears, In tandem, more and more fans registered with the site and started a campaign for the band to play in the South of England, an, as yet, unfulfilled request.

So far this leads us to Alterkicks debut single through the internationally renowned first home for all decent talent, Fierce Panda. Released on March 7th, '€œDo Everything I Taught You'€ along with extra tracks '€œThe Cannibal Hiking Disaster'€ and '€œDo Me A Favour'€ will be the starting point for the band.

Alterkicks were formed through adverts in shops in Merseyside and Cheshire, Though now based in Liverpool, the band are drawn from far and wide. Now jobless as the pressures of the band overtook their first chosen careers, the five are currently becoming experts on the interest free loopholes of credit card introductory offers, '€œYou can change them every six months and transfer the debt'€, according to vocalist Martin. The working population'€™s loss is Capital One'€™s gain it would seem.

Fighting their way through the usual appalling early shows, '€œWe once did a charity gig in Croxteth Park to old ladies and dogs, We were on after the raffle'€, Gareth confesses, the band hit upon a sound that drew as heavily from the melodic intricacy of Love as the sheer noise attack of Pixies to create a set that is, for a new band, full of stone cold classics in waiting. With a strident musical ability linked to Martin'€™s surreal yet intimate lyrics, Alterkicks were keen to play outside of the system as it were until they were personally sure that they were ready. When Zane Lowe nailed his colours firmly to their mast, that time had come.

Still to play in London, Alterkicks embark on a tour in support of their Fierce Panda release (see attached press release for full details) and may even get round to that London gig. If only to stop the website from crashing'€¦..

Martin Stilwell '€“ Vocals
Gareth Padfield '€“ Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Mike Oates '€“ Guitar, Vocals
Mark Karin '€“ Bass
Oliver Hughes - Drums
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Of Unknown Origin

O.U.O is officially an underground and original hip-hop group. Comprised of the cousins Dumi Right and Pep, O.U.O. has gained a loyal, underground fan base without radio airplay or music videos.

A genuine independent duo, O.U.O. traveled the world and used their knowledge for the advancement of hip-hop. From Zimbabwe to Virginia, they traveled with their heads held high. While other groups ride the bandwagon or just try to get paid, O.U.O. has a deep rooted love for the culture and vow to create intelligent and righteous hip-hop. The name O.U.O is an acronym with many positive and confident meanings. For years, they have been rocking shows and releasing singles. In 2005, O.U.O. finally released their debut album '€œOf Unknown Origin'€ on Domination Recordings. Production is handled by Kev Strange, Misterdew, H-Peh, and Cadence of Raw Produce. While most albums are littered with useless celebrity guest appearances, all of the guests on '€˜Of Unknown Origin'€™ are only known in small circles within the underground culture. Even though they could not afford big names, the LP shines bright with the chemistry, soulfulness, and true spirit. On a cool spring day in 2005, I had an insightful conversation with Dumi Right, '½ of O.U.O. Dumi Right is the Director of Operations of pH Music and Co-Founder of The Hip-Hop Restoration Council. As a group, O.U.O. is helping to elevate the underground and independent hip-hop scene. Without gimmicks or glitz, they take a cue from the A Tribe Called Quest'€™s stripped down approach to hip-hop. Their music consists of just beats, rhymes, and life. Even though they are heavily influenced by hip-hop from both the U.K. and the U.S., their music is for today. Underground and original, O.U.O. are officially lovers and contributors of hip-hop.

T.JONES: '€œWhat goes on?'€
DUMI: '€œMan, I'€™m just mad excited to finally drop the O.U.O record. It'€™s been a long time coming.'€

T.JONES: '€œThe debut O.U.O album, '€˜Of Unknown Origin'€™ was finally released. Tell us about the album.'€
DUMI: '€œMy cousin Pep and I put our heads together to come up with O.U.O but it actually goes back years and years. I recorded my first rhyme in a studio with him many, many moons ago. He had been doing his thing for a while and I had been writing but hadn't performed or recorded much, if at all. Now, understand that I'm taking you back to like 1988. This was all in Zimbabwe. One day, I was at Pep's crib and he throws on a beat tape and says, '€˜Let'€™s write a song'€™.'€

T.JONES: '€œDo you have a favorite song on the album?'€
DUMI: '€œMy favorites change but I'm really liking '€˜Outstanding'€™. That hook is pretty crazy. Cadence, from Raw Produce, did the beat and it'€™s real energetic. It is a good introduction to what the group is about.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow did you hook up with Domination Recordings?'€
DUMI: '€œActually, it was through two mutual friends, Peter Agoston from Female Fun Records and Cadence. I told them that I was shopping for a deal and they mentioned DJ Fisher. So, we started building on it. When DJ started up Domination, we struck a deal and got together to put out the record.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhen you approach a song, do you have pre-written lyrics and themes or do you listen to the beat and write from the beat?'€
DUMI: '€œI'd say more often than not, we have a beat. Then, we vibe with it and come up with a concept. From there, we develop the hook and the rhymes. Sometimes though, we'll have some rhymes written and get with someone to cook up a track to match.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow did you get the name O.U.O. and what are the many meanings?'€
DUMI: '€œWell, we've grown up all over the place N.Y., Zimbabwe, New Jersey, Virginia. Wherever we are, people ask '€˜Where are you from?'€™ Also, our style is not your typical run of the mill that you see or hear everyday. The abbreviation stands for '€˜Of Unknown Origin'€™. It also means '€˜Official Underground Original'€™.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhich emcees or artists would you like to work with in the future?'€
DUMI: '€œI'm dying to do something with Jean Grae or Masta Ace. Ace is one of my favorites of all time.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhich producers would you like to work with in the future?'€
DUMI: '€œI have to say DJ Premier, without question. Actually, add Prince Paul to that too. He's got that unorthodox methodology.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow would you describe the music of O.U.O?'€
DUMI: '€œI think it'€™s like complex, thought provoking rhymes intertwined with rugged, yet melodic beats and rhythms. The lyrics are critical. To quote The Pharcyde, I '€˜Gotta kick something that means something.'€™ Another important factor is the fact that Pep and I trade rhymes back and forth, like crews from the golden age. EPMD, Run DMC.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat have you been listening to recently?'€
DUMI: '€œI've been listening to a lot of The Roots. They are my all time favorite. '€˜Illadelph Halflife'€™! Sean Price. Going through the archives, there is Gangstarr, Tribe, Krs-One.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat was the last incident of racism you experienced?'€
DUMI: '€œAw man, there are so many things. Much of it is subliminal. It could be when I got fronted on at the mall in a department store because I guess they didn't think I had money. It could be when I was buying a new car, and salespeople would not give me the time of day.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhere were you on the September 11th terrorist attack? How did you deal with it and how do you think it has affected hip-hop?'€
DUMI: '€œI was at work and they have TVs in the break room. We were watching like, '€˜Whoa!'€™ It was crazy because it affected such a diverse cross section of people. It didn't matter what your beliefs were if you were there. It definitely messed up the current political environment in the U.S because I feel it limited people's ability to dissent on issues. If you felt different, than this whole anti-patriotic backlash was used against you. I don't mean I felt different about September 11th. I was mad as hell at the indiscriminate killing and loss of innocent life. The powers that be expected us all to sing with one voice. At the same time, in hip-hop circles, it seemed to me like heads were cautious about condemning the attack because they didn't want to appear to be in bed with the Bush regime. To me, those are mutually exclusive. I think hip-hop was kind of split because people didn't want to necessarily look like they were flag wavers for hip-hop fans. The truth is, the attack was a terrible thing for humanity, no matter how you slice it. September 11th was wrong but that didn't make George Bush right and that didn't justify measures like the Patriot Act.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat are some other political issues you feel strongly about?'€
DUMI: '€œI think it'€™s so hypocritical how we preach democracy but do not do a damn thing for years when Zimbabwe, South Africa, and all of those countries were fighting for freedom. In fact, it was the opposite. They supported the regimes that were in power. I think it is a travesty at what some of the things they spend money on while they are cutting school budgets and after-school programs at the same time.'€

T.JONES: '€œDescribe growing up in Zimbabwe?'€
DUMI: '€œSince we were in the city, it was similar in a lot of ways. A big thing is the stuff people here take for granted isn't always readily available over there. The schools are all under the British style, so we had to rock uniforms and ties. I lived there from 1980 to 1990. I left when I came to the U.S to go to college.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow is living in Zimbabwe different from living in the U.S.?'€
DUMI: '€œI'd say it is the easy access to day to day stuff. Here, kids in high school can have cars. Over there, that's a luxury. There are frequently shortages of basic things like gas and flour. Even though the cities are modernized, a lot of people are still traditional in terms of dealing with elders and male / female relationships.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat is hip-hop lacking?'€
DUMI: '€œDiversity and balance. To use the analogy of movies, it is like this. I loved '€˜Goodfellas'€™, but it would suck if every movie in the theatres was a gangster flick.'€

T.JONES: '€œWord association. I am going to say a name of a person or group and you say the first word that pops into your head. Ok?'€
DUMI: '€œGotcha.'€

T.JONES: '€œPhife Dawg.'€
DUMI: '€œIll rhymer.'€

T.JONES: '€œAtmosphere.'€
DUMI: '€œVegan.'€

T.JONES: '€œJay-Z.'€
DUMI: '€œDead Presidents.'€

T.JONES: '€œ50 Cent.'€
DUMI: '€œClone.'€

T.JONES: '€œEminem.'€
DUMI: '€œSoundbombing.'€

T.JONES: '€œSadat X.'€
DUMI: '€œYou know the ish is real, so don'€™t front.'€

T.JONES: '€œMF Doom.'€
DUMI: '€œGas face.'€

T.JONES: '€œSnoop Dogg.'€
DUMI: '€œNot again.'€

T.JONES: '€œWu-Tang Clan.'€
DUMI: '€œWUVT, college radio.'€

T.JONES: '€œDice Raw.'€
DUMI: '€œWorld series of dice (laughs).'€

T.JONES: '€œUgly Duckling.'€
DUMI: '€œScrooge McDuck.'€

T.JONES: '€œDead Prez.'€
DUMI: '€œFreedom.'€

T.JONES: '€œCommon.'€
DUMI: '€œSense. Bring back.'€

T.JONES: '€œEl-P.'€
DUMI: '€œUnconventional.'€

T.JONES: '€œKool G Rap.'€
DUMI: '€œOn the run.'€

T.JONES: '€œGil-Scott Heron.'€
DUMI: '€œRockets.'€

T.JONES: '€œGeorge Bush.'€
DUMI: '€œThug.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat are some misconceptions people have of you or O.U.O.?'€
DUMI: '€œWell, since I have a day job, the people I work with are surprised when they find out that I rap.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat is your day job?'€
DUMI: '€œConsultant / Systems Analyst.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat is PH Music?'€
DUMI: '€œIt is a company I started. It means '€˜Pure Hip-hop Music'€™. It is a vehicle to put out all our musical endeavors.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow does the fact that you and Pep are cousins cause problems or make things easier?'€
DUMI: '€œAs far as causing problems, I'd say that the hardest thing about being in a group is how you objectively critique each other without getting personal or raising hard feelings. That's an issue, in any group, but being related, makes it harder. You want to make sure that you're keeping each other on point, but you don't want to step on another lyricist'€™s toes or infringe on their creativity. On the plus side, there is a level of trust since we're related and that would take time or may never happen for people who are just friends. We also shared a lot of life experiences.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhere are you living now? What are the 3 best aspects of living there? What are the 3 worst aspects?'€
DUMI: '€œI live out in Springfield, Virginia. The best? It'€™s a cool, relaxed environment. It is a safe environment to raise kids, with good schools. UPS can leave 10 boxes of vinyl on my doorstep and it'€™s safe until I get home. Worst? There is no rap industry. A lot of shows don't make it out here and it'€™s hard as hell to get local support for what we do from local radio and press.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat collaboration are you most proud of?'€
DUMI: '€œI was incredibly amped that Nikki Giovanni agreed to appear on our album and grace us. I mean she's such a great poet and the fact that she agreed to do it was truly a blessing.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat is next for O.U.O.? Remixes? Collaborations?'€
DUMI: '€œLook out for a remix EP on vinyl, with remixes of some album tracks by Spencer Doran and Hen Boogie. Also, look out for the Cadence / Dumi Right project '€˜Alternate Reality'€™. Look out for the Zimbabwe Legit release of the '€˜lost tapes'€™ style Brothers From The Mother record on enhanced CD and vinyl this summer. Also, one more thing. Look out for the new line of Kunta Kinte Conscious Clothing Freedom Gear coming out this summer.'€

T.JONES: '€œAny final words for the people reading this?'€
DUMI: '€œNone, but ourselves, can free our mind. If you want hip-hop to get better, you have to make it better!'€

Thank you O.U.O.

Interview by Todd E. Jones
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While rappers attempt to make a mark on hip-hop by following gimmicks or riding the bandwagon, respected emcees are true to their roots and display their individuality by being honest about who they truly are.

Hailing from Santa Cruz, California, Proe is an emcee many may dismiss at first listen or sight. Some compare him to Slug (of Atmosphere) or Eminem. While these comparisons are somewhat accurate, Proe'€™s eccentric soul is that of a true individual. A product of racially mixed parents, Proe samples Blues and R&B instead of the usual. His influences are as varied as his samples as his all time favorite artist is Tom Waits. While his debut LP '€œTags On The Wall'€ did not gain much exposure, his fan base grew. Gaining fans from both rock music and hip-hop music, Proe is moving between genres while being true to himself. In 2005, Proe released his sophomore album, '€œPerfect'€ on Rec League Records. With the emotional vulnerability of Atmosphere and the wildness of Eminem, Proe has made interesting, poignant, and thought provoking music. As '€œPerfect'€ is somewhat a study on the beauty of imperfections, the emcee is truly discovering himself within each beat and rhyme. No emcee or human being is perfect and this journalist thinks that Proe would not have it any other way.

T.JONES: '€œWhat goes on?'€
PROE: '€œSitting here, drinking coffee, and smoking a cigarette. Summoning the will for all the St. Patrick'€™s Day debauchery.'€

T.JONES: '€œYour new LP '€˜Perfect'€™ was just released. Tell us about it.'€
PROE: '€œWell, it'€™s called '€˜Perfect'€™. It'€™s 19 songs, almost entirely produced by The Neptunes..... Just kidding. (Laughs). I actually handled 98% of the production myself. It's out now on Rec-League Records and I suggest you go buy it. I think it will make both of us happy.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow long did it take you to record '€˜Perfect'€™?'€
PROE: '€œIt took me about a endless amount of cigarettes, cups of coffee, trials and tribulations, all compiled into a little over a year of hardcore work.'€

T.JONES: '€œDo you have a favorite song on '€˜Perfect'€™?'€
PROE: '€œI don't think I have a favorite. There are certain songs on there which I can conjure memories from as I made them, which is good or bad, depending on which, but they all have their place. For the sake of the question, the song '€˜The Break Down'€™. I wrote while depressed and drunk. So, every once in a while, I might listen to that when I'm depressed and drunk and I'll feel better.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow is '€˜Perfect'€™ different from your debut album?'€
PROE: '€œWell '€˜Perfect'€™ follows a concept. It'€™s more personal. It'€™s more mature. I think I've come a long way since the debut album, both in my song writing and production.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat is the meaning behind the title '€˜Perfect'€™?'€
PROE: '€œHere's what people need to remember, especially reviewers. I do not claim the album is perfect. I called it '€˜Perfect'€™ from my own f*cked up exploration into perfection, my views, my questions, my contradictions, my sins, my virtues, my laughs, my cries, all over beats. I'm just a not-so-innocent bystander on the street, watching God and Satan have a knife fight to the death while wishing I had some popcorn and a beer.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat song took you the longest to do? Why?'€
PROE: '€œWell, I really don't remember. A lot of them took a long time. Being an emcee as well as a producer, I get distracted easily. Like, I'll be trying to say something I have in my head and then, all of a sudden, I'll get sick of the snare and work on that until I get sick of the whole thing. Then, I'€™ll start working on something else. I think have A.D.D. Actually, I'm pretty sure I do.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat song took you the shortest to do? Why?'€
PROE: '€œThis one I can remember. One of my best friends, P. Soup, who produced '€˜Move'€™, left his hard drive of beats at my house for a day. So, I just loaded up the beat to '€˜Move'€™ and wrote it all fairly quickly. It'€™s quite easy for me to write when it'€™s not my production. Long story short, he came back and I demanded that I have that beat or I would have had to rough him up a little. I'm a lot bigger, so he gave in.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat is the meaning behind your name, Proe?'€
PROE: '€œI wish I had something deep or interesting to tell you, but I don't. I get this question a lot so I might as well just tell it again, even though its not that cool. Ok, so when I was just a little twerp, I called myself '€˜Prolific'€™. It was a way too super-power-lyrical-master-verbal-sorcerer type of guy name for my liking, but I'm extremely bad at thinking up names to call myself. I was also too lazy. All my friends, who would ever have to, for some reason, call me by my rap name, would say '€˜Pro'€™, for short. One day, I was drunk with my homey Ricky Saiz, who is a dope producer who you'll be hearing a lot about. I was telling him how I needed a new name, all he said was, '€˜Why don't you just be Proe, but with an E at the end?'€™ So, I was like '€˜F*ck it, sure'€™.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhen writing lyrics, do you have the lyrics pre-written or a set theme or do you hear the music before you write?'€
PROE: '€œI generally have to hear the music first. I like to write songs. So, to me, just writing stuff and placing them on a backdrop, would be incomplete. I have written stuff that I've used, which came to me while without listening to a beat.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow did you get involved with Rec League Records?'€
PROE: '€œI met all those guys while we were both coming up, making music in town. I thought they were dope and they thought I was dope. We started doing shows. Fast-forward about 5 years and they are all some of my best friends. So, it'€™s like a record label and a group of friends, which is funny because our music sounds nothing alike, which is dope to me.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat hurdles or problems have you encountered being white in hip-hop?'€
PROE: '€œThis question is absolutely awesome because I'm not white. Well, my father is white and my mother is mixed. So, I guess I don't have a comment about it. But, about the whole white in hip-hop thing, I think that it is 2005 and if that'€™s really still an issue, people need to grow up.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhen did you first begin making music? What was the experience like?'€
PROE: '€œI first started getting interested in making music as a early teen. I got a set of sh*tty turntables and a mixer at 14, if I remember right. I did that for a couple years. It was dope to me. At first, I really had no idea what I was doing, but it was exciting. I would just sit in my room and do the world's most horrible rendition of crab scratches and Primo cuts. After that, I got into rapping, making tapes from the instrumentals off my records, and pretty much just goofing off with my homeys. I had a Tascam 4-track tape recorder and I thought it was illest thing ever. Eventually, I sort of just stopped DJ-ing and focused on how I could make myself beats instead of rapping on others.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhen producing a beat, do you have a formula or a usual process?'€
PROE: '€œI really don't have a formula. Maybe that'€™s why my production is so different from everyone else. Although, for the new album '€˜Perfect'€™, I told myself that I wouldn't jump on a soul sample train and pitch every beat up till it sounded like a Chipmunk'€™s Christmas rap record or something. For this album, I used a lot of rock and blues records. I wasn't really trying to be different because I've always been a little odd when it comes to music. It just turned out that way. And just because I sampled a couple guitars, if I hear the term '€˜rap-rock'€™ I'll have to kill somebody, seriously.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat equipment do you use for production?'€
PROE: '€œI use a Akai MPC 2000Xl and old vinyl.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat is your favorite drum machine and/or sampler?'€
PROE: '€œI'm a MPC junkie for life.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow were you making a living before or outside music?'€
PROE: '€œCurrently, I park rich people'€™s cars and hit on their wives while I carry their luggage.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow has your live show evolved? What is your favorite part of your live show?'€
PROE: '€œI think after doings a lot of shows, any performer starts to become fully comfortable in that spot light, where they can totally be themselves and without the cliché rapper routine like, '€˜Wasssup motherf*ckers! Put y'€™all mothaf*cking hands up Motherfuckers! All the fellaz say.... All the ladies say..'€™ Unless that'€™s really how you do it, and that'€™s totally cool, but it'€™s not me. Then again, I find it very entertaining when rappers cuss out the audience to make them interact, so its kind of like whatever.'€

T.JONES: '€œDo you smoke weed?'€
PROE: '€œI stopped smoking the devil'€™s grass a while back, although occasionally, I'll get high by myself and listen to records. Generally, it makes me think way too much and I already have a habit of doing that.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat is it like living in California? What is the hip-hop
scene like?'€
PROE: '€œI love California. I'm a Cali boy. I still wear Dickies and Chuck Taylors, as I did when I was growing up. Living in Cali is dope. The weather is nice. There'€™s a beach where half naked women go to hang out, but we do have a cyborg mercenary sent from the future as our Governor. So, it has its pros and cons.'€

T.JONES: '€œWho are your biggest influences?'€
PROE: '€œTom Waits, Jay-Z, Johnny Cash, Ike Turner, Redman, Wu-Tang Clan, Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, Krs-one, Craig T. Nelson, MC Eiht, Silk The Shocker, Jean Claude Van Damn, Big Daddy Kane, John Lee Hooker, Jim Morrison, GWAR, David Cross, and John Basedow.'€

T.JONES: '€œAbortion. Pro-life or pro-choice?'€
PROE: '€œI think it'€™s pretty ridiculous that old male religious freaks can tell a woman what she can do with her own body.'€

T.JONES: '€œDeath penalty. For or against?'€
PROE: '€œIt seems to be that the devil has a plan for all of us.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhere were you on the September 11th terrorist attack? How did you deal with it? How has it affected California? How has it affected the music industry?'€
PROE: '€œI was on my way to school. I woke up but didn't put on the TV so, I didn'€™t find out till I saw my boy when I got there. At first, it was really surreal. I didn't really know what to think. Then, they put TV's in the classrooms, which showed the planes. Then, reality started to sink in. I think in California, aside from the racists, sexists, war mongers, and rich people, it has made us feel like Bush is going to lead us into some sh*t we can't fix.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow do you feel about America'€™s involvement in the Middle East?'€
PROE: '€œI think it's bullsh*t. It'€™s absolutely an abuse of power which is killing tons of innocent lives. This is coming from someone whose family member and best friend was sent to Afghanistan and is now a war veteran. Apart from my personal opinions, I've had first hand views of someone who is affected more than some whiny college kid. To sum it up, war is bullsh*t. Killing is never easy to deal with, only when it is a press of a button. F*ck Bush!'€

T.JONES: '€œWord association. I am going to say the name of a group or a person and you say the first word that pops into your head. So, if I said '€˜Public Enemy'€™, you may say '€˜Revolution'€™ or '€˜Fight The Power'€™. If I said '€˜The Beatles'€™, you may say '€˜Revolver'€™ or '€˜Yoko Ono'€™. Okay?'€

T.JONES: '€œCormega.'€
PROE: '€œGrimey.'€

T.JONES: '€œ50 Cent.'€
PROE: '€œJa Rule 2.'€

T.JONES: '€œEminem.'€
PROE: '€œWhy?'€

T.JONES: '€œJay-Z.'€
PROE: '€œYep!'€

T.JONES: '€œAtmosphere.'€
PROE: '€œLucy.'€

T.JONES: '€œDead Prez.'€
PROE: '€œRobbing the pizza delivery guy.'€

T.JONES: '€œPharycde.'€
PROE: '€œHaving a crush on my teacher.'€

T.JONES: '€œPhife Dawg.'€
PROE: '€œWhere?'€

T.JONES: '€œJamiroqaui.'€
PROE: '€œMoving floors.'€

T.JONES: '€œDel The Funky Homosapian.'€
PROE: '€œWeed.'€

T.JONES: '€œTom Green.'€
PROE: '€œThe Bum Bum Song.'€

T.JONES: '€œGil-Scott Heron.'€
PROE: '€œStealing cable.'€

T.JONES: '€œGeorge Bush.'€
PROE: '€œWWIII.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat artists would you like to work with in the future who you haven'€™t worked with yet?'€
PROE: '€œTom Waits, Jay-Z, Karen O, Pharrell Williams, and Devin The Dude.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat producers would you like to work with in the future?'€
PROE: '€œJust Blaze, Pete Rock, The RZA, The Neptunes, Jay Dee, El-P, and Timbaland.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat is the biggest mistake you have made in your career?'€
PROE: '€œIt's a toss up between not getting shot, not hating my mother, and not being on the show '€˜Change of Heart'€™.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat advice would you give to an up and coming hip-hop emcee?'€
PROE: '€œBe yourself. Stop trying to emulate your idols. At the absolute best, you'll only be a decent 2nd.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat do you think hip-hop needs these days? What is it lacking?'€
PROE: '€œHip-hop needs an open mind. It is so cut and dry between these bullsh*t little boundaries and boxes everyone puts each other in. Motherf*uckers need chill. It'€™s just music. To me, it'€™s lacking originality without the loss of sensibility. You got tons of rappers trying to sound the same, and you got tons of rappers trying too hard to be abstract and different. There'€™s not much I find genuinely interesting anymore.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat song are you most proud of?'€
PROE: '€œI have no idea.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat CDs or LPs have been in your CD player or on your turntable recently?'€
PROE: '€œJohn Lee Hooker'€™s '€˜Whiskey and Wimmen'€™, Tom Waits'€™ '€˜Mule Variations'€™, '€˜Fly Or Die'€™ by N.E.R.D, '€˜Red Light District'€™ by Ludacris, and Just Blaze'€™s beats.'€

T.JONES: '€œFavorite movies?'€
PROE: '€œI'm a big horror movie fan. Anything else, I see just as precursor to make out with women.'€

T.JONES: '€œIf you could remake any classic hip-hop song, what would it be?'€
PROE: '€œRemake? Well that defeats the purpose, but I wouldn't mind rapping on '€˜T.R.O.Y.'€™'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat do you do when you are incredibly stressed out?'€
PROE: '€œDrink too much and make it worse. Then, eventually, write a song about drinking too much and making it worse.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat are some major misconceptions that people have of you?'€
PROE: '€œWell I guess, that I'm white, ha. Another misconception is that I'm short. I'm actually really tall.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow do you think that you have matured, evolved, or changed as an artist?'€
PROE: '€œI stopped trying to impress other rappers. Instead, I just try to make music, no matter how it turns out. I could care less if some cheesed*ck emcee can rap better than me. If you can freestyle better, that'€™s fantastic, but I'd still rather talk to your girlfriend than have a discussion with you about skills.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat is in the future for Proe? Collaborations? Tours?'€
PROE: '€œThe future is hopefully a grand place. I have a side project that'€™s in the works with my homey Bob Clean entitled '€˜Modest Monsters'€™. I have a DVD coming out entitled '€˜Jenna Loves Proe'€™. I'm constantly working on new material. If anyone wants to set up a tour, let'€™s go. Really, let'€™s go right now.'€

T.JONES: '€œAny final words for the people who will be reading this?'€
PROE: '€œThanks for reading all this stuff. All the love and support is very much appreciated. A big thanks to everyone who copped the album! If you have yet to, be sure to pick up the new album '€˜Perfect'€™. Keep supporting good independent music. Much respect to all of you. And, oh yeah, I was just kidding about the John Basedow thing.'€

Thank you Proe!!!
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