Q. What are the most important values as a group you hold that have helped you grow together?
Shaun: On stage we always say we’ve got to give our all, every time. If the crowd’s 10 people or 10,000 people, it still means someone’s invested their time and money in our music, and we try to make sure that it’s always worth their while doing so. It’s a philosophy that we’ve stuck to throughout the years and it’s turned countless gigs that may otherwise have just been average into memorable nights for us and, hopefuly, for the crowd as well. In the studio, we tend to say that nothing’s wrong unless we don’t like it. No matter what the style of track is, no matter what the subject is, all that’s important is that we enjoy it ourselves, and with any luck that shines through on record and on stage!
Jonny: It’s always been great that we’ve been brought up listening to different styles of music and can bring them all together and see what happens. Not worrying about what other groups are making but just making whatever the fuck we feel like!
Q. Tell us about the concept and idea behind the video of The Death of Loki?
Shaun: “The Death Of Loki” track, video and LP are all the genius of Jonny, so I think it’s best he answer that!
Jonny:The concept came about during the creation of the latest LP, where I was excavating my unused lyrics so I could move on to creating new material. So the writing about myself growing up was in a similar vein to me denouncing my alias as Loki, and moving forward with new content as the new and improved Jonny Steele.
Q. Dates for your 2014 performances have already been added what things will be different from past shows?
Jonny:We’ll be incorporating some of the new material from The Death of Loki and Ill Literature LP’s as well as the the latest album we’ve been working on. Branching out and and collaborating with other artists has given us a lot of different directions we can take the show, we’re constantly tweaking our sets so it’s good to keep things fresh!
Shaun: We’re definitely performing a fair few new tracks on the live show this year, but it’s still going to have our usual combination of far too much energy on stage, a lot of crowd participation and, hopefully, good times and fun frolics had by all!
Q. Do you have any rituals whilst you’re on tour?
Jonny: They all generally involve waiting until Lacey passes out, can’t say much more than that. It involves mayonnaise.
Shaun: Ha! I think we all have different rituals without even realizing it! Like Jonny said, our beatboxer Lacey tends to drink and party all night, both before and after the show, whilst maintaining a level of professionalism on stage of course! Our DJ Kenny is the grown up of the group, he’ll spend his time before shows making sure the set up is as perfect as it can be. I tend to go a bit quiet and have a rolly and a pint somewhere away from it all before we go on stage, and Jonny gets all social with everyone! It’s a beautiful and delicate balance!
Q. How is your music currently being released now different from your debut The Evolution EP?
Shaun: Man, that was some time ago now! Our debut was very much sample based, I think we were still figuring out our own sound at that time to be honest. Our music now involves entirely live instrumentation, so it’s a lot more complex and progressive than when we first started, and we’re all a lot more confident in our own abilities and less worried about what’s expected of a hip hop group in the UK, meaning we’ve got total freedom to make the music that we love and talk about any subject that we want I think everything about it is a lot more mature and covers a wider range, both in terms of content and style.
Jonny: The sound of the ‘Evolution’ EP was definitely us finding our feet in hip hop. Our latest releases find us more comfortable lyrically and musically, now focusing our attention on how we can challenge ourselves on creating a soundscape.
Q. What are the best ways for you to be inspired as a group?
Jonny: Influences come about so sporadically it’s hard to keep track. The most important aspect becomes securing the idea or spark of creativity that pops in to your head whilst your walking down the street or watching news snippets before it disappears.
Shaun: I agree, I’ve found inspiration for song writing in everything from objects, like an empty larger bottle with a paper rose in it, to books, to TV, to my personal feelings, to stories I hear about others…everything really! We bring all our ideas together in the studio and really spark off each other, like Jonny said, I think main challenge is making sure you remember the things that have piqued your interest long enough to write about them!
Q. Which are the most influential political/historical movements that you think have inspired your music?
Jonny: The Hip Hop movement itself was inspirational enough to encourage ourselves to create something from nothing. Embracing the hunger for knowledge and the freedom of expression through the use of it, is why hip hop is more of a culture than just a music platform.
Shaun: I think Jonny’s said it all there! Hip hop should be a genre of freedom, not of limitations, you shouldn’t have to write about particular subjects or make music of a particular sound or BPM, and I think that’s the thing we try to embrace most of all!
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