Boundaries in music are forever blurring and become less distinct. DIY musician MC Lars has been well aware of this for many years and utilises it to it's fullest. Not afraid to shout out Axl Rose for a GnR reunion or team up with Mr Big Guitarist Paul Gilbert to take a shot at the Rock Band generation, TrashPit caught up with MC Lars for an introduction in Post Punk Laptop Rap.
For any Rock Fans out there who read TrashPit and might be thinking 'Why the hell are we interviewing this 'rapper' guy?!', can you give us a brief description of what you're all about?
Hip-hop and punk are the same thing if you look at their genesis. Both are revolutionary art forms, both are very DIY and independent minded, and both reflect the post-modern culture of the last quarter of the twentieth century. I make "post-punk laptop rap," that is to say it's post-punk in the way that Public Image Limited were a band that didn't "sound punk" but had punk rock ideologies. I have a "punk ethos" but most of my songs aren't three chord 90 second rockers. It's laptop rap because I produce it all on my Apple laptop.
You seem to find it important to have strong hooks and melodies in your songs, much more so than a lot of other artists who fall in a similar genre..... is this a reflection of the music you enjoy and listen to yourself?
I grew up listening to "alternative" music and pop-punk. I played in a pop-punk band for years, and the whole point of that music is to use catchy hooks to make it sound interesting. My approach to hip-hop is not just looping a breakbeat for three minutes. Yes, that is the genre's origins, but I prefer to construct melodic, tight jams for the listener and my enjoyment.
You've regularly had associations / toured with Rock acts. Do you ever consider boundaries in music such as Rock / Rap / Pop?
If you are trying to market a certain genre to a specific demographic, then labels are necessary for that. But with the hybridization of internet culture, it's kind of silly to assume boundaries. It's 2009 y'all!!!
You've performed with the likes of Bowling For Soup, American Hi Fi and numerous 'Good To Go' Tours but are there any old school rock acts who you'd like the chance to perform with and why?
I'd love to tour with the Dead Kennedys or, my favorite band, King Missile if they ever reunite.
Do you have any scarily dodgy (yet obviously briliant) hair metal / glam records in your collection which we need to know about?
The Scorpions's "Best of Rockers 'n' Ballads" is an amazingly hooky record.... they were fantastic in their prime.
Did you think it was ironic that Axl finally released 'Chinese Democracy' at almost the exact same time as your GnR track? Do you think he got a tip off?!! How did that song come about?
"I Want My Guns N' Roses" was inspired by me reading Slash's autobiography. I thought it was ridiculous how Axl fired his band and went into artistic deadlock for years and years and years. So I wrote a song about how he could remedy the writer's block - reform what was awesome about GNR. We were going to put my song on "This Gigantic Robot Kills", but when we heard that Axl had actually finished his "opus" in time to sell it to nostalgic Generation X-ers for Christmas, we decided to put it on my Christmas EP which (conveniently) dropped around the same time.
How did you hook up with Paul Gilbert? Did you get to meet or was everything done via the internet recording wise? His playing on that track smokes!!
Paul Gilbert is a good friend of Linus Dotson, who is one of the producers at Oglio/Crappy who helped me prep the tracks for their final mixing and mastering. He basically called in a favor and Paul came in and rocked it. I met Paul on the set of the video, he was very nice and very tall.
You've recently wrapped the video for 'Guitar Hero' right? What can we expect from that and when's it due to be edited and finished?
You run your own label Horris Records but recently hooked up with 'Crappy Records' which is part run by Jaret Reddick from Bowling For Soup. Are both labels gonna be working together and putting out your material?
I've signed a two album deal with Jaret's label. I'm going to keep putting my stuff out through Horris in association with whoever else I'm working with. The idea behind Horris is to keep growing and growing it with my stuff and other people's stuff. It's an exciting time to run an indie label - once you realize it's all gone digital, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
Was there anything / anyone in particular that inspired your DIY ethic?
I wanted to make music and wanted people to hear it, so I just did. Now I'm 26 and make my living off of one of my favorite things in the world! If you care enough about being in a band, nothing can stop you from having a career as a musician. Anyone who cares to refute that is jaded and/or has no talent. LOL!!!
Will you be bringing the full band to the UK for your next live shows and how do you find that from performing on your own?
I'll be touring with Failsafe actually, they will be opening and serving as my backup band! I can't wait.
Anything else you wanna add........
Thanks guys! See you in April!
The new album 'This Gigantic Robot Kills' is released February 24th.
MC Lars will be on tour in the UK this April.
For more information visit www.mclars.com