So you’ve been in Southern California for a week now, what have you been doing?
Mikey – We’ve been doing shows, we had Audiotistic, a show in San Diego, we flew out to Ohio for a show, came back and had some meetings, got some free shit, recorded some music – it’s been a pretty chill trip for the most part.
And are you guys recording an actual album now or is it another mix tape?
M – We came out here and recorded some with Travis Barker, he’s doing an album where he’s just featuring some other people over some beats and shit. Recorded that, and we’re going back home tomorrow man, well I’m going back home tomorrow, everyone else is going back Monday. We’re just working on the album from now until release date.
So you’re just going to take it easy now? How long have you been on the road?
M- This hasn’t been a tour or anything, we’ve just been out for a week. Our next tour will probably be mid-summer, and we’ll do our own shit, headline our own tour.
And you’re coming back to the west coast?
M- Yeah, definitely. We get mad love out here. And the weather is great, not particularly today. Usually 99% of the time the weather is tight out here.
That San Bernardino show couldn’t have been better, it was like 80 degrees out at night.
M- Yeah it was hot.
And both you and Flosstradamus are from Chicago, you guys play a lot together?
M- Yeah man, they were some of our first shows we were hopping on while they DJed, and they’d drop some of our songs, and they’d just let us rock to their sets, so a lot of our first shows were with Flosstradamus. Those are our dudes man.
So both you and Chuck met on the internet right?
M- Well we actually had a mutual friend who produced as well, and he introduced me to some of Chucks beats and he was like ‘Yo, check this out, he’s got some beats that you might like.’ And I was making beats at the time, so I checked them out, and as soon as I listened to em I hit him up on Myspace because it was the only way I could reach him, I didn’t have his number or anything like that. And then it all went down from there. But we didn’t actually meet on the internet.
With the internet, what do you feel is happening right now?
M- With the music industry? The direction it’s going?
M- I’ve been finding out recently that, in a couple of different instances, you know as far as business goes music goes, movies, entertainment – It seems like it’s the end of an era right now. Don’t you kind of get that feeling?
M- Yeah, everything is transitioning to the new way of doing things, and it seems like we’re in a transition period right now with past business models. The old generation is letting go of running the ship, they’ve been running it for the past 30 years, and it seems like that reign is about to be over and it’s about to be the next guys taking their spot. It’s good though, you can’t run shit the same way you were running it back then. It’s not the same. As far as methods and music, you can’t use that same model that you’ve been using.
It’s much easier now…
M- It could be, but some of the higher up people are making it difficult because their stubborn.
My parents come from Chicago and they make this joke that there are two seasons, Winter and Road Work, can you relate to that?
M- The weathers tough man, there’s not really any sort of fall or spring, you get two weeks of rain, then it’ll get hot as fuck one day and then it’ll be cold again, you get like two weeks of that, maybe three, and then you get basically summer in full effect.
And it’s hot
M- Yeah, it’s still hot in September and shit, even in October. You get summer, a little weird spring, and winter. We don’t actually get a full fall or spring. So it’s kinda crazy like that.
So which do you like more, the outdoor festivals or the indoor clubs?
M- It’s different. I don’t particularly like one over the other, they’re just two different types of shows. They both have a lot of positives about them, and they have negatives as well. Like on the outdoor show, like this, there’s mad people and open space, if the weather’s nice you get to be outside in the sun and get to see the sun set and shit, and it’s good. But in a club, or a venue or something like that, you get that packed-tight-quarter intimacy and the roof kinda traps the energy into the building. It boxes it all in an you get all that energy in the room. So both got a lot of good.
Chuck- You talking about festivals and clubs? He got it right about the indoors, the festivals though, it’s like you got a work a little bit harder, but once you get it going, there’s nothing better than a sea of people feeding off you. Everybody is there, they can’t really go anywhere, they’re attention can’t be turned away ‘cuz they’re outside and standing there, so you could do certain songs that you really couldn’t do indoors. We got an outdoor show and we got an indoor show.
So you guys probably feed of the energy better indoor right?
M- It all depends
C- You know what it is, everything depends on how far back people are from the stage.
This show seems like it has a pretty big open pit.
C- It’s big, but it’s an outdoor show, when an indoor show has something like that it’s really hard, ‘cuz at any given time we can’t touch.
Back to Audiotistic, how’s it opening up for people like Talib Kweli and the Roots, they’re pretty big in many people’s sphere of what Hip Hop should be.
M- We’ve opened up for them a couple times now and every time I met em, they’re always cool as hell man. They are exactly what I would have imagined them to be listening to their music, definitely give a shout out to Talib, Questlove, everyone man, it’s definitely an honor to be opening up for those who came before you, people who paved the way for what you’re doing.
And I’ve read that one of your favorite albums was Aquemini, got a favorite song?
M- I like the actual song Aquemini, Skew it on the Bar-B-Que, it’s just a classic album, almost every song is classic.
Over 75% of em
M- That’s what we aim for, classic albums, whether it be a mixed tape or whatever, we aim for classic. I don’t want a throw away song – songs that could pop right now and then they’ll be forgotten. I want shit that’s going to last years down the line. I want people’s kids to grow up listening to that shit. You know? It’s not an ego thing or anything like that, I just can’t put my name of anything less than quality. I refuse to. I just try and make everything better than the last.
So then where do you think you’re going with what you sound like, do you have any a path in sight or are you taking it as it comes?
M- Here’s the thing about that, we’re making our own lane. There hasn’t really been one created yet, it’s too early right now for me to tell you exactly what it is, ‘cuz we don’t even know. It’s something working through us, a higher power. So I can’t tell you exactly what it is, but we’re making our own lane.
You guys have any weird collaborative dreams with artists?
C- Yeah man, we were just talking about this in the car. Should we talk about it?
C- It’s just something I think would be ill – Beck.
Beck would be sick
C- We just want to do a song with Beck straight up. I’m speaking shit forward, I once wrote a lyric about watching a playoff game in the Staples Center and tomorrow I will be there.
Aw man you get to see that game?
M- Man, I ain’t even gonna be here. But I get to go back home and buy a car. It’s not an expensive car though.
What kind of car?
M- It’s the old Range Rover, a ’98.
The boxier ones?
M- Yeah man, the boxy one.
Back to Chicago – would you drive that car in the winter time?
M- Yeah, they’re made for those rough elements and shit.
Even with all the salt?
M- I’m not getting any rims or nothing like that, the salt only fucks with the chrome. It eats the shit out of that chrome. No rims for me.
Anything else you guys want to say?
M- Just tell everyone to go get our mix tape – Gone Fishing. [Find it free on their Myspace.] I really want to try and figure out a way to talk to people and tell them what we’re up to, without a youtube video or shit like that. You know how motherfuckers get on youtube talking and shit.
M- Yeah, shit like that. But I want to directly tell people what’s going on, what we’re doing, and what our thought process is. I gotta figure out a way to do that.
Your manager was talking about the blog…
M- Yeah, we got our blog, that’s a way to do it, but I guess I want it to be in an interview or something.
What Trent Reznor is doing right now with his message board and fan involvement is really something good. He just lets the fans discuss shit, and for the important stuff he’ll pop in and give his two cents.
M- Yeah man, but people make everything so god damn cheesy, like I’d feel like a loser if I got on a youtube video talking ‘Hey..’ or being all on twitter telling everyone my emotions, ‘My dog took a shit,’ stuff like that. But I think you’re right about the message board shit, having a forum.
[One of the Cool Kids buddies]- Like back in the day!
M- Yeah man, that’s dope, and people go on that shit if they really care.
[One of the Cool Kids buddies]- Not like myspace
Myspace is an advertisement
M- Yeah, I don’t even really go on myspace anymore. I haven’t done personal shit on there in a long time. I just go on and check the Cool Kids page. It all got too weird.
But how do you feel that affects you, most of your fame came from that place.
M- Yeah it definitely spread our music out a lot. That was back at the pinnacle though, and everyone was in there trying to discover new music. Then it became a lot more about other shit, and that’s when it started sinking. Myspace is definitely a large reason why we’re here. It allowed us to get a lot more eyes and ears.
The internet’s a wonderful place
M- It’s fast man.
Any thoughts on 2012?
M- I think what they were trying to say was, the world isn’t going to end, it’s just going to transition, like we were talking before. The world order is going to change. The old world system is going to end and the next generations system is going to begin.
You can see it right now.
M- Yeah, it’s happening. It’s happening everyday. I think that’s more along the lines of what they meant. You got a lot of people that like to instill fear and make people scared. Then there’re the people who buy into it and feed it, so it kinda just creates a big confusing situation. It’s about time though, shit’s been the same for years.
Since the industrial revolution.
M- Let’s see what else we can do. Let’s see what else happens.
And I think art is coming back in a big way. People are going to start seeing less money and more beauty.
M- Art is, man. But that’s exactly what fucked it up, when art changed from a beautiful thing to a means of making money. When it became such a business. It really hurt the art. You got so many people that really didn’t care about the art and they’d just rape it. They’d just suck it dry man. And there wasn’t anything left. But now that people are smarter, I think they’re not going to buy into this fake ass shit, there’s a lot of fake art out there.
It’s dying fast
M- And the people who don’t love it will stop doing it, because they’re going to stop making money. That’s a wonderful thing man. The money will come in more modest increments.
But even if it doesn’t it’s a personal preference, [like you said before with your music being nothing less than classic], it’s a feeling.
M- Yeah, don’t worry about the money yet, if what you’re doing is good and you have a talent that’s rare, and you love what you’re doing, than don’t worry about it, you’ll be able to feed your family. It’s not going to be a problem, but you get a lot of people who try and cheat art. We’re probably getting ready to see the new world order.