These are the transcripts of an interview with Alias. The interview was conducted by Neoteric, March 2001.
MVRemix: Tell me about your hip hop history...
My first encounter with hip-hop was in 3rd grade when the 6th graders would sit in the back of the bus and listen to Run-DMC. Some of them would break dance during recess. I didn't really get too deep into hip-hop until I was around 12 years old. My sister bought me Special Ed's first album, Youngest in Charge for my birthday. I had seen the video on Friday Night Video's because Malcolm Jamal-Warner was the special host, and he directed the video for "I'm the Magnificent". I was hooked after that.
MVRemix: Who did the art for the final act 12" and why did you choose that cover?
This is an interesting question. Dose actually hooked up the artwork for my single. The art was done by Phookie, who was Slug's roommate when we recorded Deep Puddle. He works as a tattoo artist in Minneapolis, and as you can tell by the artwork, he is absolutely incredible. The artwork was actually completed before the song was even written. I hadn't seen the artwork, but Dose explained to me what it was and what it looked like. I kept that in mind, and while I wrote the song, I used that as the "storyline" so to speak. So if you listen closely to the song, you can pick up on what the song is actually about.
MVRemix: If Anticon had a royal rumble, who would win, and why
I would have to go with Sole. When we were at the Anticon eviction party, he was drunkenly displaying his karate skills, which were unparalleled. It was dope, but ridiculous at the same time...like an action scene in a Jean Claude Van Damme movie. He would be victorious for sure.
MVRemix: What do you think about the anticon.com message board?
I think it's funny, at times. But you have to take into consideration that it is a message board. Message boards are usually filled with mindless talking, which isn't really the case with the Anticon board. There are enough people on there that have the same sense of humor as us, so it makes it a little more enjoyable. Plus, it's a good place to see what people think about our music. But the Internet is wack in a lot of ways. It gives me something to do while I'm wasting my time at a corporate job, but I don't spend much more time on it besides that. The only sites I really spend a lot of time at during the day are Hotmail, theonion.com, the Hip Hop Infinity board and the Anticon message board. So, it's cool, I guess...
MVRemix: Do aliens exist?
I believe so. I mean, scientists say that the universe is endless. Even if that's not the case, I find it hard to believe that life is only supported on one tiny sphere. Besides, how could Circus possibly be wrong?
MVRemix: If you weren't making music, any idea what profession you'd take up?
I would like to get into video production. Something that would involve creativity. That would be a must, because I've done this corporate thing for much too long. I have never been in such an empty, soul-sucking environment as the corporate backdrop.
MVRemix: What do your parents think of your music?
My parents are very supportive. My whole family has always been very musical. My dad is a retired firefighter, and he now plays in a jazz band in Maine. He has come to see me perform a couple times, and both times he has said he was amazed. Actually, the first time he saw me perform, it was in a bar in Portland, Maine. There was about 150 people there, and I every time I finished a song, I could hear his clapping over everyone else's. It kinda made a lump in my throat, just because he was smiling from ear to ear and I could tell he was really digging it. My mom is a little more "innocent" I guess you could say. She likes some of the more emotional stuff I do. She likes Watching Water, but she says "how can you rap so fast?". But I'm pretty lucky to have their support, because it helped me when I was having a tough time with all the bad things that come along with doing music.
MVRemix: How has the Internet affected your career?
It's good and bad. It's good, because it puts me down at that level where people who like my stuff can e-mail me and let me know they appreciate my music, and such. It lets me interact with them on a more personal level...as personal as the Internet can get anyway. It gives more people a better chance of hearing our stuff. It's really made our fan base huge, actually. It's bad because it lets me see the preconceived notions that people have about Anticon in general. It used to really bother me, seeing the nasty things people were saying about us, and getting hate mail from kids. But then I realized that if I played along with them, it just pisses them off even more. So it's somewhat of a double-edged sword. More good than bad though.
MVRemix: Ok...rapping or production, you must stop doing one or the other, what's your choice and why?
Easy...I would stop rapping. I love making beats too much to stop. I have a much harder time writing something that I think is good, especially when you have writers like Dose, Why?, pedestrian, and Sole around you all the time. Production comes much easier for me for some reason. It's more of a passion. I love making beats.
MVRemix: Tease us about past projects that will never be seen/released, as well as what is planned for the future
Oh my. There are a lot of songs that I did with Sole and the rest of our old crew from Portland, Maine. Most of them will never see the light of day. Sole put a few on his Learning to Walk CD. The majority of them are so bad, I can't even listen to them now. The future is much brighter than the past was. So-Called Artists LP and 12" should be out on Mush Records sometime this year. Along with a 10" of We Ain't Fessin and More from June, which is a song with Deep Puddle plus Eyedea, production by John Herndon, the drummer from Tortise. I'm going to be putting together another CD to sell on the road and to some stores. It's going to have remixes of Divine Disappointment, Bottle of Humans, Savior, and We Ain't Fessin...plus a few instrumental songs, and some songs that I'm taking off of my album. It's going to be somewhat limited I think. I'm going to see what happens. I'm also in the middle of working on a project with Sole, he on lyrics and me on production. I'm also planning on doing an instrumental album at some point, but nothing definite yet.
MVRemix: Can you describe the process of making "Deep Puddle Dynamics"? How did it go down?
Sole and I met Mr. Dibbs in Memphis in April of 1998. Dibbs told us about this guy who had heard Third Person, and wanted to work with Sole. That guy turned out to be Dose. Then Sole was put up on Atmosphere by a guy named Tack-Fu. I guess Slug was up on Live Poets and was a little tripped out when Sole called him and was asking him if he wanted to collaborate at some point. I had been kinda doing my own thing for a while before all of this, just doing really bad solo songs, and some songs with Sole. But I really started getting serious about doing music, and was trying to be more dedicated than I was in the past. I guess Sole thought I was doing an OK job, because when he brainstormed the idea of doing a project with Dose and Slug, he asked me if I wanted to be in on it. It was a little overwhelming at the time. Slug had a huge following in Minneapolis and had put out music. Dose was so different style-wise, that I felt somewhat boring about my shit. And Sole had always been productive and dope to me...I was feeling a little inadequate at alot of points during the recording process. I go back and listen to it now, I think it kinda shows in some of the songs. I was somewhat timid and nervous. But being surrounded by such dope artists really made me step up my game. I have a line about it in a song on my album, where I say "I'm glad I was swept away from the shore/where I was wading knee-high/it forced me to swim with all my strength/lucky I was walking on the beach that day". It was a life-altering experience, really. I was blown away at the response that it received, from kids dubbing and trading it. I feel really blessed that I had the opportunity to be included in that album.
MVRemix: Who, in your opinion is the most underrated rapper at the moment? Overrated?
Underrated - Why?
Overrated - Too many to even begin to list.
MVRemix: When will the album drop?
My album will most likely be out in July or August of this year(2001). I am putting on some finishing touches right now, and it should be wrapped up and completed soon.
MVRemix: Anything you want to talk about? Say? Any rumours you wanna kill?
I want to thank everyone who listens to and supports Anticon's music. Send all complaints, praise and death threats to firstname.lastname@example.org