The Bumblebeez recently released their debut album on Geffen, entitled "The Printz." They've toured with the likes of Radiohead, N.E.R.D. and Spymob.
MVRemix: The first question has to of course be, why the name "Bumblebeez 81"?
Bumblebeez 81: Well first it was just Bumblebeez. Then "81" came because there's a Folk group in Ireland who already had the name Bumblebeez that no-one's ever heard of but they've been going for eleven years, so legally they had the right to the name. So then we just chucked fuckin' 81 on the end because that's the year I was born and that's my record company. So I was like whatever, chuck it on. Get on with it...
MVRemix: Tell me a little about the history of the group...
Bumblebeez 81: History of the group - I've been playing music since I was five; playing the drums and stuff like that. I was always into cutting up tapes and making parts longer. Just totally experimenting with sounds. Then a teacher introduced me to a music program on a computer and I spose in the whole side of my producer element it went from there. I could make my own songs in a bit more structured format. Then through that whole high school period I was in bands and stuff, which was good, but we always felt it was quite hard. It was the types of bands where everyone was just throwing ideas in and in the end it just was stress for everybody. The whole time that this was going on I was making my own music and then in the end, my own music sort of took of. Which was a lot better for everyone because the songs were already done. Then I was just calling people if I needed someone to do something or I'd get my sister in. So everyone knows their stand.
MVRemix: Who influenced you creatively by their art, be it music, movies or other forms?
Bumblebeez 81: I'm totally inspired by Just Art I suppose. Just that whole sort of raw do-it yourself approach to art. Even by just going around the streets and finding shit to do his artwork with. Just the naivity and childlikeness of his work. Movies; ah fuck, shitloads of movies. Stuff from... I can't even think. I've got bad jetlag. Cartoons I was heavily into, like the really early, early sort of Walt Disney cartoons. Just the actual sound on them; I was just fuckin' blown away. Or the sound effects and stuff that they used to do.
MVRemix: Who's responsible for the Bumblebeez artwork?
Bumblebeez 81: That's all my stuff, yeah. For me the art is just as important as the music; 'cause I'm an art school kid and I went to art school for four years. For me I felt that I always found I had a real strong identity of what I wanted my music to sound like and also my art. I just wanted to do the whole thing, which in the end I think is better 'cause the record company thought I know exactly what I want. Rather than them tryin' to put some image to it or whatever - it's got a complete package.
MVRemix: A la Fight Club, "If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?"
Bumblebeez 81: Um... who would I fight? Who would I fight? I've got heaps of girls I'd kiss, but fighting I'm not sure. Um... ah fuck, I'll just choose one from a magazine [browses] Liz Phair. I'd fight Liz Phair. That's was the first magazine I opened up, haha.
MVRemix: Would you win?
Bumblebeez 81: Nah, probably not.
MVRemix: Do aliens exist?
Bumblebeez 81: Yeah, I reckon aliens exist, definitely.
MVRemix: The first remarks made by listeners around me when hearing your album for the first time included the words "What the fuck?" However, after listening through a second time, we loved what we'd heard. How is your material inspired and then cnstructed?
Bumblebeez 81: I dunno. I suppose everything's done in a Hip Hop production sense. Everything always starts off with a beat. Then a punky guitar or a vocal go on top of that. And then, it will turn into whatever it turns into. It's not a thing where the songs have already been pre-written. Like a Bob Dylan or something where they've made their songs written like a singer-songwriter. Everything's created in the laptop at that moment in time. The only thing that's there - the influences. Where I might have heard a song and though I might want to make something like this, or, this song's gonna be a love song or this is the sort of song where when the beat drops in a club it's huge. That's the only thing that goes into actual - just before the song starts.
MVRemix: What do you use?
Bumblebeez 81: I use a program called Acid. Then I've got a lot of old keyboards, drums or guitars where I sample other songs going on top of. I'm always looking through going outside and trying to record shit. Basically just trying to get a sound out that I can fuck with. I love that sort of thing.
MVRemix: Tell me about how the 21st and 25th were (the days the Bumblebeez 81 album was released internationally) - what did you do, how did you feel?
Bumblebeez 81: I don't know. I'd just go in America, in New York. I actually didn't know the album was coming out. I'm sometimes blahzay. But it was cool. I'm just excited by the energy around people. As I was saying, I was in New York and I just went and bought the album - I just wanted to buy it. The chick at the store in Times Square was like "Ah you're the guy from Bumblebeez, I love your shit - it's cool" so that was good. Then yesterday, I went to Tower Records in L.A. and they'd put up this huge billboard. The dude in the shop was going crazy because he loves it. I think that stuff like that is hyping me up and making me feel good.
MVRemix: What would you classify your music as?
Bumblebeez 81: I suppose it's raw-punky-beaty Hip Hop in a way.
MVRemix: What do your parents think of your music?
Bumblebeez 81: My father's Italian. They don't like it all. They just like that I'm doing what I want and I'm being successful.
MVRemix: Have you experimented much with drugs?
Bumblebeez 81: When I was younger I dabbled in drugs. Just like with my friends. You go out one night and take a pill or a trip or something like that. I'm not into drugs really, I think it was more just a fun thing to do. I don't smoke bongs everyday.
MVRemix: A lot of people travel the world and speak of the sights they say in different countries. I do the same, but I also have a quirky fondness for little products or things that you can only find in other countries - like Australia's "Big M Milkshake," is there anything you're fond of that you've only discovered overseas?
Bumblebeez 81: I really like the Burritos in America. Australia doesn't have much of that. Some of the drinks and stuff are cool. In Japan I liked the cold Coffee's on the side of the street in vending machines. That was cool.
MVRemix: How did the touring with Radiohead and N.E.R.D. come about?
Bumblebeez 81: Johnny Greenwood (Radiohead guitarist) had heard our stuff on the radio and asked us to play with him, he thought it was cool. The N.E.R.D. shows was maybe the same thing. Pharrel or one of them had heard our stuff and thought it was cool. Basically the same thing.
MVRemix: I also read that you were working on another album, can you give me any details on that?
Bumblebeez 81: I'm always workin' on another fuckin' album. "The Printz" stuff from me is about two years old. So as soon as that finished... I make a beat a day. I've got about five thousand songs just sitting there. I'm always working on an album, it's just about finding stuff that fits together, stuff that works. Whether it be a moment in time or a concept or whatever. Maybe the next step is going into a studio and keeping the same imagination and craziness about the album and not having any rules. Just sonically stepping it up. Still would be lo-fi but just bigger, so that when the beat does drop in a club or whatever - it's just gonna really sort of bang.
MVRemix: Anything you'd like to touch on?
Bumblebeez 81: Uh... The Bumblebeez is just as much about the art as it is about the music. From the days of Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground, The Bumblebeez is just the same. Being an art school student and doing just as much art as my music - to me they're tied in together. The 81 Records thing, which is my own label - I'm trying to find other cool artists to sign. To help join the Bumblebeez team. Our first signing is Vila, she's the rapper. Maybe a year, once the Bumblebeez have got a momentum going, we'll put a solo of hers out.
MVRemix: Predict your next year.
Bumblebeez 81: I think the next album that comes out is gonna be a big one. Everything's just going good and steady, it's kind of organic and not rushed too far. It's a
MVRemix: Any last words for your fans or potential fans that are going to be reading this?
Bumblebeez 81: Do the music you want to do and have fun. Listen to the album and like it, if you don't you don't sort of thing.
Lâ€™Orange and Stik Figa â€“ The City Under The City album review
© 2001-2020 MVRemix Media
MVRemix Urban | Online Hip Hop Magazine | US and
Canadian Underground Hip Hop - exclusive interviews, reviews, articles
MVRemix Urban | Online Hip Hop Magazine | US and Canadian Underground Hip Hop - exclusive interviews, reviews, articles