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Mountain Brothers - conducted by Hugo Lunny  

Mountain Brothers

September 1999

These are the transcripts of an interview with The Mountain Brothers. The interview was conducted by Hugo Lunny on September 15th, 1999.

MVRemix: How and when did you start out?

Styles: Me and Chops met in high school and did some little songs together. Then I met Peril-L in 1991, and gave him a tape that we had worked on. We all ended up going to Penn State and that's where everything solidified.

MVRemix: What did you think when you first found out your video was gonna make it into MTV rotation?

Styles: It was dope to get it on MTV a couple times. I don't know if it was that ultimate an excitement though, I think we get more amped to rock a dope show or have someone come up to us who is a true appreciator of our music.

MVRemix: Do you think you would have blown up a lot more if they stayed with that Sprite related label?(I forgot the name of it)

Peril-L: I don't think there was a sprite-related label. We used to be signed to Ruffhouse which is now defunct. So it's probably a good thing we didn't stay with them.

MVRemix: If you could be signed to one of todays major labels, who would it be and why would you choose 'em? Have you had any offers?

Chops: I would sign to anybody that could get me a nice shiny suit and a big iced down MB symbol on a dookey rope. Word.

MVRemix: Who and what are you feeling at the moment ?

Peril-L: Mos Def, Arsonists, Lootpack, Inspectah Deck.
Styles: Juice, Mr. Complex, DITC, J-Live, Planet Asia

MVRemix: If you need to take a break from hip hop what do you do to relax or step out of the loop?

Chops: Sometimes I'll go and try to do stuff, like go to an amusement park or watch kung fu movies or something. But sooner or later something sparks an idea for a beat or a lyric, or I just start to get real bored and want to make some music. Pretty much if there's no music around it makes me feel like I want to leave.
Peril-L: I'll grab my binoculars and go birdwatching.
Styles: I pick my nose for a little while. After I get a couple giant boogers out of there, I usually feel a lot better about life.

MVRemix: Take us through the typical construction of creating a track, is there a formula you work to or is there a new way each time?

Chops: as far as the beats, i basically have various instruments and I sit around and press a whole lot of buttons and pluck strings and hit keys until they make noises which I enjoy. Then I put those sounds all together. Then I collect various beats and play em for the fellas.
Peril-L: Chops will play a bunch of beats for us and we'll pick the ones that we all like a lot as a group. Then we'll think of a concept for the song based on the vibe of the beat. Sometimes we already have a concept in mind and look for a beat that fits. We go our separate ways to write our verses and then put it all together when we're done.

MVRemix: Do you think hip hop artists are too full of themselves these days to show appreciation and give props to emcees who paved the way for them?

Chops: Definitely. These are the times where it's cool to re-make somebody's song and then play them out by having them be your sidekick in the video. Or do stuff like loop the beat from 'The Message' and then rap over it again, except with no message.

MVRemix: What keeps your motivation going so you can make another track/do another show/etc?

Chops: The never-ending desire to stomp with the big dogs.
Styles: It's fun.

MVRemix: Why do you think Hip hop and the internet merge so well? Do you think it can be taken in any way further over the next few years. There's a lot of talk going on about the MP3 scene, what's your take on this?

Peril-L: I heard there's a new technology that's even better than MP3 that's coming out or is already out. Also, it seems like those 'freestyle' boards are a big thing. I bet one day you will actually be able to get on the mic hooked up to your computer and battle for real over the net... and with a live video feed so you can like get all into the gestures and give your opponent the middle finger and stuff in the middle of your rhyme.

MVRemix: You've got a choice to work with a) Puffy b) Eminem c) Lauryn Hill, who would you choose and why?

Chops: Lauryn is an all-around artist, and is real musical, so probably her.
Peril-L: I will have to agree.
Styles: I'd go with Eminem. He's got skills, I'd want to match up on a track with him.

MVRemix: As a follow up to the previous question, who would you most like to work with?

Styles: I don't think I have a real particular fire to work with anyone except the rest of the MB's. If anything, I'd want to do some work with some other heads we know who are real talented, Pacifics, Nuthouse, etc.

MVRemix: As a collective do you sometimes conflict in ideas on how you wanna do things? If it becomes a problem how do you resolve it?

Styles: Definitely, that kind of thing happens all the time. Eventually the top idea wins out, or whatever is best for the music wins. We've been together a pretty long time, and I think we all respect the music more than any of our personal egos -- if not right away, at least in the end it turns out that way.

MVRemix: Do you think you'd ever split for solo projects?

Chops: Funny how the last question subliminally led into this one... we're actually all working on solo cuts now. But that's for fun, to try something different.
Styles: I think the most you could get out of me is a solo EP. It's hard as hell for me to write all the verses for a whole song, when you're only used to writing one and having two other cats to hold up the rest.

MVRemix: 'Self : Volume 1' was clearly a solid debut, what plans are there for future LPs or even work with artists or collabos outside of the group?

Chops: Right now I'm working with some other groups... check for stuff with Aphillyation, we (MB's) did a collaboration with name on their EP, and I did production for grand agent's solo album. Also we're planning to collab with nuthouse, and this group from chicago called p.a.c.f.i.c.s.

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