Emerging on the scene in 2008 with The Grey Space, an album created during high school, at a time where they linked up with Spit Syndicate and Joyride to form the extended One Day crew.
The album was released on Elefant Traks, earning an ARIA nomination and tours with The Herd, Muph & Plutonic and Hermitude – all before the duo turned 21.
This year they are making their CLipsal 500 After Race Concert debut supporting Bliss N Eso on the Friday night, and we were lucky enough to have a chat with them about all things Horror Show...
Tell me a little about the tour your on at the moment?
Well it’s not a whole tour that we are on at the moment but it’s a one off gig that’s pretty special one. We are down in Melbourne today performing tonight as part of a special gig called ‘Apology’. Basically the gig is commemorating the 6th anniversary of the apology to the stolen generation by the ‘Rudd’ Government. It’s a free gig with an amazing line-up like ‘Archie Roach’ and ‘Christine Anu’. We are doing a special combined set with ‘Jimblah’, so we’ve been here the last couple of days rehearsing and getting it all together and yeah, the shows tonight and then we will be heading home to Sydney.
What’s your favorite thing to do on tour?
Ah, probably play shows really, I know that sounds obvious but everything else just kind of comes and goes where as that hour that you’re on stage is really the best bit of the whole thing.
Let’s talk a bit about your third album ‘King Amongst Many’, long listed for the Australian Music Prize and nominated for the J award for the Album of the year. I mean wow, how does that make you feel?
Yeah, it’s cool, the record was nominated for a few different awards and yeah we are stoked, it’s really nice to have your album recognized like that and I guess there’s only a few albums that make it onto those lists each year so it’s a big compliment to be included in there.
In the whole process of getting that album together, what did you want to share with the world? What did you want you fans and people to get out of it?
I guess the record has a lot of themes and it’s pretty heavy in concepts and ideas, there’s a lot of long songs and a lot of lyrics and I guess some of the things that I wanted to explore was about how people and things are connected to each other. Sometimes if you look a little bit deeper at something you can appreciate how it’s connected to other things in the world. That’s kind of over time I guess, there’s a bit of a historical theme to the record, it’s kind of looking at how the world we live in now has kind of been shaped to some extent by things that have happened in the past and that’s on a personal level like within your family and things like that, in terms of your own history but also on a bigger level like a couple of issues in Australian history and how they relate to now. So basically looking at people in your family and people who support you and are important to you and appreciating those connections and how they are there.
I’m always looking for inspiration all over the place but I guess with this record I started to think a lot about my own family history and how that’s kind of shaped what I do. There’s a song in there that is looking at a few generations of my family and how even though my Grandfather lived in a different world to what I live in we are still similar in some ways or what I do with my music is in some ways shaped by him and his legacy. So I guess that song was inspired by him passing away and his role in my family’s life. There’s another track on there which is about judgment and judging other people and it was inspired partly by a book that I read which had a really graphic scene in it of someone being hung and partly by Osama Bin Laden being captured and killed by the US government. There are all kinds of things that inspire my brain and make there way into the album or into what I write in some way. There’s no real rule about where to look for inspiration, I think we find it all over the place and sometimes in strange places.
What’s your favorite song on the album and why?
That’s a pretty hard question that’s kind of like asking a parent to chose a favorite child or something like that. (laughs) You love them all and you’ve put a lot of time and energy into all of them. I guess on different days I would have different favorites but I guess one of the songs that I’m proudest of on there is actually one of the songs that we will be performing tonight, a track that we put together with ‘Jimblah’ called ‘Own Back Yard’ and in that song we are kind of looking at Australia’s history of some of the atrocious things that we have done to Australia’s Indigenous people and looking at some of the things in our history that we maybe don’t like to talk about very much but then also connecting those things to the present and pointing out how there’s still a lot on injustice for Aboriginal people and how we like to deny that or sweep it under the rug. It’s obviously a really difficult thing to write about but it’s an issue that I feel strongly about it and I’ve wanted to write about it for a number of years.
I like how you guys are kind of the voice of people’s unspoken words.
Well yeah, I guess that’s part of our job to put things into words that other people may have thought about or felt but haven’t been able to put into words themselves.
I also have to ask that little art graphic design of the two faces, how did that come about?
My friend Jimmy actually designed that for us, we were looking for a logo for the group in the early days of ‘Horrorshow’ and I was hounding this other friend of mine to design something for us, he just never really got it together and then one day Jimmy came in with what I wanted so we really have to thank Jimmy for that one!
Yeah, for sure, I’ve not been to Clipsal before but I hear that it’s a pretty massive event and I was in Adelaide last year and I saw some posters for it when I think the ‘Hilltop Hoods’ were playing or maybe it was ‘Illy’ I can’t remember. It’s obviously an event on a massive scale and it’s always fun to play a big show like that.
Throughout your career I noticed you share the stage a lot with Hilltop (Hoods) and Bliss (N Eso), what’s that like for you?
It’s amazing I mean they are both groups that we grew up with, ‘Hilltop Hoods’ is kind of what got me into Hip Hop in the first place. To be able to go on tour with those guys and to be able to support them here in Australia is a real big honor and the same with ‘Bliss N Esso’ when we were kind of getting into Hip Hop on the way up we listened to their records a lot and we did some of our first shows supporting them. They’ve been apart of our journey for a while and the last tour that we did with ‘Bliss N Esso’ was our biggest Hip Hop tour in Australia ever so it was en epic thing to be apart of. Those guys are such an amazing live act you can always learn something from their shows. Yeah, it’s been really cool touring with them and just trying to learn as much as we can I guess.
Traveling back a bit your first album The Grey Space… you wrote in high school?
Yeah, pretty much I mean one or two things we finished the year after high school but it’s all base on things we were working on in high school.
If you can recall what was going through your brain when you were doing this?
I think at that time all we really wanted to do was just make an album, we were just such big fans of music, we just really wanted to see whether we could do I or not I think. For personal satisfaction more than anything, we never use to show our music to anyone, I never even really told people that I rapped you know at that point we definitely weren’t thinking about trying to get singed it was really just about quite a personal thing of making something that we could be proud. Everything else really has just rolled off the back of that, looking back I’m glad that we chose to do it that way.
What else is in store for 2014?
Well we will definitely be staying on the road as much as we can, we’ve got a massive tour with ‘Bliss N Esso’ coming up which kicks off in April we will also be looking at doing our own tour later on in the year but we will have to see how it all happens and we have a new single coming out too. We are going to keep trying to roll off the back of the record as much as we can and just get out there, it’s cool to be getting a sneak preview of what is going to be like going on tour with ‘Bliss N Esso’ again with this big Clipsal show.
Is there anyone else that you’d like to collaborate with?
Yeah, for sure we’ve made a lot of friends over the years who are really talented people, there’s a pretty long list of people that I’d like to make music with. It’s just a matter of really ticking them off one by one.
Lastly for the young Hip Hop artists out there what could you say to inspire them to continue on their journey?
Work hard on your music, I think in our days a lot of people wonder what do I need to do to blow up or to stand out, how do I get people to like my Facebook page or how do I get shows or get onto the radio all hose kinds of things but I think the best way to approach it is to just focus on your music because that’s what it comes back to at the end of the day. If to make good music that people connect with then other opportunities with come out of that.
Interview by Shannen Murphy