In anticipation for this weekend's CD release show, here are some extra special goodies to accompany our Heiruspecs feature from last week's issue. You can catch the band live, celebrating their first album in four years, Heiruspecs, this Saturday in the First Avenue Main Room with Mayda and Big Quarters.
Over the course of three interviews with the band, I ended up with way more material than would fit in my cover story. Here are some additional quotes from the band, with photos of the group in the studio taken by Alexa Jones.
Felix on how Central High School affects his outlook on life:
"It's shaped my life in quite a big way. Central High School is a real good mirror of the Midway-slash-Frogtown area of St. Paul. There is a very racially diverse number of people there, there is a very financially diverse number of people there, and there is a very socially diverse group of people... I'm from Midway, and I'm used to growing up around a lot of diversity, but you grow up AROUND something, not IN something, sometimes. I feel like at Central, I was IN it, not AROUND it. If that makes any sense. That, for me, has been a big factor. I feel like, maybe partially as a result of going to Central, and having that experience, I feel able to talk to and hang out with anybody. Which is really cool, and I think is an asset to anybody."
Felix on Amelia Earhart:
"I went on Wikipedia to look up Heiruspecs just because I was bored, and there's a link to Central High School... They have a list of notable alumni, and there are people like Amelia Earhart, the co-founder of YouTube, baseball players, Heiruspecs. [laughs] I'm just like, really? We're up there with Amelia Earhart, huh? My grandpa went there. My uncle went there... I wonder if my grandpa went with Amelia Earhart?"
Felix on the Heiruspecs CD release show:
"This is our first time headlining the Main Room. It's like, yo, it's our night. There's no other pretense. This is not a benefit show, this is a straight up and down release party and you are going to party your ass off with us. I'm excited. I hope you're excited. For people who have been waiting for our new record: I have also been waiting for our new record. Don't worry, you're not alone."
Josh on being part of the local hip-hop scene:
"There is a Twin Cities hip hop scene that is very cohesive and has its own aesthetic, nationally speaking. Within it, there are cliques. There's the Rhymesayers clique, there's us, and I guess maybe linked in with the Interlock crew, and then there's Doomtree, which are unique compared to Rhymesayers or us. I think each, on their own, does their own thing, but what makes the Twin Cities have such a cohesive hip hop scene is that we also all work together. We've worked with members of Doomtree. Dessa is going to be on this upcoming album. POS was on the last one. We've done some stuff with Slug in the past. Musicians from Heiruspecs have backed Slug. I think that because the groups are willing to intermingle with each other, it makes the whole scene stronger."
Muad'dib on the local hip-hop scene:
"For lack of complicating it, yes there is an overall Twin Cities scene. As segregated as people want to make it, it's not. Everybody at least has heard of everybody else, even down to the people that don't think they've been heard of, or think they've been neglected. The scene isn't so big that people just get lost. We see each other at each other's shows. We see each other at other people's shows."
Peter on working collaboratively:
"I feel like everyone now, all six of us, is constantly challenging some facet of [the creative process] all the time. We're definitely not afraid to really get into it. And that's where a lot of tension can develop, when you start really trying to be very critical of other people and what you're doing yourself. I don't think that we're afraid to do that. We're very focused on making exactly what we want to make. We're not going to be afraid of stepping on each other's toes. I think that will carry us through as long as we want to keep making this music."
deVon on playing with Josh:
"On this last record, Josh and I -- our relationship, musicially, has blossomed. I'll start playing something, he'll start playing something to complement it, or to not complement it, and whatever it is, I'll love it. I love the way his mind works and everything he creates in response to something that's already on the table -- it's always perfect."
Sean on his hip-hop identity:
"I fucking love rap. This is right, this is me. And that really, as a cultural thing, started at Central. I didn't know shit about hip hop culture. Felix was like, there are four elements, and I was like, I don't know what the fuck you're talking about. He took me around to a lot of things. He took me to the Bomb Shelter, this place where there used to be a whole bunch of grafitti in South Minneapolis. And I ate all this shit up. I was the most rippety-rapping non rapper in the world."