Interview: Horrorshow check in with us backstage ahead of their FOTSUN headline set

Festival of the Sun this year brought some stellar sets of music to Port Macquarie; for some, it proved to be the start of the final run of shows for the year and for others, it was a playground on which new material to be tested on. For one of the country’s most acclaimed hip hop acts, Horrorshow‘s trip to the festival was one of high anticipation. We hung out with Adit and Solo ahead of their headlining set of the weekend for a quick catch up…

You guys are headlining later tonight. Are you looking forward to hitting the stage in-front of these … Let’s call it what it is. A crowd of munted punters who have been enjoying the weekend here at the beach.

Adit: Are they munted? I was there before and it seemed chill.

 

A lot of the crowd is still getting re-munted at the campsite.

Adit: I’m looking forward to it. I didn’t even realise we we’re closing out the festival, we’re literally the last band playing. I’m pumped for that. So I think everyone is going to bring their energy and we’re ready to do it. It is our last show of the year as well.

Solo: Yeah. In the circles that we work in often that the industry term that we use is frotter.

Appropriate by the beach as well. Multiple meetings there.

Solo: I definitely think there is going to be some serious frottage going on later, and we’re pumped for that. This is our last show for the year. It has been a big year, we’ve played a lot of gigs. So it is going to be cool to go out with a bang down here by the water and have some fun with it for sure.

You’re just coming of a bunch of acoustic shows as well, not the first time you’ve done that, but what was the … How are you finding those new songs translate in that environment and also playing with someone like Taj Ralph who’s an incredible up and coming artist. Talk me through the last few weeks and those shows.

Adit: This is like a format of a show that we’ve been doing for like since we started doing music. It’s like stripping back songs that we’ve made and performing them all live. The reason why we wouldn’t do that usually is because often I make the beats, so I want the shows to sound like how we made them to sound. Putting a fresh spin on it, live drums, live bass, live guitar, live piano, no samples, no 808, nothing like that, enhances the musicality a lot. We’re surrounded by talented group of mates who we bring on for this. Let Solo shine through, croon and rap, and get real intimate with our audience on a different level. It’s cool.

I love that you used the word croon. I don’t hear it nearly enough. It’s the Frank Sinatras of the world that you think of when you hear that word. I love it.

Adit: It’s the rap game French Sinatra right here.

Solo: In my younger days I would sing in the jazz band at school. I can croon with the best…you don’t need to worry about that. That doesn’t always gets to come through in the normal show because my priority in the normal shows, run around like a mad man and put your hands up and do this, say that. We still sing and there are still instruments; there is still musicality in our normal show, but the acoustic format just really amplifies that, excuse the play on words, and it just allows the strength of the music that Adit writes and that soulful organic theme to shine through.

It allows the lyrics that I write and the melodies, and the singing and everything to just come to the forefront. It’s really rewarding as performers and as people that have …some of these songs that we’re playing we’ve been playing for a long time. We’ve played them hundreds of times. It’s always fun to do the acoustic format and just put a fresh spin on everything. And as far as our touring with Taj it’s been so dope. The kid is 17 years-old.

It’s offensive. How talented he is.

Solo: He’s too good. He’s been playing guitars since he was 10 years old. The way we connected with Taj was, I was in Manly and I saw him basking on the street. I was just blown away and reached out to him. So two years later for him to not only be on our record, but to be travelling around the country with us really special thing. We brought him on stage to do a few songs.

We always like to tour with people that we believe in and that we feel a connection with, and having Taj on the road with us for these shows has been perfect. We just played the last one of them last night in Newcastle. I think we did seven all up, and they we’re all awesome shows. It was a bit bittersweet having it end because it will probably be a while ’til we get to do that format again, but the trade off is that tonight we’re going to be closing on stage, and playing to a much bigger cloud. The beats that Adit’s made are going to bang.

We love both formats and it’s just mad to be able to go back and forth between them. I think it’s been cool for our audiences as well, because some of the people the last couple of shows they saw us only a few months ago but the fact that we’ve delivered this whole different format meant that even if they saw us back then, they we’re getting a totally different experience. We like to keep things fresh and interesting and the acoustic tour has been a great way to do that.

You mentioned this is the last show of the year what’s 2018 holding for you? What’s next?

Solo: We’ve got some cool stuff in the works, actually. A lot of it hasn’t been announced yet so we can’t speak on it too much, but I can say that we’re working on a very cool tour and projects in this front-half of the year that’s got a connection with a certain 10-year-anniversary that’s coming up in our career span. We’re also working a very cool collaboration that’s going to happening up in Brisbane around about the same time. So we will be dropping all the details for this stuff within the first couple of weeks of the year.

So it’s going to be a busy year.

Solo: It’s going to be awesome.

I’d expect that. I mean has it ever been not a busy year since Horrowshow started?

Adit: Maybe there was one in ten. Leave it there.

Solo: You can’t afford to have a quiet year as an independent band. Even if you’re not out there playing shows, you’ve got to be staying on the grind and writing new music. We’re keen to get stuck into that. We’ve got a few things on the boil but definitely keen to do more sessions. Just can’t stop won’t stop. We just got to keep it moving. It’s been a huge year since we put out our record in February. …These last few weeks of the year, I think we’re just going to chill and have bit of family time and see our friends and loved ones.

You feel neglected for the last ten months. Which is so easy to do.

Solo: I haven’t seen too much of my friends the last few months because we’ve just been grinding out on the road. But it’s all good, we love doing this shit too. We’ll probably knock it out of the park tonight, make it through the hangover tomorrow, and then chill for the rest of the month, and then 2018? We’ll be back bigger and better than ever.

Looking back at 2017, we’re looking back to some of the best music of this year. Do you have a favourite record of 2017? And maybe a favourite moment as well for the band in this year.

Solo: I think we these kind of questions it’s best to just go with the first thing that pops into your head. So while you were asking that questionm I guess first thing that jumps into my head was Stormzy‘s album.

Oh yeah.

Solo: Gang Signs & Prayer. I really loved that record and I loved the way that he serves up the high energy hard tough grime feel and then also mashes it up with very soulful and soft and organic kind of sounds. I really enjoyed listening to that record when it came out. I guess that would lead me to what I think is probably our favourite moment for the year as far as Horrorshow, which is that we headlined the Enmore. Anybody who lives in Sydney will know what an iconic venue that is and what a big deal it is to us; we had a full house.

Is that only the first time you done it?

Solo: No. We’ve played there before and we played there on the One Day tour with all the One Day guys, and we’ve played a Horrorshow set, but this was the first time …

Adit: We’ve headlined.

Solo: That we headlined the place.

The Rolling Stones have played that room. Everyone has been in there.

Adit: It’s a milestone for use for sure. It was wild.

Solo: So yeah, that would be my pick at the Enmore. What do you reckon?

Adit: Absolutely, absolutely.

Solo: What about your favourite record?

Adit: Probably the SZA album. I think just gets in there.

That’s a very common one, the SZA record.

Adit: Yeah, it’s wild. Just like amazing kind of melodies the way she uses her voice. She’s so vulnerable on it. Just the incredible personal stories that she tells and the production’s really tight. It knocks, it’s modern yet still has this nostalgia about it. It’s probably my pick. Stormzy’s album was wild and that’s one of my other favourite moments as well, seeing Stormzy play at the Enmore.

Solo: The whole building was shaking.

Adit: It was shaking. There was a huge circle pit that he got happening…and it was one of the shows I’ve ever seen.

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