Nov 12, 2007

mcenroe

by
mcenroe
Photos by Steve St Louis

Peanuts & Corn has had an impressive run of at least one release every year since 1994, but so far nothing in 2007; is the streak going to end?

Yes. But we didn’t have a release in 1997 either, I don’t think. So its in keeping with tradition.

Different Shades of Black – Think It Through was a 1997 P&C release. Thirteen straight years is pretty impressive for an indie label, definitely the longest if Canadian Hip Hop History that I can think of.

Yeah, I mean that release wasn’t really a release I had anything to do with, I produced the one track and then they did the rest, including making copies. I never sold any or had any, if I recall correctly.

Is P&C done with vinyl?

Yes. Haven’t done vinyl since 2004 and have way too much stock to ever break even.

Do you eat cereal for breakfast? What is an average day in the life of mcenroe these days?

Yes, sometimes. When I work I have omelette’s or a ham ‘n egger. Last night I had cereal for dinner.

I have been working as an assistant director in film. It evolved from working on music videos to getting more and more interested in the process and getting into it full time. I mostly work on commercials. Good ones and lots of bad ones. It pays the bills and gets me out of the house. In the last few years of running the label, I worked at home and it was hard to get motivated to do much of anything. Now I am busier and have less time for music, but when I have free time I work on music and not business.

So I guess this is the question where I also say that music wise I have been working on lots of beats. I have been doing my singing album. I have 7 half songs that all need lots of work but I feel pretty good about it. Its a new sound, pretty energetic and fun. I am also talking about doing a thing with John Smith where I sing and he raps but its not a hip-hop album, not an R-Kelly Jay-Z thing. And then an instrumental thing, maybe it will be donuts-ish or maybe not. And then there is a break bread album and/or a Yy record and/or a Pip Skid record. So next year there will be recordings. Or even demos online this year, but no formal releases.

Will you ever move back to Winnipeg?

Not likely, no. I really like where I live now (Vancouver). Since working in film, and being on location, I have a new appreciation for where I live and really have become attached to it. Don’t really think about living anywhere else.

But Winnipeg is cool, people wise it has a scene and a vibe that isn’t out here, and I miss it.

Vancouver isn’t exactly a twenty minute city like Winnipeg, so do you ever get a chance to kick it with your fellow ex-prairie people living out there?

I don’t kick it with much of anybody in the hip-hop scene. I stopped by a club after work one night in June and saw a bunch of people, they were all shocked to see me there! The last three shows I went to were Damian Marley, Toots and the Maytals and Cadence Weapon, all at the Commodore, and that stretches back over 18 months or so. I wanted to go see Spoon but I found out about it the day after.

I’d rather go to a hockey game than a rap show.

What are your favourite places to eat at in Vancouver?

There is a sushi place near my house (in Richmond) that is good, I get take out all the time. Another all you can eat sushi place called E Bei in Vancouver. An Indian place in Richmond called Tandoori Kona has the best Butter Chicken ever. A Japanese tapas place called Gu in Gastown. The Macaroni Grill Mansion on Davie. The Reef on main has good Jamaican breakfast. The wife and I go to Earls once in a while. And I like to stop by Costco for a hot dog.

Which is more impressive, your DVD collection or Yy’s cassette tape collection?

Yy’s tape collection. My DVD collection is not impressive, its a mish-mash of stuff. Like a couple of James Bond films, but not all of them. some Kubrick movies, but not all of them. All of the Star Trek Next Generation seasons except season one. Very inconsistent!

Mac or PC?

Mac. I have four macs working in my home right now, and a PC that I don’t turn on very often.

Hip Hop wise, if you could have done anything differently in the last ten years, what would it be?

I dont have any regrets per se, but I think personally that I got away from creativity to be accepted by the hip hop community. And for what? Now that I am less worried about making my living selling records, I am less concerned about appealing to anyone, or being accepted. Hopefully it will mean an interesting progression in what I do. On the flip side, since I don’t sell records to pay the bills, I am less motivated to to finish what I start! For example, I made Mastermind because I wanted to, but I finished it and got it out on time because I needed to. And I don’t need to finish a record right now, even though I want to.

Where do you see yourself and P&C in another five years?

I dunno. Either (A) someone runs it for me, (B) some other label takes care of putting my music out or (C) its a non profit online-only thing

I don’t want to be a record company executive, I really don’t. The stress of the last few years, the decline in sales, the returns, fighting for distribution, the decline in the US dollar, all have worked against me. And everyone else in the music business who isn’t blowing up or on American Idol.

mcenroe

Who’s a better dancer Pip Skid or Gruf?

Uh, I don’t know these days, I haven’t seen either of them in over a year. I’m going to go ahead and guess Pip. Yeah?

When was the last time you had to put the smarts of your Engineering Degree to use?

I did a commercial where they had to film a truck on a road, and then in a studio against a blank background. They couldn’t figure out where to put the camera to make it match. I was using all my trigonometry skills to get the camera in the right spot in the studio using math.

Why do you love basketball so much?

You must have old information – Basketball is currently my least favorite of the big four sports. Right now its

NHL – I watch the Canucks religiously
NFL – I have really been enjoying this season, not really rooting for any team in particular.
MLB – This wasn’t a banner year for the playoffs but Sept – Oct is great for Baseball even though my wife can’t stand it.
NBA – Wake me when the playoffs start.

Who is your all-time favourite Winnipeg Jet?

Dale Hawerchuk. thats the era when I was a fan, listening to the games on the radio. By the 90s I was a skater and wasn’t into sports, so I missed the Selanne era completely. Saw him at Polo Park one day though.

Any shout-outs?

All my friends! All the homies! This means you.

For more info check out peanutsandcorn.com

  • http://www.myspace.com/chadiotreetrunk chadP

    good read. we miss your music homie!

  • Simon fuckin Lexington

    this is all very depressing.

  • http://www.handsolorecords.com DoogieHowitzer

    It’s interesting that I’ve been wondering lately what’s been going down in the P&C camp and out of the blue comes an online EP from Pipi and this reality check from mcenroe. Weird.

  • http://www.myspace.com/chadiotreetrunk chadP

    you can always find out the latest at http://www.peanutsandcorn.com

    much aint happening though

  • mcenroe

    why depressing?

    life is good!

  • http://elnegromagnifico.blogspot.com Al aka El Negro Magnifico

    It’s better to check the message board at the moment: http://www.breakbread.ca/phpBB2/

  • Chaps

    A good read and a good update on the P and C world from the man himself. Rod why where you so hard on Noyz in the interview? Your answers about Basketball and the Mood Ruff tape were kinda jerky. Anyways I hope all is we and take care homie!

  • mcenroe

    was I hard on noyz? really?

    its an email interview so its all matter-of-fact… but not intended to be hard on noyz!

  • http://noyz319.com noyz319

    Oh i see it now! Dammit Roddy why do you want to hurt my feelings so bad!

    For real though, in the middle of reading your replies i almost started crying because i stubbed my pinkie toe on the radiator in front of my desk, it still stings!

  • mcenroe

    don’t take my chilling as failure, its just change. Alot of what it takes to be a full time musician, I’m not prepared to do – tour constantly, self promote, have a personality… heh.

    If I had wanted to be a full time producer, I should have moved to New York and left everyone (wife, family, homies, crew) behind. But I didn’t, and I don’t regret it. If you have a certain level of talent, then if you are willing to leave everything else behind, you can make it work. I still believe this. You gotta be a terminator (absolutely will not stop)

    My new record is really crazy. I love making it. Making music right now is 10x as fun as it has been in several years and my stress level is much, much lower. Because it is totally for its own sake and i don’t give a fuck. And it may be terrible… but I don’t think it is.

    Life is good!

  • mcenroe

    P.S. I am sitting on like 100 hot beats

  • Shitty Bill Lexington

    why depressing?

    Because it’s so fucking real! obviously you’re moving on to bigger and better things, but it turns my pipe dreams of being the next Cadence Weapon into shit-drain hankerings.

    All in all though, Mac, I would say you’ve done ridiculous things for your homies, prairie rap and all the little fuck-wads (like me) that still think rap is cool. It would just be nice to see you push it further, but I don’t know your life. and you’ve been involved in this shit forever. so props, and good luck.

  • http://www.myspace.com/chadiotreetrunk chadp

    !!!!!

  • http://elnegromagnifico.blogspot.com Al aka El Negro Magnifico

    I’m totally amped to hear whatever you put out next. 2008 is gonna be dope for sure.

  • professor defbeat

    good read roddy rod is awesome.

  • pip donahue

    -John smith has a new album with a producer named murdock.its really dope & will drop in a few weeks.
    -Yy has lots of dope new songs
    -Gruf is recording right now with Sound Barriers
    -Hunnicutt has a new mix cs in the works
    -the Gumshoe Strut & i are working on a record right now
    -im also working on a record with DJ gordski, Jorun & Skratch Bastid

    -And most of all mcenroe has a 100 hot beats!!!!aaaaggghhh!!!

    lots going on anyway.
    plus pip donahue aint done…..neither is Thizzy Asper….hes making a beat right now.

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