Introduce yourself and your crew and affiliations.
Tom: What’s up? My name’s Tom from Cavemen Speak, a group I formed in 2000 in Belgium with the Homesick Nomad & Danzil Bearskin. Together with them I dropped 4 full-lengths and we’re working on a fifth. All three of us are handling production and raps. We worked with artists like Brad Hamers, Josh Martinez, Kunga 219, Boat People and more. I also started shadowanimals, a collective that brings together several groups…and off course I rap with my homie Marcus in The World After 4/02, who we just dropped an album with.
Marcus: Hi, how are you? My name is Marcus, holdin’ it down for Stacs of Stamina & the sideshow family. I’ve been doing this shit since ’96 but not really serious before we dropped the ‘cashew fenny EP’ in 2001. We’ve got 2 albums dropping this year, including a full-length version of ‘cashew fenny’ on uncommon records. We’re also working with artists such as Mike Ladd, K-the-L and TTC, and off course I rap with my homepiss Siaz in The World After 4/02.
What have you done in the past and what can people expect in the future?
Tom: Well… this last year has been all about touring. After we dropped shadowanimalssolos with Cavemen Speak in spring 2003 we’ve been all around Europe with The world after 4/02 while recording this first album together in the meanwhile.
Marcus: Yeah, actually we just started the ‘vikings & waffles’ eurotour, promoting The World After 4/02, together with Stacs of Stamina. We’ve got shows with beans, The Shapeshifters and DJ Vadim; it’s wild! We’re also trying to get to Canada, probably this summer. The future is all about pushing the album and the way its going it will eventually be out on vinyl as well.
Tom: And since we’re still touring, fresh ideas come up every now and then during the long hours in trains or during the shows we play. Its fun, and as long as it stays that way people can expect lots more from us.
What is the meaning behind the group The World After 4/02?
Tom: Haha… man, we talked about that and we need to come up with a strategy for this question. It keeps coming back to us.
Marcus: Actually, I’m only gonna say this one time: It’s the birthday of the stunningly beautiful Alice Cooper and the shock rocker Natalie Imbruglia… or was it the other way around?
Tom: Charles Lindbergh was also born on that day… he was the century’s first hero and also an indirect cause for the death of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and Big Bopper on the same day in 1959 and that is 44 years ago… coincidence?
Who handles the beats and who handles the raps?
Tom: Me and Marcus are both rapping on this record. We have a bunch of great producers behind us like soso (can), Thelse (fin), Zel (b), Xczircles (us) and plenty more. The variety of beats kinda made us try new stuff out compared to what we do with our homebands… that was the whole plan. For the future stuff I will do some more production probably because it starts itching again.
What makes The World After 4/02 worth checking out for the average fan?
Marcus: The World After 4/02 is the result of two totally different styles coming together to one eclectic super group, which is pretty unique. Cavemen Speak and Stacs of Stamina have totally different styles and this project had the intention not to be going into the direction of one of the two.
Tom: Exactly… we tried to get out of the somewhat dark atmospheres we are creating with the homebands and check out other ways to approach the music we wanna make… its fun.
Who have you worked with in the past and who would you like to work with in the future?
Marcus: I’m pretty happy with the collaborations on ‘vikings & waffles’, having worked with such talented artists as soso, Brad Hamers and Ahmuse. You have to keep in mind that we worked with seven different producers on the album which gives it a versatile feeling indeed.
Tom: I also got to mention that my man Thelse absolutely rules on this album. He made the five first songs Marcus and I did together and these pieces gave it all a fresh feel.
What do you hope to accomplish with your music?
Marcus: Basically I just hope that as many groupies as possible fall in love with me, in that way, it will be easier for me to pick a wife when I wanna settle down.
Tom: What he said.
Do you think living on a different continent has helped or hindered you?
Marcus: I don’t really think about it, I mean, if you love the music it doesn’t matter where you’re from. But I don’t think it hinders us at all seeing that we are both from different countries and now we are doing shows all over Europe. And eventually we’re slowly taking over the whole world, world domination baby… be prepared.
Tom: Yeah you heard the man… canananada is ours!
Which has been more influential American or Canadian hip hop?
Marcus: Personally I have to say American… that’s what I grew up with. Back then I wasn’t even aware of that Canada had a hip hop scene. I started listening to Beastie Boys around 93′. I was the only one in my town pumping Wu-Tang and Black Moon… people were actually afraid of me.
Tom: Wu-Tang and BDP was the shit I listened to when I was twelve. Canada only came into the picture for me two years ago or something: Buck65, Sixtoo and off course Josh Martinez. Anyway, big up to the Canadian scene but if they are influential… hmm… hard to tell.
How is the European scene and how does it differ from the rest of the world?
Marcus: According to other artists who come here from overseas it seems like European acts can push the limits a little bit more… like we are not afraid to do whatever we feel like, if we feel like mixing hip hop and disco tunes from the eighties we’ll do it. There is no right or wrong… if you think like that you’re never gonna get you’re demo tapes out the basement. There are already way too many acts out there. If we are all gonna come out and sound the same we might as well play racquetball instead.
Tom: The racquetball scene we are creating out here in west of Europe is as fucked up as anywhere… and just as dangerous. No for real… I don’t know the answer to this question: been to France on tour last week and the crowds where the best we ever had… maybe Germany will top that?
What makes your music unique?
Tom: Marcus, definitely Marcus.
What is your first hip hop memory and what made you go from fan to contributor?
Marcus: I can’t really remember… I got a mixtape of a friend when I was 12 or 13 with beastie boys, Digital Underground and stuff like that. I got into graffiti around the same time but it wasn’t until I was 17 when I started writing rhymes.
Tom: Television… and indirectly my sister. I saw the first Fresh Prince episode when I was 12 and I was solved. Will Smith was the muthafucka back then… so was ODB and so was my friend Gusto… his rhymes didn’t even rhyme but what the heck… that’s how it went.
What are the biggest obstacles facing European hip hopers?
Marcus: The rebirth of euro disco.
Who is your favourite hip hop artist and what is your favourite album?
Marcus: Cavemen Speak – Wooden Cast, why? Because I’m featured on it… and I guess Mike Ladd ‘Welcome to the Afterfuture’ wasn’t all that bad.
Tom: Few of them… Mike Ladd indeed, Saul Williams’ album, Sonic Sums’ first one, soso’s Birthday Songs… and then off course all the oldies that I’m not thinking about right now.
What do you enjoy doing besides hip hop?
Tom: playing videogames with the homies. Picking fights with bums in Marseille. Watching Bob Saget in ‘Dumb & Dumberer’, especially the part where he goes ‘ow my god, there’s shit all over the place’… besides that… I live, eat and breathe hip hop because that’s just the man I grew up to be.
Marcus: Watching game shows with my grandma, like Jeopardy. She kills me every time. It makes me wonder how the hell an 80 year old lady from Estonia is able to kick my ass in “movie titles”.
What are you listening to these days?
Marcus: Guns’n’Roses, Pink Floyd, Yazoo.
Tom: Admit it, some Phil Collins.
Marcus: Yeah well have you hear the soundtrack to the Lion King? That shit made me cry. Besides that some mellow shit like Murcof, Air, Via Tania and when I feel like partying Dizzee Rascal, Bigg Jus and Ludacris.
Tom: On the train I mostly listen to mixtapes my man Dense Voi sends me… some Mark Morrison, some Venga Boys, some Nickelback.
Marcus: Hey aren’t those ugly farts from Canada by the way?
Tom: Besides that Sum41, Avril Lavigne & Celine Dion.