As I listen to the confidently smooth style of AntiCrew’s mc, Flare tha Rebel, and he slices through cleverly written lyrics and the backing music birthed by a live band (combinations liable to make you draw your breath in in audio pleasure) I cannot help but be somewhat amazed that these are the same guys who answered my questions. Talent can either blow your head up or humble you.
As a band who claims their latest album as a work created purely for their fanbase, it’s easy to see what category they fall under. These guys have all the makings of a RATM and Gym Class Heroes illegitimate love child: a tad threatening, lyrical truth and a hook that replays itself over and over in your head. AntiCrew took the liberty of answering the questions I badgered them with and made me laugh out loud a few times. Here are some of my favorites:
WHAT IS EACH MEMBERS ROLE IN THE BAND?
I’m the lyrical assassin, our guitarist, Pat Attack, is The Shredder, Cambo, the bass player, is a “Funkaholic”, and Archangel is the drummer with wings.
TELL US ABOUT ANTI-CREW’S NEWEST ALBUM, FOUNDATION: EXPANSION PLAN, AND WHY YOU ALL DECIDED TO LET FANS NAME THEIR OWN PRICE FOR THE ALBUM?
This new album is an expansion of our music but also an expansion of our supporters and as we made this album for those that have been with us from the beginning, to those that have just now heard about us, we decided to give it to them and let the people pick their own price. We don’t have thousands of dollars for a marketing campaign, so our music is our marketing. The album itself has a lot of moving parts to it. Certain songs such as “Three Strangers”, “A City Called Killah”, and “Money” go in depth into our self-consciousness as a band and statements on society and then songs such as “Blur”, “Kurt Cobain”, and “12AM” do the same but just in a more light hearted manner.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC FOR AN AUDIENCE WHO MAY NOT HAVE HEARD IT?
If The Roots and Rage Against the Machine had a love child, that would be Anti-Crew.
WHAT ARE YOUR SONGS ABOUT?
Some of our songs are about walking in someone else’s shoes and recognizing the struggles of our society. Then again, some of our songs are just about enjoying life and pre-gaming to parties with PBR. Then we have songs about how much better we are than other people, but that’s just Hip-Hop for you.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST BREAK THUS FAR?
Definitely our live performances. House of Blues Chicago is the most renowned venue we’ve ever played, but we’ve also been on the same bill with some incredible acts such as RZA of Wu-Tang, J. Cole, and Chiddy Bang.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE THUS FAR?
Dodging Sallie Mae.
HOW DO YOU COPE WITH FINANCIAL OBSTACLES AS AN ARTIST?
Save money by not buying diamond studded Jesus piece necklaces.
WHAT KEEPS YOU PERFORMING AND CREATING MUSIC?
There’s just this energy about us that isn’t able to come out of us through any other form of expression outside of music. When we’re on stage or in the studio we just feel as alive as possible. Once we give that energy to others we get something incredible in return and when we perform it just feels like one big party that should always have a sequel. It’s hard to stop making music when this is our reality, regardless of how tough it may get.
WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCES YOUR MUSIC?
My inspiration comes from people. The people I know and the people I don’t know. Even if the song isn’t a story, my lyrics are a story of sorts from something I’ve experienced or seen and want to give a voice to. Even the more playful light hearted songs have this same form of inspiration. I’d have to say my time spent in Kansas City, MO and Chicago has had a major influence over my music as well.
WHAT SONG OF YOURS DO YOU LOVE PERFORMING THE MOST?
Our song “Money” is by far my favorite. The crowd gets into the call and response and we flip two classics in the performance – Wu-Tang’s “C.R.E.A.M.” and Jay-Z’s “Dead Presidents”. In addition to that we’ve got a great new song called “No Bullet Wound” that really gets the crowd going and our song F.L.Y. is definitely a crowd favorite that starts of mellow but builds tremendously by the end of the song.
AS AN ARTIST, WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH?
We just want to continue to get our music out to the world to as many people as possible.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I'd change sex appeal. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy eye candy as much as the next person and looking good is damn important me too. But, it's unfortunate music takes a backseat too often to how attractive a person is by mainstream society. It limits us from the amount of amazing music we could experience from others if sex appeal didn't prevent so many musicians from breaking out and it also force feeds us BS music from people that are in the limelight not because they actually have true talent but just look
good with their shirt off. That's what porn is for; keep that trash mindset out of music.
Like AntiCrew here and download their latest album at www.anticrewmusic.com. Stay updated on both!
By Ely Torres
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