Soundcrash asked me to interview Kid Acne for the second issue of their fanzine and as we like the Soundcrash boys a lot and Kid Acne even more it would have been churlish to say no, anyway we’ve put it up here for your reading pleasure.
Soundcrash Issue 2 – Kid Acne Interview
With a new single out now on Lex/EMI and a brilliant album in the bag due for release in the Autumn we caught up with Leicester’s favourite son Kid Acne to discuss magnetic kids, pies and major label life…
So you’re gearing up for the release of new album ‘Romance Ain’t Dead’, which by the various twists and turns of the music industry is being released by EMI, has it been a bit of a shock to suddenly find yourself on the same label as the likes of Pink Floyd and Queen?
Ha Ha. Well, signing to a major has never been anything I’d aspired to do. I’ve always put out records myself and by and large been happy with that, but around the same time I put out my last LP (‘Council Pop’ in 2003) LEX asked me to do an album for them. I knew them through WARP and thought “Why not?” Since then LEX parted company from WARP and somewhere along the line EMI got involved.
‘Romance Ain’t Dead’ has had many a false start with a few wild goose chases along the way; namely Req losing the beats on his old computer and then losing the new beats after his son put an industrial magnet on his laptop. That, alongside issues with samples have been a bit of a ball ache, but musically, this album hasn’t changed one bit since EMI got on board, and because I’ve not had to compromise anything it just feels stupid being on the same label as Pink Floyd and Queen.
The new single ‘Worst Luck’ features Infinite Livez on the b-side and long time producer Req One back, who else have you worked with on the new album?
Getting Infinite Livez to spit was a must. He featured on my ‘Reality Raps EP’ in 2004. Since then we’ve threatened to do an album together, so this new track, ‘Split Heads’ is just keeping things ticking over ‘til we do. Req’s made the majority of the beats, but this time round Ross Orton (Fat Truckers / MIA) has stepped into the producer chair and as a result has refined my and Req’s music. Ross and I have also written tracks together and Rob Gordon (Warp / Fon) has mastered and cut the LP himself.
As for guest MC’s, they’ll only feature on the EP’s. So if you wanna hear better rappers on these beats, you’d better cop them cos the album’s all down to me and my wobble gob.
Is there anyone who you would particularly like to work with in the future?
I’m working with everyone I want to right now. Req, Ross and Rob are like a ruddy dream team of Triple Intruders. I’m doing some shit with Sebastian Laws of New Kingdom, Jehst and I are planning some stuff together, Supreme Vagabond Craftsman and I are gonna do some more stuff, plus these collabs with Infinite Livez, so all in all it’s pretty much water tight.
I’d prefer to see what I’m capable of myself rather than relying on big names to sell units. I never wanted to host a compilation album with a shed load of guests, but it is good working with like-minded people. You get decent results that way, it’s just a case of balancing it out.
Back to the new single I noticed Fray Bentos get another mention, I’m sure they’ve cropped up in your lyrics before, sly product placement?
We used to cook them little bastards all the while when we was on the rock ‘n’ roll. Apart from the fact it rhymed with ‘Jonathan Ross’, it must have burnt into my subconscious as well as the bottom of the oven.
You’ve been playing live quite a bit recently, what’s the reaction to the new material been like?
The live show has been dope. I’m planning a UK pub-crawl soon. People seem to like the new stuff and we get plenty of different folk to our shows. Doing punk gigs in boozers as well as the likes of Cargo keeps it fresh and us on our toes.
Who’s involved in the Kid Acne live set up at the moment? Any chance of EMI coughing up some money for say a giant inflatable Fray Bentos pie to hover over the stage?
When I play live, it’s always with Benjamin on the body scratch, Chase Rockwell on the beat box and Clev Cleverley as my hype man. As for the visuals, we’re planning some 3D shit like a cross between Freddy, Jaws and that big IMAX cinema in Bradford. Hold tight.
By any rights the new record should have you rolling with the likes of P Diddy and Jay-Z, what’s going on with the rest of the Spies crew? Will there be another Toah Dynamic album at any point?
Well, I’m happy with this LP, so anything else is an added bonus. The main thing is that I wanna keep making the records a wanna make. Invisible Spies is still rolling, but Toah Dynamic (our in-house collective) is on hold while we’re concentrating on releases by Supreme Vagabond Craftsman, Earl Shilton and Methodist Centre. If my LP does well, I’ll get the old boys back together for another Toah’ outing, but this time round we’re recording it on a barge shaped like a giant keyboard…
As well as being a bit good on the Mic you’re probably just as well known for your graffiti and artwork, you managing to juggle both?
I’m trying to do one thing at a time these days as oppose to ‘all at once’ like I used to. The music’s been taking up my waking hours these days, though I am exhibiting in Barcelona this month alongside Miss Van and a bunch of international artists. I’m knocking out some screen prints + a few T-shirt collabs too. Look out for one ‘hyper-colour’ joint with LEX real soon.
Will the Zebra Face cartoon ever see the light of day?
I bloody hope so. We just got a hook up with Adult Swim for another project, so fingers crossed they’ll be stupid enough to foot the bill.
And finally if romance ain’t dead what can a lady except from a first date with Kid Acne?
Poppers, strobe lights and Haagen Daaz.
Romance Ain’t Dead is out in September
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