Interview with Bang On!
Hailed as one of the most exciting artists Big Dada has signed recently Liverpool born and bred Bang On aka Elliott Egerton took time out to do a little interview with us here at Subrewind. Bang On! boasts delivery that effortlessly moves between funny and furious. Spinning yarns and nails metaphors that brings rap to a fresh new place.
For people who might not have heard of your style and flow can you explain briefly how you got into music and what it means to you?
Haha I got into rap music through hearing Dr Dre 2001 for the first time back in 1999 before that I had listened to dance music mainly but I was only young so I became a half arsed hip hop head after that. Music means a lot to me, I don’t know much about it theoretically or anything I never cared about learning it in school etc but ye, I like art in general and I think music is probably the ultimate mode of self expression
Was music always a creative output for you, something to keep you out of trouble?
Pretty much ye, I don’t know if it kept me out of trouble but it definitely kept me sane having some sort of outlet, you get frustrated without one
You have been around on the Liverpool scene for quite a few years now. You have had a name change and adopted a more dubstep orientated sound. Was this a conscious thing to try and break out of the Liverpool scene or a case of trying to find a style and sound that suited your flow?
I changed me name because I didn’t invent it like, two people who didn’t speak to one another seperately nicknamed me Mr Bang On so I went with it cause I didn’t really have a name at the time but I didn’t like the idea of the ‘Mr’ it was just a bit gimicy, like calling yourself ‘Young’ or ‘Lil’ some pointless prefix so I dropped it, people called me Bang On for short anyways. In terms of my sound changing, I listen to all types of different music and the only agenda behind me making a tune is an innocent desire to do some beast shit, I’ll always be trying out new stuff but it will still be 100% unfiltered me there, rapping or singing or doing whatever.
Can you talk us through the album. Its called [Sic] and its coming out on Big Dada. What producers have you worked with, where did you hope to go musically with the release and what plans for 2012 have you got?
The producers I worked with was mainly Cruicky, Reklews and Maximus Quackhandle, I recorded the vast majority of it with Show N Prove. It’s Punk-Donk-Dub-Hop, musically, just all the shite I like stirred up in a masterfully executively produced pot. The lyrics are the thoughts of any young lad like me in these bewildering times except I’m making them shits rhyme and being honest too.
I dont think anyone could call the lyrics anything but honest, the album takes in some pretty impressive topics like unemployment, music, the Department of Social services and football but all delivered in a Scouse accent and with no holds barred Scouse slang. Do you think its important for vocalists to rap in their own accent rather than mimicking East or West coast voices they might hear on American hip hop tracks?
Ye it’s essential, New York has a population of what 24 million? I’ll always prefer a real New Yorker and there’s plenty to choose from, same goes for London, Atlanta, Jamaica or wherever, you should always be yourself, to me there’s no other option.
Do you feel your use of scouse slang and accent might have hampered you breaking out of the Liverpool scene or was it more a case of when your time came it came?
I think it could continue to hamper me from reaching larger audiences, I still don’t really understand why but I’m aware it has and will, but like I said there’s no other option. The ideal scenario would be that people are intrigued by something different and want to take the time to learn what the slang means decipher the accent etc because they’re interested in the tale I’m telling and they want to submerge themselves in it as much as possible. Hopefully one day people will be putting on fake scouse accents in a desperate attempt to be commerically viable.
Thats certainly been seen before with some US punk rock acts adopting British accents and now with dubstep spreading so far and wide London slang being picked up. Any quick words you reckon people should know before they start listening to the album? Im thinking beak, trabs, la, bizzies etc etc?
Good point. Ye well there’s a handy ‘key’ that comes with the CD that can help you out, explaining some of the different terms, can’t believe the label let me do that actually but the only one I remember leaving out was ‘ken’ which is short for kennel, meaning your house. You can check out some of the lyrics online on www.bangonmusic.com and all my lyrics are in the booklet that comes with the album too so we’re helping people out haha.
Whats the tour plan? Where will you be taking the shows?
In terms of touring I suppose a lot of that will depend on the reception the album gets, but I’m hoping that I get an overnight fan base in lots of diferent sun soaked regions. The shows that I’ve done over the last yar or whatever with the new material have been going boss though and I’m well more confident in my set now, I just want to go to some places where people are willing to dance and get crunk.
The sound of the album manages to hark back to classic hip hop on Got it (which reminds me of some classic house of pain tunes from back in the day) and hitting brand new group with others like Fars Yer Whop. Is this a credit to working with a diverse number of producers or perhaps a more conscious process? Do you sit down together to write the tunes or do you flow over tracks you are sent?
I knew how I wanted the album to sound and ye, I wanted the tracks to cover everything I felt and wanted to do so it’s only right that the sound varies a bit. With Got IT I was played a beat in a studio that I just rapped and put a chorus on but with basically every other tune there was more to it. I would be given beats that I would fuck with a lot, with others less so. It’s pretty much outlined in the credits, the producers definitely cooked up the beats but I was just tailoring them to my sense of structure/progression and adding shit (instruments, vocals, scratching, fucking round with the mpc) to give it a unique sound.
You can pick up Bang On!’s album [Sic] from Ninja Tune / Big Dada right now.