Den amerikanska Hiphop-duon Atmosphere, som består av Slug (Sean Davis) och Ant (Anthony Davis) är högaktuella med albumet Word?, deras tolfte album i ordningen. Här nedan berättar Slug om nya albumet, vad han saknar mest med musikindustrin från när han själv jobbade i musikaffär och om att det är viktigaste när man skapar något är att det blir något som för samman människor, hjälper dem igenom deras svårigheter.
How’s everything with you?
- Been better, been worse, more blessed than cursed. Happy and grateful to be alive with healthy and safe family.
Your new album is called Word? Has there been much progression from The day before halloween?
- Progression never sleeps. It doesn't have the privilege. The Day Before Halloween was written and produced pre-Covid, so it was focused on presenting the dark corners of our (Anthony and myself) collective minds. But much of the Word? project was created during the lockdowns and it is reaching for more optimism and smiles, because that's what we felt we needed to focus on in that moment.
You released your first album in 1997, what’s your feelings about it today?
- I haven't heard that album in a long time, but my memory of it is fond. It's the album that introduced me to a lot of my friends and contemporaries. I think it's rather primitive and young, but also I remember it sounding like a desperation and the work of people who didn't know they'd be allowed to make another one.
Do you guys remember the first time you stood on a stage and what it was like?
- I'm afraid I don't fully remember. I've been on stages since I was a young teen. I think I was 14 or 15 the first time I rapped in front of people on a stage. I imagine it felt much like what it still feels like. Exhilarating and frightening.
For this album, you’ve released a series of maxi-singles, instead of regular singles. What made you come up with that?
- We wanted to try something different. J-Bird (our manager) was actually the one that suggested we try this approach, just to see how it felt.
If you were to describe the album as a physical place, what kind of place is it and how are the people there?
- The place is made of cement and it smells like spray paint fumes. The people there are skeptical and paranoid.
On the new album, I got very attached to Sleepless. It’s beautiful. Do you want to tell a little about the lyrics of it?
- Those lyrics are a response to feeling woke, but not by choice. Artists shouldn't have the choice of being naive or ambivalent to the struggles that surround us. Forced awoke.
What would you say is your most unexpected influence?
- Willie Nelson and Vitamin B12.
Covid has effectively reduced our impressions in everyday life, how do you handle it when you try to do something creative?
- I fortunately have yet to hit the wall of feeling uncreative. There is so much beauty that surrounds us everyday. And all of it influences me.
If you were given a chance to arrange your own festival, what would characterize that festival?
- We did arrange our own festival for 12 years, and it was characterized by bringing together all the different branches of this music and culture for the enjoyment of advocates and participants alike. If I were to start a new festival, I imagine it would focus on food.
If you were the characters in any classic movie, who would you be then and why?
- Anthony and I would be the Blues Brothers, because we dress like them. And because we are constantly RFTC (running from the cops).
Are you guys brooding on some hidden talents?
- I know how to whistle. Does that count?
You Slug, was working at a record store earlier. If you take look at the music industry now, what would you say that you miss the most from that time, compared to now?
- I miss when new releases came out on Tuesdays instead of Fridays. New music mid-week made the work-week feel shorter.
If you compare your view of music today and the one you had when you started doing music, how has it changed?
- Now i know to be more accepting of everyone's art and contributions. When I was younger, I spent much time criticizing and hating on any art that I deemed unnecessary or terrible. Now I know that my opinions are not really that necessary in the big picture. What is necessary is that you create something that people can connect with and use to help them through their struggles.
Finally, if possible, what time in music history would you like to visit?
Lyssna på Word? här nedan!