Sunday, February 26, 2012

Combination Pizza Hut & Taco Bell: "Hardcore" Interview with Victor "Kool A.D." Vazquez (PARTY ANIMAL & Formerly Das Racist)

(1) Coming from such a predominantly "Hip-Hop" background, what really compelled you to start a Hardcore Punk band?

I used to play drums in Punk and Hardcore bands in middle school and high school. This side project is with two dudes I used to be in a band with.

(2) What were some of your favourite & most influential Punk albums growing up? Hip-Hop albums?

I think the first Punk album I got into was Static Age by The Misfits. Other favorites are Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, Suicidal Tendencies, Minor Threat, Fear, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Germs, Flipper. I grew up in "The Bay" and liked local Grind/Thrash like Spazz, What Happens Next, Godstomper. Went to a lot of Subincision and Fracas shows as a youth. First Rap CD I got was MC Hammer 2 Legit 2 Quit, but I was a little kid. The Rap I grew up with was A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang, Busta Rhymes, The Coup, Pharcyde, Snoop, [Dr.] Dre, Black Star, Public Enemy, N.W.A. The Fugees, The Roots, Nas, Biggie, [2]pac, E-40, Beastie Boys, and whatever was on KMEL and CMC.

(3) Who else is in the band with you... and what are their musical roles? How did all of you guys meet?

Loren [Moter] is my dude since 7th grade. He's the lead vocalist and plays bass and some guitar on the recordings. Malosi joined our Hardcore band late... like end of high school. He plays guitar on the recordings.

(4) What's your personal favourite Teenage Dream-era Katy Perry track?

I don't know. Maybe "Teenage Dream?"

(5) Who's your favourite member of Das Racist & why?

They're both nice dudes.

(6) What does the future hold for PARTY ANIMAL? Album(s)?

We're putting out this 7" ourselves, playing SXSW, and hopefully setting up a US and European Tour at some point this year. We got a show with Andrew W.K. too.

(7) Was that the same couch on [mixtapes] Shut Up Dude, Sit Down Man, and Relax... "Where's the beef?"

First couch was the couch at the spot where me and Hima lived and Dap used to crash at. Second couch was Despot's couch. Third couch, we bought from our neighbor so we could set it on fire.

(8) In your eyes, how are the genres of Hip-Hop and Punk different/alike?

They both developed from situations/aesthetics/ideologies opposed to and/or outside of the norms of society. And, sadly, they both have been co-opted and assimilated into mass culture in a way that has made them significantly less dangerous and "revolutionary."

(9) Might we hear a few Das Racist verses lace up an eventual PARTY ANIMAL release? Now, that'd be cool!

I don't know. Maybe.

(10) Always looking for exciting, new music... Can you tip me off to any interesting, new artists?

Leif, Big Baby Gandhi, Lakutis, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Danny Brown, Dopehead, Main Attrakionz, Trackademicks, 1-O.A.K. Beeda Weeda, Safe, Kate Ferencz, Invisible Circle, Keepaway, ScHoolboy Q, Acts of Sedition.

(11) What's the basic concept behind the "PARTY ANIMAL" music video?

1 second cuts between the "Niggas In Paris" video and the Odessa Steps scene from Eisenstein's Soviet Russian Cinema classic, Battleship Potemkin.

(12) Madonna or Cyndi Lauper? Please explain your selection.

I love Cyndi Lauper, but Madonna is slightly more... prolific, more versatile, more consistently good, more visually interesting, fucked Basquiat, kicked it with Keith Haring, has aged better (musically and physically), tends to make better artistic and business decisions, fell off a horse and broke her back and was playing shows less than a year later, etc.

(13) Man, HYPHY BALLADS was great... Nice Björk beats! How'd that mixtape ever come to fruition?

Big Baby Gandhi hit me up like, "I made hella beats with Björk samples. You want to rap on them?" and I was like, "Yeah." I did all those tracks in one day and put them on The Internet that same night.

(14) Care to tell me a little bit about your most recent solo effort, Port Wine Drinkard?

It's called The Palm Wine Drinkard. It's the songs I had made that I listened to and didn't hate on January 1st of 2012, which was the day I said I would put it out.

(15) Have anything else lined up for release in the not-so-distant future, Kool A.D.?

[I'm] about to drop a mixtape called "51" with Main Attrakionz, Young L, Amaze 88, Trackademicks, Kassa Overall, and kechPhrase. And an album I think it's going to be called "Moneyball" for sale on Greedhead.

(16) What were some of your "favourite" [most interesting] Pop Culture happenings of 2011?

The Arab Spring and The Occupy Movement(s).

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