Interview: Foreign Beggars talk new album with Mau5 Trap Records, which countries show most love and working with Tommy Lee!
Foreign Beggars have been holding the spotlight in the UK scene since their astounding debut album with 2002 'Asylum Speakers'. Since then they've conquered Europe, USA and Australia with their unique blend of electro/dubstep/grime influenced sounds.
Their latest album 'The Uprising' is released via Mau5 Trap Records, belonging to Canadian electro-house music producer, DJ, and performer Dead Mau5. Nick BlatantlyBlunt spoke to their super talented MC Orifice Vulgatron about the new record, the meaning behind their artwork, side hustles and more!
Describe the vibe you are bringing on this record.
The album is a deeper exploration into fusing rap and electronic music… The last EP 'The Harder They Fall' on Never Say Die Records was a cross of everything on 140 bpm (grime, dubstep etc); whereas this record wasn’t tempo / genre specific – there is dubstep, drum and bass, as well weird grime stuff and hip-hop as well. One of the reasons for this is that we wanted to make more music we could bring to our live show.
How do you hope Mau5 Trap can elevate your brand?
The label already have a huge following, and working with them allows us to hit new audiences and take the music global, to places we don’t yet have the reach or resources to penetrate. It also allows us more time to focus on our own music and develop our sound!
How did Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe Drummer/Pam Anderson’s ex) make his way onto a Foreign Beggars album?!
He was a fan of our music already, we were introduced to him a few years back at the time when I was living with Skrillex at Noisia’s Manager, Walter's house in Holland - this was just before Sonny's (Skrillex’ real name) really blew to the level it is at today…
'Mind's Eye' feat. Tommy Lee
What is the idea behind the artwork?
It ties in with the album name, ‘Uprising’ – relating to the corporate machine eating itself, represented by the coins being toppled, with the ominous black liquid weighing it down, Oil/Blood being spilled - make of it what you will though!
Which are the singles you are going to release?
We have four single releases on the album ‘Flying to Mars featuring Donae'o, Apex, which is a bit of a slammer, Palm Of My Hand’ and ‘Crep Hype’, which is due to drop soon, and we’re going to switch it up a bit. None of the singles are Über commercial, or stuff that is super radio friendly – just the tracks we felt were the most dope! ‘Crep Hype’ and some remixes will follow.
What the Foreign Beggars’ current situation with Dented Records?
Yea it is still the label we run, and in the near future we will be looking to work with more artists from the label and we still manage the back catalogue and still distribute releases for people…
Which of your releases were received better than you expected, and were there any releases you thought would be bigger?
Asylum speakers was the album that we were most happy with the response to – even to this day people are just getting put on to it even when we started there were people in the scene who weren’t so supportive so that was why we did everything from releases to launch parties to tours on our own... . However, there were some people not understanding what we were doing at the time...
The Machine Drum remix of ‘Don’t Dhoow It’ wasn’t supported as well as I had hoped - and ‘Contact’ was a record we put loads of investment into, even down to high level promo CDs and mainstream radio pluggers and not a single person/ UK DJ played it. It was thanks to the likes of Andy C blowing up the drum n bass remix and the video that helped the song pop off.
Which countries show the most love outside of UK?
Since 2006, France really has behind us. Australia, Spain and America as well as the Hungarian fan base in Budapest…
At what stage in Beggars’ career did you realize you were in it for the long haul and this was your full time job?
I quit uni to work on the group and since then I haven’t ever looked back!
What do Foreign Beggars do in their spare time when not recording performing?
DJ No Names is involved with his own project called ‘Supatrol’ and Metropolis is in his own band called Royalty [rylty]
Apart from that, we spend our time travelling, partying, reading and eating good food!
How has the game changed over the past 10 years?
The main thing that has changed is only now have English rappers been getting number ones for the last couple years, when in countries like France and Germany domestic hip-hop artists have been in the top of the charts for years! It’s the first time the scene, industry and nation have been ready and able to have their own rap superstars.
Only now are there UK rappers in the top five, which didn’t happen in the early 2000s. This partly down to the fact press has been so supportive of grime since its inception, The industry knowing how and what to promote, artists having the experience, confidence and drive, labels and artists gradually educating the mainstream audience in the UK being on how to consume/ digest this type of music properly!
Foreign Beggars' new album is out now on Mau5 Trap records - available to buy on iTunes and all good record outlets!