Interview: High Focus records artist Ed Scissortongue talks sold out Australia tour, new EP and his love for arranging flowers!
Back in November I had the pleasure of joining a select few music makers from the widely respected UK hip hop camp High Focus Records on the Perth leg of their sold out Australian tour. Namely Fliptrix, Dirty Dike, Jam Baxter, DJ Sammy B-Side and today’s man in the spot light Edward Scissortongue.
It’s there that I first heard talk of ‘The Theremin EP’ the follow up to Ed’s debut ‘Better Luck Next Life’ that I found to be a spiralling sound scope of melancholic vigour with delicious visual accompaniments (Pause).
Being that Ed’s debut proved to be (dare I say) a little more experimental than most other projects the scene had to offer last year I was interested to find out more about the dude and his new musical offspring, so I sent him the following questions to which he promptly replied in the form of the interview below.
Suave Debonair: So The Theremin EP soon come. What are we in for?
Ed Scissortongue: You lot are in for a stupendous, rollercoaster ride of unrelenting depression covered in candy floss and vomit.
SD: No, seriously, what are we in for…?
ES: ‘THE THEREMIN EP’ is a concept record which foretells the end of mankind, from several different, but equally gruesome angles. As we are all aware, mankind is a deplorable, vacuous mess of flesh which is slowly condemning planet Earth and every species on Earth’s surface (bar cockroaches) to a painful and premature demise. The record approaches this STONECOLD DOOMSDAY in as cinematic a fashion as musically possible.
SD: The videos that accompanied tracks from your previous release ‘BETTER.LUCK.NEXT.LIFE’ proved to enhance the experience greatly. Can we expect more of the same treatment for this project, and if so can Debbie get a cameo?
ES: I am not sure exactly what cameos are up for offer as you are far too chirpy for my particular strain of visual morbidity, but I will enquire with my chief admiral filmmaker Johannes Schaff (look him up) to see if you fit the bill (send your measurements to my PA). We are definitely shooting some things for the record mega soon and we have some interesting ideas in motion involving relatives, electronic drills and work out equipment.
SD: OK enough business for now. I’ve been known to eat a full Iceland prawn ring in one sitting before, I’d call it a guilty pleasure but as we all know ballers feel no regret. What does Ed get excited over?
ES: I used to get excited at the prospect of hitting the town with my gang and losing my motherf^cking mind, however, I entered my ‘old hater’ phase a little while ago. Nowadays, I rate going gym and arranging flowers. Oh, and Come Dine With Me, I watch that loads.
SD: I saw an ad today for the new MF DOOM signature Clarks wallaby which is the first rapper endorsed shoe I’ve ever desired although I did once own a pair of Sean Carters from TK Maxx back in the day, but that was cos they were a bargain. Anyway, I was wondering given that you’re a snappy dresser yourself who might your ultimate shoe collab be with and what might it look like/be called? (Feel free to draw an illustration)…
ES: That is a great question. You’ll have to forgive me for not illustrating my vision, my arms are killing from going gym earlier. I have to say this really is a no-brainer, my dream shoe collaboration would definitely be with Drizzy Drake. We would create something spectacular, like a neon hi-top puma Disc / Reebok Pump hybrid or something. After that he would offer me a job as his stylist, which I would obviously take, then I would get to cruise with him on tour and we would play games of tennis and play X Box and go strip clubs and catch private jets and eat with Italians and share tales of heartbreak. It would/could be so much more than a shoe collaboration.
SD: When did you start rapping? Actually forget that, have you ever been punched in the face? I have, that ‘ish hurts.
ES: Rapping and getting punched in the face are like peas in a pod. Apparently my nose is straighter now than it was before I had my last knuckle sandwich. Big up the nose surgeon at St Bartholomew’s.
SD: Music’s funny, for example if 90’s emcee Ski Lo had have been just that little bit taller he would’ve missed out on the biggest hit of his career. How do you think your surroundings directly affect your music?
ES: I would say my surroundings do more than affect my music, they define it. I find myself thinking about music pretty much every waking moment of the day, which means my songs will always be rooted in my day-to-day and the surroundings I immerse myself in. Put it this way, I rarely have inspired thoughts when I go somewhere on a mission to ‘source’ inspiration. Two examples that spring to mind are Morocco and Paris. I’m sat there on top of a sand dune surrounded by never ending desert and…Nothing.
I am sat drinking a glass of red wine and chain smoking fags on a truly beautiful day in Europe’s most beautiful city and… Nothing.
Sitting on the 277 to Highbury and Islington is where it’s at.
SD: Having seen you and the team in action Last year in Australia I was stoked to see how popular the High Focus sound was out there and how well you were received. How was it to experience that so far from home? (Stage props included)
ES: SMOKE MY TOUR was an unbelievable experience on so many levels. Just flying over that first piece of coastline was monumental for me. So many people I know go out to Australia to live and I always knew that wasn’t for me, so to head out there to play sold out rap shows was nothing short of incredible. Being able to showcase my music alongside my closest homies in the pissing rain in Norwich city centre is amazing in my eyes, so to be able to do that to thousands of people on the other side of the globe really is just about as good as it gets.
SD: It really was special. When Might we expect the High Focus musical and who will play you?
ES: Baxter and I were discussing this at length in Australia. I back it and will obviously take the lead. I predict a summer 2020 release in the West End.
SD: The late Bob Marley famously sang “When music hits you feel no pain” but we’ve all heard Aqua so can this really be the case? Did you ever get emotional while submerged in the writing of The Theremin EP?
ES: For sure I got emotional when writing ‘THE THEREMIN EP’. Not that I was sat there crying into a tea cup, but I certainly tried to dig deep and make each song as emotive as possible. As I mentioned previously, the EP is about the death of man; I challenge you not get emotional about that, be it angry, sad or indifferent.
SD: Thanks for the chat Tom, keep on trucking.
ES: No. Thank you Suave deborah.
THE THEREMIN EP is out March 2014 on High Focus Records.