Tell us about your influences…
I’ve got an old soul so I’m an old school soul fan. Marvin Gaye. Stevie Wonder. I’m all around the board a little bit. Sometimes somebody creates something today that makes you want to listen to that sound and even create stuff right there and then, but once everything starts to sound cookie cutter, you know what will never fail you is some old music. And I always go back and discover something new that’s old. Nothing’s ever really old if you’re just discovering it. It can be from the 1800s. If you discover it now, it’s new. Are there any songs you’ve always secretly wanted to sample? Equipment-wise and technology-wise, in the past it was harder to get samples from certain records because sometimes it’s recorded live so the drummer is slowing up a little bit or it’s harder to take that out and make it loop up. But now technology is so up to speed, it’s nothing to go and take songs, like part of an Isley Brothers song for example, that you couldn’t do back then. I listen to a lot of old soul, so with these songs that I hear now, as I get older I realize how to manipulate music and lyrics and rhythm on songs, whereas back then I wouldn’t have rapped to some of that music. Now you can almost rap on anything, but it didn’t used to be like that. Back then we were just looking to funky stuff, with a one-two beat, but now the timing on it can be different. We know how to perform, so when I hear certain songs from the past I’ll try to do something with it.
You’re known to put on a crazy live show. What gear do you need to make it all happen?
It’s just mics and turntables, a drum machine here and there. My DJs, they have a set where they pull out a big turntable, a super huge turntable that they travel with. They have drum machines that they created to look like a guitar turntable type thing, stuff like that. That’s just something that they created for the shows, just being authentic. Most part it’s just basic, turntables and mics. Real hip hop. Not too many bells and whistles and all that. There are so many members of Jurassic 5. You must be like trapeze artists working together to create a song. In hip hop you talk to people and you will know what level they are by mentioning, “Have you heard of this?” And they’ll be like, “Yeah I’ve heard of that, that’s my sound!” But then some people will be like, “Nah, I ain’t heard that, I ain’t heard that,” and then you know what level they’re at. It’s not a dis or anything, it’s just a gauge of where someone’s at. You can tell the authentic people from the not-so authentic people based on their experiences and what they know. So everyone in our group came from that same background. We’re all the same age and grew up with the same music. We grew up on the ‘authentic’ so we’re able to draw from things that aren’t so
cookie cutter. People know, even if they don’t know that it’s not authentic, they can tell that it’s different. And it comes from our
I know you have a lot planned for the next year, so what can we expect?
Our main objective is to get back out there touring. We’re a touring group and always have been a touring group. We have recorded albums in the past, but the transcendence of those albums happens when we’re on stage. A lot of people have never seen us perform and it seems amazing so we’re feeding that
audience who has always wanted to see us, and the people that have been missing us. We have a few live recordings that we’re working on putting out
there and a lot of visuals and stuff. We’re putting together a hodge podge of things that we’ve already created in the past that never came out. Because with us, we’ve always came out dated in the first place. We’re an old school group so it doesn’t matter if our music’s dated!
Jurassic 5 play Byron Bay Bluesfest on Sunday April 5 and the following sideshows.
March 26 – Panthers, Newcastle NSW with DJ Mathematics (Zulu Nation) and Jayteehazard
March 27 – Waves, Wollongong NSW with DJ 26th Letter (Soul Benefits / Big Village)
March 28 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney NSW with DJ 26th Letter (Soul Benefits / Big Village)
March 29 – West Coast Blues & Roots Festival, Perth WA
April 1 – Festival Hall, Melbourne VIC with Special Guests: 1200 Techniques
April 4 – The Tivoli, Brisbane QLD with DJ Nick One