Interview PROPHETS OF RAGE
« I believe they can’t put out our fire though. We are not a fire that can be extinguished! » – B-Real
How has your day been so far?
B-Real: It’s been good. Just trying to stay out of the sun. It’s pretty hot down here.
This your first ever Hellfest experience. What have you previously heard about it before?
Brad: What I know about it is that it’s actually a really cool festival, with super diverse bands. Last night, I heard that Agnostic Front played and it’s all the way from them to Aerosmith. It looks like a very cool festival they have. We love festivals and we love France. Now, France is our best audience to date. How could we not love you? (laughter)
Hellfest is a very metal festival though. Do you feel that metalheads will connect with your music?
B-Real: You know, our music is a fusion of hip-hop and metal. I believe that a lot of people do appreciate this musical form. So we’re gonna go out there, put down our brand of what we do and I’m pretty sure they’re gonna go crazy for it. That’s one thing when you’re an artist who takes chances on music that you make. And the style that we’re doing – although it’s renewed in how we are bringing it forth – a lot of people haven’t heard that style in a lot of time, especially live. And this style translates live. I think that we’re going to have a great show today.
Brad: There are lots of ways to be heavy. And our form of heavy is no joke. I think that we aren’t really fitting in any particular type of music, or trying to pigeonhole us in any way. When we come together, what comes out of us is basically the six of us. That’s what happens. So we’re not trying to fit in any category.
As this stage, you only have one EP out and to many people, you are the singer of Cypress Hill and Public Enemy with the guys from Rage Against The Machine. Isn’t your first fight to prove that you are a real band?
B-Real: We got together to play music before we got to record and we realised we had something special. And we just sort of just threw the EP together quickly to go along the tour and stuff like that. People seemed to like what we put down. We got into the studio after going on tour and playing together. We got a certain chemistry together and we decided “let’s go record new music”. And it turned out very powerful and meaningful. And we can’t wait for the people to hear that. Because what came from that is organic, you know. We didn’t know what would come out. We just decided to take that chance. Whether the people gravitate to it or not, because it’s rap metal… When you hear it, it takes a different effect on you. I love challenges and that’s one of the many reasons why I’m more than happy to be in this band. The challenge is “us waking up the people, us making rocket music, us rocking the people with that rocked music and proving that it doesn’t matter what style of music we do we’re gonna go there and kill it”.
To me, the choice of “Unfuck The World” as first single shows a bit of security. This is probably the closest you can get to Rage Against The Machine…
Brad: Actually, I think that “Radical Eyes” is the first single here in Europe…
B-Real: Really? I thought it was “Unfuck The World”… We thought that “Unfuck The World” was the most powerful song to start off. Immediately, right now, the world needs help. The world needs to help itself. One of our contributions is to maybe motivate and inspire people to our music. We felt that this message was missing from any kind of airwave, you know. Like from video to radio, there’s no message in there talking about what’s going on in the world right now so we felt it was powerful and the right choice, at least for America’s sake. The next on will be “Living on 110”. But I think you’re right, “Radical Eyes” is the first single here in Europe, which is absolutely fucking dope. Chuck (D. – vocals) really killed that song.
Do you think that artists must always take part, commit themselves to a cause?
B-Real: I think it’s a choice. I think that they should. If you’re passionate about something and there’s something that affects you and when you know you can do something about it, you should go do something and become involved because if you don’t, you’re going to fucking regret it. Because you’ll feel like you could have done something and you did nothing. If you feel like it’s a responsibility, you have that platform, that opportunity, then you go for it. It’s a choice. People have that platform but they don’t want to take the chance because it could affect the sales, their popularity, their marketability, how much a promoter might wanna hire them, because of their message… For instance, Sinead O’Connor on Saturday Night Live tore the Pope’s picture and this destroyed her career. She took that chance as a political statement and there was a lot of people who loved her for that and agreed with her. And people who hated her for that. That’s the chance she took as an artist and I respect that. I believe they can’t put out our fire though. We are not a fire that can be extinguished! (laughter)
You all are busy bodies with other bands being active. Prophets Of Rage is the new priority for you? Is that a long term commitment for you?
Brad: I don’t know… I think that band is the new priority for me, sure. I think that we write music really great and really well together. There’s no reason right now to keep us not from doing this. The shows that we’re playing are going incredibly, we’re playing shows and we’re being creative… That’s a part of life and I think the six of us would like to live in. So that’s what we’re gonna do… Until we’re not!
B-Real: Yeah! I believe that everybody takes that serious. This is a band, this is not just a project or a side-project. Sure, we all have individual stuffs that brought us here, you know what I mean? But this is something with passion about, something we love to do. We got excited to come and do this together, whether it’s playing shows or going in the studio to record. Again, this is not something that has an expiration thing. It’s something we’ll keep doing as long as we love to do it together. We’ll just keep rocking the world with meaningful music.
What about the creative, the writing process for the album? Were you all involved together, did you work by pairs?
B-Real: All together.
Brad: And then we went in the studio with Brandon O’Brien. And the cool thing about it is that everyone was there. It was a pretty cool connexion we made while doing this record with Brandon… And what were we talking about! (laughter)
B-Real: Us being together. And we are! (laughter) We definitely are! It was fun, man! It was a unique process, you know. We all stood there, we engaged in each other’s ideas, made them work. It was awesome, man. And we are already looking forward to the next one.
To conclude, please finish that sentence for me: “I’ve never told that story before and I probably shouldn’t but…”
Brad: When I was young and delivering pizzas and fucking pie drumsticks with, I had the fucking runs! So bad that I had to put up a fucking makeshift diaper in my fucking pants! And I continued to deliver pizzas! That’s pretty fucked up! That’s pretty embarrassing … That’s terrible… Go ahead, come on!
B-Real: I once talked myself out of speeding ticket when I had three pounds of weed in the trunk.
Brad: That’s not embarrassing! That’s cool! Come on! (laughter)
B-Real : But he said a story I shouldn’t! (laughter)
Many thanks to Olivier Garnier (Replica).