Gutterfly. Not your average hip hop album. This offering has an interesting concept; reflecting the fictional deeds of a trio of ghetto superheroes – Bumpy Johnson, Sleepy Floyd and Jimmy Slimwater – taking inspiration from the Blaxploitation films of the '70s.
Basically the Lifesavas take on an alter ego to explore different themes and perspectives and relate this in the music. The album features a host of enviable talent: Dead Prez, Smif N Wessun, and Camp Lo to name but a few. And when it comes to performance they certainly ain’t lacking. Even when performing to a crowd where many are fresh to their sound, they soon have the crowd rocking. Owning the stage, and drawing the audience in, they put on a good show. No doubt.
Right now Lifesavas are touring internationally to promote the album. I managed to find out a little bit more about the talented and fast rising guys from Portland, Vursatyl and Jumbo aka: Lifesavas.
Lady Jay UK: Introduce yourselves, and tell me what you bring to Lifesavas?
Vursatyl: I am Vursatyl. I am an MC. Jumbo is an MC and he does the majority of our beats… Shines is the DJ and makes beats as well.
LJayUK: What did you do before you created Lifesavas?
Vursatyl: Jumbo and I were always involved in music. Prior to Lifesavas, I (Vursatyl) was an MC in a different group. Jumbo was DJ'ing for another group.
LJayUK: What’s Lifesavas all about? Like, your sound, your aims…
Vursatyl: We are Hip Hop! That's what we're about. We are about making the best music that we can. That's our primary aim. Our music is immersed in the funk. Saturated in soul. Most importantly it's our purest expression of who we are and what we dig.
LJayUk: What’s the most important thing/s in your life?
Vursatyl: Family is the most important thing. After years of making music it's easy to see that without our family, music wouldn't be as fulfilling.
LJayUK: Is there anything that you don’t have that you wish you could?
Vursatyl: We could all use more Time! There is never enough!
LJayUK: I saw you live at Jazz Café – London, and you put on a real good show, you’ve toured with some cool peeps right?
Vursatyl: Thank you! We love playing the Jazz Café. We had fun there recently. We take pride in having a great live show.
We've toured with De La Soul, Talib Kweli, Little Brother, Del The Funky Homosapien, Blackalicious, DJ Shadow, Zion I etc. Too many to name.
LJayUK: Tell me about Gutterfly Album…who are Bumpy Johnson, Sleepy Floyd and Jimmy Slimwater!
Vursatyl: The Gutterfly Album is Lifesavas on BLAST!!! Funk and Soul through the eyes of Lifesavas. Our best work to date. We presented it as a soundtrack to a Blaxploitation movie called "Gutterfly" that was never made.
Bumpy Johnson, Sleepy Floyd and Jimmy Slimwater are the names of the characters we play on the album. Ghetto Super Heroes, who come together to take down "The Man a.k.a. Pharoahe". Bumpy is a "Time Traveler"/Enforcer, Sleepy is the "Con-Man" with mind manipulation power. Jimmy is the "Wise Guy"/Illusionist.
LJayUK: What / who are you listening to at the moment?
Vursatyl: Right now, I'm diggin' albums by Little Brother, Common, Kanye West, Pharrel & The Yessirs remix project, Ohmega Watts, and this cat Shawn Jackson out of L.A.
LJayUK: Has anything changed since your first album ‘Spirit in Stone’?
Vursatyl: A lot has changed. More people are aware of who we are. We are different people 4 years later. We've traveled the world so our perspective on things is a lot broader. We see the world as our platform now, when before it was just about our block or our city (Portland).
LJayUk: Ok, big ups; shoutouts, websites, downloads etc!!!…
Vursatyl: Big Up to our brother Chief Xcel, our crew "Misfit Massive"-Libretto, Wolveryne, Harp, Mixmaster KD, and Lunden (the future), LS extended fam DV One! Jake One, Vitamin D, my dude Ish of the DP's.
Hit us at myspace.com/lifesavas you can download Gutterfly there.
Gutterfly features Dead Prez, Smif N Wessun, Camp Lo, Ish of Digable Planets, George Clinton, Fishbone, Vernon Reid and many more.
Buy Gutterfly at most popular record stores, or independent record stores. Online outlets such as quannum.com giantpeach.com sandboxautomatic.com undergroundhiphop.com amazon.com. As well download Gutterfly at iTunes.