Certified Banger: Yo Mudmowth, how’s it going, what’ve you been up to?
Mudmowth: What’s happening? Everything’s wicked at the moment man, the record’s been selling real well, just got back from a small tour of Denmark and Austria now, the crowds were amazing over there, they love their Hip Hop man. Besides touring and pushing the music just been real busy recording new stuff with Metabeats we got an EP coming soon called ‘Sledgehammer Kisses’, I’ve been doing stuff with P.L.O who produced ‘Skullcrackology’ which is pushing the boundaries, its gonna be a project for everyone into music full stop we got violinists, guitars everything on there, the stuff we got recorded so far shits on anything I’ve ever done so I’m really excited about getting that out! As for my album ‘Breakin Blocks in Legoland’, that’s recorded waiting to be mixed down and features production from Ghost, Evil Ed, Conspicuous, Sam Rockwell (who produced ‘Circus in the Cemetery’ and ‘Broken Home’) and others. I can go on all day about how good it is but I’ll just sound like an egomaniac, all I will say is if it had been released this year it would have shit on everything in UK Hip Hop that came out.
CB: Loads then! How did you get into Hip Hop as a fan and as a rapper?
Mudmowth: I think it was hearing Treach from Naughty by Nature that really made me want to rap, ever since I heard that first album man. I loved that whole fast flow he had, ‘Yoke the Joker’ was my shiiiit! If I told you how I got into this as a fan I’d be lying; I cant remember that man, it’s just in you I guess, I cant really remember a time I wasn’t into Hip Hop. even as a kid in school when everyone was into the Chili Peppers, Green Day, Nirvana and all that I was listening to like Bell Biv Devoe, Cool J, Biggie - basically whatever I could get my hands on. I remember Ralph Ripshit giving me a Thirstin Howl tape that blew me away.
CB: You’re from Wales - it seems like the scene there is getting really strong, tell us about it:
Mudmowth: Am I? haha. Yeah man, the scene here has been strong from day one! I swear you see more talent on an open mic night here then I do anywhere else in Britain, and that aint coming from a guy stuck in a cave I’ve been all around man and I genuinely believe that we got more if not as much talent in one spot as anywhere else. And it aint just skills its originality as well man. There’s only so many times I can listen to someone spit a 16 about how their sicker than syphilis, or how they they’re battle veterans, haha fuck off and make gabba.
CB: Most people might think that Wales + Hip Hop = Goldie Lookin’ Chain. Did they promote the scene or stunt its growth? What would you say to people who only think about GLC when they think about Welsh rap?
Mudmowth: If someone thinks Wales + Hip Hop and comes up with GLC, I don’t even want them to listen to my shit anyway man, lets be honest here they’re a gimmick, I’m into artistic music man not something my niece could write, unfortunately that’s what sells nowadays so people are always gonna have that perception ‘cause its all they’re seeing in the public eye.
I don’t think they helped promote or stunt the growth of the scene here ‘cause they’re in no way attached to it, that’s not Hip Hop that’s pop music. It’s like asking a Swedish emcee does the fact that Aqua had a number 10 hit with ‘Barbie Girl’ hold him back at all?
We just do what we do and love doing it man. Besides don’t see me as Welsh, see me as a dope human emcee.
CB: What’s been your big break? How have you been getting yourself heard?
Mudmowth: There hadn’t been one single event that kinda changed everything I guess its just more like there came a point where a few things started falling into place, I started getting Radio 1 airplay, magazines were getting in touch to do articles, I got a chance to guest appear on a lot of other albums; Ghost, Evil Ed and Cons, the Colony mixtape, a lot of promoters from all around Europe started showing interest - I mean a lot of things jus started looking up. At the end of the day man all I want is as many people as possible to hear my music whether they download it, burn it from a friend - It doesn’t matter. There’s no better feeling to me then when someone comes up to me or gets in touch telling me they’re feeling my stuff. That’s my inspiration right there. I don’t do this to make up numbers.
CB: Tell us about Associated Minds, your label – it seems to be one of the most consistent labels around at the moment. Who are you label mates with? Is there a team spirit?
Mudmowth: Without question man. Look basically when you work on an independent label there’s so much riding on each release we can't afford weak releases, cos the money we make goes into promoting the next one, so putting out garbage would put a big spanner in the works. So you can be guaranteed everything we ever put out will be fire! People are NOT READY for our next release; Willos CD ‘Wot’s Willo On?!’ it’s beyond bananas the shit is grapefruit. He’s the most original emcee in the world without question. As for calling everyone label mates, fuck that that’s too official, we’re all boys. If I do ever marry Lily Allen they’re all in the front row except for Ralph - he’s down front giving up the ring!
CB: Yeah I’m well looking forward to Willo’s stuff, his guest verses have been crazy in 2008! Your latest piece of work is the ‘Circus in the Cemetery’ 12” on white vinyl. Tell us about that - favourite tracks, any tales behind the tracks etc.
Mudmowth: Yeah, well basically they were tracks recorded for my album but they didn’t really fit so we decided to put them on an EP and get it out there. The first tune ‘Skullcrackology’ was one of them on the spot records, I went to the studio to record some other stuff I had written, walked in and PLO was playing that beat and I started like biting the walls and headbutting the dog and remember saying right stop that shit warm the mic up and let me tear that track a new arsehole, I had just been laid off from work, my girlfriend had finished with me so I had a gang of gremlins in my stomach that needed to come out and I spewed most of them over that beat right there. As for my favourite tune I gotta say ‘Broken Home of Mr Jones’, I was seriously in a dark place when I wrote that, I was drinking everyday, getting in a lot of trouble and I felt like everyone who was close to me was getting further away, the bad thing looking back is I was bringing a lot of it on myself, there were people in much worse situations than me that were happy with life. Either way I really let everything out on that track and just opened myself up and put it down on Sam Rockwell’s amazing beat. You won’t hear a tune like that from me again man I am loving life nowadays and being down just aint me. I heard a saying before “Love your time alive ‘cause you’re a long time dead” everyone wants to pay attention to that right there, we can moan about life when were in our coffin and got nothing else to do.
CB: The artwork for ‘Circus in the Cemetery’ was brilliant - along side the white vinyl it really made the release a complete package - who did the art? Will you continue to work with them?
Mudmowth: Yeah man, a guy from Cardiff called Mr. Shrew did the artwork, he did a ridiculous job on it man, I love it. I definitely want him to do more with us in the future it’d be my pleasure, you should see his new shit man, he just keeps getting better. He could paint the Cistine chapel with a sledgehammer. Check his stuff out at www.mistershrew.co.uk.
CB: Some of your lyrics are pretty abstract! Where do you get your ideas and concepts from?
Mudmowth: I’ve got a Shakespearian midget trapped in my basement, so whenever I get writers block I poke him with a rhubarb, whatever he shouts back goes straight into the verse, its simple man. Just call me Muddy Fritzl.
CB: What is your live show like?
Mudmowth: Imagine The Beatles came back to life, had a scrap with Led Zeppelin, fell in love with Joe Satriani, had kids that looked like Big L and spent Christmas in the forest on acid with Jamiroquai - that’s our live show right there! We do our live shows as a group - Mudmowth and the Swamp Kids, who are Beatbox Fozzy on drums, Ralph Ripshit who needs no introduction, P.L.O on guitar and Kima Otung singing who is honestly just a ridiculous talent - she deserves so much more. Our DJ tends to change most shows just to keep things fresh but shouts to Paul B, Jaffa and Mayor for their work behind the boards.
CB: What did you do to celebrate Christmas and New Year this year?
Mudmowth: I can’t stop writing lately man I swear its become like a drug, so with all this time off I’m just gonna keep filling these pads and recording as much as I can. I feel like I’ve only given maybe 50% of what I got in the past and that ain't enough. I had a conversation with Ruffstylz the other week and told him there can’t be a worse feeling in the world then being 60 and thinking I could have done this, could have done that - so I aint gonna let that happen. I’ve got an opportunity with Associated Minds to actually do something with my life, to have something to be proud of so from now on it’s all guns blazing. So yeah, except for when I wake up on some curb New Year’s day in a Scooby Doo outfit, I wanna spend Christmas recording and pushing the music as much as I can.
CB: Have a good ‘un then! Just round up for us what you’ll be bringing to the Hip Hop table in 2009 and finish us off:
Mudmowth: First up will be my EP with Metabeats - ‘Sledgehammer Kisses’, then later on in the year - ‘Breakin Blocks in Legoland’ will finally be coming out - my 17 track epic. It’s got everything you could want from a Mudmowth album - black comedy , storytelling, anthems… I even got a tune called ‘John Candy on there. Keep in touch through www.myspace.com/mudmowth and keep checking www.associatedminds.com for updates. Peace to everyone.