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Pez, Matik, Aesop Rock
Truly independent and self-funded, Seth scribbled down rhymes for many of the tracks comprising The Waiter Minute on docket pads and serviettes during breaks between food and beverage orders at his day job at local restaurants in Melbourne.
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Interview: 16 March 2009
Tell us about your music – how did you develop your sound?
Well, I guess I started out just spittin stupid freestyles at parties and just generally trying to be the center of attention. I was pretty much the only rapper in my town (well at least that I or my friends knew of) so I had nothing to compare it to. I thought I was pretty cool though haha. Then I met this kiwi guy, Joni. He freestyled as well. But much, much better than me. This became my driving force I just kept practicing and practicing. After a while I decided to start writing rhymes, I guess I never had any real intention to record them or anything, I just liked writing. I always liked creating short stories as a kid, and so I started trying to write short stories, but also make them rhyme. I hadn't heard any other Aussie rappers at this stage, as my hometown was quite a musical wasteland. So I just kind of developed my own style, borrowing a little from some of my favourite international artists. Looking back on it now, it was still a very occa style of rap, with short sharp syllables and a definite twang. One night, I was jamming with these older kids who played in a local funk band. One of the dudes was like "man, you can really rap. But you sound like a complete bogan. If you extend your syllables and rap with a bit of melody, it'll soften it up" I took that on board and started concentrating on trying to make my flow more melodic. Nowadays that's just the way I flow, I don't really think about it.
And your rhymes?
Like I said, as a kid I loved writing short stories. So I kind of applied that to my song-writing. I really enjoy hearing a song with a strong narrative, it just gives it that replay value I think. I mean, I'm not always gonna write a concept track. But I at least try to write the lyrics with a beginning and an end. I think rap sometimes gets written off as "lazy music". and sometimes I guess I might have to agree with that. I feel a lot of stuff coming out at the moment doesn't really focus on the lyrics at all. I mean, it still sounds great and all, but I feel that it's a little bit shallow. There's no reason for me to really want to listen to it more than a couple of times. That's why I've always been about the lyrics man, straight up. Most important thing to me. I'm just writing songs that I'd want to listen to.
How long have you been on the Melbourne scene?
Umm...shit, let's see. I guess I've only really been "in the scene" for about 3 years. Well, at least taking it as seriously as I do now. There was about another 3 years before that where it was all random freestyle shows and lurking in the shadows at hiphop nights. It basically used to be a matter of rockin on down to a Brunswick Street open mic night and drinking enough courage to spit something I wrote the night before. Cheap jugs plus open mics multiplied by hungry rappers equals a great night. It's simple math, and it's a damn shame there aren't more of those kind of nights. In that drunky, lurky time I met some great dudes and made some really strong musical connections. Anyway I think I've digressed, 6 years is the answer.
Who are your running mates?
The stupidly talented Matik, who continues to surprise me. There is seemingly no musical style this man can't master. He also manages to pull off the summer scarf look remarkably well. And Pez of course who you probably wouldn't have heard of. haha. Nah man, Pez is a constant source of inspiration. He's really helped me out a tremendous amount over the last few years, legend. Good blokes.
What's coming up in the future?
Hopefully hoverboards. Also A lot of gigs coming up, I love the live performance aspect of music. It really is my favourite part of the whole process. I'm hoping to really get stuck into the live shows this year, especially if this song goes well (hint, hint, request, request). Lately I've been approached to run a few workshops with less fortunate kids and helping them get their ideas out in song form which I'm really looking forward to.I'm definitely a strong advocate of getting your thoughts down on paper, I think it can be very cathartic. And then to give those thoughts a melody, well that's just something else. And of course my debut full length album, which Matik and I are hard at work on. I think people are gonna be stoked with it. We've got quite a few surprises on it. A few unexpected guests, it's going to be ridiculously dope.
Australian music is?
and always will be.
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