Sunday, 21 August 2011 Interviews
Ice Warriors recently released their self-titled EP to much praise here at sardless.com. We were lucky enough to have Ice Warrior Tob answer a few questions.
row1: What's the background behind the Ice Warriors group? Are you strictly a space rap only group?
Tob: Haha, no we bring it back down to earth most of the time. Ice Warriors was initially a solo side project that I started in 2006 and grew to more. As for the group, we've known each other for years and this became something we could all combine on. But not all our music is alien. We just felt like this was a great way to do something different than what was going on in hip-hop - which was a lot of bullshit.
row1: Are you all Dr. Who fans? Why did you decide to go with the Ice Warriors story?
Tob: I guess you could say we are now. I don't think any of us knew who or what the hell Dr. Who was at first really. I just liked the name "Ice Warriors". But you got to check things like that before moving forward. When I did I stumbled upon the original stories, to be honest, I loved the shit. So ahead of its time. With all the weather disasters that were going on at that time (2005) I figured doing an album based on such it would be taken more serious than just a fictional album about space. So yeah we are Who fans now most definitely. But only the older era ones. The new school is too formulaic like most sci-fi projects these days.
row1: Besides Dr. Who, were there any other inspirations for the album?
Tob: Obviously Kool Keith is not only a part of the album, but a large inspiration for it also. I have a lot of respect for him and what he's done for hip-hop and music in general. There was a period of time when every rapper was just coming out with the same thug bullshit. Thousands of Tony Montanas with mics. Keith remained true and kept it hip-hop and innovative always. Opened a lot of doors, and a lot of minds. Other inspirations for the EP came from the fact we all live in areas where the winters are cold, snowy. Most of the group is from Massachusetts, some from New Hampshire and producer Wermonster is from Berlin, Germany. Big up to Prince Paul also who I think made the greatest concept album of all time (A Prince Among Thieves).
row1: How did you get Kool Keith to appear on the album? Were you worried about having him on the album and people comparing it to Dr. Octagon, Black Elvis, other?
Tob: No worries at all. Whether good or bad, to be named in same sentence is an honour regardless. I don't think we've quite reached that level yet though. As for connecting with Keith, I kept thinking it would be a great idea to get him on a track and really solidify the album. Spoke to his manager, and eventually to him about the project, took care of business end and he was on board.
row1: Did Kool Keith have any particular thoughts or comments about following down his path of space rap?
Tob: Not really. I was straight with Keith from the start and let him know that we weren't trying to steal something he created or make money off his name. We just wanted to make music that played out like a movie to the listener and left them thinking. He was down with that.
row1: Over the past few years there seems to be more 'geek' culture albums (video games, sci-fi, etc) released to the more traditional hip-hop fans i.e. not to the MC Frontalot audience. Am I making this up or are more and more people starting to embrace their inner-geek?
Tob: Ha I don't know really. Maybe I missed some? Because I don't remember much dropping recently. I don't listen to any "nerdcore". So I'm not real familiar with those artists. I know my man Mister Jason just dropped a LP called Frankensteez thats well worth the pickup and a similar taste more aimed at the traditional golden era hip hop fans. So yeah I don't know, maybe you'll have to put me on to some of these other releases.
row1: Are there any future plans for the Ice Warriors? Would you want to do a follow up to the Ice Warriors EP or something completely different?
Tob: There are. We plan to follow up with hopefully a full length of all new material and some cuts that were recorded that didn't make the EP. But that won't be coming to form until late 2012. As for now, I am working on a project with Busy Bars from Boston.
row1: Finally, is there anything else that you would like to let people to know about?
Tob: Yeah. I want to thank everyone who downloaded/bought/blogged the EP and helped us out with getting the word spread.
Thanks to Tob for taking the time to answer the above questions. Ice Warriors is a fantastic album and is out now!