Lazy Grey – The Scene Is In Your Head /// Interview

You’ve been at this for a long arse time man, your lyric of “89 that’s the year I dropped my first demo” always sticks out in my mind when you drop new stuff, what keeps you doing this? What keeps the passion going? Clearly in this country it isn’t money haha is it purely passion for the art and putting out shit that you would want to listen to or is it something deeper?

I just love pennin verses and turning ideas into a completed format. The whole process of writing to making beats, arranging to executing it in the booth. When I’ve got my goggles on I can see the big picture. Hearing someone do something very well just gets me G’d up, and I gotta get in and do something.

What got you into rapping so long ago, I remember shopping for hip hop was near impossible in 91 when as an 11 year old I got into it, what made you decide you wanted to actually rap not just listen and how long were you at it before you were comfortable with your music?

The same as a lot of dudes really, The Message, Duck Rock, Beat Street and all that, I just fell in love with the whole thing. Most dudes I knew where ill at painting, I failed miserably so I wanted to contribute something. So I decided to start rapping in grade 7 and I took it very seriously. My brother’s best mate Ben Osbourne (RIP) went to the States in 86/87 and he used to dub tapes and send albums back to us in Australia. All the 7A3’s, Boogie Boys, Dougie Fresh, BDP. We made a pact, when he got back we would form a crew and start recording, so I kept practicing till he got home and it just went from there. I started making wak beats with synths on 4 tracks, dropped a few demos with my crew at the time, but it wasn’t till ‘92 when Hams and Jigsaw Geoff put me on to the whole sampling thing. About ‘94 I started getting real serious with demos. I lived with DJ Damage and he had an ASR10 at the time and we connected with a lot of peeps and fine-tuned our skills. It took another 4 years before Hams, LenOne and myself dropped our first official release in 98 On Tap.

Most people view Banned In QLD as a classic, for mine your second LP is equally as good, but for some reason seems to get slept on when classics are mentioned, for you which is the better album? How did you find the feedback on both when you released them and now further down the track?

To be honest a lot of people fronted on The Soundtrack when it dropped. It was different to what people expected from me and to what I expected that I’d do. I was in a certain place in my life at that time and making a Banned in QLD part 2 just wasn’t going to happen. I had a lot of fun making the album as I usually do. Each time the process is different, no matter how many albums get made.

Dave V would burn me CD’s with a few ideas on them, I’d listen to it that day and pick the ones that stood out to me. After doing that a couple of times it was pretty obvious where the direction of the album was going. After that I wasn’t worried about picking different sounding beats to what I would usually pick. Dave’s crazy approach to producing, plus with some change in content with the rhyme, it started taking shape. It took about a year to complete. I was reading and watching a lot of alternative media at the time and just felt free to create, every night pennin lyrics. Even when it came to recording we tried heaps of different things, different equipment/delivery, everything, so the result was a lot different to Banned in QLD. Banned in QLD I’d prepped a lot of beats and about 30% of the raps at home before going to the Crookneck Studio’s in ADL and creating the whole thing in basically 3 weeks. I mean ample ganja and Hennessey everyday, just living in the studio 24/7. Wake up start drinking, pen a verse. I’d be spittin it in the booth that night, plus commin up with other ideas throughout the day for other tracks. Totally immersed in the moment. BVA made it the perfect environment to make that album what it is. Plus Bias B rolled through, Jake Biz, Ken Oath, LenOne, Auldais and Raph Boogie. It was just a melting pot.

You’ve really basically seen it all in Australian hip hop, from DWC, AKA Bros, Fuglemen, through the Culture of Kings era, the Hoods explosion and now every man and their dog rapping, give us a quick take on the differences between the scene now and then, do you think the growth has improved the product? Or are we at a point now where the market is saturated with weak shit? Did you ever think when you were playing to 5 heads in a bar we would have platinum selling artists in Australia?

I think it’s always getting better; it just depends on what you’re listening to. Yeah, there’s a lot of shit, but why the fuck would you listen it! I’ve always said it; the scene is in your head. If peeps are putting on wak nights and everyone you hear is wak. Stay at home, listen to some good shit, get inspired, and hone your skills, write, and make beats. There’s the scene right there!, And when ya ready to drop some new shit to ya peers and the public , then you know that’s going to be a dope night out. I always knew that something would happen with it, but seeing where it’s gone is still mind blowing. I don’t think that much has change for us to be honest.

You are always mentioned as a king of the scene, literally whenever they are talking about Australia’s most respected rappers, is that something that’s important to you? Also do you feel any pressure or I guess obligation to make sure everything you release is dope and heads get into it? Is your legacy something you want to uphold strongly?

I think it’s great to be respected by your peers, and if some people dig it, it’s a beautiful thing. I don’t really go the whole popularity contest thing. We just do what we do, when we do. There’s always going to be pressure in everything, from trying to write something ill to delivering it well, to performing it and to how you visually present it. You know everyone will judge it; it’s out there for good. At the end of the day I’m making music with my friends, and we put that pressure on ourselves, always competing with one another but creatively.

What have you got cooking for yourself at the moment? Are you working on another long player – the answer to this should be yes for the scenes sake – guest spots, videos, tours, what can we expect? What’s going on with the 750 rebels these days, who’s in the crew who has what cooking what can we expect? I can honestly say you are one of the crews who have never disappointed me with a release from a 12” to a guest spot some I’m always keen for new shit.

Man, we still doing our thing. That’s the foundation and everything we do stems from there, no matter where we put our creative direction. I don’t think you’re going to get a Spit Vicious part 2 twelve inch drop next week, but you will be hearing some music from us in some shape or form in the near future. It’s been a busy 2 to 3 years, working on a project that’s been pretty intense. No solo stuff per say but working on a release with Jake Biz DJ Dcide with Sean B on production, plus Overproof Pete and few guests here and there. More info on that when we finish all the work, we’re in the mixing stage at the mo but still so much to do. After doing the Griz Vs Biz clip with Dolan from DF Des1gn and Travis from the Ozhiphop shop , were onto shooting a second one, which will be out early August on lead up to the release.

You guys played Sprung in your home city, what was the vibe and reaction like for a purely hip hop festival?

We had a lot of fun at Sprung Fest, I didn’t know what to expect. The stages where split into BIG arse stage to a nice size stage. The crowds pretty much reflected the stage size, a lot of people showed love for the crew. You know what stage we were on.

Everyone time Dwiz and co have delivered an ill line up, give the heads who couldn’t get to Brisbane something to be jealous about, and those in Melbourne something to make sure they don’t miss it!

Dwiz and Gil seem to just do shit right. And Stand Up is a pinnacle event to prove this. Some of the things we saw at the Brisbane night we thought we would never see again. The level of quality from the very start all the way through just blew my mind. Everyone was there for the same thing, and I think that just reflects in a good way. Now it’s going to the Corner Hotel, which I fucking love! Sound there is killer. Can’t wait to get it in again.

Is there anything special you have lined up for the Melbourne leg? Can we expect guest spots? Hologram Balboa? What can people who haven’t seen you live expect to see?

You can expect Jake Biz and DJ Dcide killin shit as they always do, and I’ll be trying to do exactly what they are doing. Rebel 750 Overfroof Pete will be hitting the stage and I’m sure Chubz will represent.

When it is all said and done and you are purely a listener, give us the ending to this sentence, Lazy

Grey came into Australian hip hop ……. With a vision to add on, never take away. To do Hip Hop, nothing by any other name, just Hip Hop.