2015年7月15日 星期三

[Exclusive] Main Attrakionz (Oakland) 獨家訪談 Interview 2015

這次email interview對象是來自奧克蘭的饒舌團體"Main Attrakionz",由於是兩個人一起訪問、所以文章的字數會有點多。

Main Attrakionz 由 Mondre M.A.N. (原名Damondre Grice) 與 Squadda B (原名Charles Glover)所組成,從2010年出道至今以來發行超過10張以上的mixtape以及四張專輯,最新作品"808s & Dark Grapes III"在今年六月發行,也獲得了不錯的迴響。他們獨特的風格也被人稱做是"Cloud Rap",引用專業的說法就是"a splinter sound that's ethereal and often hooked around cascading synth lines and amorphous beats",簡單說的話就是他們的音樂很ㄎㄧㄤ

1. What's the origin of Main Attrakionz? How did you guys meet & form up the group?

你能說明一下Main Attrakionz的起源是什麼?
Squadda B (以下簡稱SB):The origin of Main Attrakionz resides in North Oakland, California in a now replaced middle school then named Carter Middle School. I was very shy about my rapping abilities, though i've used them since Elementary writing rap and rock songs for others in my head and ghostwritting for freestyle battle rappers in 6th grade! I met Mondre and was told by him that he had a rap group already that I could join, and I was down. It was four of us and we were named ourselves The Four Figures. Did a bunch of talent shows together, and slowly it became just Mondre and I going after school to make more music. 
The name actually comes from us meeting Shady Blaze for the first time. During the end of The Four Figures era me and Mondre, who called ourselves Cash Out Soldiers, were told that it was somebody in Oakland who we could record with and make good stuff with. We were driven to Shady Blaze's house where we made a song or two and came up with a name. Out of a brainstormed list of names we wrote down, Main Attrakionz was the one we stuck with. We never saw Shady again since that day and just decided to steal the name as our own and keep on rocking. Fast forward to today and we're back making music with Shady and still conquering new grounds musically and in life.
Main Attrakionz是來自北奧克蘭的團體,最早發跡於Carter Middle School。在學校的時候我非常羞於表達自己的饒舌技巧,儘管我從國小的時候就開始替別人寫歌(饒舌或搖滾都有)、也幫別一些freestyle battle rappers寫詞 - 當時我才六年級!後來我在學校遇見了Mondre,他告訴我他自己有個饒舌團體、並邀請我一起加入,我義不容辭地答應了。當時總共有四個人,我們稱自己的團名為"The Four Figures",一起做了幾場才藝表演,但是在畢業後,只剩下我和Mondre繼續下去。 
至於為什麼會取名為Main Attrakionz? 這是我們第一次遇見製作人Shady Blaze時他幫我們取的。當The Four Figures逐漸解體、只剩下我和Mondre時,我們兩人自稱為"Cash Out Soldiers",我們聽說奧克蘭那邊有一個傢伙可以幫我們做歌、而且都是屌貨,於是我們便驅車前往Shady Blaze的家裡,做了一兩首歌之後,大家坐在一起一同腦力激盪,寫下了一串團名.... 結果其中Main Attrakionz這個名字深植我們腦海。自從那一天之後,我們就沒機會再見到Shady,於是我們打算先把這名字偷過來使用......一直到今天,大家又再聚首一起做音樂、Shady的音樂也依舊持續在創新。
 2. You just drop the album "808s & Dark Grapes III". Can you talk about the whole concept of 808s & Dark Grapes series? How did you come up with the creative process? What's the difference between "808s & Dark Grapes III" and previous albums?

你們剛推出了新專輯"808s & Dark Grapes III",這個系列作品的概念與發想過程是什麼?與前面幾張作品又有什麼不同?

Mondre M.A.N. (以下簡稱MM):You know shout out ta Kanye wit da 808s & heartbreaks but we just put our lil twist on it an call it dark grapes, the first 1 was pose to be an auto tune album but da protools died on us so we lost lotta songs but we put da remaining songs we still had an called 808s 1 which took off and to da 2nd which dropped wit mishka & that did well which led up to da 3rd. 
808s 3 is all produced by Friendzone much love to dem, but we just recorded a bunch of songs at their place & picked da best 1s out. Im pretty sure alotta people gon notice its different from our previous releases. 808s 3 OUT NOW go cop dat! 
SB:I thought it was just funny. 808s and Heartbreak was the latest thing that was out and I saw something with a bud in it or something, something inspired me to get a graphic designer to get them to put that bud in the middle of the cover. Due to drugs, I have no memory on what influenced it but we did it as a joke and made a lost tape out of it. Back then we would get ideas and just run with them. Somehow someway we decided to name another mixtape 808s and Dark Grapes and it blew up a bit, became our most known and loved mixtape. 
People seemed to gravitate towards Friendzone's tracks on 808s and Dark Grapes II and started to ask for a full FZ/MA project so we gave it to them. AND named it 808s and Dark Grapes III. Fun times! This project is different than others because really besides myself being our sole producer this was the first project to my memory where we really REALLY locked in with just one production team. We created Jeffro at FZ's house, Jeffro was the only project besides this one that I can think of that we dedicated to just one producer's sound! And it's our most crafted project EVER we never redid any songs or really focused our time on anything ever.
Main Attrakionz & Friendzone
MM:你知道的...這概念起源自Kanye West的專輯"808s & heartbreaks",然後我們稍作修改成dark grapes (一種大麻品種)。第一集原本我們也想全部做成auto tune的風格,但是沒想到pro tools軟體掛點了,我們一些作品就這麼消失不見,但還是決定把剩下的作品集合在一起推出,成為了"808s & Dark Grapes I",接著又與服飾品牌Mishika推出第二集,反應相當不錯!於是我們又有了製作第三集的想法。808s第三集全部歌曲都由"Friendzone"製作,非常感謝他們,我們在他們的錄音室裡做了一堆歌曲、再精挑細選出最棒的。我敢保證很多人聽了之後一定也會發現箇中差異之處,總之,808s 3已經發行了!快去買! 
SB: 我覺得這非常有趣,當時"808s and Heartbreak"是當時最夯的專輯,而我不知怎樣總覺得這封面應該改成一坨大麻...總之就是有某種強烈念頭讓我去請了一個設計師畫出這封面。而也因為抽了大麻,我完全沒印象當下製作過程的發想是怎麼來的,我們算是在惡搞出一張專輯,後來用lost tape的形式發表出來。我們以前就是想到什麼點子、就做下去就對了,不知怎地我們就把這mixtape取名為"808s and Dark Grapes",然後大受好評,成為了我們最受歡迎的一張mixtape。 
808s and Dark Grapes II,我們發現聽眾非常喜愛Friendzone製作的作品,而且也希望我們做一張Friendzone X Main Attrakionz的合作計畫 - 於是 808s and Dark Grapes III 誕生了,這製作過程真的是很有趣!第三集聽起來就是與眾不同, 因為這是我們與一個製作團隊、全心全意一起做出一張作品。以前我們有一張"Jeffro"也是在Friendzone的家裡完成的,除了808s第三集之外、Jeffro是我們另一張與單一製作人做出來的音樂。而808s 3絕對是我們至今為止最用心、完成度最高的作品,我們沒有重做、修改過任何一首歌曲。

3. You collaborated with ASAP Rocky on the track "Leaf (Take 1)". How did that happen? How's the experience working with him?

你們曾經與ASAP Rocky合作過單曲"Leaf (Take 1)",這怎麼發生的?合作經驗如何?

MM:shout out to da whole Asap Mob r.i.p Yams. but yu know i guess da big homie reached out ova da internet & then it went from there wich was a great expirience. Harlem world to da Bay aha. 
SB:He reached out through the internet early in his career and it's been one of the biggest blessings to see that man rise and shine in the music industry it's super feel good type memory in my life. He's cool and focused so it's really nothing to work with types like that. Can't wait to have the experience again!

MM:感謝ASAP Mob全部的人!Yams願你安息。你知道嗎? 我想我們當初是用網路跟ASAP Rocky聯繫上的,然後這合作過程相當棒。Harlem world to da Bay aha! 
Main Attrakionz, ASAP Mob, SPACEGHOST PURRP, Mac Miller

4. Main Attrakionz has been known as the pioneer of "cloud rap" movement. Lots of Taiwanese know nothing about "cloud rap". Can you interpret the meaning of "cloud rap" in your own words?

Main Attrakionz被人稱做是"cloud rap"的先驅,但是很多臺灣人完全不了解"cloud rap"是什麼,請你們解釋一下它的定義是什麼?

SB:Close to god! If anything in future gets called that I just know it means made of god! Really it was just a sound Lil' B started with Clams and the world went nuts with. I don't know why they call us that personally because all of our music though has the same vibe, is very varied. Cloud!
MM:CLOUDD! haha its dat shit dat you can trust 
SB:這種音樂可以讓你接近上帝!如果以後有音樂被稱作cloud rap、我會說這一定是上帝做出來的,說實在的,這其實是Lil' B先喊出來的名詞、然後全世界就跟著瘋狂了。我也搞不懂為什麼他們要這樣稱呼我們,儘管我們的音樂聽起來都有一樣的氛圍、但還是相當千變萬化,Cloud!
MM:CLOUDD! 哈哈 這種音樂就是品質保證啦 
5. To me, Main Attrakionz has a distinct sound & creative style...It's hella DOPE. Can you talk about your music style? Who inspires you the most when making music? And Squadda..you produce beats as well, could you talk about your production style & what kinds of software/instruments you like to use?

就我自己的觀點而言,Main Attrakionz的風格相當特殊,聽起來也很棒。你們可以介紹一下嗎?是誰影響你們?此外,Squadda...你除了饒舌之外也會製作beats,能否談談你的製作風格以及愛用的音樂軟體/樂器?

SB:I love music with all of me. Listening to my favorite The Strokes album "Room On Fire" as I do this interview! Me and Mondre are big fans of music period, whatever is going on in the world musically has a ill effect on us. We would be in my room just vibing to music all day all night getting loaded and trying new things in my closet. That's what it was back then. I'm inspired by the fact that music plays such a close connection with everyone's lives. I'm learning to take that as fact and to take it serious. People have told me about how our music has done things for them so I just want to continue having that effect. 
I use fruityloops, ableton to record sounds out of keyboards or anything, live instruments, I got a mpd and looking to put down on a MPC. I use a lot of manipulations of sound. Just got a CDJ that I can keep my childhood alive with. Put CDs in there and play with sounds and record them. I don't ever want to stop trying with the sounds!
MM:when it comes to da style i just wana b da Greatest at what i do so i strive for dat. & da World is my influence.
SB:我愛所有的音樂。在做這個訪談的同時,我正聽著我最愛的The Strokes專輯"Room On Fire"!總而言之,Mondre和我都很愛聽音樂,任何在這世界上的音樂都會對我們造成影響。我們會關在房間裡,一整天去感受著音樂,然後去嘗試創作出一些新東西來,我們以前的日子就是這樣度過的。我深刻體會到音樂與人的生活是緊密連結的,我也把這當作很重要的一件事,有時歌迷說我們的音樂對他造成了多大的啟發....這會讓我想要再繼續做出如此有影響力的音樂。 
平時我都使用fruityloops, ableton,也使用鍵盤、現場樂器,我自己有一台MPD、也準備要入手MPC。我用了很多不同聲音上的操作,最近才剛買了CDJ、這讓我以前的兒時回憶又回來了,我會把CD丟進去、放出聲音,然後錄製下來。我從來都不會停止去挖掘新的聲音。
 6. From mobb music, gangsta rap, to Hyphy... Hip Hop has deep roots in Oakland (such as Digital Underground, Hieroglyphics..etc). Are you into those hip hop music from your hometown?

從mobb music, 幫派饒舌, Hyphy...嘻哈音樂在奧克蘭有很深的根源(例如Digital Underground或是Hieroglypghics),你們喜歡自己家鄉的音樂嗎?

SB:Yes! Started off with the Mob, rest in peace to the jack, much love to Hus RobbieL, AP,Feddy everyone Rydah too. Loved Hyphy to death, but i'm coming around to the Hiero's and everyone else who had the indie grind. Ezale's doing his thing out here representing the culture we grew up on, I wanna bring back the instrumentation that a Too $hort used to use in all of his music. I wanna make real music too. I was born in LA just like Too $hort too and am a Taurus like him too, I mess with Short on the music tip! I just love good music I don't care where you are from, but of course being in the bay area and hearing what everybody plays out their cars out here has had an influence on me.
MM:Most defently, all that paved the way an had sum type of effect on me comin up nda town.
SB:是的!先說說Mob音樂....Jacka願你安息,much love to Hus RobbieL, AP, Feddy 以及 Rydah!我愛死Hyphy音樂了,但我也成長於Hiero以及其他獨立的地下饒舌音樂。Ezale從我們還小的時候就一直在努力、代表著奧克蘭的嘻哈文化。此外,我也想去使用Too $hort以前音樂裡面所用過的樂器,我想把那種真正的音樂做出來,我和Too $hort一樣、都是在洛杉磯出生,也和他一樣是金牛座,我也很認同他對音樂的見解。我就是喜愛好音樂,我不在乎一個歌手哪裡來的,但是當然了...生活在灣區,聽見人們的車子裡播著當地的音樂,都帶給我許多啟發。  
7. What do you want to achieve in your career?
SB:I want to achieve change in our culture. Or at least what I consider "my" culture. The things I grew up on and love about music. The views on the world I have I want to instill through my music. I want people to know that we are all putting things into the universe and using our powers for good and bad and it's a struggle, and to live through the struggle is the prize.  
MM:everything that comes with it pretty much
8. Internet gives young artists more opportunities to get exposure..but also brings damages as well (such as online streaming). How do you leverage it and overcome the challenges? Are there any suggestions or advices to other young upcoming artists?


SB:Yes this is what I was speaking on about culture. Nobody is releasing DVDs!! Nobody is watching DVDs!! What happened to the cool ass DVD covers you'd read and look at the pictures on and get hyped to go home and see what they're talking about? Internet changed the culture. 
With changes there's of course advantages and disadvantages. It gives you platform, but also, It gives you the platform. Everybody doesn't need the platform right away. Some of us like to sharpen our tools and come out hard. With the internet it's the devil. It's that urge to just put out whatever because everyone is right there with there mouse or finger ready to click at any moment. And Main Attrakionz def got lost in the sauce of that. It's not necessarily all bad because alot of the music people got they were pleased with. But me personally i'm def not pleased that all of our songs got released on the same platform as our actual good songs! But it's life, and people like those songs too and I would never take that back. Also, your young, and the internet is kind of forever. A lot of the things you do or say, can, and will come back to get you.
MM:i just keep doin yall & dont stop!
SB:一點都沒錯,好比現在竟然沒人在發行DVD!也沒人在看DVD!這到底是怎麼一回事,DVD的封面酷斃了,你會先去閱讀、觀看封面的照片,然後在回家的路上保持著興奮的心情、回家再一探究竟。結果網路的興起把我們的文化都改變了。在這樣的變化之下,帶來了好處與壞處。網路帶給你一個平台....但是不是每個人都馬上需要這平台,有些人需要先自己好好磨練之後再出來混。網路的興起帶來許多邪惡之處,它逼使歌手不論成品好壞、就直接先丟上去發表,因為網路上有太多人、無時無刻都等著下載新音樂。Main Attrakionz也曾經一樣迷惘過,但這也不全然是壞事,因為我們以前丟上網路的音樂也讓許多人感到滿意。但是我自己還是不太滿意....我們以前把所有的歌曲、連著真正優質的作品,全部都丟上同一個平台發表。不管怎樣這就是人生必經的路,雖然人們也還蠻喜愛我們的歌,但是我以後也不會再這樣搞了。此外,給你們這些年輕的晚輩們,網路以後一直都會存在,所以必須要謹言慎行,很多事情你做過的或說過的....以後都會回過頭纏上你。
9. What are your top 5 albums of 2015 so far? Of course, "808s & Dark Grapes III" is on my list! 請挑選2015年最佳五張專輯
SB:Main Attrakionz - 808s & Dark Grapes III
         Lil Reese - Supa Savage 2
         Ralo - Famerican Gangster
         Bloody J - Blatlanta 3
         Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
MM:haha thank u that means a lot, but man top 5 albums for 2015 i really cant call it rite now.
10. Any future plans? 有什麼未來計劃?
MM:More MUSIC! thanks for reachin out homie shout out to Taiwan! Yerrrrrrp 更多的音樂!感謝這次訪談,shout out to Taiwan!  
11. Where can we follow your music?
www.twitter.com/squaddab  https://twitter.com/mondreman