How did the new People Under the Stairs album Fun-DMC come about?
This is our sixth album as I hope everyone knows that and we were on tour not too long ago. Me and Thes were backstage and doing what we do and we named the album right there in Australia. We were down there doing a few things and we’re used to going on stages and having fun so we were like, ‘Let’s name it Fun-DMC.’
How much of Fun-DMC was inspired by Run-DMC?
I can’t say much of it. This is what we grew up doing. We have fun onstage and that’s how you rock a show. It’s not like we tried to get into it. That’s what we knew already. Fun-DMC was a joke among me and Thes. It was for cats who were taking it too seriously. It was, ‘Let’s give them that Fun-DMC.’
How do you show growth as a group while still giving fans what the funk and good times they expect and want from People Under the Stairs?
Keeping it funky. Keeping it funky. Our first album, a lot of people like that and all we were doing was looking for funky loops and rapping about what we liked rapping about – drinking beer and having fun and living life. We kept it like that and we’re still updating the funk. We’re not changing in any way, shape or form, man. We’re keeping it funky.
Did you and Thes share production duties on Fun-DMC?
Thes handled most of it and I got a few tracks on there, but we both sat down and picked the beats and listened to the beats that the both of us made and picked the ones that we would rap to. The whole thing is produced by me and Thes One but he made most of the beats for this one.
Did anything change this time around with how you guys work creatively?
Not at all. We were on tour a lot. We were on tour in Australia and a lot of other people and we were joking around backstage. We wanted to do what we do. We felt Stepfather branched us out a little bit. Some people liked it and some people didn’t. But on this one we’re just going back to the fun, what we’re about.
Did Fun-DMC take you guys a long time to record?
Since Stepfather came out we’ve done a lot of touring. We were on tour in Japan. We did two world tours from Australia all the way through Europe and to Japan. A lot of this came on the road. And we buy records on the road. Even though we knew what we were doing, we weren’t planning that next record until Stepfather was released. We were always buying records.
Does touring improve your new music because you’re able to see a lot of cool sights or does it slow you down because you’re not in southern Cali in your own studio?
You got the negative and the plus to that. It improves our shows a lot more. The more we tour the better our show gets as far as improvising and doing shit onstage at night. And you get that hunger to make some more beats and make some more songs. And you’re buying new records and meeting new people and having new experiences. And if shit happens, we’re going to put that in the song. “July 3” was a true story and if something like that happens again we’re going to make a song about it. You get the ups and downs, man. There’s positives and negatives.
What’s it like being on the road with the People?
It’s good, man. It’s a career. It’s what me and Thes have been doing. We can go on the road with the Flobots or the Gym Class Heroes. We’re out there showing them what we do. Sometimes we go through our trials and tribulations but it’s all good.
What inspired your single “Step Back”?
That’s the most hardcore to me right now. I don’t go in the studio with shit. I see what the beat brings out of me and that was some fast-type shit that was braggadocios. I don’t even think about it. I just do it.
The cover to your single shows you with a 40 of Olde English. Have you guys not upgraded to Corona yet?
Actually right now I’m drinking a Corona as we speak. That was for the photo shoot. I drank a lot of Olde English in my day. That’s a representation of what it is and depending on how I’m feeling, I might grab a 40 of OE, no doubt. Me, I’m drinking a nice cerveza right here, Corona.
Are your partying ways slowing down as you get older?
I’m going to just put it like this – the touring doesn’t help. And I’m speaking for myself here. Yeah. I have to keep it to a minimum and at home I can’t get too wild. I have stuff to take care of.
Fun-DMC is also coming with a comic book you wrote. How did you put that together?
Inside jokes and touring. The same thing. Throughout the years, ever since me and Thes have been hanging out, we always got these jokes going on. We were like, ‘We need to make this a comic book.’ This guy in Australia was willing to illustrate it and it has a storyline. You can hear it in our music. We got a lot of jokes, man. Everybody look forward to the comic book. That’s a big part of the album. That’s the fun part of it.
How much will you be touring for Fun-DMC?
As much as they have us tour! We’re going on a tour the 18th or 19th of September. That’s coming up in a couple of weeks. That’s the West Coast part and then there’s the Midwest and the East Coast and Canada. And then we’re trying to hit Australia for their festivals. As much touring as we can do, we’re trying to give it to them.
Do you have any solo ambitions?
I have an album that’s finished. Me and Thes are going to get started on mixing it in the next couple of days. I’m doing a video for it to it too. It’s called The Tech Rider, formerly known as The Minutes to Sobriety. That’s what I’m working on.
A lot of groups, especially from southern California, haven’t been able to release a steady stream of music like People Under the Stairs. What is it about you guys that allows you to do that?
I big up all of the groups out here. We’re all brothers and we’re all repping L.A. The fact that me and Thes are still doing it, we’re repping for all of them. This is just us. We stay true to our fans. You never see us go left with what we do. Every album is us. You don’t have one of us doing something different while the other isn’t. No. We’re doing this for the fans.
How important is it to not chase a hit and do what got you fans in the first place?
We go in the studio and we’re doing what we like. We don’t go in there trying to make music for anybody else. The fans caught on. We got a lot of shows since the beginning in 1998. It’s been 10 years since we’ve been in the game and we’re still going strong.
Do you have any goals for Fun-DMC?
The only goals are to keep touring, keep the fans happy and get it out to as many people as we can, man. I’m not shooting for no first week sales. Neither one of us are. I’m not trying to go gold and I’m not trying to prove shit to nobody. We’re out here trying to put some good shit out to our fans and get some new ones.
If fans want to party like Double K and Thes One, what do you they have to do?
All they have to do is stay funky. That’s it.