BYO talks rap, beer and molly with Blue Mountains duo Fishing
The first time I saw Russ and Doug from the Australian duo Fishing, they were supporting Alison Wonderland at Splendor in the Grass. At first I was a little bit hostile to them rapping. Despite writing for an Australian Hip Hop magazine for about half a year, I never quite got comfortable with Australian rappers. But I wasn’t hostile for long, because they were fucking sick! I realized very quickly they were something different, their sound worked, they’re voices weren’t annoying, and their lyrics were awesome! They weren’t some blow back to old school Hip Hop, or aspiring to anything in the states, they felt really genuine, like they were just doing what felt right.
A couple of weeks later a friend and I went to Seekae and Fishing’s show in Bondi. For whatever reason we were quite early, and already about 4 drinks deep. Fishing weren’t supposed to be doing their set for a couple of hours, and no one else had arrived yet. While Russ and Doug were doing their sound check, my friend and I went up to the front and hassled them “If anyone else was coming.” They joked that we were it, and then came and talked to us. At first I was just surprised that they weren’t doing the whole bad ass musician thing. Then next minute we were playing a game of pool together, ran into mutual friends, and I realized they were just sick dudes. They’re not fucking with ego wars, or trying to be anything they’re not, they’re just out there to make some good tunes and have fun I think. We hung with them for the rest of the night, told a guy he looked like Flume, almost got into a fight with that flume look a like, and then kicked on to some other bar. I hope Russ was pleasantly surprised when it was that guy from that night who called him up for the following chat.
F Hey man what’s going on?
BYO Not much how are you?
F Yeah I’m good.
BYO Is this like your interview day?
F Yeah. Well I’m not doing tonnes of interviews, I think this is the only one.
BYO What do you usually drink?
F In my life? I think usually... it’s weird to think about what the average drink is that I drink. But probably coffee, which is terrible. I should drink less coffee. But apart from coffee, I like IPA’s. I like Feral Hop Hog Ipa’s, they’re probably my favorite beer.
BYO Where do you usually drink the beer?
F Anywhere in the sun, in the outside, outside places. I prefer rooftops. Also, actually, the best place to drink beer is the Shepherd St Carpark. In Chippendale. Next to the Seymore centre, you can climb up to the top and it’s got a mad view.
BYO Is that ok? With security?
F I’ve been there like 5 times, and the security, if they come, just tell us to go home.
BYO Do you think it’s ironic that you call yourselves fishing but come from the Blue Mountains?
F Not really because the main times that we’re fishing we are in the Blue Mountains. There’s heaps of fishing in the Blue Mountains. You can catch trout and bass. So it’s totally not an ironic name, but a factual representation of our interests.
BYO What is the music scene like in the Blue Mountains?
F To be honest we haven’t really been associated with a scene there. There are a lot of people that make music, quite a few good acts tend to come out of the Blue Mountains, but there’s not a real scene there. It’s sort of like once someone gets to a certain level they just move down to Sydney.
BYO What is your first rhyme you remember making?
F Actually the first time I actually did a rap was for the naughty rappers session. And it was: they call me Chandon, slick, that’s real accurate cos I’m thick. That was the first rhyme I ever made. Because we decided Slick Chandon was my rap name.
BYO Can you rhyme with Orange? (Poridge - Eminem, Florence - MosDef)
F You know I could but I don’t want to give the game away. That’s going to be the highlight at the next show, we’re going to build it all up to doing a rhyme with orange.
BYO Who goes on top?
F Umm... Doug. I don’t know what that means but I’m just going to say Doug.
BYO What’s your creative process like?
F Mainly kind of us, separately, making ideas, then bringing it together. Sometimes we try to just do it from the ground up together but that’s less common.
BYO Where and when do you do most of your work?
F In our bedrooms basically. We actually have a studio that we’re about to move into, that would be sick.
BYO How did you two fall in love?
F There was a mutual love of things, it was all about mutual love I think. We took long walks in the bush, and we had long periods of silence where we felt like we didn’t need to say anything because we were really connected, mind to mind. As we listen to the birds chirping, we felt like we reached a new spiritual plane together.
BYO Where were you when Tupac died?
F I don’t know. When did he die?
BYO Fans aren’t going to like that.
F Maybe leave that one out.
BYO No. People have to know the truth. What’s your favorite BPM?
F At the moment, I’m really getting into... maybe 128, kind of thing. That sweet club vibe BPM. I really like though, 110, that’s kind of chill. But actually I think historically, Fishing songs have been all about the 86-100 realm.
BYO Do you use one BPM as like canvas, then decide later, when you know what the songs going to be
F Usually I’ll just be sitting there making something, and then the BPM comes when I start to play it. I just muck around and do a tap tempo, then it is what it is.
BYO What is your favorite Yeezus track?
F I haven’t actually listened to the whole thing. I don’t know why I haven’t to be honest. I have this mental block when it comes to listening to music that I think I’m going to like, because I just think I don’t want to do it yet.
BYO You are not Yeezus ready.
F I really like Arca, who produced a bunch of the album, so I’m sure I’m going to like it. I just haven’t listened to it yet.
BYO Are you guys tour ready?
F Umm... Kinda. We actually want to prep some new stuff, but we have a lot to do, we don’t actually have places to stay yet. But we are just going to show up and see, it should be interesting. We’re about to tour with Snakadaktal, like 11 shows I think.
BYO Do you fish on tours? And if so how do you take bait/hooks across borders? And If yes, where do you hide your tackle box?
F We have to do more virtual fishing, when we go on tour. Like big Bass hunter Pro kind of thing. Once we were in Melbourne and a guy offered to take us fishing, which we haven’t done, but really want to do.
BYO I feel like that’s important, to get in the right mind set, you should do that.
F Yeah... Pardon?
F What did you say?
BYO I didn’t say anything. I think that spear fishing is better than real fishing, because it’s like one on one, what do think? And how does this relate to your music?
F Ah huh... I think it’s all about creating a balance between spear fishing and regular fishing. Because spear fishing, you know, you’re up there, really intense and you’re right in the middle of the thing. Like in music things are going wild, and you’re inside the song, but you can’t be there all the time, because it gets tiring, and you drown.
BYO *my phone cuts out. *I ran out skype credit. Do you have any more to say on spear fishing v real fishing?
F I was just saying you need a balance, sometimes you got to be in it and sometimes you have to lay back. Have a couple of schooeys. Chill. Chill.
BYO Your music is very rain foresty, do you like deep forest?
F Actually very much so. All about that, what do they call it? Deep house or something… And I actually got into rain forest sounds for a while there.
BYO I like pan flutes.
F Yeah, pan flute records are deceptive though. They’re called like “the Magic of Pan flutes,” and they’re actually kind of terrible. You think they’re going to be wild but it’s just a guy playing kind of regular, western, shitty, popular music on a pan flute.
BYO It’s time pan flutes come onto the fishing set.
F Well there’s actually already a lot of pan flutes in there, they’re just disguised, we play them in a different manner.
BYO I think you need more. What is your album called and when does it “drop”?
F Either we don’t know or it’s a secret, and it’s going to come out, we also don’t know or it’s a secret. It's in the mixing stage now and it'll be out soon, either the end of this year or early next.
BYO How much for your album?
F We wanted to do this thing, where instead of people paying for it, they submit things that they’ve made. Like photos, or something they've written, anything that they make they submit to us and they get a download. Then maybe we can make something with everything people send.
BYO Follow up question, do you barter? Can James and I have a copy for free?
F Yes, and yes. But maybe not for free, maybe you have to send something cool, like a story.
BYO How about an interview?
F Yeah this is it, we’re bartering right now.
BYO Why was this a phone interview? Are you scared of me?
F Was it supposed to be an in person interview?
BYO I don’t know. But I thought maybe you were scared of me.
F Well you do have a word shaved into the side of your head. That’s pretty rough. So I was a bit intimidated.
BYO Could you make me a beat, with your phone key board?
BYO Finish this sentence: popped a molly I’m...
BYO What are some Sydney acts that you want to give a shout out too?
F I was just listening to a band called Shining Bird, who are sick. Cassius select. Cliques. Nakagin. S.O. to everyone.
BYO Would you be interested in collaboration with pond? Because like, you’re called fishing, and you can fish in a pond, you know?
F Of course. For all those reasons. Those are the main reasons. It would probably have to be like a conceptual collaboration. Like one of our tracks would have to be inserted into one of their tracks.
BYO What is your all-time favorite albums?
F That’s tough. That’s a really tough question. I don’t know. I can tell you the album I’m liking at the moment though? I’m listening to Inspiration Information, by Shuggie Otis. Also shoutout Majical Cloudz, that's what I'm into right now.
BYO Thank you. We should do this again sometime.