Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Interview: Sims (of Doomtree)

By Melissa Bordeau

photo credit: prentice danner
Minneapolis-based indie hip-hop collective Doomtree will be in town this Friday, December 21st to play Metro ($17, 18+, tickets here). In advance of the show, Windy City Rock had the opportunity to talk with Doomtree's Sims about their recently released album No Kings, their DVD Team the Best Team and their favorite pizza place in Chicago.

“Doomtree Bangarang, all these rappers sound the same, beats? sound the same, raps? sound the same,” goes part of the chorus of "Bangarang" off No Kings. Doomtree’s influential verses and their perfect blend of pulsating and sinister beats make them a group unique from other rappers on the scene. Each of the seven members--Sims, Dessa, Cecil Otter, Paper Tiger, Mike Mictlan, P.O.S., and Lazerbeak--is also a solo artist, making their own music and playing their own shows, but the individuals always manage to make time for Doomtree. One has to wonder what the creative process is when the seven strong individuals come together to make an album. How do they manage to make everyone happy? Well, find out the answer to that question and others below and then be sure to catch Doomtree live on Friday.

WCR: Can you explain what Doomtree stands for?

Nothing Really

Well, how did you guys come up with the name?

Well, my favorite thing about P.O.S. is that he is always saying random things; it was one of the random phrases that came out of his mouth.

Your Doomtree Team the Best Team DVD was just released; what are you hoping that viewers will take away after watching the DVD?

I hope people enjoy it, find it entertaining and humorous. It’s explaining what it’s like to be an indie musician, touring all of the time--that life isn’t necessarily glamorous, but it’s fun. It’s a story about being an indie musician and how it is similar to every job--there's parts you like, parts you don’t like. If you weigh out the up and down of your job and the up is better than the down, then it’s worth it. People have an idea that being a musician kicks ass all the time.

How do you keep your concerts fresh, fun, and lively when they are repetitive (for example: The Doomtree Blowout 8 tour is three nights in a row at the same venue First Ave, Minneapolis)?

I guess it’s that tour mentality. We are used to playing two hour sets every night, 17 nights in a row, with drives in between. You get conditioned in that way, keep your voice good, keep your energy good. We change the set every night and experiment other options.

Can you describe the creative process of making songs within the group?

The process changes--it’s an ever evolving process. Someone would make a beat, a couple people would pair off, or all of us would, to write. The process took a very big evolutionary step in the making of No Kings. All the beats were made as a collective, and the way we wrote was totally different; we weren’t concerned about having every person on every track. We just sat and wrote together for the first time ever. It had to do with knowing how to write songs more effectively, letting go of your ego, and relating to a crew mentality, and having confidence in that mentality. 

Your music video for "Bangarang" is hilarious. Where did the idea come from?

Isaac Gale, the director of the music video, came up with the idea. He thought it would be hilarious, wanted the video to be loose and fun. The song is not a serious song, so we wanted the music video to reflect that.

If you had to pick one artist/band that is the exact opposite of Doomtree who would it be?

Backstreet Boys. Shout out to Aaron Carter, Nick Carter, Derrick Carter, all the Carters…

Each member of Doomtree is a solo artist apart from the group. When playing Doomtree shows do you ever play songs that are specific to an individual artist?

We always do solo material in a Doomtree set. We enjoy playing Doomtree songs, but are most driven by our solo material. It is more personalized, we care about it more. The way we keep it fresh and keep Doomtree fun, is focusing mostly on our solo careers, it becomes more fun when we are together as a group.

Doomtree retreated to Wisconsin to make the No Kings album--how long did it take to create it?

It took about five days to write all the lyrics and the songs. The beats had been getting worked on for months before then. Two weeks later (after the lyrics and songs were written) we had final mixes. We set the release date for the album before even writing one song. This put a lot of pressure on us, but also was good motivation. 

Your show in Chicago at the Metro is on 12/21/2012, the “end of the world." If the world were to end that day what would be the last song you would want to play?

"This Is How We Do It", Montell Jordan

Are you excited to go to Chicago?

Always. Chicago is the best, one of my top five favorite cities. I like the ridiculous tourist stuff, going to Garrett's, Giordano’s. I like getting into arguments with the Chicago natives about the best pizza places (Giordano’s being Sim's favorite).

What’s one thing you wish people knew about Doomtree that they don’t know now?

That we are fucking awesome!

No comments:

Post a Comment