The Lincoln lads talk about their EP, performing live, their local scene, influences, the backstory and more!
First up, please introduce yourself to our readers.
W: What's up Rap News? This is The Weaver, music producer for Swampfoot!
L: This is Longusto, taking care of all things lyrical in the Swamp. Big up Rap News.
How did you come up with your name and what's a typical day in the life of Swampfoot?
W: This is definitely one for Longusto!
L: The name originated from my plates of meat. Difficult to explain in words. probably best if I just take off my shoes and socks and go from there…
How long have you been making hip-hop and how did you get into it?
W: We've been making it for about 5 years, though I've been producing music for more like 13 years on the D&B circuit. Always been in to Hip Hop though, ever since the early electro stuff.
L: My first tracks were recorded with Elemental and Caruana about 6 years ago in London. Both are heavyweight artists. Soon after that I hooked up with Weaver and set about making some different shit, which has developed into the sound that you hear today.
Have you ever been involved in other elements of the culture besides the music?
W: No, not really, as my time has always been put into my production skills. Always looking to do better man. And to do that you gotta put in the hours.
L: Yeah, my headspin and backflip techniques have suffered a bit through lack of practise recently, which maybe aint a bad thing…
What releases have you dropped so far and how do you feel the scene has received these?
W: We've only released one EP so far which you guys have been good enough to review. It's been received really well, though I think we still got some work to do in raising awareness of what we're doing.
L: Yeah, although the EP's been out for the best part of a year, it's really only been starting to get recognition in the last couple months. 'Seen To Be Believed' is being featured on a couple of mix tapes, and it should lead up nicely to the album release. Once the album is complete we can switch out attention to touring with it to help with getting the word out. But yeah, all good on the whole.
How would you generally describe the vibes of your music?
W: It's my job to get the heads nodding, though I work with some really talented instrumentalists. The vibe on the most part is dance floor with an original live sound. I don't like working with many samples and try to keep things sounding fresh, with a dark edge.
L: Live instruments play a big part in our sound, and like Weaver said, it's all about the dark edge in the tracks. I love rapping over sinister beats.
On your EP there's some hints of influences from other genres. What music outside of rap do you enjoy?
W: I love everything and anything … If someone says 'what music do you like?', I reply 'good music'. It's as simple as that. Obviously my drum and bass background has had a direct influence in my production, but there are also elements of funk and rock in the tracks too.
L: My ears are always open to different music. I can find inspiration for songs in lots of stuff, although I mainly I only really listen to hip hop. All depends on the mood Im in though. I don't wanna freestyle over Coldplay but at the same time I don't wanna fuck my bird with Tommy Evans' voice in my head. That's just wrong!
Where are you based and what's the local hip hop activity like?
L: We are all based in Lincoln and the scene here is self-made. We run a semi regular night called Longuistics, which is an exclusively live UK hip hop night in the city centre. Had a lot of quality acts there and all of them tore it up. Also shouts to the Heavy Links crew, who run another open mic type monthly get together. Other than that there is nothing in the way of a scene. It's all sickly sweet R&B DJ's and Ritzy chicks round here.
Are there any UK hiphop artists you're a particular fan of and would love to collaborate with one day?
L: I've been lucky enough to collaborate with the Menagerie in Brighton on their debut album 'Wild Kingdom'. As far as rhymes and beats go, look no further than those boys, they're heavy!
W: An obvious choice for me would be Roots Manuva, just for getting paid on what he's doing, while keeping it fresh and original! We've got 16 bars waiting for him! Haha.
Do you do many live shows and what goes down at one of your performances?
L: We've done a lot of live shows all over, although things have been relatively quiet in the last couple of months while we put the finishing touches on the album. Our live show is made up of the full Swampfoot crew, 6 of us in total. Myself and MC Bones on the mic, DJ Dimes on the cuts, Weaver with live production and samples, Manny on live guitar and vocals and the irrepressible Dr.Badfunk on vocal percussion.
We incorporate everything into the performance: tracks, freestyling, accapellas, beatbox solo showcases, and also have crowd participation where the audience build their own track. So yeah, expect a bit of everything! Except impromptu stage dives. That is, my 16 stone frame and students heads don't tend to go well together.
W: Must say Big B's accapella is a must see, he always makes new friends with this one!
Your new video is extremely enjoyable. How did you hook up with the director for that?
L: Dan Medhurst is a photographer who went to uni for a while in Lincoln. We hooked up through the Longuistics night when he did a bit of DJ'ing for us. I think the video was for a project he was doing, so he set it up and we did it. It took a while, as trying to get us all in the same place at the same time is easier said than done, but it's finished now and we're pleased with the results. People can check it at http://www.danmedhurst.com/swampfoot.htm Worth having a proper look round the site as well, he's a very talented artist.
How do you feel the internet has helped you to increase the exposure of your music?
L: I think its helped a lot to reach people who we wouldn't have done otherwise. Word spreads fast on internet and that can only be a good thing, unless its that video of me and the ex, which was an extremely humiliating, embarrassing and ultimately bad experience.
Do you have a website which we can visit to keep up to date with you on?
L: Indeed, all the info is on www.swampfoot.co.uk – It's got loads of stuff on there. New and old tracks, instrumental beats for emcees to rhyme over, video clips of live shows and a comedy store of various pranks and acts of tomfoolery played on unsuspecting members of the public. Check out 'Wiggas Wit Attitude' – our very own version of 'Fuck Da Police' performed to a couple of random Lincoln constables, its fresh.
Do you wanna make any shout out's or plugs before this wraps up?
W: Shout's to the Swamp Crew – Mani, Bones, Dimes, The Bad Funk. Shouts to Shwazney for the musical support and many hooks. Shout to Stomp and all the DTO boys.
L: Yeah shouts to all Longuistic heads, Heavy Links, Menagerie fam, Twin Lizard, Fister Men, everyone attending the shows and buying the wax, its all appreciated. Keep checking for the album when it drops next year. Also big ups to Tee for sorting this interview out, Rap News is on point!