Pat Stash and Young Max spared some time to talk about how they met, their dope debut album 'Freakishly Strong', forthcoming projects and the UK's hiphop scene.
First up, please introduce yourselves and tell us where you're from?
Young Max: Yeah, this is Young Max originally from Halifax, West Yorkshire, but really a Hebden boy. Big up Zoo Yorkshire.
Pat Stash: Yep, Pat Stash a.k.a Patty Deposits from Forest Gate, East London.
How did you guys hook up and what part of the UK are you based in now?
Young Max: Met in Brighton and that's where the whole Diggers thing got up an' started. That's where Zebra Traffic is, but we're still reppin' the whole long distance steez. I'm based back up north now.
Pat Stash: We met up at Sussex University and had three years intensive drinking before making any good tunes. That place just gave us so much jokes and we made bare friends. Me and Max were the hiphop people in our house (Kent House brrrrrap). I'm back in the smoke now and not enjoying it.
For the few that haven't heard your stuff, how'd you describe your music?
Young Max: Either 'Freakisly Strong' or totally shit dependin' how my days going. Sample based hiphop. Dunno really, a bit weird…
Pat Stash: Our shit is basically in the tradition of underground hiphop. We try not to take ourselves too serious, and our lyrics represent our lives. Digging, rapping, drinking, having jokes, being a dosser, being a worker, feeling sorry for ourselves, having good friends and family.
How long did you spend trying to get signed before the Zebra Traffic deal came about?
Young Max: You can have this one Patty. Tell 'em about the whiskies.
Pat Stash: One of the tunes we made at Sussex before we made good tunes was this tune called '500 Whiskeys'. It was inspired by us winning a battle (which is totally unheard of if you have heard me freestyle) and spending the prize money by trying to drink 20 whiskeys each. Basically, a guy who was doing some A&R for Zebra heard it about 2 years later and liked it so we did a new demo for them which was 'Diggers Don't Get days Off', 'That's Why' and 'For The Haters'.
How did you feel the 'Freakishly Strong' release was received by the scene?
Young Max: Been mega pleased with all the press, an' also with what people around about the gaffe have had to say to us. Pretty surprised to be honest. Safe to everyone who's given' us props at the shows. Still lovin the love…
Pat Stash: To be honest, I'm not sure what the 'scene' thought about it. I know a lot of the magazines and DJ's were feeling it, but I don't know what artists thought about us or our album. I'd like to know 'cause I thought there were certain weaknesses about the album that weren't really brought out in the press. And it's artists who see that stuff. I don't think enough people bought it for us to be smug about the reception it got.
Do you consider it as your debut album or a compilation of the previous releases with a few extra's?
Young Max: Yeah, it is kinda like a collection of singles. Think the next one will be more of a complete 'album'. More funny interludes an' that.
Pat Stash: I still consider it our debut album because more people bought the CD as an album than bought the first EP. The situation with 'Freakishly Strong' is the same with a lot of people's first thing.
What material have you been working on and when do you reckon a new release will drop?
Pat Stash: We've been working on our new album which should be out later this year, but we're not trying to rush it and it's difficult recording when we live fucking hundreds of miles away from each other. It's all recorded up at Max's on the Mountaintop. It's gonna feature more collaborations and a couple of other producers.
Young Max: Yeah, been working on the new album, but before that's out we've got a remix on the new Alice Russell 12" out on Tru Thoughts. That's out now and we're mega pleased with how it turned out, an' the response we've been getting with that. Also, we've got two tunes on the new 'Dugout' EP on Zebra Traffic which is about to drop. That's big. 'The Drink' is on there and 'Will You' from the album. We've got a little Dilla Dub white label thing coming at some point. There's also a mixtape from my up north crew Northern Property, an' Pat's on there as well. We've been pretty busy, man.
Can you let us in on what some of the new sounds and verses you've done so far are saying?
Young Max: Sayin' give up your day job and become a british rapper. It's 'mazin, you'll be flossin in about five minutes an' never need to stress about anything ever again. Seriously, been workin on not rappin' about rappin' as much. Y'know? Just comin' with proper concepts and songs.
Pat Stash: Saying that, there is still lots of rapping about rapping. But more thorough songs. I think the album is going to be quite a sentimental type affair with some funny interlude shit and some traditional 'I'm really good' tunes.
How much time do you clock up digging these days and what spots can you recommend to the wannabe beatsmith's out there?
Young Max: Done fuck all diggin' for a few weeks 'cause I'm massively skint. Baddun. Wanna lend us a tenner? If you're a wannabe beatsmith, my advice is go and buy Dilla's entire back catalogue, listen to it, cry for a few weeks, then get back to someone else who knows more about the diggin' spots.
Pat Stash: Bruv, it hurts me so much not being able to dig 'cause of being brass. I buy less stuff nowadays 'cause I know what type of shit I'm looking for to achieve a certain sound, ya get me? If you are just starting out making beats, then find the cheapest source of records you can find such as relatives collections, or local charity shops. Buy up a lot of records and make a lot of stuff. It's the only way to get to know what records you are into and what sound you're trying to get.
What's the dirtiest thing about you both?
Young Max: Pat is the dirtiest thing about us both.
What releases and artists from the UK have you been enjoying the most lately?
Young Max: Been lovin' Supa T, Broke'n'English, Konny Kon, Cappo, Micall Parknsun, Rup, TY. Quite a lot of stuff. LG is killin' it with the beats.
Pat Stash: I like that new Foreign Beggars stuff, I think that Metropolis guy is heavy. Feeling Beat Butcha. Also T.B from Walthomstow. I liked that Emmanuel thing with Braintax. I also like the Mitchell Brothers and wish that people would stop hating on them 'cause they have got more personality that most of these 'battle' and 'hard spitting' mans out there put together. It's about more than skills.
What words of advice would you offer an up and coming artist or rap outfit trying to get his first break?
Young Max: Er… just put the time in. When you've got stuff you an' your mates are feelin', give out just the best couple of tracks an' see what happens. Doing live stuff definitely helps too, just to get your shit together.
Pat Stash: Do a demo CD but don't put fucking 500 tracks on it. It puts people off straight away. If you've got a lot of tunes, narrow it down to the best few with the help of people whose opinion you value.
Do you guys get out much on the live circuit and are there any dates you can let people know about?
Young Max: Yeah man, we're doing a bunch of dates. If you're on the t'internet they're all up on the ol' myspace…
Pat Stash: April 14th in Oxford at the Cellar Bar is the next one. Don't be surprised by how ugly and awkward we are. Expect it.
What websites and Myspace pages should we be checking for all the latest on Dirty Diggers?
Wanna put out any plugs or shout out's?
Diggers: Er, spose just if you wanna actually buy summat, that's at www.etchshop.co.uk
Young Max: Big up all the crew. Northern Property, Brimham, Kent House, Cali Fam, 42, 3 manz, Ex-scally, Zebra, Brighton, my Hebden Peeps, the usual oscar speech list…
Pat Stash: Erm, I always leave people out so big up everyone who's safe with me. And Max.
Cheers again for ya time guys. Take it easy.
Young Max: Ta very much boss. Nice talking to ya.
Pat Stash: Safe bruv.