Saturday, January 29, 2011

Interview: @JCPoppe is Back

I've always liked JC Poppe. And have long respected his honestly through his music. I was first introduced to Poppe when he released Sleep Therapy, an album that comes literally from a sleeping disorder. Music was his outlet to keep mind or body occupied. It was “Mixtape Epidemic” off of that project which immediately caught my attention.

We've been cool ever since.

Back when I first interviewed Poppe he described his sound as a bit alternative Hip-Hop with major influences from Public Enemy and Rage Against The Machine. To boil it down, his sound is aggressive.

And with his two new projects, he continues to build using that aggressive sound.

Tea Party and Shadowland provide two parts of the talented Wisconsin native. Tea Party, in a sense is your traditional Hip-Hop project. And Shadowlands is a deeper look into the personal side of Poppe, which includes some highs and lows from the last few years of his life. Of the two, Shadwolands is the more heartfelt project because of it's deep connection to Poppe personally.

That's not to say that the content on Tea Party isn't heartfelt. It's just a different personal connection.

I don't think Shadowlands could survive without the other. They compliment each other too well. You get this hard-hitting Hip-Hop side of Poppe in Tea Party and through Shadowlands you get some raw material that comes from a deeper place. Once you hit play, you'll get the picture.

Recently, I reached out to Poppe for an interview. Check out the Q&A after the jump.

ThroatChop: Why two projects? Why not just one with mixed content?

JC Poppe: After looking at all of the songs that I had been writing for Tea Party, and noticing the very distinct and different trains of thought the songs seemed to trend towards, I decided that it was more important to tell the two stories that were forming, as unique albums. Trying to weave all of the tracks together would’ve left either type of track lacking in punch because the mood the listener would be in, going up and down and left and right, would grow tiresome of the lack of continuity.

TC: Why now?

JC: I had to ask myself the question of “Why NOT now?” quite often. The albums were done in Late November and I had planned to release them before Christmas but that didn’t work out due to the place I wanted to have my party at having way too much going on at that time. As an independent artists, I dictate my future but I could’ve easily sat on these albums and just kept pushing off putting them out while giving dozens of different reasons. But, after I really thought about it, I understood that I just needed to get it over with and get them out. Believe it or not, there actually were a few people really interested in hearing the music, and I didn’t want to be another rapper that talks a good “I’m going to…” game. That has never been me. When I say I am going to do something, I do it. So, it had to be done.

TC: After the break from HiPNOTT did Tea Party change much?

JC: Yes it did change. The introduction that I had written originally was now completely null and void. This is also when the music that I was writing went from being songs like “Amateurs” to songs like “The Concept of Reality”. A few beats that I had from G.C., a very talented producer, were discarded because they just didn’t hit me anymore. The only HiPNOTT related stuff that survived was “Foundation of a Moment” which was produced by Danny Diggs (cuts by DJ Mayhem) and “The Path To Recovery” which was produced by G.C. Those tracks were written prior to the break and held their luster to me.

TC: How did your wife feel about "Wife Song", the very detailed track recounting a very dark part in both of your lives?

JC: Emotional, to say the least. She doesn’t like to think about that time very much, and certainly not in-depth, which is completely understandable. Nobody, I assume, would like to have their once impending death at the forefront of their mind. That would be too painful. However, she was happy to have the experience tackled like I did, because she was the person going through it, and had no idea of all the stuff me and the rest of her family were going through. So, it kind of fills her in to all of that. Obviously an 11 minute song doesn’t tell much of the backstory…just the finer points…but it was a therapeutic thing that I needed to do to get my own head right, and she’s very supportive of that.

TC: What do you want listeners to take from Shawdowlands?

JC: Everybody has both major and minor bumps along our path. We deal with so much, often so much of it tragic. Our psychologies are becoming more and more fragile as time goes on. In that fragility, in those moments of being unsure, even when all odds are against you or the reaper seems to be holding the winning hand, never stop fighting through whatever it is that you are overcome by. I’m not saying that it will work out necessarily, but never stop fighting.

TC: What do you want listeners to take from Tea Party?

JC: I’d like for them to take away the attitude of “Let’s cut the bullshit.” It’s as simple as that.

TC: When all is said and done, what do you want these projects to achieve?

JC: Honestly, they already did what they were supposed to do for me. They were a project started and seen through to completion. I battle depression on a daily basis, and to have the feeling of something being completed helps me to know that I can complete other tasks in my life. The tasks that seem so daunting, though they really aren’t. If people like the music, great, that is of course something every artist wants…to be liked. But with where I am right now, the fact that I was able to complete the projects and get them out, was more important than anything else. But, with that being said, I’d love for people to buy the albums (LAUGHS).

TC: Now that it's available to the world, is there anything you would change?

JC: I would’ve done three albums (LAUGHS). I’m just kidding. Honestly, there isn’t anything that I would change. The songs are there for a reason, the beats were selected because they truly inspired me, the timeline was what it was for a reason, so on and so forth. I’m proud of the albums and they are inherently me. I don’t think I could do anything else right now, or could’ve done anything else.

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