LM: Who is Dizasterpiece? What does the name mean to you?
Dizasterpiece: “Dizasterpiece is the name I came up with to kind of represent myself. All my life I have had really drastic mood swings. I can have a very nice, vibrant side, and also a chaotic, distorted side. It’s kind of a blend of masterpiece and disaster that way. In my music, I can have a really chill vibe or an ugly, rugged, unpleasant one. Like, in my first album. During then I was going through a lot of changes and friends were coming and going. Trying to find out who I really am and how I really want to be. Stuff like that. It’s just full of good and bad feelings with ups and downs that inspired me. It kind of fueled me and adjusted my sound for my first release.”
LM: As a musician, you have been all over the place. Why Hip-Hop?
Dizasterpiece: “I always liked hip-hop, but I never actually thought I’d be an MC. I started with drums when I was 5, and then guitar when I was 8, and then eventually singing. I was in and out of punk and hardcore/metalcore bands in high school. When I was 17 though, I realized I could rap; but I never took it nearly as seriously as the bands I was trying to get somewhere with.”
LM: Is it easier making music without a band?
Dizasterpiece: “After Hey Lovey Dovey, I couldn’t really rely on anyone anymore. All of my band mates were always letting me down. This was the time that I got really heavy into hip-hop; rap got me excited. I would see videos of all these people using samplers on the internet. I thought I’d be able to be learn how to be good at working one creatively. Once I had my sampler, I eventually got my hands on a second one, and then wanted to form a hip-hip group with at least 3 other MCs. I wanted to DJ the beats live with samplers, and then occasionally loop them and rap. After everyone in my experiences flaked out on me, people around me were saying that my beats and my rhymes were good enough that I should go solo.”
“Castor’s Hollow, a friend’s band in PA, asked me to open for them at a metalcore show inside of an art gallery early on in Winter 2013. It was my first solo Dizasterpiece show. I was rapping over beats that were made already with different verses that weren’t actually set songs yet. The show actually got such a positive reaction, I wanted to really break out into the hip-hop scene. The singer of that band, Caleb, was actually the one who drew the artwork for my album. He was a fan of Hey Lovey Dovey, and some of my other projects back in the Myspace days. We wound up being friends on Facebook, and one day he sent this sketch that he drew of me; we hadn’t even met yet.”
“He turned out to be one of the most talented artists I have ever met. A few months after the sketch, he finished the entire artwork on a canvas. Around that time, I was making some of my first real moves with Dizasterpiece, and realized the whole theme of art created by Caleb fit perfectly as a visual representation of the music I was making. Shortly after that, and I traveled to PA and met him for the first time. We then became best friends along with his band members. By the time Summer 2013 was coming around, and I was in the works of recording, pressing, and releasing my first album. I gave Caleb the password for my discmakers.com account, and he finished the rest of the album artwork personally and free of charge.”
“Two days after the album came out, I went on a mini-tour with him and his band for the weekend. There, I sold some of my first copies. After I had the confidence, I knew right then and there that this was the best project so far. I love being in front of people doing what I do.”
LM: Let’s talk influences. Any majors?
Dizasterpiece: “I guess I would have to say my favorite bands of all time are: Glassjaw, Deftones, Poison The Well, American Nightmare, Converge, Nirvana, Senses Fail, The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, and Heavy Heavy Low Low (which is by the way the most underrated band of all time). When I started getting into music, the first band I really gravitated to was Smashing Pumpkins. I was 5 years old. It was easily accessible through mainstream media at that time. I remember hearing my dad listening to them on “K-Rock” in the car and I saying: “I like this band, a lot”. I would always wait for their songs to come back on the radio. From there, I got into Alice and Chains, Metallica, and Nirvana.”
“I got into the heavy stuff right away. Something about it was so unique. It’s actually ironic, because later on, when I was 8, it was MTV’s “TRL” that got me further into the roots of where I am today. In the same day, and so young, I was exposed to: Korn, Blink 182, Eminem, Limp Bizkit, and Tupac‘s “Changes” right away. It was a time where the people could vote for what they wanted to hear, rather than being so controlled and force fed. They had played good hip-hop too, like Wu-Tang Clan, LL Cool J, and A Tribe Called Quest, but that was mostly in the early to mid 90′s. “Yo! MTV Raps” was before I was old enough to get heavily hooked into MTV. When I did, I was just a little kid. Too bad those days of MTV are long dead.”
“I got into more and more punk as I got older. Around 6th and 7th grade, I started listening to NoFX and Anti-Flag a lot. Also, Bad Religion and Pennywise. I remember this was a time where my taste in music kind of…diversified. I got really, really into hardcore and metal, but also really into hip-hop like Nas and Snoop Dogg. In elementary school, older Limp Bizkit was my favorite. I liked them not only because they were originally really aggressive, but because the vocalist didn’t just scream, he also rapped. I figured because he rapped, maybe I’d like hip-hop. They were also the first band that I saw that had a live DJ (who I later found out was in House of Pain). Through Limp Bizkit, and MTV as well, the first rapper I was ever fully exposed to was Eminem.”
“By the time I was a young Eminem fan, I branched off to look for other hip-hop. Through Eminem, came Dr Dre. Through Dre, came Snoop. Through Snoop and Dre came Tupac. Then I found Xzibit. As I got a little older, I realized that these were all west-coast hip-hop acts, and that I should look into east-coast acts (which is currently my favorite style). At this time I was in high school and I was taking my first attempt at rapping; but it wasn’t serious. I was always in bands. At that time, my favorite hip-hop album was “Illmatic” by Nas. I guess you could say I have a lot of influences.”
LM: Clearly you have a strong message. What does your music have to say to your fans?
Dizasterpiece: “I guess it’s just to look outside the box, have fun, be an individual, don’t be too serious, but be firm. You can be serious, but it’s not good to always be so serious. Most importantly: Don’t be a sheep.”
LM: Who are some of your favorite rappers:
Dizasterpiece: “Off the top of my head, I’d have to say: Nas, Jeru the Damaja, Biggie (only his 1st album, recordings released before it, and other tracks he was featured in at the time) , RA the Rugged Man, Eminem (but only the first two albums), Method Man, Redman, Mos Def, Del the Funky Homosapien, and Common‘s old stuff. My favorite hip hop groups, or affiliations, are: Wu-Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest, Gangstarr, De La Soul, Deltron 3030, Funk Doobiest, Da Grassroots, Mobb Deep, Eric B. and Rakim, and Pete Rock and CL Smooth. Fortunately, I still cant even believe this, but I got to open for two of my favorites on that list. In November, 2013, I got to open for Pete Rock and CL Smooth in New Jersey. Then, in February 2014, I got to open for RA the Rugged Man at that same venue in Jersey.”
“I just opened up for Cage at that venue a few days ago, who is, by the way, this sick underground MC that more people should know and care about. The people who do know him all love him. The show was sick and tons of my people from all over came out. I gained some new fans and sold a lot of merch. Hot boxed my car afterward and went to a diner nearby with a tons of my friends, and poured maple syrup on my chicken quesadillas. While we are on the subject of cage, I found out that he has a song featuring Daryl Palumbo, the lead singer of Glassjaw, which is my favorite band of all time. As far as new artists go, I don’t really pay attention to new hip-hop that comes out, unless it’s live at a show and it’s dope, or I just discover it somehow.”
“What I do pay attention to is Odd Future, but their songs are usually hit or miss with me. I love “Oldie”, and don’t care for some of the others. I have Earl Sweatshirt’s “Doris”. Half of it is sweet and the other half I would skip over. I like them enough to consider myself a fan though, and would go see them live. My brother and friends of mine have seen them, and say the pits are out of control. What I mostly pay attention to in hip-hop is Joey Bada$$, and most of his people in Pro Era. I say to a lot of people I meet who have never heard of him that he is the king of hip hop, and that he (along with his people) is reviving the passion, roots, and sound of early New York hip-hop. When I tell people that, they usually just shrug it off because they’ve never heard of him…and that just means they’re stupid.”
LM: What’s wrong with hip-hop today?
Dizasterpiece: Hip-hop is complicated. It started in the Bronx as just people having fun and busting rhymes on the street. I would have to say the biggest problem hip-hop has ever faced is industry. Once people started making money from it, it changed forever. Actually, it was always a little corrupt ever since the people in the music business realized it was profitable. Rappers began to notice it and it showed in the music. Like, A Tribe Called Quest‘s “The Business”, from ’91 and Common‘s “I Used to Love H.E.R” from ’94. I actually consider 1994 the best year for hip-hop. If the industry was corrupting rap so much then, you can imagine how much it’s changed from 20 years of industry sucking it dry and milking gimmicks.
“Once the most influential rappers on both east and west coasts were assassinated (Biggie and ‘Pac), Bad Boy Records was running shit. Puffy, or whatever his name is (I don’t know what he goes by now) pushed that whole glamour glitz and fashion epidemic which remains dominant today. You wouldn’t see a video without seeing “Crystal”, expensive clothes, and money being thrown around. Some good rappers became way too down with all that and turned wack. There was a clear divide, and then the beats started lacking and started turning into pussy shit.”
“In the 2000’s it became all about materialism: Less and less about lyricism, less and less meaning, and more and more about pollution to society. It keps happening ’till the point when the radio and anything public involving hip-hop is dominated by Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, and Drake. Shit that comes out nowadays: 89 percent of it doesn’t even rhyme, and you cant understand because there is a new selling trend of mumbling; so I’ll go read the lyrics and find they are diarrhea in my asshole. Especially with the radio playing all their shit all the time. I think even Nas tried to fuck with the glamour stuff for a minute in videos when he was trying to keep up with Jay-Z during that whole beef. He didn’t stick with the materialism bullshit for long.”
“I call it “spoon fed diarrhea”; people are so quick to sell their souls for money. Everyone thinks it’s cool because they see other people thinking it’s cool; so the people listen to it and then think they are cool.In this day and age, in order to hear good music, you have to go looking for it instead of turning on your radio or television. People don’t even know that! The average person cant name at least 3 dope underground MCs off the top of their heads.”
LM: What happens to your art if you become a success?
Dizasterpiece: “I mean, this is how I see it. Money could come at me, sure, but being rich isn’t the goal. The goal is music. Always music. It has to be real. It has to be passionate. The true goal is honestly. Just to be able to make a living off what I love doing, and inspiring others with my words and sound. I just want to tour all the time, live in a van, get out in a different place playing in front of different people everyday, share my music, passion, and soul with them, go to sleep, and do it all again the next day; everyday.”
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