Dussel Has Friends Interview
Firstly thanks for taking time to do this exclusive interview for www.HipHop4Days.com. Let’s start at the beginning. How did you get into making music and when would you say your career started?
James Donald (vocals)- I got into making music from rapping with friends in Junior High, from my obsession with making something from nothing, from me loving music so much just listening wasn’t enough. I had to partake. I don’t know when a career officially starts, but I’ve been making music since I was 13.
Ricky Cody (bass)- My music career started when I was 22, Rich (lead guitar) decided to teach me the bass one day and the rest was history.
Sid Nicolas (synth/percussion)- I’ve been into music since I was little. Played trumpet in the school band back in the day then I kinda stopped that. I was always into hip hop growin up so then that kinda turned my attention to DJin and turtablist type stuff. Got down wit my boys in a band called Styrofoam Junkies doin some scratches and percussion stuff…Now Im doin the Dussel Has Friends project where I have been playin the synthesizer and will be incorporating the 1s and 2s at some point down the line. I also wanna start producing and makin beats eventually.
From when you started to now, what you consider being your biggest tracks or releases?
James Donald (vocals)-I think our biggest track so far is “American Made”.
Ricky Cody (bass)- I’d say “American Made”, but me, Rich, Sid and Vinny (drums) had a band previous that had a track called “touch” that won Indie Music.com’s MP3 of the Year..So to me that was pretty big!
Sid Nicolas (synth/percussion)- I’d say right now “American Made.” That one has been on the forefront and getting good feedback…We got more shit comin though, so PLEASE! STAY TUNED!
How would you describe the music that you make?
James Donald (vocals)- Innovative.
Ricky Cody (bass)- Fun, with some aggression
Sid Nicolas (synth/percussion)- Fresh.
Have you done many collaborations, if so who have you worked with and what was your most memorable experience?
James Donald (vocals)- No collaborations to date.
Ricky Cody (bass)- I’ve personally have had none.
Sid Nicolas (synth/percussion)- None as of yet.
Hip-Hop is changing all the time. How do you feel about Hip-Hop in 2010, who are you feeling and how is the game treating you?
James Donald (vocals)- Hip Hop is and always will be a leading faction of the music industry and a part of life in general and we just want to contribute creatively and hopefully be recognized for it.
Ricky Cody (bass)- I think that it’s not what it used to be, to me before the 2000′s hit, Hip Hop had more feeling…nowadays it’s really lame. For a guy who plays Hip Hop I’m not really feeling anyone besides Dussel Has Friends.
Sid Nicolas (synth/percussion)- Hip Hop in 2010? Honestly, there’s not too many artists out there that I’m feelin although I’ve acknowledged that the sound has changed and like they always say..”What goes around comes around.” I think that golden era will come around again. The right people are not in it right now so I’m still waitin. Today, I’m lovin Jay Electronica. Exhibit C is a solid track and I think his first LP is going to be a classic.
Tell me about the label you’re with, even if it’s your own label. Tell us who is involved and how many people behind the scenes are helping you?
James Donald (vocals)- We are getting a lot help from fans from all 5 boros of NYC and Long Island.
Ricky Cody (bass)- 24 West Records, we have them along with 24 West Productions pushing us along, but we give most credit to fans, friends and family who are really spreading the word about us
The music industry is changing from CD’s & Vinyl over to MP3, stores are getting closed and on-line shops are starting up. Do you think CD’s are dead or do you think it depends on the genre & artist?
James Donald (vocals)- CD’s aren’t dead, but they have terminal cancer. It will be over soon. There are still lots of people who only have CD players in their cars, don’t have computers and can’t access bootlegs, so CD’s are still on life support.
Ricky Cody (bass)- I think it depends, I love the convenience of the computer, but for a music lover there is something special about buying that CD, getting in your car popping it in the CD player and listening, while admiring the art work, browsing the booklet. Artists put effort into that and it is just as important to the artists creativity as is the music.
Sid Nicolas (synth/percussion)- Not only does it depend on the genre or the artist but I think it depends on the consumer as well. I’ve got a lot of vinyl and a lot of CDs and I still buy both. As a DJ, there’s stuff you’ll find on a 12” single that you wont find on the CD or let alone the MP3 circuit. It’s kinda sad to see vinyl and CD’s fade away but hey, it’s a sign of the times.
So where are you from exactly and have you ever done any local gigs?
James Donald (vocals)- I’m from Queens, NY and have done a majority of local gigs.
Ricky Cody (bass)- West Hempstead, Long Island and have done shows all through NY
Sid Nicolas (synth/percussion)- I’m from Hempstead, Long Island. So far with Dussel we’ve hit NYC and we got a local Long Island gig comin up real soon.
Have you done any big gigs or played live with any big artists? If so tell us what is was like and what playing live means to you.
James Donald (vocals)- I have done a few big gigs. I have done songs, but not gigs with big artists. The energy of the crowd gets me going!
Sid Nicolas (synth/percussion)- Haven’t played with any big artists I’m patiently waiting though—that would be great! Playing live is about havin fun! Simply havin a good time.
Hip-Hop is sometime viewed as negative music and in the media often gets a raw deal. Do you think that Hip-Hop should be more positive and that artists have a responsibility to the youth?
James Donald (vocals)- We nuked Japan and went to war before Hip Hop, I don’t think Hip Hop raised any bar. Of course SOME hip hop is negative and so is life, fix life first then only movies will be negative. The only thing responsible for something young is the parent. Besides there’s a warning label on it so how would you even know unless you bought it?
Ricky Cody (bass)- Music is expression and expression is real and sometimes real isn’t censored! The one who has the responsibility to the youth is their parents, they have to be aware of their kids and what they listen to, that’s not my problem.
Sid Nicolas (synth/percussion)- In hip hop, There is a lot of negative. There is also a lot of positive. Hip-hop to me was always for a mature audience but with all the outlets that it has today between the internet and what you see on TV, kids are exposed to it a lot more. I think it starts in the home. The parents gotta regulate what kids can and cant listen to. My father did it to me and he did it for a reason. And not everyone in hip hop is talking about guns, drugs, and girls. There’s a lot of rappers out there who stimulate the brain and make u think about things and put things in perspective so, all in all, hip hop has come a long way and has an even longer way to go.
Can I get all the You Tube URL Links to all your music videos please?
Can I get all your website links, facebook, myspace, reverb nation, twitter, etc.
Interview by Stuart Patterson