Although Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip are such a relief from commercial, chart-based hip hop, fusing original beats with spoken-word lyrical genius, remember; they are just a band – well, technically an alternative hip hop duo. Here, they answer a few quezzies.
In just four years, you guys have achieved success in many countries of the world. Did you expect this all so soon?
PIP: I didn’t expect any of it! Although, it has seemed like a long four years! The least gigs we have done in any of those years is still well over a hundred, and those four years have included the writing and releasing of both our records. So it’s been a very busy four years!
DAN: I don’t think we have achieved success in “many countries” we’ve just found little pockets of people around the world who enjoy what we do. I didn’t expect Pip and I to last four years so everything else is a blessing.
Has it been difficult becoming successful as a more alternative hip hop act?
PIP: That’s hard to say I guess, as we have never set out with any plans of how “successful” we want to become. All we have ever done is sit down and write records. Any level of success has been a lucky by-product of that. I think sitting in a weird little genre of our own has helped and hindered though. Definitely, at the start, labels and magazines didn’t really know what to do with us. We didn’t fit a familiar template so it was tough for people to “get” us. But then, not fitting into any one scene, meant that our fan base started to grow and included hip hop kids, indie kids, a bit of a literature crowd, dance kids and all sorts of others.
DAN: As Pip kinda said, there’s no plan, and without planning or scheming there can’t be any gauge of difficulty! It’s been 90% fun so it can’t be that difficult can it?
Do you prefer to play the bigger, more extravagant gigs around the world, or the smaller venues at home?
PIP: Well, the biggest shows we do tend to be in the UK anyway. But all the shows are great to give balance to each other. If we only played in the UK we would probably grow bored of it, but when we are away for too long we start itching to get back to the home crowds. It’s the same with festivals. They are amazing to do but by the end of festival season you are ready to get back into venues. And, by the time they come round again, you can’t wait to get into some muddy field in the middle of nowhere!
DAN: By “extravagant gigs around the world” do you mean sweaty basements in Romania and tiny boats in France? When you go playing gigs around the world, it’s no different to going to Hull, there’s no glamour in this at our level but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Are you happy with how well-known you are now, or do you aim to become bigger and better?
PIP: Again, the aims aren’t really about getting “bigger” but we certainly aim to get better. It’s a really weird thing. Some of my favourite bands over the years havent had loads of commercial success, charts wise, but have had long and stunning careers. Our time in the spotlight, commercialism wise, has been amazing and if that continues it’ll be great. But we would want it to continue on the strength of music that we are happy with and proud of.
DAN: As soon as you start thinking in those terms you might as well go and work for Cowell, just do what makes you happy. I do aim to become a better produce but other than that I can take it or leave it.
You both started doing your own thing, then came together. After two albums, it seems you are both have plans for your own projects; this isn’t the end of the duo is it?
PIP: Certainly not! But, as you pointed out, we did kind of stumble together as an act. A beautifully unplanned moment! So its great to have a chance now to work again on some bits separately before we come back together to work on our third record. We hope to start writing it later this year.
DAN: The time apart can only improve the collaboration, having time where you don’t have to compromise gives you time to learn, to develop new ways of working, without other people’s thoughts and emotions getting in the way.
What would you guys have done as jobs if creating music had fallen through?
PIP: We would probably both be working in record shops still. That’s where I was when I left to make music. Oooooh actually Dan had just turned down a big bucks job offer, something to do with design i think, so that we could have a go at being a band, just as “Thou Shalt Always Kill” was being released, so he might chase that up again! Or head back to record shops.
DAN: Fuck knows, ideally still in music, maybe promoting, my town is in serious need of a proper promoter.
In literal Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip style, Scroobius Pip wins in a Google fight with around 1 million results, as opposed to Le Sac?s 640 thousand, but who would win in a real fight?
PIP: Well, I do a bit of Krav Maga, Brazilian Ju Jitsu and general MMA training. But I do do it in my garage. Either way, it may give me the edge. Dan is more fiery though, so he may just jump at me and bite my throat out.
DAN: He does all that in his garage with his brother, I think we all know that my dirty,angry violence will smash the shit out off his techniques.
Have you not considered a viral type campaign of Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius > Pip, going head to head in various activities, such as a game of Fifa, a cracker eating competition and blind-folded boxing? No?
PIP: Never. No.
DAN: Weirdly we have actually already done it in an interview, we played slapsys and thumb war and all sorts, might have to dig that up on google.
Why did you re-record the vocals on “Though Shalt Always Kill?”
PIP: For the remix? Weirdly there has only ever been three takes of that vocal. The first one, demo version, was recorded in my bedroom at my mum’s house but, when we were doing the album, the quality was so bad as soon as you played it on any decent sounding system, particularly when you put it along side the rest of the vocals on Angles we did another take when recording the album. Then, when we did a new version with Posdnous (de la soul) we were going to leave the original vocal but, when we got his vocal back, I just had to write some new bits. I felt all competitive…
And finally…Asda or Tesco?
PIP: Tesco. Got my clubcard. Mad points.
DAN: There Pip goes raping the planet again, all supermarkets are bad but Tesco are fucking awful, they are properly the Gary Glitter of the supermarket world. To be honest I avoid them as much as possible, we’re lucky enough to have a farmer’s market, a community market and a milkman, so I can cover most of what I need that way.