MC Lars

By paul

PAUL: Good evening! It’s been a while…how have things been over the last 8 months?
MC LARS: Great! I have been on tour most of the year with Bowling for Soup in America and then finished school this summer. Also, I’ve been working on the new record, and spent September recording it in New York. It’s very close to completion.

PAUL: Just incase anyone who is reading this hasn’t yet heard of MC Lars, can you just give a quick description of who you are and what you do…
MC LARS: I am a hip-hop artist from California who makes rap music with my computer. I write lyrics that connect pop culture, history, literature, and personal experiences from my day-to-day life. I sometimes sample other bands, and put a lot of focus into putting on a fun live show.

PAUL: The EP has done pretty well hasn’t it? Did it meet any epxectations you may have had?
MC LARS: Definitely. The intention for the EP was to introduce the world who I am. I was pleased by the response and I think it’s cool that so many people have been so supportive.

PAUL: I believe a new album is in the works – what can we expect?
MC LARS: It has more genre experimentation, such as a crunk song and a reggaeton song. Also, there are a lot more guests on the record, such the Matches, Bowling for Soup, MC Chris and Ill Bill from Non-Phixion.

PAUL: Do you have a title for the record yet? If you do, what inspired it? Any song titles confirmed for the disc?
MC LARS: It’s called, “The Graduate,” inspired by the Dustin Hoffman movie and the fact that I just finished college. Some song titles from the new record are, “Download This Song,” “Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock,” and “Let’s Get Crunk with Crunk Juice in Yo System Tonight (Crunk Remix)”.

PAUL: Have you managed to secure a label to release it on yet? I heard you were recording it all DIY? When can we expect a release?
MC LARS: When you are developing artist like myself, being on a major label is not what it seems, especially when you’re in a position where marketing and promoting you requires care and creativity. The reality is that majors primarily serve two functions: they provide gigantic sums of money for promotion (which they bill back to you) and they have relationships with television and radio (which can help but doesn’t necessarily guarantee you exposure). Right now, my management and the labels I am working with are great because they get what I do and have creative ways of marketing me. The truth is that they can do everything major labels can, so having the right business plan and recording and releasing DIY or with reputable indie labels makes sense. The record will be out in early March.

PAUL: Any samples from famous bands going to feature? Last time we spoke you were hoping to use a Coheed and Cambria sample…
MC LARS: I was going to sample Coheed for a song about Melville’s Moby Dick, but found a more appropriate sample from the Oxford band Supergrass. Also, there is a sample from Iggy Pop on another track, and I am anxiously waiting to hear back on the clearance status of these samples! We’ll keep you updated.

PAUL: I’ve heard rumours about someone called Rapgirl…
MC LARS: A girl who went to school with me did a bunch of rap tracks on her computer and with friends. She got in touch with me via a mutual friend to ask for business advice in her career. Basically, we hung out and I found her really interesting and cool, but that she was looking at everything from a different angle. That is to say, I wanted to be more than friends but she wasn’t having it. We’re friends now, but when I wrote the song last year, I was infatuated with her rap style and personality.

PAUL: What kind of lyrical subjects do you touch on this time round?
MC LARS: There’s that song about Moby Dick, another track about Roman history, and a song about how Internet relationships are not healthy. You know, basic subjects you might find on the new 50 Cent record.

PAUL: On a kind-of related subject, how do you think Bush and his Government has handled the two hurricanes and the aftermath/devastation that occured?
MC LARS: Kanye West was correct in his assertion that the United States is set up to help those at the top of the social class before helping those with less economic influence. The whole scenario exposed the mixed-up priorities of the current administration; they will put billions of dollars into a questionable war across the Atlantic Ocean, but are unprepared when resources are needed on our own home turf. Also, we know that the crazy natural disasters happening in the world right now are a direct or indirect result of global warming, but Bush is not going to admit this. The best thing for him to do would be to announce a need to be smarter with our emissions and environmental treatment. But why would he when he is so closely tied to big oil? This is the real issue the tragedy brings up. Did you know that that by 2100 the world will be 12 degrees Celsius hotter? Below Sea Level cities like New Orleans and Holland will be underwater cities of the past. The city that helped incubate jazz will now be a home to shellfish. We will say, “When it came to big oil, George Bush was selfishŠ now New Orleans is inhabited nothing but the shellfish.” I just made that up, that’s awesome.

PAUL: How was Give It A Name Festival for you? I got so many kids text me that day saying ‘Lars just namechecked Punktastic on stage…’
MC LARS: Give It a Name was great fun. It was a blast performing for such a big audience and I was blown away by how many more people knew the lyrics. Also, Coheed kicked butt.

PAUL: Is there a difference you notice between UK kids and US ones? Are we just as enthusiastic/appreciative?
MC LARS: UK kids are more analytical when it comes to music, and thus take it much more seriously. There is more energy from the crowd in England, and the American audiences are less patient with experimentation. But in the US you can reference or parody a trend before you can parody it in the UK. That’s not to say that England is behind the times, it’s just that the popular culture is on a different track. Finally, I think the UK hip-hop scene is more progressive in terms of having such styles as grime and garage. I mean, can you name an American rap sub-genre can you park your car in?

PAUL: Are you looking forward to coming back? Bowling For Soup, American Hi-Fi, My Awesome Compilation, Fightstar…that’s a wide range of bands!
MC LARS: Really looking forward to it. Bowling for Soup and American Hi-Fi are great, I toured all over the US with them this year. MAC and I toured with in the summer of 2004, and they are super nice and just put out a great new album. Excited to hear Fightstar‘s music since I am not familiar with it yet.

PAUL: Are you coming over on your own or as part of a band? What can we expect from Lars live?
MC LARS: This tour, I’m rocking it solo with the laptop, but will be presenting some surprise guests during the set. Also, I’ll be debuting three new tracks from the upcoming record.

PAUL: Have you heard any Fightstar yet? Are you aware of their former boy-band history? Are you expecting those shows to be made up of a different type of crowd?
MC LARS: Writing good pop songs is hard, so whatever their musical background is, and whatever success they’ve garnered, more power to them. But, I honestly don’t know anything about them. I think it’s cool that they are taking me on tour with them, and I’ve always said that I’d tour with anyone within reason. It’s good to be open-minded to different genres, pop or not.

PAUL: File-sharing…good? Bad?
MC LARS: Inevitable. A track from my next album, “Download This Song,” recognizes the fact that in five to ten years, CD’s will be antiquated technology. As music playback devices become more and more efficient, the old views of creative property licenses the 20th century will shift. This makes it possible for mid-level artists to spread their music more easily via the Internet, and increase their fan base. I feel like a lot of the people who have heard of me have downloaded my stuff and I heartily support that as long as they come to the shows and stuff, you know?

PAUL: What are your plans for 2006…any further return trips over the Atlantic?
MC LARS: Will definitely be back after the album drops, probably around March. Since England and I have a special relationship, it’s hard to keep us apart. We’re kind of like haggis and shepherd’s pie. But someone is going to have to break the news to Lady Sovereign so she’ll stop texting me. The relationship just isn’t working anymore.

PAUL: Any final comments?
MC LARS: Big ups to Punktastic, and thanks for the continued support. Much respect and hope to see you guys on tour! Thanks again.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]