The 49ers Interview on RapSpot.de (In German)
Recently The 49ers were interviewed by German website RapSpot.de.
The interview was translated in German, so a big shout out to RapSpot.de and Julia for hooking it up and taking the time to translate everything.
Click here to read the interview:
———–> The 49ers interview on RapSpot.de <—————————-
For those who do not speak German, here is the interview in English:
First of all, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Since you’re probably more famous in the USA and Japan, could each of you introduce the other one to the German folks?
Jas Mace – Right here is my right hand man, my partner in crime, the one that has had back since we were young boys serving them up on the baseball, basketball, and football fields, known for his head banging beats and ill rhymes, none other than Marchitect.
Marchitect – Jas Mace is a beat maker and lyricist, respected for his subject matter, and clever rhymes. He is half of The 49ers and a soloist as well.
What’s the meaning of your group’s name? Are you are fan of the football team from San Francisco?
Marchitect – Our name comes from the address of the house we used to make our music out of. We are from the east coast, right outside of Philadelphia in a state calledDelaware so we don’t have a geographic connection toSan Francisco. People just always associated us with the address 49, so it just stuck as us being The 49ers
Jas Mace – Yeah, I’m actually a huge Chicago Bears fan (haha). Really it was just Tec’s home address. It’s where we grew up making our music and is the address that built and influenced us more than any other. It’s where we shaped our style, gained our experience in writing, producing, and performing, and is where I personally was influenced by Tec and his older brothers. Because we are a product of the 49, it makes us The 49ers. It’s our way of paying homage to what created us.
Some of your albums have been released on the Japanese indie label Goon Trax. How has this connection developed?
Jas Mace – This started back when MySpace was the hottest thing on the net. One of their talent agents found us and asked us if we had more music available for review because they liked what they heard on our page. We sent them over some more music and the rest is history.
Marchitect – We released State of The Art and The Ultrasound on Goon Trax/Media Factory. We began our relationship with them after they heard the music we had released independently In the United States, particularly our album Equilibrium, which is still my personal favorite. We went to Japan to handle a lot of our business and tours hand on, something a lot of artists on Goon Trax didn’t do at the time. I think that made us respected on the Japanese Underground.
Since you’ve already been to Japan a few times, what’s so special about this country and its culture?
Marchitect -Japan is a very special place to me. I describe it as the past and the future living next to each other in the present.
Jas Mace – Generally speaking, and in my opinion, Japan is a very courtesy and respectful country. Of course not everyone, but generally speaking I’ve noticed that there is a sense of mutual respect, appreciation, and politeness that I don’t typically see in the states. Also, being influenced by Buddhism, the temples and serenity of the environment is very calming.
Do you speak Japanese?
Marchitect – My Japanese is very limited but Jas’ is really good.
Jas Mace – I studied Japanese as my foreign language at the University of Delaware here in the United States. It’s funny, because initially I wanted to study Chinese but they didn’t offer Chinese courses at the time so I went with Japanese. Then next semester they started offering Chinese (haha). I figured I would just stick with Japanese though, which seemed to work better in hindsight. But, Tec is too kind. I still suck at Japanese (haha). I’m much better at reading, writing, and listening then I am speaking it; although kanji gives me some problems.
In the song “Karma” Jas Mace raps the line “Like a Shinigami dropping his death note I’m no joke”, which can be seen as a reference to the anime and manga “Death Note”. Is this your favorite anime/manga?
Jas Mace – (haha) Death Note is definitely one of my favorite anime series. The line before that is actually in reference to Death Note also, “I’m a make you see the light with one stroke,” which is in reference to Yagami Light. As you probably remember, one stroke of his pen in the Death Note will cause one’s demise. I was using it metaphorically of course. There is much more to some of the things we write than what is on the surface.
Marchitect – My favorite animated movies are from the old school. I like one called fantastic planet, and Streetfight by Ralph Bashi. Barry White stars in Streetfight. It was banned when it was releases. Fantastic Planet is probably the deepest philosophical cartoon ever made in my opinion.
What do you think about animes which include hip hop soundtracks like “Samurai Champloo” or “Afro Samurai”?
Jas Mace – I think it’s great. I love seeing the cross-cultural influence of things. That’s what’s great about hip-hop. It’s all embracing and brings so many different people and cultures together; it was only a matter of time before you got to see it’s the influences transcend the boundaries, which I believe are only illusions anyway.
Marchitect – Yeah, I think anime and Hip Hop fit beautifully together.
If you could choose any anime, for which one would you like to do the soundtrack?
Marchitect – If I could a soundtrack I would l pick something with a lot of action like Cowboy Bebop, or Ninja Scrolls.
Jas Mace – Man, there are so many out there. If we are talking about series, I think obviously with my Death Note obsession that would be the first one (haha). I think I could have written something ill for Fullmetal Alchemist and Now and Then. If we’re talking about movies, I think like Tec said I would love to write something for Ninja Scroll. That is my all time favorite anime movie. I love Ghibli movies also, but there is no way I could do anything better than what Joe Hisaishi does for Ghibli already.
Let’s talk about your music. I got the impression that every of your songs has a certain concept. Do you plan to make conceptual songs or do you get such ideas accidentally?
Jas Mace – It’s really where the beat steers me to. The beat tells me what to write, and I just write it. Usually a concept will come to one of us after a couple listens. If there is no concept that hits us, that’s when we know it’s just some lyrically braggadocio rap that we need to write. There are also times where we will have a concept in mind already and are just waiting for the right beat to come along.
Marchitect – We try to make our music reflect our lives, that’s usually where the concepts come from. Making every song about how you’re the best rapper, only holds peoples attention for so long. We want to make music that means something to our listeners.
Your beats are always kind of jazzy, laid-back and soulful. What’s your inspiration to make this kind of music?
Marchitect – I think we make a wide range of Hip Hop styles, but for the Japanese market, the labels and the fans gravitate towards the jazzy sounds we make. I think that sound is something that stuck with us
Jas Mace– I think it’s just the era and people that we grew up around that influenced us. We came up during the golden era of hip-hop when it was all jazz and soul records that were sampled. During the era of Gangstarr, Stetsasonic, Tribe, De La Soul, DITC and all these other groups used jazz loops. Jazz and hip-hop are a perfect combination.
What kind of samples do you prefer to use?
Marchitect – I usually sample something that catches my ear or mood. I try not to have one set formula or sound.
Jas Mace – I’ll sample anything. (haha). A train on train tracks, water dripping from a faucet, ticking of a clock; it’s all music to my ears. Rock, soul, or jazz albums; it doesn’t really matter. When I’m listening to something to sample, it usually hits me right away though. I can hear the loop in my head and what I’m going to do with it before I chop it up.
Do you do any other musical activities besides the group the 49ers?
Marchitect – Besides the 49ers and running the say to day operations of www.yaheard.com, I am in a funk, soul, ska group called Fat Daddy Has Been. We have three albums on Itunes.
Jas Mace – Not really, just The 49ers and solo projects. I like to collaborate with other artists. It’s something about stepping out and mixing sounds and styles with other artists.
You are touring through the USA and Asia. Have you also been to Europe yet? Are you going to come to Europe?
Marchitect – I did a few solo tours through England, and France, and we’re definitely looking to break into the German market. We want to find a good Hip Hop label there to release our albums and help us tour. Do you know any? (haha)
Jas Mace – I’ve been to England on a personal trip, but never to Europe for touring. I would love to do a tour of Europe. I’m working on setting the pieces together for next year, so hopefully in 2012 we can tour the great countries of Europe. It’s really a goal of mine for next year, to get The 49ers out there in 2012. I’ve heard many good things about the fans and venues in Europe.
Your new album’s title is “Musaic”, which is a fusion of the words “music” and “mosaic”. How does the title reveal the sound?
Marchitect – We wanted all the songs to have their own flavor and color, but to come together and make a complete picture. Like a musical mosaic, hence “Musaic.”
Jas Mace – Pretty much. You know with mosaics there are a bunch of smaller images up close, but once you step back from it you see the big picture. That’s how this album is but musically. Every song pretty much has a meaning, but the project as a whole also has a special and significant meaning.
I feel like some of your songs are very philosophical. Are you into philosophy or at least interested in philosophical topics?
Marchitect – For the few years I went to college I studied philosophy. I don’t intentionally try to be deep or philosophical, it’s just some of our topics take it there.
Jas Mace – Yeah, I think it very influential in what I write. I took a lot of philosophy and religion courses at the University. Religious Studies was actually my minor. I enjoy reading philosophy, mostly Eastern philosophy. I’m really influenced by Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucianist writers; but there are also writers from the West that I really enjoy reading. Some of my favorites are probably Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Alan Watts, and Seung Sahn to name a few. I’m always down to get a drink and talk philosophy. (haha)
Can we expect collaborations with Cradle Orchestra or Re:plus in the future?
Jas Mace – I really hope so. Both production teams are great and very talented at what they do. We were honored to record “Imagine” and “Traveling Man” while we were in Japan with Cradle and Re:plus. They are a great group of guys and I’m looking forward to many more collaborations with them.
Marchitect – I’m really looking forward to working with Re:plus and Cradle in the future. We’ve been in the studio in Japan with them both and it’s always classic.
Which musical projects have you planned for the future?
Jas Mace – We are currently wrapping up our collaboration album with ZDW!?, which is Japanese production unit in Japan consisting of producers LEMS, Hazzy, Sounguage, Kaede, and Otokaze. That album is called Soulstice and will be out before the end of the year. Right now we are looking at October sometime, but that could change. I’m also working on a conceptual collaboration album with Navid B, doing some other collaborations with producers and artists I admire, and working on a solo album.
Marchitect – Not counting the ZDW!?/49ers collaboration album, I have a couple solo projects I’m working on at the moment. I’ll be sure to let everyone know when they drop!
You use the internet to promote your music. Is it an essential tool for your work?
Marchitect – The internet is the most essential tool for us. It’s the ultimate playing field leveler. We used to have to rely on labels too much as artists. Now we can get the music right to the people.
Jas Mace – Yeah I agree. It’s vital as an independent artist nowadays to have some time of network on the internet. I always try to reach out to our fans and other artists on the net to help spread The 49ers music. Without the net reaching so many people and interacting with our fans the way we do would be pretty impossible. Possibilities are unlimited on the net. If you have quality music, you have so many options and resources available to you.
Thanks a lot for having me. Is there anything else you would like to say?
Marchitect – On a final note I just want to let the people know that we want to come to Germany and mainland Europe to spread some good hip hop. If anyone out there wants to perform in your city, or town hit us up on our blog…www.the49ers.wordpress.com Thanks!!!!
Jas Mace – Yeah, I’d just like to say thank you for taking the time to interview us. Thank you to our fans in Germany,Poland,Japan,China,Korea,Taiwan,England,U.S., and everywhere else on the planet. Shout out to all the artists we’ve collabed with, had a drink with, shared a stage with, or rocked a mic with. Peace!