See the Music, RDGLDGRN, "A Million Fans"
Mon, 22 Apr 2013 10:07:50
It's that time again! Time for another installment of ARTISTdirect.com's exclusive See the Music series.
Today, we go deep with RDGLDGRN as they dissect their track "A Million Fans." The confident threesome bust the myths that surround rappers and reveal how they started making beats and hip-hop songs with computers and then things grew from there.
Get to know the band on the level thanks to our exclusive chat!
RDGLDGRN are by far one of our favorite new bands right now. They've got an undeniable and unique sound that will definitely light you up!
Watch the Video Interview!
See ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino's full Q&A below!
What was your vision for the EP as a whole?
Green: I think those were the hottest songs we had at the time [Laughs]. That's why we put them out first. The thread on the album was a focus on rhythm. Even when we're making something lighter or aggressive, there's a strong rhythm based on D.C. go-go music. We may draw away from the go-go sound. "A Million Fans" is not a straight go-go beat. It sounds more traditional hip-hop, but it's still a strong drum track. There's a drum presence on every track. It's even crazier because Dave Grohl's on it.
Is there a lyrical or thematic thread?
Green: Definitely, there are a lot of themes that are the same. When we talk about us as individuals and we talk about being self-actualized, that's some we represent. It's like, "What does that mean?" It's knowing yourself, acknowledging yourself, and being able to describe that within music. I'm creating certain points in my life and thinking of it macro and micro. What am I thinking about? What is this person thinking about? In "Hey O", I'm going through school. What does that mean for me personally and what does it mean for a generation? That song is about the idea knowing kids were going out during the Occupy Movement. Individually, everyone had different stories, but they came together for that one concept. It's like, "This sucks! I went to school for nothing. I don't even know why I'm complaining. It might not even be right for me to complain, but I feel the same way as that kid". It's that type of idea where it's that little person's individual problem on a micro scale, but everyone is connected to it.
Is that what "Hey O" is about?
Green: It's completely about that feeling and the whole Occupy Movement that happened.
Gold: It's very relatable.
Green: It's my story and the story of other people. It's like you're not really forced. You allowed the impressions to create something in your own mind. A lot of these songs are the beginning of that release. As the album comes out, people will see that there are different songs and perspectives. There's an actual growth of knowing and understanding yourself rather than feeling these different things.
Gold: The music is even self-actualization.
Do the songs possess a surface meaning and a deeper meaning?
Green: Always! That's how we write songs. That's what we love about music. That's how The Beatles, Bob Marley, and all of the great writers wrote songs. Red told me a story about The Mars Volta.
Red: Amputechture is dedicated to the plight of airport workers.
Green: Everything is reflecting a concept and part of the idea. That's how all of our songs are whether it's organic or completely planned out. Jack White said, "Even though everything seems like it's planned out, a lot of times, it's coming from an organic place that allows it to be what it is".
What's the story behind "Million Fans"?
Green: I'm directing it as being a rapper in this industry and in this band we're in. It's basically a disclaimer for all of the music on the EP. It says, "Who could make a million fans off of one track? A backpacking pop star with a skater pass". That's what all of this is encompassing. The first verse talks about from the standpoint of girls. It's what you think a rapper is. He's got all of these girls, but you have to apply reality to that. Girls think I have money, but I don't. I don't have money, but I'm not going to tell you I don't [Laughs].We can hang out. If that's what's making you hang out, I'm cool with that. The second verse talks about the actual money aspect. I'm starting to try to achieve something. Then, the third verse is the conclusion of what I'm trying to do. What is this art about? There's actually a message here. That's what this music is. Here's this disclaimer. One, I'm nothing to play with because I'm out here rapping. Two, we know what we're doing. Three, here are our plights. That's the intro, but it's not even an intro. It's our basis too. We started on the computer making rap beats and hip-hop songs. It turned out into a bunch of different stuff.
What's up with "I Love Lamp"?
Gold: You want to tell him the title?
Red: What we realized more recently is "L.a.m.p." is an acronym. The "L.a.m.p." is "ladies around my penis" [Laughs]. That's what "I Love Lamp" is really about, as crude as it may sound.
Green: That's the joke of the song. People see it as a breakup song. It's fun, but he's going through these emotive feelings. It's like you're trying to have a chick in one spot, and then you have a one-night stand. You obviously can't love anything. In Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Brick says "I love desk" and "I love lamp". He doesn't love anything. That's what the song describes.
Gold: The nonsensical title was just beautiful.
What rock bands are collectively into?
Gold: One of the biggest ones is The Drums.
Green: We like to pay respects to current acts. Everything influences us. Kendrick Lamar is great.
Gold: Fun. is great. Why don't more people talk about Tame Impala?
Green: Continuing to listen to great music coming out allows you to create something new.
Everything nowadays is in its own niche or lane. You fuse genres together in your own way. There's an appeal that crosses age barriers here.
Green: It amazes us when somebody who's fifty says, "I love that song".
Red: There's a guy in his sixties that my mom works with that loves our music. All of our parents our super proud of us. She'd show our music to everyone at her work. They'd get together and have meetings and parties, and she'd invite us. There was one guy in particular who loves our stuff, and he's an older gentleman, like I said. It's cool when it reaches people who we didn't expect to reach. When it does and we're made aware of that fact, it's a good feeling.
Gold: That's an excellent question. I'd say straight up Forrest Gump. There are types of journeys.
Red: That's just because you really like Forrest Gump [Laughs].
Green: I see the Forrest Gump reference. It's a comedy. It's a drama. It's everything in one movie. Everyone likes Forrest Gump. That's what I'd say the album is like.
Gold: Musically, it's the best movie! I watch it every year.
—Rick Florino & Amy Sciarretto