Themselves on the Porch



My first instinct when I get an interview back with no adherence to capitalization, punctuation, or sentence structure is to clean it up, fix the ‘errors,’ and in this particular case, rewrite the whole thing. Then I thought, ‘Wait, Themselves‘ music seems to mirror this interview-in-the-raw too well to lay the grimy hands of grammar on it.’ Below is an interview with the dudes that have long been known for letting their unbridled muse loose to thrash about inside their songs – now it is on the Porch.


Mixtape (zip-file): Themselves – FREEhoudini

Q: How are you doing?

A: fantastic…just finished out little westcoast FREEhoudini tour…twas smashing in all regards…

Q: What influence does living in Oakland (if you still do) – and being a part of the Anticon collective have on your music?

A: well, we make all our music at home…in theO…and as a divorce baby…i had never lived anywhere longer than three years, my entire life, so being that i have lived in oakland for a decade now, i call it home, and rep it with all my might…as for the anticon collective, it influences us permanently and entirely, its the difference between us and everyone else, and us and our former selves, we are commited to our trusted group of good guys, and forever proud of the inspired individuals and fans who surround us because of it…i have never been patriotic, but i will flash my ant and stand tall anyday…

Q: Was there a particular incident or catalyst that made you guys think that you should strip yourselves back down into your previous form, Themselves?

A: no, more a color to the winds around us, and reality to the difficult financial times we are all in…in all, it was a sociopoliticalpanenvironment omen and tow that got us back into themselves, a bit of rigtous indignation mixed with cometiming…

Q: How does a Themselves’ song come into existence? (The process of writing one, and collaborating with each other).

A: its either greased lightning, or decomposition slow…in the sense that some songs come to us in a sitting, music, and even words…others exist too clearly in our heads before we begin making them, therefor, when we attempt to manifest them in the real world with drum machine and throat, everything is close to perfect, but not just right…and we have to search a little slower for the finishing strokes…that being said, all themselves songs, go through layers of treatment, both the production and lyrics, are built up and torn down many times over, before we mix and finish songs…with both jeff and i commenting and working on all ends of the songs…i produce with jeff, and he is my grand inquisitor for my raps, if they past the jeff test, they are good to golden…

Q: Was there a pool of subject, or object matter you were pulling from for ‘CrownsDown’ (besides the obvious anti-monarchy stance)?

A: yes, we wanted to make a rap record, in its sonics and tennants…so we mined our rap collections for albums we felt fit perfect into rap, and modeled our overall motiffs, to be ones that ring true to our lives and aesthetics, and that are classical rap themes…however only themes that still hold true in the 2000times…so there is a bootleging song, a guess who”s back song, a don”t fuck with my dj song, a don’t bite song,a love song, a diss song or 5…and again our main motto in the themselveses band…is be honest or be destroyed…to stand by a line in the sand…

Q for Doesone: You seem to be quite the literary gentleman, having published a volume of your own poetry as well as your massive body of lyrics which could be considered poetic. With that being said, do you remember the first book or author that you connected with? What are some other writers who have shaped your word-output, and what are you reading now?

A: ha…yes, the first thing i read like a feind was watchmen…and the around the same time, i also read of mice and men…guess that sure time stamps a motherfucker…the dilemmas of lenny and rourshack…both widened me signifigantly…then public school systems gradually made me hate reading….and i still do…

however, in college i got into poetry, and reading my favorite poets and living with why?, is my only unformal coloquial training…i like my talent raw and spelling poor…i like cracks in my finish…that being typed…my favorite pen pushers are…dylan thomas, gallway kinnel, bob kaufman,maralyn hacker,and david berman…i also love a great deal of other poets, but the above are the ones i would take a bullet for…

Q: What do you do before a show to get hyped?

A: crack a joke or two, do a shot if its that far into a tour…for jeff and i we step into it, our stage selves are far greater than us, more an armiture or exoskeleton we step into, so there is no prep, we put on our grey on grey suites, and do what we were meant to, then we take them off, and pack dose and jel”s gear back into the rental van, and adam&jeff make a b-line for a thing called bed…

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A: sure, did you know? ben franklin invented the fire department…initialy there was a plaque you paid for, that said i am paying the fire department, and if your house was on fire, they would put it out, but if you had no plaque, they would watch it burn…

also spiders will not spin webs from light blue paint…apparently there is something about spinning their webs on lightblue paint, that disoreints them and makes discerning their webbing from the surrounding difficult…thats how i feel when i perform our songs at instores…

thanks for the time and incline…love adam and jeff

If you enjoyed this romp of an interview and the accompanying song, then perhaps you will also enjoy this post, which is entirely dedicated to Doseone’s musical output.

One response to “Themselves on the Porch

  1. oh bill, you are the best

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