GOING HARD IN THE PAINT, SYDNEY’S LATEST ARRIVAL TO THE TOP OF THEIR GAME, MIND OVER MATTER HAVE HIT BACK WITH NEW STRENGTH ON THEIR SECOND ALBUM, JUST LIKE FIREWORKS.
MC WILLOW interviewed @ 11.00 AEST – Thursday 7th April, 2011
For Street Press Australia & Rip2Shredz Press
Words by RIP NICHOLSON
Going hard in the paint, Sydney’s latest arrival to the top of their game, Mind Over Matter have hit back with new strength on their second album, Just Like Fireworks.
Ryan Lockyer, who plays the MC Willow in the pair, dissects the growth and maturity poured into this LP, which in the opinions of many reviews is sitting pretty atop of 2011’s hip hop album released so far. “We’re having fun and it’s still got that young positive outlook on things, but, yes, naturally as you grow through your albums the subjects grow stronger also. Things get more serious, but we try not to let it take us somewhere too dark.”
On their 2008 mixtape, Free The Wolves, Lockyer admits to similarly having fun recording it. “We definitely worked on it like an album, but we just made it as mixtape so we didn’t have to take it so seriously as an album. Here we were able to grow and show a dirty mixtape kinda thing”
Recently partner-in-rhyme Martin ‘Smiles Again’ Brown said in an interview with Drum’s sister publication 3D World that the first LP “ticked the boxes” off on party songs, about-a-girl songs and drinking anthems. Now, swinging back into a full studio release three years after their début, …Fireworks shows the maturity of a group that’s had the privilege of sharing a touring support slot for Australian champions Bliss N Eso last year, hitting South East Asia and Japan. Lockyer explains that organically this album is a better body of work than the first. “Lyrically, yes, we’ve gotten darker with songs on there, but we’ve got like our own wild styles going on mixed in with songs that relate to certain issues that are going on with the world at the moment. So we try to cover a lot of bases and get a lot of stuff out.”
On ‘Hollow Eyes,’ Lockyer and Smiles rap about the seedy sides of haunts both home and abroad, such as King’s Cross and Thailand’s sex industry. The emotively-driven track contrasts with the lighter affairs of Mind Over Matter’s catalogue. “Smiles got to see an ugly side first-hand and I was working in the Cross for almost a year. We like the descriptive lyrics so we painted the pictures that we saw and it really helped on those kinda tracks,” Lockyer confides. “Also with the music, we feel that we’ve progressed with a lot more live instrumentals and with really good producers as well, including our own producer DJ Ills. So we’ve really branched out with it and we’re happy with how it’s come out.”
Leading the way and shouting from the rooftops, the potential of this album’s staying power is in the first released single, ‘Rappers In Wonderland,’ as Smiles and Willow bounce effortlessly over a heaving guitar riff in a joint that carries with it an undeniable head-nodding addiction.
“When that beat played, me and Smiles just looked at each like, ‘alright we’ve got one here.’ It was so good to write a rhyme over a beat that came across to us so well,” describes an excited Lockyer, also playing high-tempo tracks on tour like ‘This Wonderful Life’ which sees the MCs go in over Biffy Clyro’s ‘The Captain’ “It was a blast and we’re really looking forward to playing them live.
“We really feel that we’ve come into our own right now, I mean we’ve been making music for a while now and learned so much,” explains Lockyer on the constant learning curve. “We’ve taken that on board and we’re happy to see something we’ve worked so hard on get this recognition. Also there have been a lot of setbacks along the way, so with it finally out, it’s great.”