For cult performance artist, Beardyman, playing to a sit-down audience or helping drug-addled ravers reach for the lasers can come down to the day of the week.
BEARDYMAN interviewed August 15, 2016
For Street Press Australia [VIEW HERE]
“I find that the main difference is between crowds. More about the time of day and day of week I’m playing and whether or not they’re sitting down or standing up,” explains Beardyman, also known as the clean-cut Darren Foreman, the human voice-box machine who wields the swing of his audiences’ vibe to fuel his improv.
“If they’re sitting down on a Sunday afternoon at a comedy festival then everyone is either hungover or they’re the only kind of people who go to things on a Sunday afternoon. But, if it’s a Saturday night then they’re fucking havin’ it,” he stresses. “And, you’ve gotta be on your toes with a Friday night or Saturday night crowd and you can get a bit fucking mental.”
“If they’re sitting down on a Sunday afternoon at a comedy festival then everyone is either hungover or they’re the only kind of people who go to things on a Sunday afternoon.”
The former beatbox champion, and oft-described “ruler of beats and destroyer of dance floors”, earns his crust by making music with his mouth, looping over himself in cycles of dope-as-fuck tuneage relieved only by his comic genius — all improvised by design.
“I really enjoy fucking with people. It’s extremely funny to watch a crowd be forced to stand up and dance,” Foreman quips in a sinister tone. “If I’ve managed to get them up and dancing I’ll stop and say ‘what the fuck you doing, sit down!’ I like that. I mean, if they can get away with that shit in church, why can’t I? I’m better than the church. What’s God got? Nothing.”
Being the king of impromptu invention, Foreman has abandoned planned studio albums. In 2014 he started to record on the run with his show One Album Per Hour, where audiences suggest song titles and Foreman whips them up into live, interactive LPs.
“Well, I see it as like a unique way of releasing albums,” opines Foreman, comparing his initiative to the likes of Wu-Tang’s latest effort, which ended up in the hands of hedge-fund supervillain Martin Shkreli, and PJ Harvey’s recent ‘glass booth’ recordings. “It’s like the weirdest way ever of releasing an album, where you have to be in the room to record it in order to consume it and then you can never hear it again. I haven’t released them because I don’t want to flood iTunes and Spotify with this stuff — I’d rather keep it special.”
It seemed like a plan perfectly suited to his unique skill set, until some meddling Cardiff kids nearly stumped him. “Well I’m not easily stumped, but Cardiff certainly gave it a go,” he laughed, prompting the obvious follow-up question. “I went to Cardiff in Wales and all the questions were scatalogical in nature and profane and just wrong. They were coming up with the very worst subjects you could imagine, and this was for all of them – across the board. It was like, just awful shit.”