Kill The Vultures (Minneapolis)
Published in The Pulse of The Twin Citiesby Kandis Knight
A few short years ago one of the Twin Cities best Hip-Hop groups, Odd Jobs, left for the bright lights of New York City. Now they’ve returned (well, most of them). With a new album, a new sound and a new name, people get ready, Kill the Vultures have set foot to Minneapolis.
Kandis: OK, so everyone wants to know, what really happened to Odd Jobs?
Nomi: Odd Jobs broke up and created a new group called Kill The Vultures. It consists of Anatomy (Stephen Lewis), Crescent Moon (Alexei Casselle), Nomi (Mario De Mira) and Advizer (Adam Waytz).
Kandis: Where did the name and title come from?
Anatomy: Kill The Vultures is a chorus on one of our songs and it was just really fitting. To me it means kill the demons that haunt you. It has a sort of dark comedic quality to it. It’s supposed to be funny but truthful at the same time
Crescent Moon: The title means something different to everyone. It’s about getting rid of the vultures on your shoulders, whatever a vulture may be in your life. Get rid of all the dumb shit.
Kandis: What distinguishes this album from your previous projects?
Crescent Moon: We came with a whole new approach for this album. I feel like on the old albums we never really knew what the hell we were doing but at least this time we acknowledged it, you know, and are just coming fresh this time. Anatomy would get a loop going or the basic feeling for a track, a beat playing, and we would all sit in a room and freestyle over it for awhile and record that and listen for things we might want to use. We wanted to keep it as spontaneous as possible and not go over it with a fine-toothed comb. I feel like our past recordings never embodied what we were about. Our live shows were always better than our recordings, the recordings weren’t edgy enough. We came with this approach where we had to make it as raw as possible. We would usually just start recording and try to [get the whole song down] in one take.
Nomi: We recorded this album in a booth that was 3 by 3 and all three of us were in there in the middle of the summer in California. It was very intense. We opened up our communication between ourselves. We would all talk about the songs and what they meant over and over again. We wanted to show ourselves in each verse. We kept saying to ourselves, keep it “nasty,” reminiscent of our old school days in basements, with friends.
Kandis: Production-wise, how else did things change?
Crescent Moon: We have always been cautious and over-analytical about what we were recording. I think we all have these obsessive-compulsive tendencies where we listen to things over and over again. This time we decided as long as you can feel what you did and can stand behind it then it’s good. Every time I listen to what is now the final Kill The Vultures record, there are still moments when I get goosebumps, it still moves me. That’s what I’m most proud of. We kept it real. We got right to the point. No fillers.
Anatomy: Everything became a direct reflection of our selves. This is an open and direct reflection of what we are and what we do.
Kandis: How do you think your fans will react to these changes?
Nomi: The old records don’t matter, nothing matters. In the grand scheme of things nothing matters. This type of thinking eliminates our egos and our safety nets and let’s us just do us. People can call it multi-genre music if they want.
Kandis: How have things changed on the business end of what you guys are doing?
Anatomy: We used to care about business things but now we just realize we’re like pieces of shit and we’re just rolling with it. Actually, we are on a different label than we had before. We used to be on a Hip-Hop label. Now we’re on an Avant Garde label. We sent CDs out to a bunch of labels and we got contacted by an Avant Garde/punk label and they introduced us to some cool ideas so it seemed like a good fit. Business-wise we’re just trying to get by. We have no manager currently. Locust Music (Chicago, Ill.) created an imprint called Jib Door to start with us and other musicians including 12-string Chinese guitar music and anything you can think of. They also put out a bunch of beatnik jazz groups and they started a new label that is basically us and a bunch of beatnik jazz groups so we’re kind of a beatnik Hip-Hop group. I stand behind that.
Kandis: How do you feel your music represents the Twin Cities?
Anatomy: When we were in New York we were definitely influenced by the music there and we learned a lot about the basic Hip-Hop sound. When we came back here we threw all that out the window and made something that doesn’t have a basic Hip-Hop sound. Like Minnesota weather it’s dark and cold and there are like train tracks. It definitely has a Midwest feel. It’s raw and doesn’t have a glossy West Coast feel or a New York street feel. It’s more like open country and train tracks. Because this album is so much more “realized” than our other work I think it can tap into a new market but will also appeal to the people who liked us before.
Kill the Vultures have their first ever performance (and unofficial CD release show) on Sun. Feb. 20 at the Triple Rock Social Club with Askeleton. 10 p.m. 21+. TBA. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-333-7399. Locust Music will be officially releasing the album in April but the group made a bunch of bootleg copies and put them at Electric Fetus, Cheapo and Fifth Element. They have glow in the dark covers. Check out Kill the Vultures on their official website at KillTheVultures.com.