Monday, December 29, 2008

The Young Punx...Insane Clown Posse?

Well, its time for another interview here at You Been Crushed.....this time I've brought you The Young Punx.....a UK outfit that takes the term "mashup" and, well, mashes it up.

Ok, I've watched a clip of the The Young Punx Live in Tokyo on your site. First of all congratulations on being total shredders. Could you please introduce the members briefly and their role in the empire?

'Total shredders..' that's a great expression and one we now wear with pride! Well The Young Punx are an innovative collective of diverse musicians led by multi-instrumentalist and producer, Hal Ritson. Other members of the band include co-founder Cameron Saunders, Guthrie Govan (Guitarist of The Year in Guitarist magazine), drummer Simon Bettison, DJ Medcab, singers Laura Kidd (currently touring with Tricky), Yolanda and Tiffiany Gore and Phonat (considered one of the most exciting new producers to emerge in 2008). We also have awesome guest vocals our next album from New York rapper MC Paul Barman, and Memphis rapper Count Bass D.

Seems like the Young Punx and crew have been on the UK music scene a while. Are their any musical skeletons in the closet? At the very least I detect a Drum and Bass DJ and a jazz guitarist....

We've been carving away our own niche for around 4- 5 years now and it feels like the musical direction is starting to swing in our favour. Our mission has always been to totally mash-up styles and fuck around with genre policies and currently you're starting to see a lot more of that with a move away from this ridiculous notion that to be 'real' you have to stick to one style and one style only. With respect to ‘skeletons in the closet’ Hal is behind the scenes on any number of the biggest dance records from the past dew years, including playing keyboards on “Call on me” singing the “Jimmy Sommerville” vocals on Supermode’s “Tell me why” and even playing most of the instruments on the current Sugababes release “No can do”!

Aside from the Young Punx, you have a record label as well. How long have you been doing that and who are your artists? Do you distribute physical copies (cd, vinyl) or is it strictly digital?

Yes we do, MofoHifi Records (2 years old). It deals in fresh and creative club tracks with quality mass appeal. Our focus has always been to try and discover exciting new talents in electronic music and developing them into real contenders for A-list staus; Phonat is probably the most pertinent example of us at work.. we are no where near the peak of Phonat but already the reactions to his music has been amazing... it means we're sticking true to our mission! Other artists include, Goshi Goshi, Sharooz and Deltawave plus of course it's a home for our own music. We used to issue vinyl but the market has bottomed out so mainly it's just digital.

I see you have a Shir Khan remix. We have that in common.... who else on the "scene" do you know/respect/like?

Shir Khan is legendary, his mix of Dirty Damp is awesome. We have a couple of Riva Starr tracks that have been a staple part of our DJ sets all year so we got him to do a mix for our next track, Juice & Gin featuring Yolanda.. we're REALLY pleased with the results. We also share our studio with drum and bass producers “Chase & Status”. They are absolutely incredible, and everyone should check out their new album “More than a lot” on Ram Records. Sinichi Osawa, the sampler of his new album is fucking incredible! And if you want a party I suggest you go out with Micky Slim!

Finally, are their any memorable shows you've played in US cities, (especially NYC!) and do you have plans of touring US cities (esp NYC!)

We played in New York last summer at the Mercury Lounge, which went really well, though of course it was our first ever live gig in the states, so fairly low key. Why weren’t you there?!!!! J We ended being interviewed by foxy drummer from Hole, Samantha Maloney, in Battery Park, and having races along the water front wearing clown masks. Did you know she can body pop quite well?

I could write you a whole book on the reasons the rest of that week (which included gigs in San Fran and LA) was memorable. It involved losing a bowler hat in a stretch limo in San Fran at 4 in the morning, a Mustang Shelby GTH, a stripper called Louise and drifting practice road through the Hollywood Hills. Make up your own story from there I guess.

We plan to come back to the USA at some point in 2009 to coincide with the release of our second album, but we don’t have any dates in the calendar firmly as yet.

We are DJ ing in Vancouver on New Years Eve if that counts though.

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