Former King Blues front man and electro-punk MC Itch will be giving Brighton a taster of his hard-hitting, beats fuelled sound at this weekends Great Escape Festival. Performing two shows on Saturday 18th May, this will be Itch’s first solo outing at the festival since the split of his former band. Gigslutz caught up with him to get the lowdown on the making of his album and why he doesn’t give a fuck what you think of it…!
GS: Hi Itch, how are you doing?
Itch: Hello. Yeah man all good. All fucking good.
GS: Good! How is the album coming along?
Itch: The album is finished. Fuck man, two and a half years we spent on the album and it’s incredible to have it all done. John Feldman is an awesome producer. You know it is my first solo album, and we just went in and fucking did it.
Nothing was going to hold us back. You know, in a band you can get held back, and that’s fine but we went in with no no money, we had no food, we were sleeping on drum kits man but we just did it and we are totally thrilled with what we ended up with. I can’t wait for people to hear it.
GS: Cool, looking forward to it. So how is the sound different from your previous stuff with King Blues?
Itch: It’s entirely different man. No one should be expecting the next King Blues album. It’s on totally varying levels and it’s totally new. Sonically, I wanted to go with something new you know. Its punk, hip hop, dancehall, b-boy. You have to listen man, we just don’t give A FUCK. We made what the fuck we thought sounds good, so if you dig it, that’s great, if you don’t then I don’t really give a fuck man…
GS: Have you had much feedback from King Blues fans on this?
Itch: Yeah, we’ve just had a brilliant tour of America with AWOLNATION and there were people turning up in King Blues t-shirts and that was good. Some wanted to speak after which was cool, but you know what I don’t give too much of a fuck. I don’t care too much for feedback, if you like it great but at the end of the day I don’t give a fuck and I’d do it anyway ‘cos I fucking love it
GS: As you’ve already mentioned there is some quite obvious punk and reggae influences and hip hop in your music. Is this what you grew up listening to and influenced you to do music? Or were you a closet stereophonics fan?!!
Itch: I left home at 13 and lived on the streets. I was taken in by a big group of Spanish punks. They couldn’t really speak English but that was cool. They’d just play a load of Spanish punk music which was all I needed. I didn’t know what exactly was being said but it was the vibe and the passion I loved. It was around the time of all the Oasis and Blur stuff, but that shit never spoke to me, man. I was in South London and you couldn’t even get Radio 1 because there was that many pirate radio stations popping up with brilliant music.
I suppose I always have just been a fan of rebellious street music, you know. People who have something to say the likes of John Lennon, Joe Strummer, you know…
GS: Your music seems to carry a message and you seem an opinionated person. What one thing pisses you off the most?
Itch: Oh I dunno mate… I guess apathy. The way we are told to go out and work, we eat poisoned food, pay out tax then watch X Factor. The world is full of people being spoon fed bull shit. But I do love one and all.
GS: Are you looking forward to The Great Escape and who are you looking forward to going to see?
Itch: Yeah I’m really looking forward to it. All my band are American so it will be great to get them over here and get them to see some of the weird places and seeing all of the people around the street. There is no one in particular who I am going to see, I’m not even looking at the line up, I just like stumbling across bands doing their thing and catching some great musicians.
GS: We have a radio show which we do in conjunction with the website. Do you want to pick 3 songs for a mini play list? They can be your favourite songs, what you’re listening to at the minute, songs you want to big up, or one of your own numbers…
Itch: Awesome! Ok Generation X, ‘Kiss me Deadly’. I’ll go Black Twang ‘So Rotten’ and Public Enemy ‘Fight the Power’
GS: Quality Choices. I reckon some of those were probably on the playlist anyway! Ok, lets end with some silly questions….What is in your pockets right now?
Itch: Let me check. Oh Shit!! (met by an awkward silence)
GS: Erm ok, we’ll leave that one – What was the last text you received?
Itch: Let me have a look for you… (again, silence….) I aint saying that man!!
GS: Ok, we’ll leave that one too! If you could be invisible for a day what would you do?
Itch: I’ve actually given time to thinking about this question. I just go steal a load of burgers and eat them man. An invisible burger stealer, that’d be me…
GS: Anything else you’d like to add?
Itch: I’d just like to say thank you to Gigslutz for checking us out and peace out
Itch will be playing The Great Escape Festival this Saturday (18th May) and you will also be able to catch him at the Slam Dunk Festival at the end of the month.
Keep an eye out for his album release dates and to keep you going whilst you wait, you can check out his music here – http://itchsmixes.com