Monday, January 17, 2011

INTERVIEW: Keith! Party

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Mention hip hop to most and the first things that come to mind are American rappers with too many exit wounds, diamond encrusted teeth and more swear words than you can point a shotgun at. The idea of a troupe of kids from the hipster-filled northern suburbs of Melbourne being labeled hip-hop seems a little odd at first, but one listen to Keith! Party proves otherwise.
But don’t expect straight up rap – far from it. Sure there’s rapping and plenty of break-beats, but K!P are part of the new “rave-rap” music revolution. With their newest release, the Victoria Rocks-funded Roof Raisers, expect to hear dub reggae, grime bass, electro noises, triphop, old-school horror film melodies and vocals reminiscent of Destiny’s Child. Add in lyrics that would even make a sailor blush, and you have a winner. Paper-Deer’s favourite lines are “AIDS in a wheelchair on welfare” and the lyrics of Best Fiesta which imply girl-on-girl necrophilia. While Roof Raisers lacks the I’m-going-to-fucking-curb-you vibe of gansta rap, there’s still something darkly delicious about K!P’s messed-up brand of pop hip hop. File under “great music to have drugged-out sex to.”

Paige X. Cho got real with Cathead LaQuack, Talkshow Boy and 2SHEE. (We are pretty sure those are their birth names.)

The K!P entourage is always changing shape and size. Who are the core members of the group?
CATHEAD: Talkshow Boy, Cathead LaQuack, 2SHEE, Hotdog, Easy Lee, B. Jerky and our two dancers Amy Contortion and James Phantom. Also my brother DJ Wordlyfe. I was first introduced to Talkshow Boy by a wandering minstrel named Escobar Amsterdam. When I first saw him perform a live solo gig with his crazy asymmetrical haircut, I was blown away by his limitless energy and infectious enthusiasm. I met James and Amy when they were doing a dance show for the Fringe Festival and needed someone to write the music. James and Amy are two of the loveliest people I've ever met and their choreography made a brilliant new addition to our shambolic live show.
2SHEE: The rest of the band members were lured to Cathead’s bungalow with rainbow-coloured glowsticks.
TALKSHOW BOY: Every member of the crew has their own unique flow and style. Past members of K!P include Worm, Huge Euge, Treggers, MC Sleaze, Cheeks, Gezus, Conor G and many, many more party people.

Did you ever expect K!P to get this far in four years? Or ever?
CATHEAD: Despite the accidental and amateurish nature of the project, we've always suffered from delusions of grandeur and believed that it would go very far indeed. We started making absurdly bold proclamations about taking over the world, and we were so intoxicated that we started to believe them. The only unexpected thing about what's happened since then is that we've managed to get our shit together and actually organised things like getting a grant, recording and releasing an album, putting on shows and arranging interviews like this one.
TALKSHOW BOY: I’m still making bold proclamations. From the very first day the plan was to produce cutting-edge party music, create some classic and warped pop songs and party in an unorthodox, larger-than-life fashion when we perform. We’ve totally succeeded in every respect and we have no plans to let up. We are constantly producing stupid/experimental/fun dance jams and love making tracks with unconventional hooks.

Do you try to sketch out an idea of what will happen at each performance, or are they all sort of haphazard and spontaneous events depending on what and who you can grab?
TALKSHOW BOY: Every performance space is its own party playground - what is important is that we always seize the entire available space. We have different party supplies at every show and rudimentary dance-moves that coincide with some songs, but the key to a good party is a combination of spontaneity, break beats, bass and incidental grinding. In the past we’ve had bubbles, a jumping castle, party poppers, champagne, condoms, firecrackers, nudity, spliffs, potatoes, costumes, banners, toys, dildos, flags and plenty of fun. In the future we will continue to party with all of the above and more.

Maybe it’s something in the name of your band, the crazy live shows or the loose attitudes, but everything about K!P spells out “a good time”. What’s the craziest thing that has happened at a K!P show?
TALKSHOW BOY: We had a really uptight sound guy at one warehouse party who cracked the complete shits, getting in a fit of rage and swung a mic stand at us. He gave us this intense lecture on how we’re the worst non-band he’s seen in 20 years and if we were professionals we would have held the mics “correctly”. He was really shaken and red-in-the-face – it was quite unnerving but we laughed it off and proceeded to drink bottle after bottle of Sangria.

K!P are about to release a second album, Roof Raisers. What can your fans and well-wishers expect?
CATHEAD: Roof Raisers is our idea of the perfect party, with a lot of crazy guests, hilarious incidents, booty-shaking, playfulness, excessive behavior and colourful vibes. It's got some huge obnoxious beats, riffs and choruses but it may not be as dumb and obvious as you'd expect party music to be. After cranking it up loud with your friends, we hope you'll also enjoy it as a close private listen on your headphones, since there are a lot of hidden production nuances, funny backup vocals, witticisms and tongue-twisters.
TALKSHOW BOY: It’s underground pop music. I have always been fascinated by the ‘pop charts’ and love it whenever anything subversive, innovative, experimental or absurd sneaks in there and manages to come across as unequivocally “normal”. I wanted Roof Raisers to be a streamlined, cohesive party album that approximates commercial pop music just enough to get away with it whilst remaining progressive and resolutely leftfield and fucked-up in lyrical content.

While hip hop is probably the closest single genre to describe K!P, you still sound nothing like anything else in Australia. If you could create a new genre to describe K!P’s sound, what would it be called?
CATHEAD: It's true that we don't have much of an affinity with the majority of Aussie hip-hop artists but a recent review of our album in Rave Magazine accurately noted there is a hidden “second strand” of Australian rap that’s more ravey, fun and goofy than the better-known Aussie bogan variety. Leftfield Aussie rappers like Quan, Purple Duck, Shane Skillz, Dirt Child and Curse Ov Dialect are our kindred spirits.
We like to call our style "rave-rap", which basically means that apart from hip-hop, we're also heavily influenced by all kinds of electronic dance music and will rap over pretty much any kind of beat. The word "rave" refers to our musical style but also to our attitude: positive, hedonistic, juvenile, sincere, enthusiastic, loving, respectful, revolutionary.
TALKSHOW BOY: You can call us “rave-rap”, “party pop” or “sex beat”.

Anything else you’d like to add?
We will be releasing free rave-rap remixes and downloadable acapellas for further production and remixing through - we are passionate about screwed-up good-time dance music and will be unleashing plenty of it over the coming months and years. There are so many underground producers releasing killer dance tracks over the internet - we love the global spectrum of innovators and love sharing our own home-made floor-fillers.

  • Tuesday January 25: Workers Club with JUNK!, Fabio Umberto, Rat Vs Possum DJs, Amy Contortion [Roof Raisers official album launch]


  1. Fucking raddest fucking band to have ever radded.

  2. Keith! Party kill it! Can't wait to see them blow apart the Workers club!