ODDJOBS - Interview

The Night was dark, and The Atmosphere were late, I am there waiting in the freezing warmth of Arizona when I saw him, coming out of nowhere (the concert room actually)… Oddjobs will be playing tonight together with the Rhymesayers people, and ‘him’ is Nomi from Oddjobs, who was in the mood for a few questions…

Can you introduce yourself to us quickly ?

My name is MC Nomi, I’m from the Oddjobs Crew, we’re out of Brooklyn, NY, originally from Minneapolis/St Paul, the "Twin Cities" in Minnesota.

Why are you here tonight ?

Actually, Oddjobs is right now on the North American ‘Not Another Leg Tour’ with DJ Shadow, and last night we played in Scottsdale, AZ, and since we have a day off today and we know Atmosphere and Rhymesayers from back home in Minnesota, they said we could come on tonight, and do a short set with them.

Do you have any project with Atmosphere ?

With Atmosphere, no, we never released anything directly with them, our first album with is called Conflicts and Compromise and was released, I believe, in 1999, Slug was featured on one of the songs "Hungerpants", but no we actually did nothing with them, Crescent Moon, who is one of the three emcees in Oddjobs, in the past was Atmosphere’s hype man, so, we have like an ongoing relationship with them, and did a few shows with them.

What are your projects with Oddjobs as a group ?

Recently, we moved out to New York, last September, from Minnesota, just to try to go the bigger city, and try to find a new market; we recently within that time recorded and released a new album which is called Drums, it has been released September 17th and been out for a couple of weeks now, on Third Earth Music, you can check it out at various websites, just lookup "Oddjobs" and you’ll be able to find it, our check out your local record store, and that’s what working on; we’re on tour now, that project took about a year and a half to make, all the production was made by DJs Anatomy and Deetalx, and there’s Crescent Moon, Advisor and myself Nomi.

Do you feel that your are well received in the US until now ?

We’re starting a branch out of the Midwest, and we’re getting a good reception in the areas around, you know, Chicago, Minneapolis… Since we moved to New York, we’ve had the opportunity to tour on the east coast with fellow label groups that are one Third Earth that like Jean Grey, Subconscious, the Masterminds, and so I feel like now, we’re on the Shadow Tour, and this tour started in Las Vegas and it goes Down South, Up the East Coast and ends in New York, so I think we’ll be able to branch off and catch new audiences on this tour…

Do you aim at anything worldwide, at least outside the US ?

I think, that at this point a lot of the steps we’re doing right now are really gradual, and it’s something that we can actually look back on, and see that we improved, small steps to bigger things, nothing has come overnight, things are gradually progressing, and over the last few years it has definitely moved up and it has never been stagnant, it’s just a slow progression.

Do you intend to tour other countries ?

We’d love to ! Right now we are getting a lot of reviews in Europe for our new album and hopefully, we’ll catch on, it kinda depends on what promoters do in Europe or in Japan that are willing to bring us up there, and are a hundred percent willing to go anywhere, you know, this is our jobs now : we’re down to make tours, we’re down to make albums.

Do you think that you could get a better reception in Europe or in Japan than what you had in the US ?

I think that nationally hip-hop fans in places like Europe or Japan are more prone to religiously love the culture more than actually for what the group is… Not that I’m saying that we’re wack, but I just think that, since there is that language barrier, people can’t always understand what precisely the emcee is saying, it is more about being inside the culture and loving hip-hop so much that they want to know more about it, know where it came from and know so much that they are great supporters of it, and I think that markets over the seas are great, and I’m still waiting for us to break that barrier…

Do you think that the internet has had an influence on your progression or can have one in the future ?

Definitely ! There is what people call the ‘backpacker’ group in hip-hop right now, what the hip-hop generation is turning into and I think that Internet is a great way to communicate and to learn about new things that you would normally not be able to actually see or hear or touch, so by going to the Internet you can discover things that are not next to you and it’s a great thing…

You told that you released an album earlier this year, so when is the next due ?

Probably not for a while… We finished this album last May, and we had to sit on it because our label wouldn’t release it until the fall, so right now we don’t have the time to work on the next album because we’re touring, we only started two new songs for the next piece, I think that on the next album we’re gonna take some more time, ‘Drums’ was more to push us nationally and to get our name on, so I guess that our next album will more be on spending serious time into creating just the illest it can possibly be, not to say that ‘Drums’ didn’t do that, but it was more a tool, to wake up the world, wake up the masses on what we’re on, and I think that our next projects are gonna be more on personal albums for ourselves and how we, like to make music…

Do you think we are likely to see you individually, featuring with some groups to spread the word about Oddjobs ?

Me personally, I’m really focusing on Oddjobs and what we can do together; I think that we’re all unified toward a same goal which is making Oddjobs the best group that it can be, but you never know what is gonna happen in the future; at this point I think that it will be our biggest focus now and for the next couple of years, but I’m always down to work with various artists, I’ve done that in the past and I still do… You know, kids hit you up, come over to my house, drop this track… So, I’m not trying to restrict myself, even if the focus right now is Oddjobs.

Do you have any ideas or plans on what you want to do in the next album ?

I think that I want to make more of a "mood", personal album perhaps something that rides more on a theme; what that theme is I don’t know yet, but the next album will be for people to catch our personal styles, and let them walk away from categories, and create more or less our own category, within hip-hop…

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