Local music: We got the Beak

  • Article by: TOM HORGEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 28, 2012 - 5:32 PM

Doomtree's best producer likes his nachos hot and his beats hotter.

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Lazerbeak

Photo: Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

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These Doomtree guys must get bored quick. It was only last month that the hip-hop crew took over First Avenue and blanketed our collective consciousness with their acclaimed "No Kings" album.

But with the new year comes new Doomtree music -- this time in the form of speaker-crushing instrumentals by the group's go-to producer, Lazerbeak. On Tuesday, the real-life Aaron Mader released "Lava Bangers," a collection of 20 unreleased beats that went unused during Doomtree's rise to prominence. His wingman here is DJ Plain Ole Bill, who mixed the songs together, creating one seamless soundtrack.

I reached Lazerbeak by e-mail Saturday, while he was rolling through Omaha in a minivan, as Doomtree set out on the first leg of its 50-city "Kings" tour.

 

Q: These beats sound like you made them on the set of an action movie -- but you crafted them in your basement, right?

A: Ha ha, yeah, all in the basement. The "Legend Lair" as I've dubbed it. I made most of the beats in house shoes and a huge robe my mom made for me with "BEAK" stitched on the back. Hopefully with the millions I stack off this record I'll be able to create the next album on the set of "Mission: Impossible 5," though.

Q: What goes into making a proper lava banger?

A: The beat has to simultaneously make your head nod ferociously and make your face squish up like you just smelled something awful. Basically, the musical equivalent of super hot flames.

 

Q: On your last solo album, "Legend Recognize Legend," you sang. Why no singing this time?

A: At the time I made [that album] I hadn't sung or played guitar since [his old band] the Plastic Constellations called it quits some years back. I think every four years or so I'll probably get that urge to sing -- it'll be like the Summer Olympics or something -- but right now I'm just focused on production. Plus, me singing on records has generally equated to tens of thousands of non-recoupable dollars. Ha ha.

 

Q: You seem obsessed with all things "legendary." Who are your top three favorite legends (legends among legends, if you will)?

A: Alec Baldwin, Luther Vandross and Nemo from "Finding Nemo."

Q: You held a contest before the album was released, asking fans to create their own composition over one of your beats. Any crazy entries?

A: We've gotten more than 60 submissions over the last week, and a bunch have been from other countries. One dude rapped in Swedish.

Q: Explain yourself: What makes your nachos so special that you'd offer the recipe as pre-order swag with the new album?

A: The only real way to find out is to taste this nacho cheese. It is absolutely undeniable, basically my twist on a recipe my mom always made at Super Bowl parties. It is my dying wish to someday bottle this cheese and sell it internationally. If anyone has any ins with Velveeta, please let me know.

 

Q: Like I said before, some of these productions are quite epic. How do you think someone like Rick Ross would do rapping over "Thimble Man" or "Skronked Up"?

A: I think he would absolutely murder it. Oh, man, I would love to work with the "Bawse" [Ross] someday. He's one of my favorites. I think [Plain Ole] Bill is working on a version of "Lava Bangers" where he drops a bunch of a capella verses and hooks from our favorite mainstream rappers and R&B singers on top of each track. Hopefully, Rozay [Ross] will be all over that thing.

  • related content

  • Audio: "Skronked Up" by Lazerbeak

    Wednesday January 25, 2012

    "Skronked Up" by Lazerbeak from the Lava Bangers CD

  • Audio: "Xylophone" by Lazerbeak

    Wednesday January 25, 2012

    "Xylophone" by Lazerbeak, from the Lava Bangers CD.

  • LAZERBEAK

    Album: "Lava Bangers."

    Available: In stores or at doomtree.net.

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