Hip Hop Group Detox Junky Is Interviewed By Dubb Spot Records.
Dubb Spot Records had the opportunity to speak with Detox Junky, a hip hop group from Seattle.
We discussed the significance of this hip hop group’s name, how they feel about music that’s came out within the last 10 years and more. Let’s check out their interview answered by Kaspar Hauser of Detox Junky
DSR: How old were you when you developed an interest in hip hop music?
Detox: I was banging on pots and pans and trying to create music as early as I can remember. I honestly cannot remember a time when I was NOT interested in music.
DSR: What was your earliest musical memory? What formed your love of hip hop music in your head?
Detox: My earliest musical memory would have to be watching my grandma dance around to Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson singing “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.’
I think the point where I decided music was something I was passionate about and might be something I want to pursue was when I was in 3rd grade and got a copy of the Beastie Boys ‘Licensed To Ill’ tape. After listening to that, I knew this was something I had to be a part of.
DSR: Let’s get to know a little more about you and how you grew up. What was it like in your hometown? What kind of kid were you?
Detox: I grew up in Seattle. From the age of 4 until I was 13 or so, we lived in a neighborhood called Rainier Beach. As I was growing up, this area became a high crime, low-income, and gang infested area. I really didn’t understand this at the time, it was just home to me, and I loved it. I was always a little shit when I was young, running around stealing from the mall, riding buses to the swap meet so I could hustle up money, and hanging out with the local trouble makers.
DSR: So let’s talk about your hip hop music. How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before?
Detox: The Detox Junky sound is hip hop, first and foremost. We try to stay true to that underlying element, but then incorporate as much as possible from other genres on top of it. If I had to put the sound in to words, I’d call it alternative hip-hop with a metal and dubstep twist.
DSR: What is the significance of your name?
Detox: It’s an oxymoron, plain and simple. At the same time though, it’s an observation of the human drug addict condition. For example, I know people who are hooked on something, many of us have been there, and they go to rehab to get clean then just come out and get hooked on the same drug again. They end up doing this repeatedly – over and over and over again. It gets to a point where you start to wonder which they are addicted to most, getting high or detoxing.
To simplify, being a Detox Junky is like banging your head against the wall because it feels so good when you stop.
DSR: There’s a part of the industry that irks me the most, where great hip hop music gets overlooked because it doesn’t fit a mold. How frustrating is that for you, if people seem to think that you don’t have that sound for radio?
Detox: That’s definitely one of the most frustrating things about this business. I remember a time, at least I think I do, when DJ’s pushed the boundries and were eager to break new sounds and create new trends. Now it seems that radio is all pigeonholed into this ‘safety zone’ where they can only play the same 10 or 12 songs all day long, because the corporate bosses are scared that if they try something new it may cause the listeners to change the station before the next commercial. As a business man, I can understand their reasoning, but as an hip hop artist I hate it. This corporate stranglehold on hip hop music exposure is why consumers have turned to the internet and new outlets to discover their music. The corporate train is still chugging along, but doesn’t understand why it’s numbers are in decline. Maybe they’ll get it someday.
DSR: What do you think needs to be brought to hip hop music in this decade and how do you plan to add to that?
Detox: I know it’s cliché to say this, but originality has to be brought back to hip hop music. Artists need to be a little more willing to push boundaries and try something new. Everyone seems so scared to try new sounds because they know it may result in them getting shunned by radio and record labels, but I think it’s important to keep hip hop music evolving and progressing, and that’s what consumers want.
With the Detox Junky sound, we try to push boundaries as much as possible and mix different elements and genres in new ways. That’s absolutely critical for us.
DSR: What do you think of hip hop music that came out in the last decade?
Detox: I think there’s a lot of good hip hop music, but there’s also a lot of rehashing the same old sounds and formulas. I’m not one to knock anyone’s art, because everyone has their own opinions and art forms, but when I want to listen to good hip hop music I definitely find myself seeking out artists who are willing to try something new, more than hip hop artists who hide behind artistic safety zones.
DSR: How would you rate the music that your music competes against in your local area?
Detox: We don’t really think of the hip hop music industry in terms of competition. In Seattle, the music scene is well-known for having originality. Everyone is well aware of the rock and alternative music that our city produces, but I think our hip hop scene gets passed by and underrated constantly. There’s a ton of good hip hop in Seattle and I hope it gets the recognition it deserves someday. I’m glad to see artists like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis doing their part to change that. It was great to see a Seattle name debut at #1 on the iTunes charts. That’s what we need around here.
DSR: Have you learned any lessons so far and if so, what are they?
Detox: The biggest lesson I think we’ve learned is to make hip hop music that you like personally. Don’t worry too much about trying to impress other people because some people will hate it and some people will love it. You simply cannot please everyone and no one should rack their brain trying.
DSR: Do you write all of your own hip hop material? And if so, are you working on any new projects or have any projects that you are promoting right now?
Detox: Lyrically, we write all of our own songs unless, of course, we are doing a cover or a remake of a certain song. Musically, we produce some of our own music, but we also work with a large group of very talented producers who produce hip hop music that we think fits with the lyrics we write. We spend a lot of time and effort to put together the perfect tracks for what we would want to hear ourselves. If we like it, and we’d listen to it, then we are happy with the result.
We just recently released our debut EP, Astronaut Psychology. We are now putting the final touches on our debut full length album, Acts of Terror, which will be released at the end of October.
DSR: Where can the people find you performing or attend the events you are involved in?
Detox: We plan to tour Southeast Asia at the beginning of 2013, with stops in places like Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and more. In the meantime, you can find us playing locally, in Washington State, and when we get back from Asia, we’ll be expanding our coverage to the rest of the U.S.
DSR: Where can we find your hip hop music online and offline?
Detox: You can find our hip hop music online at our website, http://DetoxJunky.info, as well as iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, and just about every music network there is. You can find our albums on Amazon, eMusic, and most places where hard copy CDs are still sold – though I know they are few and far between these days.
DSR: We ask all hip hop Artists that we interview, what’s the best piece of advice that someone has ever given to you?
Detox: Treat your music career like a business, but don’t lose touch with the art. Make music that you’d enjoy yourself, but work hard to gain exposure for it.
DSR: Is there anything else that you would like to include in closing of this interview?
Detox: We just want to thank everyone who reads this, thank you for the interview, and thank those who have enjoyed our hip hop music and kept us going. We appreciate every bit of support we get! Anyone curious about our music can check us out at http://DetoxJunky.info
Ending Note… It’s not every day that you run across a hip hop group that is so articulate and well-versed on the current state of the hip hop game. It’s refreshing for us to speak with artists such as this. At the end of the day it’s all about the love for hip hop music and we appreciate every facet of it.
We appreciate the hip hop group Detox Junky for stopping by Dubb Spot today!