Interview: MC Bliss from Bliss n Eso

Had a chat to MC Bliss from Bliss n Eso about their recent album release Running on Air and their upcoming tours.

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They’ve been busy boys but Bliss N Eso show no signs of slowing down as they continue touring new album Running on Air through the festival circuit. Heading to Canberra for Stonefest and Melbourne for the Another World Under 18 Music Festival, they’re ready to give their younger fans a show like no other.

Can I just kick things off with a huge congrats to you guys on the success of Running on Air! It’s seriously an amazing piece of art that shows all the hard work and effort you’ve put in. It’s gone nuts!
Oh wicked, thanks. That’s good to hear!

You must be pretty pleased.
Yeah, you know, we didn’t really have massive expectations or anything it was more kind of well, let’s do the best we can and put it out and we were stoked with the response so yeah for us to get the spread that it’s really pushing for and the cross over that it’s getting is awesome so we’re stoked.

You knocked Eminem off his top spot of the ARIA charts when your album was debuted back in August, you must be seriously chuffed with that! Obviously knocking Eminem off is a little bit crazy but..
Yeah look it’s crazy, like it happened to be Eminem who was debuting at number one the week before and had been for 6 weeks yeah so, I guess you want to debut, well any band wants to debut as well as they can when they put their record out because it means more exposure and all that kinda stuff so, for us…we were hoping to do well, like number one was just looking like it was just way out of reach because of who we were up against, so to actually do that, it was pretty special for us, we were pretty stoked. It could’ve been any genre that was number one and we knocked off but it happened to be pretty much the biggest single hip-hop entity in the world! [Laughs] yeah we were definitely stoked with that…

Quite fitting really, yeah! And the success of the album has been proven with your nominations for the J Award and the Channel V 2010 Oz Artist of the Year, you must be pretty happy with the recognition that it’s getting there?
Yeah definitely! I mean, it’s awesome to be nominated for some of these awards, especially, my particular favourite ones are the more fan voting or public voting ones because it really, to me it shows what the fans are really digging and I like that as opposed to you know more industry selected awards. It’s great getting nominated for either but the fan ones, the public voted ones are definitely favourites of ours.

You guys are really connected with your fans… I’m a fan on your Facebook page and it’s awesome to get updates and see where you guys are at and you thank your fans all the time, it’s so refreshing to see that and you really connect with your fans, it’s great.
Yeah I think we definitely realised pretty early in the game that… the power of the net is obviously building and has been building over the last 15 years or so and for us to kinda have that connection and utilise social networks and everything, it’s been crucial for our growth and everything, so from doing the whole grass roots bill touring years ago and doing all the tiny spots along the way and going out into the crowd and meeting the fans and talking to people, and getting that grass roots connection, that’s been instrumental to our growth, I think, you know it’s definitely been a reason why we’ve kinda built that base up from such a small level and they’re so loyal and dedicated.

There’s a pretty impressive list of guest artists on the album with Xzibit and Jehst and all that, what was it like working with these heavyweights? Was it just something that you’ve always thought about and you never thought it was possible and now suddenly everyone wants a piece?
Well you know it’s funny, you know, like I think back to me as a kid when I first came over to Australia and I was going to high school with Eso, I used to listen to Ice Cube tapes religiously, and NWA, all that kinda stuff; that was my shit. And just recently, we played a festival in Newcastle and we met Ice Cube and he watched our set and he was all stoked on it and wanted to do a track and… if you would’ve told me that when I was in me teens going to high school here it would’ve blown my mind!

It’s amazing how things progress and how you go forward. It was amazing working with Xzibit and RZA and Jehst, it was a real nice kind of mix of variety on there which we really dug and it wasn’t like our entire career we’d been going “let’s do a track with Xzibit, or let’s do a track with RZA” it was the opportunities that kind of, I dunno, the stars aligning in the right time in the right place and we were obviously fans of their music and it was just like wow let’s grab this opportunity, if they’re keen to do something then that would be awesome. I guess each case of working with the individual artist was different cos they’re each so different from each other but all the collabs were awesome.

And you guys have just finished the Party Monster Tour of the US with the Kottonmouth Kings. What was it, 28 shows in 5 weeks? You guys seriously must be knackered! You need some R&R after that haul!
[Laughs] Touring in the States is nothing like touring in Australia because basically all your locations are so close together, like you’ve got a major city kinda 2 hours from the next major city, if you know what I mean, and when I say major city I mean like bigger than Sydney kind of thing… so when you’ve got that much population and there’s that many places to go, it doesn’t make sense to fly so we do the whole bus thing.

In Australia obviously the distance is so great it makes sense to fly to your major cities but, in America you’re kinda on this moving circus caravan bowling through this massive continent and it’s literally you wake up every day and you’re in a different city, so it was like this whirlwind kind of tornado that just whirled around the States and it was awesome for us cos it was the first time we hit the East Coast so I showed the boys New York and even my hometown of DC and playing in Baltimore was awesome, it was like nothing else I guess. The States is just a whole different bag. And we were really stoked with the reception we got. It was amazing to see the power of the net and how the music’s really spread because we had fans coming to every show, we even had a few expats come down with their Aussie flags, it was awesome!

I read somewhere that your fan base in the States is pretty big, and it’s just getting bigger so it would’ve been great to get over there and get them some fresh tracks.
Every time you go to a new place it’s kinda opening more doors up in more places so it’s all part of the process I guess.

And now you’ve got Another World Under 18 Music Festival next Monday, kids these days know how to party so are you ready for it? Cos seriously, you know, they’ll tell you how it is, if they don’t like you then you’ll hear about it!
That’s right, you know! We did the ‘Down by the River’ tour recently and our Melbourne show, we weren’t able to do an all ages show or an underage show, it was just 18+, so a massive component of our fan base in Melbourne missed out kind of thing and we got a lot of um…I won’t say it was abuse but ah “suggestions” that we should do an all ages show in Melbourne [laughs] and I guess when we sold out 2 Festival Halls last year, they were both all ages shows, so we realised that we had a massive component and doing this festival, Another World, was just perfect for us because we thought you know what, it’s great timing and the younger generation hasn’t yet got to see the new album live on stage so we should definitely bring it. So we’re stoked and they’re so, as you say, they’re very passionate, the younger generation is wicked.

They certainly know what they like! And you’re on the bill with seriously amazing acts, The Getaway Plan, The Amity Affliction, Diafrix – you’re playing amongst some serious talent there so you’ve gotta show them what’s what!
Oh hell yeah! It’ll be an extravaganza for sure!

I wish I was under 18 again so I could attend but unfortunately it says strictly under 18’s…
So it’s literally the oldest you can be is 17? Wow, that’s nuts! We actually did one down at Docklands a few years back with Silverchair headlining and it was really cool. It was a totally different vibe than your average festival..

Have you got any other plans to chill out or you just gonna keep throwing stuff at us? You just gonna tour the crap out of this album then slow down and take a break or you gonna get straight back into something else?
Well I guess, so far it’s all been working in cycles and literally when we finish touring a record we go straight into production on the next one, so I don’t think it’s going to be much different this one coming around, if anything the momentum has just gotten, you know, it’s building, and it’s really getting to a point now where it wouldn’t be a great idea for us to just chill out and do nothing for a while [laughs].

II think keep on making music and keep on putting it out there and doing the things is the best idea, especially with all the international opportunities that are presenting themselves now. But you know it’s good fun and as you say it can be very tiring like the US tour but I guess we do have plenty rest in between and have our lives here in Sydney so that helps to balance it all out.

Have you got any plans to go over to Europe? What’s your fan base there like?
Yes definitely. We actually had a UK show on the cards for this year, later on, but that fell through but yeah definitely want to get over there. It’s amazing how strong our fan base is just in like weird places like Switzerland or even Germany or France are really good… so yeah we need to, we definitely want to go over there and do some stuff.

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