Fire Starters

For the Arsonists, there is no underground. It's all just hip-hop.

The sneak-peek promo of some of the finished tracks off Date of Birth announces that the Arsonists are also sounding better as well. The beats are tighter, the rhymes still razor sharp and sophisticated and the delivery equally as passionate. There's also a cohesion to the material that As the World Burns, despite it's fiery blast, lacked.

"The first album was basically a compilation of stuff from as early as 1993 and all the way up to 1999," Jise says. "So it was a little all over the place. And that was fine for a first album that sort of introduced us. But I think we're more confident now, and I think we're looking at the next album as sort of revealing what we're really capable of doing."

If their current and upcoming touring schedule is any indication, the Arsonists may be on their way to showing other smaller, hip-hop acts how to make it work without absconding to a major-label-style, Up in Smoke tour, much as legions of rock bands proved there was an alternative way to play in the 1980s. Jise reports that the tour with the Beatnuts is winning the band new fans in every city they play, and they're just starting to take their show on the road.

The hip-hop underground is where the Arsonists, and the camera taking this picture, are located.
The hip-hop underground is where the Arsonists, and the camera taking this picture, are located.

"Right now we're trying to work out hitting Japan and Australia," Jise says about the crew's immediate future. "That's what we'd like to do. Then the album comes out in September, and we'll probably tour a little bit after that, too. And we'd like to go back to Europe. They've always been really good to us over there, and we'd like to go back with the new album. But it's work, you know. We consider this our job, and this is what we do. You do it because you want to be able to make a living. We're loving it, but you got to keep your priorities straight to keep everything in perspective."

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