Q&A: Local Euro Hip-Hop Duo LAZËR Tries Letting Us In On A Joke We're Not Sure We Get.
This trio's down to two.
A couple of weeks ago, LAZËR, the hilarious local rap duo that area radio personality Gordon Keith once called "Dallas' most confusing group," emerged from seclusion, dusted off their trademark Speedos and began performing again after a nearly two-year layoff.
Boasting a revamped lineup of backing musicians, the Sons of Rhineland are also releasing their long overdue sophomore effort with a CD release show at The Curtain Club this Friday.
The aptly titled Twatobahn, an album five years in the making, boasts an updated sound as well. Leaning more closely to hip-hop than the slapdash electrodance stylings of 2005's Let Me Dance You, the twosome known as Hammel and Briso still spit violent/sexist rhymes in thick European accents--but with a little more purpose this time around.
It's not as if everything is different this time around, though. The pair still operates above all in order to stimulate as much dancing as possible.
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We caught up with LAZËR frontmen Hammel and Briso to find out what they've been up to the last two years and why it took so long to release their latest album. Read our full interview after the jump.
Your 2005 album Let Me Dance You had us asking ourselves 'How can a band be so sexy and so dangerous at the same time?' And yet, with your new album Twatobahn, you promise even more dangerous beats, paired with even sexier rhymes. How is this even possible?
Briso: Well, the new songz we maked for Twatobahn include science moleculez that unlock a secret partz of the brain for release even more sex and dangerz. This teknologiez waz not possible until very recent.
Hammel: Yes, az you maybe iz knowing, LAZËR have team of science-men werking 'round-the-clockz to invent new inventionz for us, and one of the most recent successez we call the "Dangersex Proton." For make this, we must buying partz from old Super Collider and uze them to fuze subatomik particlez with ourz sperm, while simultaneously recording a muzikz.
Briso: This procedure iz very complicate for your brain to understanding if you iz not a perfect genius like us, but when you listenz to the album, normal person can feel it in the subconscious.
Why wait five years between albums?
Briso: Well, many reazon, but mainly it taked five year becauze prototype album waz killing peoplez. We do a market researching, and fokus group peoplez who heared early verzionz of Twatobahn start bleeding from their eyez and earz instant, or their headz catched a fire and explode.
Hammel: Several woman test subjektz also die from exhaustion when they haz multiple orgazmz lasting over 72 hourz. Later, we realize that this reactionz mostly waz cauze by song "Lazër Date II," which haz most romantic lyrikz, pianoing and guitarz solo ever recorded. Anywayz, we must tone down theze type of stuffz and re-record album 22 timez before record label sayz it iz safe for publicz.
Briso: Oh yes, also in 2007 we taked break to recording a experimental album for dolphinz, which turn out to be surprizingly tough.
Until you guys recently burst back onto the scene, it had been around two years since we had last seen your live show. What have you guys been up to in the meantime?
Briso: Firstmost, we taked some good hard lookz in a mirror and realize we need to reductionize our carbon footprintz. Going the green and sustainable livingz iz now very importance to LAZËR. For instant, we now only whipz our dancing slavez with all-natural, organic whipz.
Hammel: Yes, also we haz numerous side-projekt and bizness venturez, like mein top-secret "Metal Legz" experiment. This projekt iz highly classified, so I cannot telling you much about it, except that it involve me having legz maked of metal, and they iz very strong... at least 90 percent indestruktible. Oh, and they iz being commission by numerous governmentz and para-military organization for war-battling. But again, this projekt iz extremely top-secret, so I needz to keeping it on the hush-hush if you doezn't mind. Pleaze do not asking me anymore about "Metal Legz." Oh, also they iz very bad-ass and shiny looking.
We see the guitar-playing ninja Ice von Shredula, the TV-headed bassist CRT-2000, and Lazër Crow are still around from the early days, but tell us a little bit about the newer members of the band--like the keyboard-playing FutureSnake and new drummer The Shape-Shifter.
Hammel: Shape-Shifter iz one of thoze guyz that haz just alwayz hanged around LAZËR since back in the dayz, uzually in the form of a rock or some other unanimate object. Just a cool, laid-back kind of guy, you knowz? Anywayz, one day ourz old drummer missed like three 64th notez in practice, so of course I fired him immediate. Then I walkz outside outside the castle and finded Shape-Shifter just chilling by the moat being a stick, and I iz like, "Yo man, come in here and be drummer for LAZËR now." Done deal.
Briso: FutureSnake iz result of genetik experimentz I recently conductz in North Korea. Az you know, I iz a serious reptile-trainer, and until recent I haved this bad-ass Komodo Dragon name Elliot. You can seeing him on inside cover of Twatobahn CD. Anywayz, me and Kim Jong-Il waz chatting and watching Belly one day at hiz crib when Elliot getted real close to this weird science machine in the garage. We runz out there and seez Elliot'z skin doing crazy colorz, and he iz growing bigger! By the time LAZËR arrivaled back to USA statez, Elliot haz metamorphed into a mutant snake-man, so naturally we enslaved him and force him to playing keyboardz for us now.
Not too far into the opening track of your new album Twatobahn, you reference the death of your former bandmate, Keinhorst. What exactly happened to him, or are you at liberty to say?
Hammel: Well, that'z all pretty well dokumented on Let Me Dance You, where you can hearing about hiz death during LAZËR'z battle-fight against Nazi-Piratez. It waz great tragedy for us, but we haz overcomed it now.
Briso: I doezn't feel comfortable discussioning this topicz. Next question.
Hammel: That'z just becauze you gived him the drugz that maked him drown, Briso. But whateverz, personally I izn't that torned up about it, to being honest. Keinhorst becamed kind of a douche-bagger toward the end there anywayz, if you askz me. Alwayz late with the rent moniez, stealing mein best jewelz, theze kind of crap.
Briso: Word up Sneaky, you iz right. Keinhorst also claimed he waz mute, but what kind of mute buyz karaoke gamez for PS2? Very suspicious...
How often are you guys able to make it back to visit Rhineland?
Briso: I travelz to Rhineland whenever I want to watch a TV... I doezn't have DVRz here in USA statez, and I loozed phone number of people who can bring me a DVRz here.
Hammel: Fortunate, we waz able to purchase one of the last Concorde jetz off the assembly line before productionz shutted down, so it'z pretty eazy for LAZËR to shoot over to Rhineland whenever we feelz like it. For smaller errandz, we just sendz Lazër Crow.
When we saw you guys play Lola's recently, we noticed that your backing band sounded much more polished and you guys didn't seem to be using the backing tracks that we've come to expect. What other differences can we expect from Lazër this go-round?
Briso: Well, Hammel drinked some of mein pee-pee at last show... I could get used to that.
Hammel: That waz accident, obviously. I would never intentional drink the urine of a other growned man, except maybe Timbaland. Timbo, pleaze send me a jar of yourz urine!
From early spins of Twatobahn, it seems the new material has slightly more hip-hop leanings than your last album. Was that an intentional move, and if so, who were some of the album's influences?
Briso: Well, when LAZËR go into secluzion after Let Me Dance You, I finded a mix CD entitle Geoff's 1996 Hit Mix. It have some Aaliyah, GZA, Big Pun, Angelina, and more trackz on it I really enjoyz. So one night I iz doing a listen to Geoff's 1996 Hit Mix while watching Eyez Wide Shut on mute and drinking tonz of mouthwash. Then I falled asleep real hard, and when I waked up, I haz writed all mein lyrikz for Twatobahn on the wall with fecez!
Hammel: Interest, never knowed that, Briso. For me it waz more a process of getting into the touch with mein Qi, which for thoze reading this iz pronounce "cheeze" without the "z." I iz a part-time Speech teacher at Tarrant County College now, by the wayz. But back to yourz question, mein main influence iz probably me, becauze inside I knowz that Hammel iz best muzik producer in world, and probably best MC also. So it iz just a matter of reaching down very deep into mein nutsack and bringing out the best in meinself, which iz obviously way more better than everyone else.
Briso: And yes, it waz intentional to do more hip-hopz on Twatobahn, becauze LAZËR iz now in USA statez for a while, and this rapping culture probably have rubbered off on us.
Hammel: No doubt, son. Lately, we also haz been hanging out mostly in dark-people clubz to learn a better dancing, and we hearz more rap-hopz in there, az well.
Briso: Plus I buyed a copy of The Source magazine from 1996 which I haz readed at least 43 timez now. Thank Mr. God for Half-Price Bookz!
The success of your last album--especially in your home country--has brought you guys a little financial freedom. What is the most extravagant thing you've done with your earnings?
Briso: I drinkz a melted Lamborghini-shake every week. And when I iz bored, sometime I likez to buy T-Rex skullz and hide them inside a department storez.
Hammel: I iz more frugal. My biggest vice probably iz Starbuckz.
Briso: Yeah, you haz buyed a lot of Starbuckz, Sneaky.
Hammel: Of course, when we iz on tour, it iz much quicker to just buying a store than to calling someone for fix ourz Wi-Fi in the hotel.
What's next for Lazër?
Hammel: We haz notice much bandz having successfulness by growing large beardz, wearing stupid old clothez, and naming theyselvez after wolfz, deerz, etc. So we probably iz gonna change LAZËR name to "Deerwolf" or "Wolf Hoof" and get a nice Azian female to singing with us. I haz already started making quirky, hand-drawn pikturez for the next album cover.
Briso: I wantz to figure out what the moon is maked of, and possibly eat it or blow it up.
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