Ever since SomeWhere Else started promoting their new material from Master Basement, I’ve had nothing but positive things to say and I’ve heard nothing but positive reactions to this unique LA band that mixes hip-hop with live instruments and genre-bending production. Finally, we’ve got the full album. Instead of rambling on in adjectives trying to convey how good it is and how sick this band is, I’ll give you the link and an interview. For more on SomeWhere Else, and to stream the album before downloading, check here.
Who are the members of SomeWhere Else and what does each member bring to the group?
P: SomeWhere Else is like an entity that we each individually represent. It consists of myself (Saint P), Lonnie Ro, Logik, and Jono. Although on the outside it looks like just three rappers and a white guy that plays the guitar, we are actually more like writers for a cartoon. We pitch ideas to each other all the time, and when one stands out we all jump on it and start building. We each bring something that I can’t even really explain, but listeners will definitely see it as they dive deeper into our music.
Ro: Yea SomeWhere Else is definitely more than just a music group. Our creative scope is so broad that it pretty much applies to anything. Everyone in the group produces and writes, so we all bring that. Jono brings his business knowledge and all his random fact’s, Logik is probably the most resourceful of us and gets anything done. Ideas are never a problem: P provides a big chunk of the imagination and I guess I just watch it come together.
Continue reading for the full interview…
You guys won the International Battle of the Bands in 2008. What took so long to get the debut album ready?
Logik: Well after the Battle of the Bands we went thru a lot of transitions with the members in the band. Also we didn’t have much material. So basically we’ve been in the basement for a while making material and getting the right people on the team. Now we’re back and we’re never disappearing again.
Dorr: We started with seven people in the band. After the competition we had kind of a re-organization period with all of the seven members. By 2010, we pretty much solidified SomeWhere Else as a 4 member group and started making new music with that set up.
With a blog named “Pigeons and Planes”, I’m not really one to talk, but your name is pretty different for a hip-hop group. What’s the meaning behind that?
P: I remember just sitting in Logik’s room thinking of a possible name for the group. We wanted something that wans’t just clever, but also represented our style and process of creating. We came up with SomeWhere Else. It’s just where we take it every time without even thinking about it. Everything we do is constantly pushed to a new level until everyone can agree on it. The phrase constantly comes up in casual conversations about our music. It’s pretty annoying, but at least it stays true to its meaning.
Ro: It’s funny because I remember not even agreeing on our name at first. We sat on it for a cool couple of months. But I remember one day Logik and I were in a session and we we’re talking about what we wanted to do with the track we were working on. We didn’t know how to describe our ideas but in unison we both said we wanted to take the track “somewhere else”. That pretty much cemented it for me.
Some acts that mix genres don’t like being labeled as “hip-hop” or “rock”. You guys bring a lot of different influences into your sound – do you mind being called a hip-hop group?
P: I always hated it when people ask what our music sounds like. Not that it’s a bad question, it’s just really hard for me to answer. Not to sound cocky, but people are always telling us that our material doesn’t sound like anything out there. I never liked saying it’s a fusion of rap and rock because that makes me think of a genre that isn’t similar to our music in any way. I don’t mind being labeled by others as a type of hip-hop because we rap, and we’re obviously hip-hop influenced. But on the other hand, we get inspired by artists like Howlin’ Wolf, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Radio Head, Erykah Badu and many in between. We just leave it up to listeners to categorize it. Where ever we fit in.
Logik: I don’t mind being called hip-hop, but that’s just a fraction of what we are. As long as you don’t put us in a box because our future projects will be completely different from what you heard on “Master Basement”.
Who would be your top three choices for a future collaboration?
Logik: My three would be 1. Alex Goose he’s sick. If you never heard of him look him up. 2. Lupe Fiasco we draw a lot of inspiration from him. 3. Ratatat I was mad when Cudi worked with them, I wanted us to be the first haha, but they’re dope.
Dorr: Erykah Badu
Ro: SARA, Madlib and Q-Tip. Honorable mention to the Gorillaz though
P: Radiohead, Janelle Monae
With three emcees in the group, what’s the typical process for writing a cohesive song?
P: It depends on the direction we want a song to go in. If I make or pick a beat that inspires me, I’ll lay an idea down and send it to someone. Sometimes, we’ll write as a group so we can intertwine verses. It all just comes together. It can get frustrating because we all have strong visions of direction and were all very opinionated. We all have to have a hand in everything. Since we write and produce all of our music, ideas have to be approved by 4 different minds before it’s a final product. Its…fun
Ro: Yea even though we work well on our own, we can also play multiple instruments so a lot of music is made through just collabing or jamming with our own. There’s a lot of different ways a track can start, but they almost all end with our co-producer Dylan Charbeneau. We owe him a lot, he helped us polish our sound. The number of opinions is mostly a good thing because it’s a “no-bullshit filter”. You can be sure that everything we put out will have met some quality standards.
What is your goal with the music? Are you trying to get signed to a major label?
Jono: Hopefully a deal that allows us to recoup despite all of the nickel and dimes that hide in most major deals.
Logik: The goal is to get a deal definitely, but more importantly we want a shit load of fans, people who connect with the music and will come to shows.
P: Creative freedom is also very important to us. We know what we want.
What should people know before listening to SomeWhere Else for the first time?
P: Be open, be imaginative, and be visual. Hopefully it makes for a better experience.
Jono: Just pay attention, there are some jokes and musical treats that you won’t pick up unless you pay close attention.
Logik: I want people to know that it’s us when they hear it. We will always push the limit. We’re not trying to be any body else. We’re in our own lane making music. If you like it spread the word.
Ro: Yea, what they said.