Home » Interviews

Mcenroe Speaks To AfricasGateway

Tags:

20 June 2003 No Comment

When I first heard his album I was like damn! You will dig his production no doubt. Check the interview!

Who is Mcenroe and does he have any connection to the tennis player?

Mcenroe is Rod Bailey, this goofy yet evil kid from Canada who raps and makes beats. Mcenore is never capitalized. There is no connection to the Tennis Player.

Where do you live?

I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada

I noticed that you did your own production, do you think it’s easier for you to do your own beats as it could result in your tracks coming out how you imagined them?

Well it may not be easier but it is more fun and I think the end result is better. I put a lot of love and care into the songs I write and produce and am able to realize my vision for what a song should sound like…

I can hear from the beats that you come with a more purist more thought out method of making tracks.  Are you a crate digger? 

Yes, I have lots of records, both good and not-so-good. I sample only off vinyl and have for quite a few years now. I like going digging for new stuff as much as I can.

What equipment/software do you use for beats?

I use a Power Macintosh G4 with Soundedit and Cubase. I am switching to Logic when Waves is available for it. It works good for me. For recording I use a MOTU 828 interface, it sounds pretty good.

Tell us a bit about your background, how did you get involved in all of this?

I started getting into hip-hop in the early 90’s, I started listening to it more and more and was already messing around with music and recording. My fiends Pip Skid and Hunnicutt were already messing around with making 
hip-hop on their own so I got involved too. This was about 1992 and I have been going strong ever since.

What was it like for you growing up?

Pretty good, I have a mom and dad and sister and we all lived in a big house in a nice town called Brandon. I used to skateboard and listen to punk rock. I had a pretty decent childhood compared to a lot of people. I am pretty lucky.

What is closer to your heart, rapping or making music?

Making music but they are both very important to me.

What can you tell us about Peanuts and Corn?

Its a label we startred in 1994 with Farm Fresh – The Space EP. We have released about 30 recordings ever since, on cassette, CD and vinyl. We distribute out stuff and other fine Canadian hip-hop to the world!

In the track “Can’t Get There From Here”, you mentioned that you battled once and won and then retired and that you are now a judge.  Is that real?  By the way when I listen to that song I’m like, that’s inspiring coz it gives you balls to face the day.

Yeah its true. It was a weird battle though. I have never been much of a battle emcee, and in the last 5 years I have hardly freestyled or battled at all – I just dont have the time. To be a battle emcee you have to spend a lot of time on your skills, you craft. Since I produce and run a label, I cant do that. But the basic idea behind the song is simple – keep doing what you love and do it on your terms. If I followed the advice of the naysayers, I wouldn’t be having the great time making music that I am now and would not be nearly as happy.

What artists influenced you back in the day?

Lots, from Pixies, Dead Kennedys, Firehose, Joy Division to De La Soul, Public Enemy, Pete Rock, Premiere, Tribe Called Quest…

What is it that you listen to now?

I listen to a lot of hip-hop, I try to check out almost everything I carry. I listen to classic hip-hop, classic rock, jazz, classical, dub, reggae, whatever. I listen to sports talk radio a lot of the time too!

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of South Africa?

Apartheid. Nelson Mandela, I guess. And Diamonds. I know very very little about South Africa.

If people had to meet you for the first time what would they expect to find?

They would find a moody guy, they would probably think I was a snob or jerk or both. Most people meet me when I play shows and when I play, I’m all business. I try to be friendly but the fact is that my people skills are not as good as many others. I honestly have a small circle of friends and dont do much to meet new people…

What are your favourite foods and drinks?

I like pasta, I drink Diet Coke alot. I like pizza, hamburgers. I eat Sushi whenever I can, I also love Indian food. I love chocolate and I love ice cream. Pretty simple stuff.

What’s the best place you’ve ever performed at?

I’ve had lots of good shows, my favorite is a small club show with a mature audience that is there to see me, I can then relax and have lots of fun and play with confidence. I like playing with Pip Skid and Hunnicutt, the three of us together are a great live show.

And the worst?

Back in the day, Farm Fresh played AFTER the Barenaked Ladies at this festival. It was really, really weird, the crowd had hardly heard of us and was not into trying something new!

Are you working on other projects at the moment?

Yes, a Yy EP (Yy is new mc on P&C)
John Smith LP
Pip Skid and/or fermented reptile LP
Mcenroe and Birdapres LP
rickety rod singing project

I am working on beats for all of those things.

What would be the ultimate Mcenroe collaboration track?

How about Mcenroe, Pip, John Smith and Gruf doing our tracks unplugges style with Medesky, Martin and Wood as the backing band? That would be fun. I am a big MMW fan.

Were you really an MVP of the junior high badminton team?

Yeah, I forgot that I was but when I was at my parent’s house I found the trophy!

What would you say is worst thing you experienced in this music business life?

There has been 2 or 3 times in the last 6 years or so when I was ready to quit, where I was really questioning why the hell I put up with what I do and what is it all for? Wondering if I could toil in obscurity forever? Those have been some low moments but they don’t come often, and I am lucky to have a wife (Marcie) who supports me and wants to see me succeed.

And what are your best memories of hip hop?

I have plenty – the euphoria of hearing a new song or album that just gives you so much energy… the fun of putting a beat together that blows your mind… recording and collaborating with other artists you respect… playing to a crowd that respects you and cant get enough… unwrapping a copy of the latest CD or vinyl fresh from the press… there have been a lot of great moments for me.

What do you prefer, working in the studio or performing live?

Studio I guess, I am much more comfortable and happy in that environment. But Live is great too. Its just that so many things can go wrong live when on tour – the promoter could be an idiot, you could be very tired, the crowd may not be there or may not be into you.

If there is anything you want your listeners to gain from listening to your album, what would you want that to be?

I hear people say they are inspired by my music, and while that is not a goal per se, I definitely feel good hearing that. I just hope people enjoy the music. When you put out a record, you want people to like it, and if they do its very rewarding.

Do you tour?

Yes, mostly Canada for now but trying to get out to the world at large…

What are your favourite tracks on this album?

Documentary, Cant Get There From Here, Sleepwalking, Convenience Now Redux, Lets Pawn The Bracelet, Something to Complain About, Wandering Eye, Disenfranchised. I guess that doesn’t narrow it down much.

If somebody wants to hook up with you what would they have to do?

I really prefer making music with friends and people I am very comfortable with. So they would have to be me friend, probably. I get demos and some people are good but its not enough to make me want to not work with the people I do now…

What are your 5 all time favourite hip hop albums?

off the top of my head:

Organized Konfusion – The Extinction Agenda
Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory
The Roots – Illadelphalflife
De La Soul – Is Dead
Mobb Deep – The Infamous

And your 5 all time favourite non hip hop albums?

again off the top of my head:

Elton John’s greatest hits volume 1
Beatles – the white album
pixies – doolittle
dead kennedys – give me convenience or give me death
Firehose – Fromohio

Is your studio untidy or clean?

untidy

Where can people get hold of the album and most importantly, is it available on vinyl?

www.peanutsandcorn.com, www.hiphopinfinity.com, www.sandboxautomatic.com, www.hiphopsite.com, www.bookkat.com, www.vinylkingz.de, and many more websites carry it.

It is available on fresh 2xLP vinyl, but quantities are limited!

We’d like to thank you taking the time to talk with us, any last words or shoutouts?

Thanks to you for the interview. I appreciate it. Peace to Female Fun Records

PEEP THE SITE: www.peanutsandcorn.com

Submitted by: