Interviews

Melbourne hip-hop crews Echo Drama and Royalty Noise interview each other

Last month, when Melbourne hip-hop crews Echo Drama and Royalty Noise dropped their new split single, Friends And Foes and All That I Got, we were all-in on their soulful, energetic sounds.

The two acts sit perfectly alongside one another, so ahead of their launch shows this weekend, we got the two bands to interview one another.

Fresh off the release of their new split single, Friends And Foes and All That I Got, fellow Melbourne hip-hop crews Echo Drama and Royalty Noise interview each other.

ECHO DRAMA: Hip Hop with live instrumentation, we love it, so do you. Tell us why!

ROYALTY NOISE: It’s dynamic and spontaneous, you can respond to and shape the moment in a way that’s not possible with pre-recorded beats. We all embrace and learn from the traditional looped form of hip-hop, but live instrumentation allows us the freedom to blend other genres and bend ideas in real time. It is a privilege to play in this group of versatile musicians, so if we have an idea for a song we don’t need to dig through crates and sample packs to make it happen.

ROYALTY NOISE: What was the first record you listened to that made you want to make Hip Hop? What about it appealed to you?

ECHO DRAMA: Not sure if this was necessarily the first, but Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication was an album I loved as a kid and I was particularly drawn to the songs that were live played by live instruments rather than sample based. Especially the totally instrumental tracks, which I believe were mostly performed by the Beastie Boys without extra musicians. In more recent years I think a bit of a staple that I know inspired a lot of the ED crew was the Badbadnotgood collab with Ghostface Killah.

ECHO DRAMA: Our bands have heaps of crossover in our sound, but plenty of really different elements. Who you guys cite as major influences?

ROYALTY NOISE: Anderson .Paak, Robert Glasper, Badbadnotgood, The Will Sessions, Tall Black Guy, Alphamist, Yussef Kamaal, Chris Dave, Steve Gadd, Talib Kweli, Kendric Lamar, Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Ray Charles, George Benson. I share those above, but most of all for me it is my heritage. The family always sing. Whether it’s my grandma waking up and singing a hymn to hearing my little sisters busting out harmonies in their room.

ROYALTY NOISE: What have you learnt about your selves as a band and musicians in the creation of your upcoming album?

ECHO DRAMA: So much. Maybe too much. We have been chipping away at this record for almost three years, so we became very intimately acquainted with the songs, the layers, and our playing. Recording is an amazing opportunity to get into the nitty-gritty of your music; to really make deliberate choices about how to arrange and produce a song so it works every time you hit play. It is exciting and relieving to finally be putting out some singles off the album and receive feedback from listeners outside the project. It’s like hearing the finished product through someone else’s fresh ears while remembering all the love and labour that went into it.

ECHO DRAMA: We have linked up for this release because we have both spent a few years meticulously working on our first full-length albums. Tell us a bit about how you build a record.

ROYALTY NOISE: Most of the songs we have released as a band have come from either a band rehearsal jam or individual creative moments. To break it down, we write as many beasts as possible either the whole band or just drummers and bass or drums and keys incorporating all the current influences. Then the vocalists take over and write hooks. If the hook is catchy enough, the verses follow. The upcoming album took us about a week and a half to write the skeleton of the album and a year to refine.

ROYALTY NOISE: We have one more from Liam on bass. To Jeremy, because you’re the drummer in Echo Drama, does that make you the Echo Drummer?

ECHO DRAMA: Yes, Liam. The answer has always been yes.

ROYALTY NOISE: Thank for the questions, and thank you Makers Mark for helping.

ECHO DRAMA: Easy. Until we meet again… this Friday October 5th at Yah Yah’s and then to do it all again the following Friday October 12th at The B.East.

More details on the single launch party here.