We chat with DJ Format & rapper Abdominal about their new album and latest tour ‘Still Hungry.’
“We’re still hungry to make music”
Still Hungry describes how myself and Abdominal feel as artists.
Both making music, both still hungry to make more and both still at their peak!
“We don’t feel we’ve just washed up guys ya know, 10-15 years after they’re heyday just trying to make some retirement money. We’re still hungry, active, enthusiastic passionate artists trying to make music we love.”
So you’re still in the game then? That’s your message?
“Absolutely. But honestly not just even in the game outside of that. I’m just hungry to keep making music that I’m proud of. If I didn’t make music I don’t know what I’d do-I would really feel like a waste of space as a person because that’s the one thing I really feel I’m good at. It feels like the only way for me.”
For the album Still Hungry, what can listeners expect differently from what we’ve already heard in the past?
“So, on one hand, you will hear some of the tougher-edged-serious songs like Hungry and Forged for Hardship where it’s not all happy ‘party party party,’ instead, we’re talking about serious stuff. But at the same time, we both want to do what we do best like the light-hearted regular guy hip hop that we do which I think is the reason people relate to us a lot, the first time around back in the day. We’re not just superstars living in some fancy world, we’re just down to earth guys that love what we do and we’re just one of the gang, “We’re just regular idiots”
Is there anything that that inspired you or Abdominal to create the album that has now been accomplished? Is there anything that’s gonna spark that other than being hungry, to carry on making music?
“I think it was 2015, that’s when we realised it’s been 10 years since we had done anything together. That was the date of my last album with Abdominal on it and we last toured together and do a fun reunion tour at the end of 2015 to say ‘hey it’s been 10 years.’ It was overwhelming, we wasn’t sure if anyone was still listening or still cared or still coming to our shows, “we didn’t know what to expect” That was the driving force that oh my god there’s still a bunch of people out there that want to still hear our stuff and hey they want new stuff too. It was part of the big decision to do this whilst you always make music for yourself first and foremost, or you should do it you’re the artist. You should be something within you that you just gotta do regardless if anyone’s gonna hear it, but once you know your audience it gives you that extra drive and confidence.”
What is your favourite track on the album?
“If I had to say one it’d probably be ‘Diamond Hammer’ that encapsulates the kind of hip hop I love making with Abdominal and struggle to make with other MES and rappers because its super-fast up tempo going back and forth between the MC and DJ with lots of fast and furious cuts and scratches and there are not many people I can make that kind of song with.”
When listening to your album, It’s interesting how you sway through eras of hip hop, was that intentional or…?
“I think it just happens to be that way. We work song by song without having a bigger picture. It’s only when we had three left to make we took a step back to see how it was shaping as an album like we have one track like this, one like that, it’s a natural progression.”
What other influences created you as DJ Format?
“A lot of the hip hop I grew up with in the 80’s that shaped me as an artist like RUN DMC, Beastie Boys, Triquod Quest, NWA. I wouldn’t say the gangster thing was hugely influential on me.”
How would you sum up the album to someone who hasn’t heard your work before?
“Feel-good hip hop, really happy and feel-good. There’s grittier stuff like Dirt and Diamond Hammer but it’s mainly feel-good.”
The DJ Format & Abdominal Tour ‘Still Hungry’ has four locations left.
Brighton – Thursday 25th May at Patterns (ex Audio) Brighton.
You can listen to ‘Still Hungry’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ktj_Zvyy6qw