You guys are certified veterans, but I want to take it back to the start real quick. When did you know music was the goal?
BLISS: For me, I fell in love with hip hop music in American listening to the radio and I used to beat-box. I remember coming over to Australia as a kid and meeting Eso at school and I just remember it more as something I used to do with my mate. We would just rap and mimic other artists and make up our own shit—I don’t know, it never felt like it was going to be this career—at first, it was just fun and it kind of built off that.
ESO: My home life always had music playing, there was always Motown music playing—my dad took me to see The Commodores and The Temptations at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, mate and I loved music. So, when I found hip hop through artists like Public Enemy and Ice Cube I fell in love. I fell in love with the feeling, the aggression, the freedom of speech. It felt like this untamed art form—and like Bliss said, it wasn’t like “This is what we want to do as our career” it was just what we loved doing. I remember at the end of year 11 we had to pick our year 12 subjects of what we were going to be for the rest of our lives and I remember looking at a poster of Method Man and Redman and just thinking “How could their lives be bad?’ They write the music, that’s fun. They record the music, that’s fun. They make film clips, that’s fun. They do shows for all these people, that’s fun. That’s when I thought that life is it!
Who are some of the artists you listened to growing up that really made you want to pursue this as a career?
BLISS: It’s gotta be the classics for me—N.W.A, Ice Cube—The gangsta rap stuff was really big for me as a youth.
ESO: Yep. I would also say once Bliss and Myself found OutKast, that was a huge turning point because here were these guys from the South—Southern music wasn’t popping at the time, they were getting booed at The Source awards. So they were they underdogs coming up and it was two dudes, just like us. Didn’t we make a song called ‘Fresh Linen’?
BLISS: Yes we did.
ESO: We thought that was cool because OutKast would say something like that like “That’s some fresh linen, that song is fresh linen” so OutKast definitely inspired us when we were young.
Do you remember what the first song you ever recorded was?
BLISS: Yep, ‘Stop The War’.
ESO: And the chorus went “Yeah stop the war, yeah stop the war, yeah stop the war, yeah stop the war, yeah stop the war, yeah stop the war, yeah stop the war,” That’s it mate, on repeat. [Laughs]
BLISS: It was positive though man! Straight up.