back in Europe for a huge tour, 54 days for 52 shows, how is it going
so far ?
Overall it's just a fantastic experience so far. You know, the way that
I tried to tour, as an artist, is that I try to touch base with what
is going on in the regions where we went in. What we do is a contribution
of culture to the regions aeras. So for myself I really try to find
out what's going on with the political nature of the region, what people
are thinking, how they are feeling. My mother's family is from the northern
part of spain. So I spend time there. I spend some time with the Basque
and really tried to figure out what was going on. There was the 2 years
anniversary of this major bombing and we were there 2 days before that.
There is a lot of interesting things to see. You know, most artist and
most people get this chance to see so many different parts of Europa
very tightly. So overall men I think it's been very great. Some shows
have been kind of slow where we got 50 or maybe 60 people. But that
is because we canceled 2 tours before. And also that because we haven't
been here for 2 years. So it was kind of slow in some parts. But other
than that, it went really really good men. We're selling thousands of
records right now. So I guess that overall it has been a real success.
good to see you back in France !
Right on men ! We had a good show last night in Cognac. That show was
sick bro ! (big old laugh)
heard that you had some problems with the bus driver during that tour...did
you have any other difficulties on this tour?
No...you know everybody's pretty cool...hey how do know that we had
some problems with the bus driver? (Laugh)
saw that on your website...on the tour diary...
Oh my god! Hey Krasp!? Oh nevermind...next question, it's so
is the relationship with the other bands on this tour, Demean and Maroon
It's cool you know. I've done so many touring with so many other bands,
meating so many people. You just learn to appreciate other people, what
their belief are, how they feel about their politics. But you know we've
had a pretty wild time on this tour, it's been pretty crazy (laugh).
We have a good time, because if you don't have a good time on tour,
it just sucks dude !
are 4 years between the release of "Check Your People" and
"Universal". Can you tell us more about what you did during
that time ?
During that time I went to university. And I worked a lot, wrote a lot
of music. So we just went home you know. It was a pretty interesting
time for everybody. Some got married, some had kids you know. So everybody
just went home and lived their life. I stayed in L.A. for a while and
then went to Mexico and get back to L.A. again. Just kind of hang out
you know. Really didn't do much. Everybody just kind of went on and
studied stuff. Did their stuff. I went at the university, I had a really
good time, I learned a lot of things. I didn't get a degree or anything.
And that's pretty much it.
did you studied at the university ?
I studied law, biblical archeology. I studied the religions. Last night
actually I was thinking to myself and I think I'm gonna go back to school
and study global economics. Because men, one other thing that I've studied
is law. But there is so many types of laws from different places. But
from what I can see, everything is just turning in some tansnational
global agenda. You know France is just not France anymore because it's
part of the European Communauty now. The thing that I find pretty interesting
is that like in the United States we have the constitution. But we're
not apart of any other government. In the European Union, I guess the
national constitution is probably more important to the french people
than the european union. Am I right ?
about to have a vote to approve or not the European Constitution. So
it's kind of a major issue here at that time.
what I know, they are re-writing the constitution. But what is gonna
happen if you decide not to accept this constitution ? Would still France
be part of the European Community ? Or will you go back on your own
if the people reject it, we will still be part of the EC, it's just
about the constitution. Not about the whole europe stuff.
Wow, incredible ! That's pretty scary to me men ! It's pretty scary
to see what's going on in Europe dude ! I think overall that the french
way of living and culture is pretty stable for what I can see. You know
everywhere I go in France, there is good food, good people. Everybody
is just not that much in poverty. It seems really really good. You've
got Paris where it seems kind of rough but everywhere else seems to
be really cool.
your new album "Universal", what was your feeling when you
entered the creative process of this album ?
Me and the guitar player Brian got together and he was like, let's do
a Downset record. Let's do another one. First I didn't thought that
we could get through this project because you know everybody went off
and did different things. Brian had another band, Roy played with Cypress
Hill and James Morris had another project. Everybody did other projects
and I just did nothing. So when Brian proposed the idea of a new album,
I said to myself "cool, let's do it!" . And initialy we got
to write something that was in the vein of the first record. Because
that's what people like. So we start to jam together. And the creative
process for this album was very fluid and natural. Because it's like,
you put me in front of a mic with some bits, and I just bust. You know
what I mean? I will come up with some shit no matter who I work with.
So when we started the creative process of this album we kind of knew
what we wanted to do. We weren't like try to do certain things. We just
wrote a simple Downset record. That was pretty much the general feeling
your singing parts on this record, we get the feeling that you add more
melodic parts in it. Is this a choice, or just an evolution ?
I don't know men. It wasn't like that when we said we're gonna do another
album that I'm gonna do some singing parts this time. It just happens
that way. Obvioulsy my skills as a vocalist are going into another direction.
And I'm gonna start another project. I've been kind of waiting around
for 5 years. So my next step as an artist is gonna be pretty huge for
You know, the artists in the band called Downset really had a tremendous
impact, influence on so many other artists. This is fuckin' tremendous
bro. I've realized the seriousness of that when I was kind of waiting
around. And another thing is that during that time I wanted to watch
what the other members of Downset will gonna do. Like James started
a band and I listened to it. Same thing for Ares, Chris and Roy. I listened
to every stuff they did. So definatly we're entering a new gate of this
musical evolution. So it's gonna do 2 things for the band. Number one
is that people who wanna hear more melodic stuff will like it. Because
there are shit loads of people who had never heard of us before but
are getting into this record. So it's kind of weird. But we did enough
of the Downset record so that we could do those kind of stuff, because
our traditonnal support is always there. We have a couple of people
that will always follow us, no matter what we do. And that's really
did you signed with Hawino records for this album ? Epitaph wasn't as
good as you though for Downset ?
No, it's just that Brett Gurewitz (Bad religion) wasn't interested in
the band anymore just because we broke up during the process of the
record. We should have toured a lot more, like a year more for the previous
record. But everybody just kind of went there own way. So from what
I could see this is what happened. Snoop Dogg tour manager is a really
good friend of ours and he knew this guy from Howino Records. Because
everybody back home knew each other. Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, Linkin
park. We're all good friends, we all grew up in the same city you know.
So people got word that we were making a new record. So we played the
album for the president of Hawino Record. He's some guy that has fuckin'
millions of dollars of investment capital but has no experience in the
music industry. So we were like, fuck it ! If we have the investisment
capital then we can draft up some of an agenda and follow through with
it. So what we ended up doing is that we said fuck it ! Let's do this
record. POD's label was also interested but we decided to go with these
guys. Check'em out. You know, they're learning right now. They're learning
distribution, promotion, working with booking agences. You know that's
all these things that they are trying to learn. But they're doing alright.
We just got a global distribution deal with BMG. So we'll see what happens
you know. So that's how we ended up on this label, Snoop Dogg's tour
manager introduced us to them.
artwork of "Universal" is a great one. Can you tell us a little
bit more about it ?
Ok. The artwork was done by one of the most prominent figures in american
hip-hop. His name is Hex1 (Hector Rios). He's in a crew called T.G.O.
he was a real important figure in the hip-hop scene internationaly.
He was the best painter in america by far you know. All the New York
writters respected him. Everybody respected him as the most prominent
graph-writters. . But then he started to be a christian. He became a
pastor. So he kind of steped away from the whole hip-hop scene. Because
you know there is a lot of bad stuff in the hip-hop scene obviously.
There's drugs, violence, sex, all this crap. He was like, screw this,
I don't want to have nothing to do with this, so he just left. So he
kind of went his own way. And what ended up happening was that we told
him, "Hey Hector we know that you are a pretty religious guy and
stuff but we still love your artwork. Is there anyway that you can do
this ?" He kind of thought about it for a while. He asked us what
we want. And I answered him that he do what he wants. So he did ! And
that's pretty much the story. He's a really good artist. He's a fine
man. And it was cool to be able to work with him, because he's such
a fuckin' good artist men ! Portraits and stuff, his shits are sick
do you think about the internet ? The fact that people can download
your music for free ?
I think it's inevitable. Technology. Not only in the music business
but in business in general. You know, worldwide. It's having a tremendous
impact on human culture and society, obviously. So I think it's inevitable.
But that's not gonna stop me from buying the new Wu-Tang record. I will
go to the store and I will fuckin' buy the package. I want the whole
fuckin' record. You know what I'm saying. But if people want to download
your shit, what are you gonna do about it, you know. Take some 14 year
old kid to court from fuckin' Belgium or something ? Telling him, you
need to pay for the record ! It's just inevitable, that type of shit
is gonna happen. I think that the thing that people don't really understand
is that they are directly fucking with the artist when they download
shit. Because we are not getting paid for it. That's the only thing
that's sucks about it. To see artists suffers. But it's not that bad
you know ! (laughing)
line-up changed a lot. Finally Chris came back, James has left. Is there
any difficulties to play your old songs live with only one guitar on
No I think it probably sounds better with one guitar rather with two.
Ares was the original guitar player for this band. So we have 3 original
members and my friend Rico at the bass. And it's working you know. It's
kind of cool. We're suck professional musician bro ! We can get down
whenever, however, you know what I'm saying ?
is now around for more than 10 years. And even more if we inclued Social
Justice, your previous band
.Fuck ! You know, everybody brings that up ! All across the fuckin'
world. That's incredible ! Wow !
what's your feeling about your whole career ?
It's fuckin' inexplicable ! It's really just fuckin' phenomenal. I'm
the type of person who don't take shit for granted. But it's fuckin'
incredible, you meet so many people all over the world. The artist that
tours a lot, sees the world through a pretty amazing eye. It's inexplicable.
What do I think about my career ? I think I'm a really fuckin' lucky
man bro ! Not only do I have a career as an artist but I'm probably
one of the most influencial artist to a lot of people. Downset has influenced
so many people. Because of that I feel that I've been able to make a
fine contribation to the world that I lived in you know. But it's not
over yet, so much more to come ! (big laugh)
have created a style with Downset. Many bands of your generation don't
exist anymore. How do you explain the longevity of Downset ?
It depends on the way you call it. Obviously the relationship of the
people involved is important. We love music. We love to be performers.
We're artists. There is our passion for art, and a strong support base,
because fuck dude, people ask about it all the time, it's worlwide,
from malaysia, to russia to hong kong, people want this fuckin' record.
You know, we've never played here before but we have like a 150 pre-selled
tickets. There will be probably 200 kids here tonight. So for an artist
to have that and not do it, it's silly. So I think that the basis for
the longevity is that people want the band and that as artists, we love
to play music. So between both of those things, that's what keeps us
years ago, you talked a lot about graphics, are you still into it ?
I do it all the time bro ! I still paint. We've been taking a lot of
photo around that tour. It's just like people in Spain are just painting
so hard dude ! It's incredible dude ! It's just sick ! There's rocking
! I think that Europa is just very active when it comes to graphity
art. Things are getting very right wing, very conservative here in Europa
from what I can see, but the arts, it's still fuckin' raging ! So we've
definatly been keeping our eyes open on that.
you have any plan on releasing a DVD for Downset ?
Yeah I'm sure that we're gonna try to do something like that. There
are all kinds of shit. People want a Downset remix record, a Downset
greatest hits, a DVD, we get offers all the time. We'll see what happens.
We just want to tours for now. We've been on tour for a half a year.
We did 3 months on the Linkin Park tour. Then we've been out here for
2 months. So we're kind of letting everybody know that we are around.
And you can't do so much in 24 hours. So hopefully we can come out with
something. We'll see.
are your plans after this tour ?
We're gonna go home. I'm going to Mexico on the beach. Fuckin' kick
it ! (big laugh) And then after that we're gonna tour
the United States. Aparently on of the guys from Slipknot, I'm not a
big Slipknot fan, but he has a band and he wants to go tour with us.
So we'll see what happens.
your favorite word ? I don't have a favorite word !
What's your least favorite word ? Satan
! (big laugh)
What turns you on, creativelly ? Life itself
What turns you on spiritually ? I'm a believer,
I believe in God. I'm not a religious guy but I believe that there is
a positive force out there. What it is I don't know.
What turns you on emotionally ? I try not
to get too much into emotion. You know, be honest with myself and feel
things. So I don't really know how to answer this question.
What turns you off ? Violence. I take brazilian
jujitsu, so I know how to fight. But I just don't like it, it's not
What's your favorite curse word ? Fuck
! (big old laugh)
What sound or noise do you love ? The sound
of Sade's voice.
What sound or noise do you hate ? I don't
know men, it's kind of a weird question. I can't answer the question,
sorry homy !
Which person influenced you the most during your
life ? My mother.
What profession other than your own would you
like to attempt ? Global economics men ! Global banking.
What profession other than your own would you
not like to attempt ? I don't think I'd like to be a judge. I
don't know if there is any such things as law. Specially in america.
You have laws of nature, gravity. These things are just ireversible.
I don't know, I just think that being a judge would be a hard thing.
What's your favorite place on earth ? My
favorite place on earth is my mind. And it's right here ! (big lough)
And the place you hate ? Los Angeles !
(big laugh) I hate L.A. men ! God ! It sucks !
If heaven exist what would you like God say to
you when you arrive at the pearly gates ? Come on in ! I don't
want him to say to me like Get out of here ! (big laugh)
When we asked this last question to Roger Miret
from Agnostic Front, he answered that he would rather like to go to
hell, because it'll be more fun !
He said that ? That's funny dude ! (big laugh) Oh fuckin'
Roger, what a guy !
to Hawino Records and obviously to Rey for beeing so cool.
Manu & Tataye
Translation Tataye & Manu