Interview with Cadence Weapon
Having just released a critically acclaimed third album, Hope in A Dirt City, and on the verge of an epic North American tour, Cadence Weapon is going strong. Touted as Canada’s ‘most creative rapper’ – his new album is a slight departure from his previous material, but still incorporates the experimental sounds that helped him make a name for himself. He kicks off his tour here in Toronto on October 12th at Wrongbar – get tickets here.
How does it feel to be back on the road with new material?
It’s really exciting because it’s a big headlining tour and I haven’t done a lot of those. Since my last album actually when I was on tour with the Japandroids. It’s going to be great to tour around Canada again. I’m very excited about it.
What was it like touring with the Japandroids? Was there a different between their fans and yours?
Yes, but by the end of the tour we realized some similiarities between each other – just the idea that our music is considered upbeat and very live oriented. By the end of the tour we really saw the overlap.
How is Hope in a Dirt City different from your first two albums?
I feel like it’s dramatically different from anything I’ve ever done before. The process in which it was made was pretty wild – I started with samples and beats, like I usually do, but then I took those demos to a band in Toronto and actually jammed with them and replaced all the samples and beats with live instrumentation. Then we went to a studio and recorded it, and took all those recordings back and turned them into beats again. So basically I sampled myself – which I’ve never done before – but I’m very happy with the results. Conceptually, its quite a bit different too. My first album was like putting every idea I had up until that point into it, in Afterparty Babies I was really interested in electronic music – it was very house influence. This album I wanted to get into more organic sounds.
What’s the concept behind the video Conditioning? Where was it filmed?
We shot it in Montreal – which is where I live now. I wanted to reflect the content of the song – so bad emotional conditions and also bad living conditions and weather conditions, and I wanted to tie it all together in a blues song.
You come from Edmonton, Alberta, not exactly a known as a huge hip-hop scene in Canada. Is that true or is it changing?
There’s always been a hip-hop scene, and I initially came up around rappers in Edmonton, but I always felt like I was a little bit different, like the music I listened to wasn’t your basic linear rap and I got along more with the electronic and experimental musicians in Edmonton. I feel like there’s a really amazing Canadian rap scene, but it’s really underrepresented. I feel like over the years with Drake, and Shad and me – it’s no longer a weird thing to be a rapper from Canada. When I was touring people were like ‘wow you’re from Canada and you rap?’ – that’s why I’m really excited to tour the US this time around – perceptions have changed.
You moved to Montreal – do you think there is a big music scene there?
I had friends who moved out here from Edmonton so they kind of drew me here, but over time this huge musical infrastructure emerged. There are all these amazing bands like Grimes, Braids, Mac Marco, Magical Clouds – but also the structure of Montreal really supports bands. It’s very affordable.
Who would be your DREAM collaborator – dead or alive?
I gotta say – Neil Young. He’s my hero. Every album he just did whatever he wanted to do, and he was a total badass and that’s the way I want my career to be. To co-write a song with him would be amazing.