Did you consider yourself white trash when you grew up?
Uhm, probably not when I grew up. But soon when I was old enough to know what it is, yeah. White trash is just kind of like the lower income, lower class white people. It’s not that white trash lives in a trailer. But most white people, when I was wearing black peoples clothes at 14, would have called me white trash.
Was there any reason to call you white trash then?
The music I liked, the way I behaved, how I acted, you know what I mean. I was like, you know, not a good white person.
Is white trash a big problem in the states?
A Problem? I don’t think so. White trash is a lot of the States. Middle America would be considered white trash by the richer part of society.
So what can we expect from the new album?
Uhm… It’s the same part of thing I’ve been doing for the last couple of records. The first Whitey Ford record was kind of a separation of singing songs and hiphop songs. The second album I kinda concentrated on singing songs, on this album I did a lot of songs, but in everything I’m trying to inject more of a hiphop feel.
By using samples?
Just mostly drums. Everything else I like to play. There are a couple of songs which are produced by other people like Dante Ross. They did beats for a couple of the straight hiphop songs which include samples.
The people haven’t heard your material, yet you’re already giving shows. Don’t you rather perform your songs after your audience had a chance to listen to the material?
Yeah, I haven’t played in three years so I shucked out. I know a lot of people don’t come before there record comes out but hey, I’m Everlast, I do things different. (laughs)
So we can expect new songs at the show tonight?
Yes, definitely. It’s a sneak preview. I was in Germany and there were kids who know the new songs so I know they downloading that shit. But I can’t really be mad. Yeah, I figure when they still come to the show they gonna buy it too.
Do you sell the new record at your shows?
No, I didn’t even see the finished copy yet. To be honest, when people come to me with “Ah, your record comes out in two weeks!” I swear I don’t have it. I’ve seen the artwork, I’ve seen everything but not the actual cd in one piece.
Do you think it’s causing problems people downloading your music? Do you get angry about that?
Well, I think it’s stealing. But I’m not gonna be mad at someone who knows every word of my songs. That’s love. He’s not downloading it to really rob me. I got a band to pay. I got studio bill to pay to make this record, you know. And if you keep doing what you doing, the music is gonna get shittier and shittier and that’s already happening.
So what do you see as a solution to this problem?
People just gonna have honour man. It’s not wrong when technology makes it possible to look at somebody’s record. And people say I wanna check this out to see if I like it enough to buy it. But to just take everybody’s music that you like and just steal it, that’s wrong. If you take somebody’s record of the internet and you hate it, don’t buy it. But if you like it a lot, you should buy that fucking record! And I’m not talking about me but about whoever it is. They spend a lot of money making that record. I never downloaded a song of the internet that I liked and didn’t buy too.
Hiphop also has an educational value. BDP inspired people to listen to James Brown, Gangstarr inspired many fans to pick up jazz records. As a rapper and singer / songwriter what do you listen to?
Man, I listen to so many kinds of music. It’s crazy. Like now, like recent things of records I listen to Ghostface his new record. He’s become one of my favourite cats man, cause he ain’t afraid to cry on a record, he’ll do anything on a record. That’s like kind of how I feel how I do. And I listen to a lot of old music. Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Tom Wayns, Led Zeppelin, Public Enemy, you know. It’s all over the place man. Gangstarr, old hiphop, when everybody in hiphop wanted to be different, not everybody in hiphop wanted to be 50 Cent. I Like 50 Cent, but everybody in the world wants to be like 50. When I came up everybody wanted to be different. Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, KMD, Tribe, Jungle Brothers, De La Soul, everybody wanted to be different.
But in the underground scene you still have that aspect of trying to be different
O Yeah, I love like Talib. I just bought the Dead Prez record. I like that kind of stuff. I’d more like to buy some kids mixtape I don’t know just off the street then I’ll buy a mainstream hiphop record right now.
What’s the latest piece of music that gave you a good feeling?
I was just listening to Bilal, he’s an R&B singer. I Love that record, it’s been out for a while. Productions of Dre, Mhz. Amazing album.
You used to make pure hiphop with House Of Pain. When did you go the other way and why?
Uhm, when I started making “Whitey Ford Sings The Blues” it was supposed to be a hiphop record. But I always played guitar and stuff. Me and Dante were sitting around, hearing me playing the guitar and he was like “Wow, that’s a good song you are playing!” I was like “Really?” and we started recording songs. And that was after the House Of Pain era, when I just wanted to make a solo record. It just happened accidentally, it was a bit of luck when trying something different.
But don’t you miss making that hiphop shit?
Yeah, but I try to throw a couple of those moments in every record. When I think of this one I think the b-boys will be happy, there’s a lot of rapping on this record. Even in like a singing song. There’s a lot more mixing in styles of song. You’ll hear it tonight. But it is an Everlast show, not a House of Pain show, so when the crowd is really hype and they want to hear Jump Around, then I will play it. The crowd has to demand it otherwise I don’t play it… That song is like, when I do it I do it for the crowd. I’ve done it so many times, it’s not that I hate it but you know, I’m not gonna jump around…
When House Of Pain stopped, you went solo, DJ Lethal made a successful move with Limp Bizkit, but how the hell is DannyBoy doing???
He had a group called “Ex Supermodels” for a while, now he’s in a band called “Chopblockers”. And with Lethal he has a label. Like finding act, Danny is a hustler, he’s always finding something.
About Eminem, how did it happen and what was it all about?
It was really just a personal thing man. We ain’t friends and we ain’t enemies. What it was is, I met him and he wasn’t really big, I just heard his record and I thought it was good and went to meet him, and it seems we were in the same hotel or something and I went to say hello and the dude just kinda looked at me and walked away so I was just like, that was wack. And then went I in the studio with Dilated Peoples I said ‘this’ little thing and I did it as a rap thing. And if you listen to both of the disses, never do I say he’s wack, never do I say “you suck”. It’s a personal thing. He should have showed me respect. Because I did some things, that made it a little easier for him. That’s all I’m saying. But afterwards and I give him the benefit of the doubts right now, he said he didn’t know it was me that night at the hotel. Even I think that’s hard to believe because he studied hiphop all his life. I wasn’t Elvis, and he’s larger now then I ever was, but he should know who I was… But we talked via the manager of Em, I know him very good, so we settled it.
Are you still in touch with the hiphop scene?
If you talking about b-boys. Yeah, I’m b-boy till I die. If you see me with a cowboy hat, I’m still a b-boy!
What was the last concert you’ve seen?
I think it was Dilated with Kanye West. Dilated smoked!!! Those are my boys. I like what Kanye is doing. He’s not the greatest rapper, but I think what he’s rapping about, that is great. He’s rapping about different things and he’s a great producer. It’s the subject matter that makes him good. He’s just being himself, that’s what’s good as well.
What is the biggest difference between performing for a b-boy hiphop audience or mainstream public? Which do you prefer?
It depends, if they’re real b-boys? I love to play for them because we do breaks in our show that I think they like and a lot of different things. The thing that bugs me out is like a 60 year old lady, a nine year old kid, some fucking nerd guy and a b-boy next to him all in the crowd. It’s weird. I have the weirdest crowds you can ever imagine.
Do you like that?
Well yeah, it’s bananas! It’s like you’ve touched every generation, you’ve touched every style. There might be a cowboy motherfocker in my show. It always blows my mind. Sometimes I run into people, last time when I was in NY and some crazy black dude b-boy comes to me and I think “O, here comes that jump around thing.” and he be like: “Yo Everlast, man, I love that new guitar thing you made.” And that’s bananas! Wow! Crazy! It proves to me that good music is good music. And you know what hiphop stole music from ever form of music anyways. I put a little hiphop and put it in every kind of music.
How was it to work with Carlos Santana?
I was honored. That really went crazy. I wrote this song for “Whitey Ford Sings The Blues” and I just get out of the hospital for hart surgery, and I wrote this song kind of about the whole experience. And somehow we found out Carlos was looking for songs and he asked about me. Then I sent him that song and I heard a long while not from him, I kinda forgot about it. But in an American music show where we were he came to me and so it went further…
How do you see hiphop today?
Well there are a lot of artists. But there also cats who do anything for money, you’ll give them a check and they rap about fucking toothpaste! But then there are cats like Mos Def, Talib and Common. I like what he spit on the Kanye record. Even if his last album was little out there for me, but still I respect what he does ‘cause it’s different, you know what I mean?
Do you think the media created an spectacular image of hiphop?
O for sure! Two or three co-operations own all the media outlets and record companies man. So they be like “Ooo, let the black gangster people shoot and kill themselves, and black booty gangster music.” You know. We’ll sell them all along. And the cats in the hiphop scene are believing it! There are people who know, Spike Lee made a movie about it. It’s fucking nuts that people can’t see it’s about money.
Any shout outs to our visitors?
Keep it up! Keep it Real! Keep B-boyin’. Live it! That’s the lifestyle. That’s b-boy. B-boy is the activity, rap is just the music. Hiphop is how I wear my fucking sneakers, that I go into town to make pictures of the graffiti walls. Cause it’s a lifestyle. The language, the music, it is not what is used to be, but live it!