MC Lars may be one of the world’s most well-known underground rappers.
Starting out in 1999, Lars has carved a great path in the last dozen years, having toured and performed with everyone from Lupe Fiasco and Nas to Bowling For Soup and Simple Plan. Lars is the self-proclaimed originator of “post-punk laptop rap,” wherein his laptop was his musical accompaniment when he started. Using samples from bands such as Supergrass and Fugazi, Lars established his ethic of “DIY” (do it yourself) from the outset.
In later years, Lars has come to still use the laptop in performances, but mostly for soundbites, as he now has a full-band accompaniment. Aside from performing with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Lars will also be on this year’s Vans Warped Tour.
Joining Lars on the Warped tour and several other places will be Weerd Science, aka Joshua Eppard (formerly of Coheed and Cambria). Off the heels of his latest album, Sick Kids, Weerd Science has formed an alliance with Lars based off of a longtime friendship. Hours on the road and in the studio together have given birth to a new beast entirely.
Lars’ Horris Records has recently released its first album, Weerd Science’s Sick Kids. Lars and Science have both been promoting the album as well as the label, which is also set to release an introductory mixtape this year with the likes of MC Frontalot, Sage Francis, and KRS-ONE. Lars also appeared on CNN to give more info about the label.
We recently got a chance to talk to both MC Lars and Weerd Science regarding the label, the new album, and what’s to come from the new home of DIY Hip-Hop, Horris Records.
What led to the formation of Horris Records? Is this something you’ve been building towards, as far as having your own label, or did the idea come in the more recent stages of your career?
MC Lars: At first it was just a logo I was putting on my own releases and then the idea hit me that I could help other people put out awesome records too.
How hard was it, logistically, to take that next from independent artist to forming a label that would help others of the same mindset?
MC Lars: Weerd Science helped with their Kickstarter [campaign] and we just brainstormed on how we could combine our talents, using both of our contacts to kick butt together.
Looking at some of the other artists on the upcoming mixtape (MC Frontalot, Sage Francis, KRS-ONE), is their appearance on it a show of solidarity and support for what you’re doing? How many of them can we expect to see signed to the label?
MC Lars: I don’t plan on signing any more artists to my label, but it’s great to put out a mixtape with like-minded rappers who support my brand of independent hip-hop.
Josh, tell us a bit about your time after Coheed & Cambria, when we last talked. What have been some of the projects you’ve been involved in since then?
Weerd Science: Well after Coheed, there was not to much going on really. I was playing on some records as a hired on studio musician and [doing] lots of drugs. I wanted to do Weerd Science but really those first two years after I left Coheed are a bit of a blur. I desperately wanted to make my records that were true to my heart, but there were so many obstacles in the way. I guess you could say i spent a few years sinking, and a few years climbing out.
What led to the change in genre and the genesis of Weerd Science?
Weerd Science: I’ve always made hip hop music. My first band was a hip hop group. I released my first Weerd Science record while still in Coheed in ’05 on Equal Vision Records. It’s always been the thing that spoke to me the loudest and really is my life on record.
What is it like seeing your work out on Horris Records? What has the behind-the-scenes process been like in terms of getting everything together and releasing it through the label?
Weerd Science: It’s been great. I’ve been on three different major labels in my career and was planning on releasing the new Weerd Science LP on Equal Vision. Needless to say that didn’t pan out, but with all my experience with the big labels it’s been a refreshing change of pace to work with someone like Lars who loves the music. As far as getting the music together and all that, there was no process. I had a finished record and Lars heard it and wanted to help get it out. Done and done.
How did you two meet and kind of come together?
Weerd Science: I had heard that Lars was a fan and I knew a lot of his music and was a fan as well. When EVR didn’t seem interested in working with me any longer I played the record for Lars. He told me the world had to hear it and he wanted to help.
MC Lars: Our guitarist used to book college shows and he did one with Josh’s other band Terrible Things. When I heard the record I knew I had to help him release it!
What’s it been like working together on Horris Records?
Weerd Science: Amazing, Lars has a real love of hip hop music and with what I do I think that’s important.
MC Lars: It’s been a learning experience. We’ve been having fun and performing with an artist like Science is an interesting and new challenge.
What can we expect in the future, both from your respective outputs as well as from Horris Records?
Weerd Science: A lot!
MC Lars: More albums and more touring for sure!