Interview with Dizraeli of Dizraeli and the Small Gods.
As part of this month’s Belladrum build up we’ve been looking at some of the acts that you’ll miss at your peril. One of the acts that stands out in particular is Bristol based band, Dizraeli and the Small Gods.
Fusing hip hop with folk, their last album ‘Moving in the Dark’ is a melting pot of quirky humour, hip hop beats and some very sharp rapping by Rowan aka Dizraeli. Think Spring Break with an added dose of caffeine! I saw them at a festival in England a few years back and their performance that evening is up there with one of my favourite festival experiences. A rammed tent, plenty of cider and a weird mix of punters (in terms of age at least) who were all up completely up for it.
I managed to catch up with Rowan earlier this week to get his thoughts on heading North and plans for future material.
Have you been up this way before?
I toured with a Hip Hop theatre piece based in Edinburgh years ago and we played at the Eden Court. I’ve heard really good things about Belladrum and I’m really looking forward to catching the vibe.
You’ve had a couple of changes in lineup over the last year, how has that changed things?
Yeah I’m now sharing the vocals with Bellatrix and it has changed the sound and the feel and we’ve taken it to a bit of a different place, we’ve veered away from the folky element. We took it to a slightly darker place I guess, definitely more hiphop. I like to think it’s still pushing boundaries and taking the sound to a place people wouldn’t expect
The video for the Depths definitely got people talking, it really stands out as being quite powerful and a nice departure from your average hip-hop video, with two burly blokes snogging rather than the more misogynistic fare of other bands.
I like to stand to up to the things I feel are wrong in the world and I guess there’s plenty wrong in hiphop and one of those things is homophobia. It’s a personal response to the bigotry that I feel still persists in the world around me, not just in hip-hop obviously, but all over.
The end of the video features a picture of Vladimir Putin with lipstick on and a rainbow background, did you get any negative reaction from that?
(Laughs) The director found that image online. No complaints from the Russian government though! I had a couple of people saying ‘stop trying to convince us that gays are alright, we’re never going to fucking accept it’, we’ve had a couple of those but generally the response is has been really positive and I think people are pleased to see that something different is being said.
Is there new material on the way, will we be hearing any new tracks at Belladrum?
Yes, you’re going to hear plenty of new stuff at Belladrum, a good chunk of the set is brand new material. We’re looking at different ways of delivering music, we’re looking at how to respond to the different ways to respond to the way music industry is going, the album format is a format created for vinyl LPs. I love albums, I’ve grown up on albums, a lot of music was bought on vinyl. I’m definitely interested in where else we can take it. I like the EP format, I think that’s really great, we’ll see where it goes, we’re just experimenting really.
Check out Dizraeli and the Small Gods website. Where you find information of when and where they are playing at Belladrum.