After spending the last couple decades as one-third of hip-hop heroes Dilated Peoples, Michael Perretta aka Evidence has finally readied his second solo album, Cats & Dogs (Rhymesayers).
He’s backpacking across Europe with underground undulators Atmosphere, Blueprint and Brother Ali, so toss on a hoodie and cargo shorts, for they shall all wander among us November 15 at Festsaal Kreuzberg.
Cats & Dogs?
Celtic music is not easy. I mean Irish. Bagpipes are not easy to use, in my mind.
Not easy to mic four bagpipes. People I was working with, they smoke so much weed that it fucked them up. They can’t see anything clearly, you know, through the weed. I decided that it was time to expand outside. You know, with these instruments, those guys are not actually, like, readily available in this part of the world.
Bagpipists, you mean.
So you contacted a bagpipe agency?
Maybe they have a union… Not only that. The agency helped. The union is really tricky, but it does exist. I don’t think there was a single bagpipe on any of my other albums.
It’s funny, you know. I have a bag; I have a lot of pipes in it – but for marijuana. I guess that makes me a bagpiper. A bag pipe. Next to a bag of pipes. Ha ha! I’m still smoking pot, ‘cause I’m not doing dubstep. Not yet. Not yet, buddy.
Anyone you tried to get on the album, but no luck?
Yeah. The Game and Mos Def. Can’t find those fucking guys. Game just dropped his new album. Proper fucking – well let me not say… because I haven’t listened to the whole thing two, three times like you need to – but it definitely stands out. I don’t even know if I’d like the people… You know, it’s fucked up; nowadays they might be dickheads, I dunno, but I like the record a lot.
You’ve toured Europe before.
We used to be big in the UK, but I haven’t been there for awhile. Now it seems like Germany is more into it. It’s dope, ‘cause Atmosphere was playing in Nebraska and Dakota, parts of the US where no one else was willing to go, and they were building a big fan base there, while we’re going to fuckin’ Croatia and Romania, different places in Europe.
Because you gotta go where the people want you. If someone likes you in Ireland, and bagpipes are blowing up, then go to Ireland. You can’t choose your fans, they choose you.
You got some dates there, I guess.
I don’t know if we did. I’m toking.
So what kind of changes did you make for Cats & Dogs?
There’re no bagpipes on the album; I’m entertaining myself. But yeah, we’re still building the same kind of building. A lot of, like, retrofitting. But the same building.
You felt like you got some criticism you didn’t really deserve?
No, that was a little metaphor. And the new Dilated Peoples? Next year, hopefully. They’re independent: no deals. We like to do the majority of the record without any label influence.
Alright, nice talking to you man.
Atmosphere, Evidence, Brother Ali, Blueprint, Grieves & Budo, Tue, Nov 15, 19:30 | Festsaal Kreuzberg, Skalitzer Str. 130, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Kottbusser Tor