Spit Syndicate Discuss Orbit, Touring and Distractions
Spit Syndicate released their album, Orbit, in May and are currently on the accompanying tour.
Spit Syndicate are a hip hop duo from Sydney that formed right out of high school and have been making music and touring for over a decade. They’ve just released their fifth album, Orbit, and are at the start of their huge Australian tour with 20 shows. They’re hitting up the Brightside here in Brisbane this Saturday, June 9th. We had a chat with Nick Lupi about the latest album and the tour while they were arriving in Margaret River for their second show.
Australia isn’t typically known for its hip hop artists so where did Spit Syndicate get their inspiration when they started out? “When we were first starting out I think in terms of Australian rappers, we obviously loved Hilltop Hoods, Koolism and obviously we grew up on New York rappers like Jay Z but definitely when we were coming up – I think Hilltop Hoods for us were the pinnacle.”
Like many artists, Spit Syndicate have to overcome many obstacles. “I mean the challenges that we faced when we were starting out, we still face them today. There’s so many challenges even now and many of them are the same. I think one of the big challenges is finding a team that you want to work with in terms of a label and managers and agents and publicists and things like that. You’re seeing a lot artists making the mistake of relying on external parties to handle parts of the operation for them or they’re so excited by the prospect of signing a deal with a record label that they don’t really think too much into what could go wrong or how they should be trying to do more of this themselves.
“It’s also changed so much since we first started. The way that Facebook and social media is a make-or-break for bands which is crazy. It’s not something that you could have really contemplated the scale of which it’s happened in the MySpace era. I’m rambling but the challenges we faced then are challenges that take a different form but are inherently the same struggle. We strive to overcome, we tell ourselves that you often take more from a loss than a win. You learn more from that. All the ups and downs that we’ve had, we try to take it all onboard and use it as a way of improving our operation and move further.”
After having to wait three years between album three and four, Orbit came just a year after One Good Shirt Had Us All Fly. “The best way I could put it, if we love making songs and believe strongly in them and we almost require this kind of outlet in our lives to make sense of our world so why wouldn’t we? Why not do it quicker? I think in the past we’ve been guilty of taking too long between releases and that’s how you lose momentum and that’s how people lose interest. Some people say why, others say why not?”
Nick also talked about their songwriting process and how they have dedicated songwriting sessions. “It is quite a lengthy process from the start to the very end but you have to make time for it for sure. Especially when you’re juggling other parts of your life be that work or study or a relationship or other things. You’ve got to make time especially when it’s so easy to get distracted nowadays as well with your phone. Trying to remain concentrated on one thing in the era of the smart phone is actually quite tricky I think.”
Even after years in the industry and releasing music for a decade, they haven’t lost their touch and people are still enjoying their music.”People seem to love it. It’s been a really positive response. It’s definitely quite heartening to put music out and have people love it and let us know that. That’s a real win. As I was saying before, we run our own operation so we’re very hands on but it can be quite exhausting so when we put out the album and people started hitting us and saying they were digging it, you take a lot from that. I think there’s always going to be people that like a certain album or style from an artist because of the particular time that they heard it and because that’s just what they like. They always want that artist to keep doing that same thing and keep doing what they like. Whereas the whole idea of it, at least from an artist’s perspective, is evolving and changing and moving. There’s always going to be people that are going to say ‘I liked it better when they did this’ but there haven’t been too many of those. And if there are, I’m just stoked that there’s people that like our old stuff.”
The tour hits Queensland this week and there’s been a lot of preparation going into the shows. “[We prepare] the same way that we prepare for writing an album. It’s a lot of time, a lot of rehearsals and discussions and trying things out. You’ve got to take the same care when you’re making the album to when you’re releasing the album and also how you’re performing and touring the album. It’s all part of the same thing. We rehearse and put a lot of time into it.”
So what can be expected from these shows? “They can expect the best Spit Syndicate experience they’ve ever seen before and if they haven’t seen us at all well we put on a high energy show, we’ve got a live band. We just rap and jump around and it’s a really good time. We’ve also got Turquoise Prince supporting us on this tour and he’s on the record. He’s just a young rising star that we believe in. It’s going to be a great show.”
We also had to ask Nick if they could tour with anyone dead or alive, who they would pick. “Anderson Paak. I should probably be picking someone dead because you’ve got to use this opportunity to communicate with the dead so I think my answer would change depending on what day but let’s go with Anderson Paak.”
Tickets still remain for their show on Saturday night which you can find here.
What: Spit Syndicate
Where: The Brightside, 27 Warner Street, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
When: Saturday, June 9th @ 8pm
How Much: $34.70
Website: link to website
More Info: 18+ event