Jan 03, 2013
interview
Foreign Beggars

Metropolis, Orifice, & No Names, aka Foreign Beggars, are perhaps the most recognizable emcees in bass music thanks to some high-caliber collabs with Skrillex & Knife Party. Metropolis recently chatted with us about Stereosonic, their upcoming album with Noisia, & Chicken Sandwiches.

Foreign Beggars - Apex (Original Mix) [Mau5trap]
LessThan3: You guys just got back from Stereosonic in Australia. Tell us about some of your experiences there.
Metropolis: It was the first time we’d done a touring festival that went to different cities. There was an amazing vibe—there was a massive cross-section of artists from all sorts of genres all hanging out in the same area. You had Diplo chilling with Nina Kraviz and Datsik with Zedd—it was a great group of people to be around. The whole thing ended with an afterparty where Carl Cox was playing for all the artists and we got a big dance circle going in the middle with breakdancing and all kinds of hilarious dance moves.
LessThan3: Can you comment on the Australian EDM scene?
Metropolis: We’ve been going to Australia for about five years now, and we’ve watched electronic music blow up so hard there, dubstep in particular. The first time I heard the term “bass music” was in Australia. The kids go crazy for it. It’s very similar to the way it is in America right now and the way it has been in Europe. It seems to be this new wave of people who are just down to party to hard EDM. When I was sixteen I was into hip hop; looking at the difference in what kids are listening to now is just huge.
LessThan3: You guys all come from a big hip hop background. Have you guys molded your sound in a particular way based on the way genres have evolved, or has it been more of an organic transition?
Metropolis: Our two original members, Orifice Vulgatron and Dag Nabbit, started out making drum & bass. Orifice was a D&B emcee before he was a hip hop emcee. We started playing dubstep in our sets when we first got into it because we wanted people around the world to know what was happening in London. The first few times we did it the crowd didn’t understand what was going on, but the more we played it the more people got into it. It wasn’t intentional—it was more of us pulling many influences into our show and ending up playing a whole lot of dubstep. Our first dubstep release was on Never Say Die, and after that people began to perceive us as a “dubstep” group, though in the UK we’re still viewed as a “hip hop band.”
LessThan3: How did you guys link up with the OWSLA and mau5trap crews and how do you feel that has accelerated your career?
Metropolis: We’ve been working with Noisia for five or six years. The first track that we made together, Contact, linked us to Sonny. Orifice got banned from the UK for about a year because of visa issues so he went and stayed with Noisia in the Netherlands while Sonny was there working on an album. They hit it off and he wanted to do a track with us, Scatta, and this opened up massive doors for us in the States. I don’t think when we made Scatta we knew how big Skrillex was going to become and how quickly it would happen. When we first met him not a lot of people knew about Sonny, then a year later he was collecting Grammys.
LessThan3: Do you guys do production on your own tracks?
Metropolis: Dag Nabbit used to produce for us, but then he became more unavailable so we had to start looking for other to people to work with. For the album we just released on mau5trap, The Uprising, it was all collaborations.
LessThan3: What was it like working with Knife Party?
Metropolis: We spoke to mau5trap because they had an interest in putting out the Noisia record that we’ve been working on for a few years. Because Noisia was so busy at the time, mau5trap suggested we put out a five-track EP. We had some stuff already recorded, then we recorded more tracks at the beginning of the year and had eight tracks in total, and they wanted to make it an entire album. They asked us who we wanted to work with, and we told them Knife Party, and fortunately they were interested in working with us as well. One day we went to the studio and started a track from scratch. When we play that track in our sets, we get a massive response, and that’s exactly what we were aiming for.
LessThan3: What kind of projects do you guys have coming up?
Metropolis: At the moment the main thing we’re working on is our next album that we’re going to release next year as a collaboration with Noisia.
LessThan3: Any funny studio memories you can share with us?
Metropolis: Orifice did a track called Chicken & Cheese Sandwich with Noisia. It’s basically us talking crap about wanting to eat a chicken sandwich over a sh*tty house beat. Maybe we’ll throw that up on Facebook one day. We usually drink some whiskey when we first start out a studio session, which has led to many funny experiences.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Metropolis: Right now, I’d probably bump Until The Quiet Comes by Flying Lotus.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Metropolis: Epic Powerbars.
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