Editor’s Note: It is always exciting to get to the opportunity to talk to one of the more unique bands that I have came across this year! Out of Cleveland, Ohio is a group that mixes funk, reggae, hip-hop and various vocal harmonies to create Tropidelic. Tropidelic is already making waves in the underground music scene with their creative vocal harmonies, catchy lyrics, and eclectic arrangements with mixing several different types of music. Tropidelic has released “Heavy Is The Head” and you can check out the review of the album via MUEN Magazine here! Tropidelic played several Midwestern shows with 311 and will be going on a brief run supporting Badfish! Check out tour dates after this interview! Without further delay, here is my conversation with James Begin of Tropidelic!
M.T.C.: Tell us about “Heavy Is The Head”. What went into the writing process of the album?
James: A lot went into the writing process of this album. I think we definitely spent more time on it than the previous ones. There are songs on the CD that we have been playing for over a year before we recorded them. But we were still changing things and fleshing ideas out all the way up until and throughout the recording process.
M.T.C.: I absolutely love the album, what are some moments that defined the band throughout the creative process of the album?
James: I think the most defining moment for me was how every body contributed to this album. It was much more of a group writing process than it was before.
M.T.C.: You all released the music video for “Leviathan”. Tell us about the music video making process and the single. Congrats on it already achieving thousands of hits on YouTube.
James: Leviathan is a cool track to me because the majority of the music behind the words is just all of our voices. we had never done a track like that before and Roads really took the time to get all of the vocal parts figured out so the rest of us could come in and just lay down the takes. We were really excited about how the music video came out. I think we all really enjoy making the videos as well. However, for this particular video we all got misdemeanors for trespassing. We weren’t aware that we were on private property and some guy blocked us in with his truck on a dirt road and called the cops. But I guess I would be kind of nervous too if i saw 7 grown men wearing suits and blindfolds walking only property with drones flying around.
“Leviathan” by Tropidelic
M.T.C.: You all also released the music video for “Dollar Saved”. Tell us about that video and song.
James: We had a great time making the “Dollar Saved” video as well. Our good friend Matt Lewis showed up with just a couple different ideas for some shots and we put the entire thing together inured three hours. Nobody had really any idea for a concept but it just so happened the neighborhood was having yard sales that day, So were able to incorporate that into the video. I actually had gotten my car window smashed out the night before so we worked that into the end of the video as well. That was bitter sweet I suppose. I love the shot though.
“Dollar Saved” by Tropidelic
M.T.C.: Biggest influences that you draw from in your songwriting and performing.
James: I listen to a lot of rap and punk rock. So for inspiration lyrically I like to listen to people like Capital Steez, Ces Cru, Aesop Rock, and Chance the Rapper. In regards to performing though, I don’t think there is anything worse than watching a band that just stands there. I’ve always loved the energy at punk shows and the intensity of the performance so being able to incorporate that with hip hop is something I really enjoy. I get the best of both worlds.
M.T.C.: Tell us about opening some shows for 311 recently! What was the most gratifying experience opening for 311?
James: Opening for 311 was insane, to say the least. Just being able to play in front of the crowds they bring every night was an honor, but I also think that we were received very well. It was a huge exposure opportunity and we got to watch 311 play every night. What more could you ask for?
M.T.C.: Favorite 311 song or album.
James: My favorite 311 song is “Come Original”. It was cool getting to hear them play that every night. They even shouted out Tropidelic in one of the verses.
M.T.C.: What can fans expect from the album if they haven’t picked it up?
James: I think there’s something for everyone on this album. There are songs that you would definitely associate with us and there are songs that were pretty off the wall for us to try. We were really pleased with how it turned out.
M.T.C.: Describe Tropidelic in a movie title.
James: I cant think of a good movie comparison but I would say we’re a combination of “Jackass” and “Keeping up with the Kardashians” with a splash of “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”.
M.T.C.: If music didn’t exist, what would you be doing for a living?
James: I think about that question a lot and honestly I have no idea. I was an ancient history major in college before I dropped out to start touring. I like to read a lot as well. I think I’m right where I’m supposed to be but I also definitely have other dreams that aren’t music related.
M.T.C.: Giving you the floor to talk about where people can find you, a message to the fans, etc.
James: You can find Tropidelic on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Spotify, ITunes, Apple Music, our official website, and everywhere else you can think of. Check out our brand new album “Heavy is the Head” and let us know what you think!
And there you have it! Check out Tropidelic coming to your neck of the woods including providing direct support for Badfish.
DEC 08 Clazel Entertainment- Bowling Green, OH
DEC 09 The Livery Microbrewery- Benton Harbor, MI
DEC 30 Rex Theater Pittsburgh, PA
DEC 31 The Grog Shop Cleveland, OH
FEB 07 Tellus 360- Lancaster, PA (w/ Badfish)
FEB 10 Newport Music Hall- Columbus, OH (w/ Badfish)
FEB 13 City Winery Nashville- Nashville, TN (w/ Badfish)
FEB 14 Mercury Ballroom- Louisville, KY (w/ Badfish)
FEB 15 Bogarts- Cincinnati, OH (w/ Badfish)
FEB 16 Pops Nightclub- Sauget, IL (w/ Badfish)
FEB 17 Concord Music Hall- Chicago, IL (w/ Badfish)
FEB 18 The Intersection- Grand Rapids, MI (w/ Badfish)
Find Tropidelic at the following locations: