Monday, 19 May 2014

A Long Overdue Introduction...

Issue Number 6, from 1998

So, this blog is a month old now, and I thought I'd attempt a few words about the hows and whys about it, because, better late than never.
'My God Can Beat Up Your God' came into existence in the mid/late nineties. I forget exactly when, and I don't have a copy nearby of the original issues to find out, but I'm going to guess about 1995. I could be wrong. It started life as a scrappy, crappy cut 'n' punk rock fanzine, and lasted until (I think) 1999 when I put it to rest as part of a three way split fanzine with 2 other local punk rock fanzines (yes, Thirsk had more than one fanzine back in the '90s). Each issue featured interviews, (often badly written) articles, and some reviews, and was all stuck together with prittstick and taken to the local photocopy shop where I'd print off as many copies as I could afford. Back in the 90s there was no internet (or at least, no one in the punk scene had the internet), and interviews were either conducted by post or scribbled down on note paper at gigs (never could afford a dictaphone). Articles were often whiny views on the world, wrapped up in punk rock politics and full of spelling mistakes. Reviews, which I used to hate doing, were simple, short and not very descriptive, although it was fun getting so much free stuff to review, vinyl, cds and tapes from punk bands worldwide who would trust me to fairly judge and promote their product. The scene needed fanzines back in those dark days, its one of the reasons punk rock stayed so vibrant and healthy, it was a glue that helped keep it from dying. Or so us 'zine editors would tell ourselves. Truth is, it was just fun doing them.
And that's why I started this blog. I'm not here to promote any particular scene, just promote things I really enjoy, be it punk rock, hip hop, wrestling, MMA, B-movies, conspiracies, whatever takes my fancy at the time. I know covering such a wide, varied range of subjects is just as likely to put off people from the bog, as it is to draw people in, but I'm not doing this for other people, I'm doing this for my own personal enjoyment, because I find writing fun, because I enjoy interviewing people I'm inspired by, and because I want to share my interests and enjoyments with anyone who's willing to read about them, whether thats 2 people or 200 people. 
I'm not here to make the world a better place. I know this blog is going to get lost in an ocean of internet crap. And its certainly not as cool as having an actual physical printed fanzine. But it is free, instant, accesabe to anyone who has an internet connection, and more importantly I'm enjoying the hellout of doing it.
Here's to the next month, and as many after that, until I run out of awesome things to cover...

Aaron BeatUp
May 2014

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Nyiam (Interview)

 I can't exactly remember how or when I first heard Nyiam, but it was round about the time we were looking for bands to put on the 0605 Records '#W06ld Dominati05' compilation, and as soon as we heard his flows we knew we needed him on the comp. An extremely talented Canadian, not just a rapper, but also highly skilled at production and beat making, and not only that, but he actually has a clue about the world around him and opinions on it - he's not just another dull MC rhyming about himself or bitches & guns. Sure, a lot of his rhymes are about weed, and we love that, but dig a little deeper and you'll find a whole world of conspiracies, ethics and opinions rarely touched by other rappers. He has plenty of albums, all for free download, over at his Bandcamp page (Nyiam Bandcamp), so go show our boy some love...

1: How did you first start to get involved with hip hop? What came first, making your beats or starting to rhyme?
I was always involved with music as a youngster, heavily influenced by my fathers music tastes of Jazz, Soul ,R&B and HipHop (LL Cool J, Pac, Mariah Carey,Black street, Boys 2 Men, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Chi Lites ) I was in and out of piano classes, played saxophone in school band and kept a journal for writing poetry throughout junior/high school years. I never really put together the rhyming and musical aspects till I started messing with digital music production when I was 17 (after the arrival of broadband internet and now influenced by my own music tastes which I picked up over the years) which allowed me to pull off a "one man band" situation and resulted in my first Album as a emcee and beatmaker "D.O.P.E" in 2010. So really I would say I started the beats and rhymes around the same time but never put them together till my late teens.

2: A lot of your lyrics, Tweets & posts on Facebook deal with waking people up, and getting people to look for the truth, and are heavily influenced by conspiracy theories. Do you think its hard to get people to look into things because of the negative connotations connected to conspiracies, or just because people don’t want to know? Do you think its important, as an MC, to carry a message in your lyrics?
They say there are only 2 mistakes you can make on the path to truth a) Not starting and b) Not going all way For those who allow the negative connotations attached to conspiracy theories to stop them from further investigation are no different then a young child who is afraid to go down stairs to take a wee wee at night because hes scared of what he may see. As for the major "conspiracy theories" concerning our governments and monetary systems ITS NOT A THEORY ANYMORE, ITS BEEN PROVEN. So I would call those who refuse to look COINCIDENCE THEORISTS, and they should come up with a workable model that proves all these happening are coincidence. If they can get over the fear of seeing what is currently unknown to them. Knowledge is the element of hiphop which has been there from the beginning, but unfortunately doesn't show its face in most mainstream hiphop. I believe the MESSAGE element of hiphop is the most important part, and without it you end up with what we have today as the mainstream "hiphop" scene, for the most part a whole lot of non sense.

3: You’re very outspoken when it comes to consuming animals, how long have you been vegi/vegan? What was the deciding factor in it? Is it hard to eat cruelty free in Canada?
I stopped consuming the dead flesh of other beings in 2011 after my body began to reject the idea on its own, I felt like I was forcing myself to finish the meat portions of meals, and soon after I decided to omit meat from my diet . In the following years I began an intense information synthesis on nutrition and the workings of the human body, mind, and spirit which confirmed my earlier dietary changes and prompted another change to a mostly raw , completely vegan diet (which by the way will change your entire life , something that must be experienced and cannot be shared through conversation only). Eating cruelty free in Canada (Toronto at least) is easy enough, there is a large community of health conscience people, organic farmers markets, and vegan/vegi dining locations through out the city. Its pretty awesome.

4: Whats the hip hop scene like in Canada? Is there any bands we should be looking out for?
I can't really say i know how the whole scene is in Canada but I can tell you that within the area I reside (The Greater Toronto Area) there is a huge scene which is overflowing with stellar artists from all walks be it DJ's Emcees Beatmakers Graff Artists and b-boys/girls. Some artists to look out for CLASS OF 93 (producer Astro Mega and Emcee Kzaraw) , ATEN TUT (emcee ) , CROOKLIN (emcee producer) , Anzola (producer) JOSH GRANT (Producer), just to name a few.

5: Where do you see Nyiam in the next couple of years, and how do you want your music to evolve?
I see Nyiam in next couple of years doing more abstract music, instrumental sound scape collages with spoken word . I want to integrate more information pertaining to raising human awareness back into hiphop and distance myself from the musical norms. I want to make people think for themselves instead of being told what to think.

6: The classic ‘My God Can Beat Up Your God’ question: With which people would you like to drink, fight & fuck?
I would love to burn a joint with Charles Darwin and chat about his theory of evolution ( like question 2 he was just forming a theory which is necessary to find truth) , but then I'd fight him after for writing the theory based on NO FACTUAL EVIDENCE IN THE FOSSIL RECORD TO SUPPORT IT. (which still hasn't been found to this day) 

 7: Any last words, shout out, death threats or final words of wisdom? Where can people check out your music?
Truth Reigns Supreme As Above so Below
As within So without.
peace and love

You can get a hold of, and check this awesome motherfucker out at:

Friday, 16 May 2014

Mr Shiraz (Interview)

Awesome punk rock and metal from a lovely bunch of idiots called Mr Shiraz.

I've known these guys (and girl) a while now, some of my very early bands played with them almost 15 years ago, and they've always been rad people to know and hang out with. I'd lost touch with them over the last couple of years, so it was a pleasent suprise to find vocalist Mikey Shiraz as ring announcer for Tidal Wrestling, and he told me to check out their latest EP 'God Hates Mr Shiraz' on Bandcamp - totally glad I did. Four tracks of blistering, angry, energetic punk rock/metal crossover, with lyrics poking at religion, and praising classic 80s action films (my favourite type of movie), the title track alone ('Good Ol Jack Burton') just makes me want to watch Big Trouble In Little China for the millionth time... Really well produced, and meaty as fuck, headbanging riffs and full throttle beats collide on this EP, and after the first two tracks have whipped you into a frenzy thats made you smash your room up, they slow things down for track 3 ('I Like It') but still manage to encompass the energy & urgency of the earlier tracks, but with a more steady pace and a more complex structure. The final track flips back to their skateboard thrashing, headbanging, beer drinking mayhem and rounds off the EP nicely. And to top it all off, it's free too (or pay as much as you want when you download it) and its available right here on their Bandcamp page to download or stream - Mr Shiraz Bandcamp

1: You’ve been on the go for a long time (I’m pretty sure you played with my first band The Write Offs back in the 90s), when did you first start up the band, and why the hell haven't you given up yet?
The first ever Mr Shiraz gig was December 1st 1999 at Josephs Well in Leeds. The reason we are still doing this? I just love it, I truly adore just getting in a van going to somewhere different and playing these songs, with these people. Being in a band is rad! I guess we maybe should have changed our name many times over the years what with the changes in line-up and sound but thats only a minor thing.

2: When you first started you were a straight up ska-punk band, now your sound has evolved into that of straight up metal. Did this come by accident with the numerous line-up changes, or was it a concious decision? Who are the original members of the band, and who’s joined since then? Is the new sound a fun poke at metal, or is it something you want to continue with?
I wouldn't say we were ever really straight-up ska/punk and I still think we are a long way from 'metal', I like to say we are a punk rock band who likes to throw in big riffs. In the ska days we always had a little schizophrenic edge, songs would go off on a tangent into something really off kilter, I like to think we still do that.
It was never a straight up conscious decision to change sound either. A lot has to do with members leaving I guess, that and getting older your music tastes change. From the very original line-up there is only me and Tori left standing which is cool with me as it was us two who started this. Tim joined 9 years ago. Iain(drummer) and Sam (rhythm guitar). both joined at different parts of last year.
With members coming and going there was a steady evolution taking part but last year there was a big change. Rob, our original drummer, had to leave due to illness which gutted us, also we lost Karl the guitarist who had taken over original guitarist Fonts (although Fonts came back for a few months when Karl left haha). We felt it would be wrong to keep playing these same songs we played with those guys. We didn't want the new members to feel like they were there as like session musicians so we decided to hit the reset button. Drop all our old songs and write a whole new set.
It was the best thing we have ever done. It lifted a great weight of our shoulders and for the first time in many, many years we felt like a band again. All writing together, listening to each others ideas and this created a new hunger to start going out and playing again and showing people that we are pretty fucking rad! haha. I honestly believe we are now creating the best tunes we have ever done.

3: What have Mr Shiraz got up their sleeves for the next year or so?
I just love gigging man. Surely that is the reason people join bands. Fuck fame, money and all that shit. I want to gig and hopefully people come watch and enjoy us. So lots of gigs, we just released a new EP - 'God Hates Mr Shiraz'. Now we are off back in to record the follow up. It was 7 years between the release of our first and second albums so now i want a constant barrage of stuff coming out. Like I said I think these are the best tunes we've ever done and we have a shit-ton to let people here so expect a lot more of these EPs.

4: The classic ‘My God Can Beat Up Your God’ question: With which people would you like to drink, fight & fuck?
Now that is a question. I'm gonna say Ryan Reynolds for all three. I mean have you seen those eyes! They are so kind and friendly. My girlfriend doesn't understand this weird obsession I have with the dude, I think he just seems like a good, genuine dude. So i'd drink with Van Wilder Ryan reynolds, have a fight with him so I can say I had battled with 'Deadpool' and then fuck him like he fucked the Green Lantern. Did you see that film? Such bollocks. That CGI suit was an embarrassment. The only thing that got me through were his kind eyes.

5: If you had a time machine, where would you go, and what would you do?
These questions just got hard. I could be all deep and gallant and say something about stopping a war or some terrible historical event but that would be bullshit. I'd prefer to mess about with people. Go way back and be some Nostradamus type, predict all this stuff that will actually happen and then say the second coming will arrive on a certain date, dressed in a certain way, people will see that this historical figure predicted all these future events with such accuracy so they begin to believe this second coming prediction. The day they arrive at the place they see me stood dressed exactly how was predicted, with my left bollock hanging out. Awesome.

6: You (Mikey) also promote shows, how long have you been doing that, and how did you get into it? Who’ve been your favourite bands, or gigs you’ve put on? What would be your dream line up?
I've been doing this for 9 years now, totally fell into it, I was working in a rock bar and friends in bands would get hold of me asking me to put their band on, I thought what the hell. I knew how shitty bands in the UK got treated so I decided i wanted to do it different and treat the bands well. It worked well as I have been able to get some ridiculous bands who are far too big for the tiny place I book for. Some of my favourites have been Voodoo Glow Skulls, Agent Orange, MDC, Wheatus (not because they were good just to see everyone shocked that they were gonna play, they weren't great haha), Souls Of Mischief, Akil from Jurassic 5. So so so so many, i've somehow just booked The Bronx to play their smallest gig ever! Which is amazing as they are the best band in the world right now.
Dream line-up would be Faith No More, Deftones, The Bronx, NWA, Fugazi, Suicidal Tendencies, Mr Shiraz, i'll also put Write Offs and Mafia Vs Ninja in there haha.

7: And you’re also the ring announcer for Tidal Wrestling. Who’s your favourite wrestlers, and what would be your dream match? Who’s been impressing you at Tidal so far?
Tidal is amazing! Wrestling wise i've been a WWF/WWE fan since I was a kid and was always a Warrior fan + Bret Hart + Stone Cold. CM Punk, love the Shield and the Wyatts at the moment Tidal though, jesus! these guys can go. I've been to a lot of WWE events, my girlfriend and I even went to Wrestlemania last year but what happens in the ring, nothing touches the Tidal guys. Just unbelievable. I hope the promotion just grows and grows. Favourite match I think was Rampage Brown Vs Dave Mastiff. It wasn't the most technical fight ever but it was just brutal. It was a fight!

8: Any last words, shout outs, death threats or parting words of wisdom? And to finish - What are your 5 favourite, most played, influential or current records you play at home?
Yeah! Please come see us play, listen to us, etc, we are good people. Never anger KISS fans they are fucking mental, go see Tidal Wrestling.