“I love the sound of the tram waking me up in the morning. I love bumping into people on the street. Literally. I love being lost. I love seeing things for the first time…” Tom Scott on moving to Melbourne
**Catch Average Rap Band at Cassette Nine in Auckland tonight for the Red Bull Sound Select show alongside Team Dynamite, Groeni & Esther Stephens and The Means.
What is your role in terms of organising these Sound Select shows?
Book the acts, book their flights, book the venues, lose my mind, ask Dan to help, pick the drum kit up from some dude on the top of a hill somewhere, ask the bartender why the tab’s already gone and it’s only 9pm, find where Lucky Lance is, wake Raiza Biza up, lose my mind again, wake up really hungover.
What is about Groeni that you love and why do they deserve people’s attention?
For me, they just captured a certain feeling within the music that I related to. Probably more of an emotive thing that drew me to them. But I have friends who dig their stuff for the musicality and I can appreciate that too. They’re brilliant musicians. And it’s just nice to hear something that doesn’t sound like everything else.
How did the change to Average Rap Band come about?
Me and Tui moved to Melbourne. Left our homies Brandon and Hayden back in NZ. So we had to start something new. Also we wanted to make something for fun. Thinking too hard about music was starting to feel like work. That’s why with this project you won’t hear nothing but us rapping, cause that’s what we like to do. So yeah, that’s what we wanted to do. That’s not necessarily what Dicky and Brandon and Truent wanted to do. So it was best we did it like this. Nobody should have to make music they don’t wanna make. That’s not why we got into this. I just like rapping myself.
What do you appreciate most about what Red Bull does for local music?
I was listening to How Not To Be An Asshole featuring you and Lui and Louie brought up the idea that there’s not much inspiration for a scene if it doesn’t have inspiring figures at the forefront…In your opinion, what does NZ hip hop/rap music need to keep healthy now?
Nothing. It’s healthy. Check the latest Eno X Dirty project. Go round to Haz’s and he’ll play the last 9872398723 beats he made that week.
Are you comfortable with people pointing to you as an icon for New Zealand hip hop..still?
No. I’m not that.
How would you describe the difference between being a rapper and a musician in this day and age?
Good question. I really don’t know the difference. I don’t wanna take away from either of those definitions. I wish they could be synonymous. You wouldn’t say what’s the difference between a guitar player and a musician. Sucks that rappers aren’t seen as musicians.
What do you love about Melbourne as city to live in?
I love the sound of the tram waking me up in the morning. I love bumping into people on the street. Literally. I love being lost. I love seeing things for the first time. I love the woman that I wake up next to in that city. I love the dream I’ve been chasing for the last 10 years that can only comes back to life when I’m in a city that big. I love New Zealand and all the people in it, but New Zealand can’t give me that fear that Melbourne gives me. I love that feeling.
Has the move been worth it musically?
Yeah, I think so. I’ve never written so much music as I have lately. On top of this EP we just released we’ve got another one ready to be released straight after it. Then I’ve got another project called ‘A Guy Called Jeff’ with Choice Vaughn that’s ready to be released and full length album with a group called ‘Avantdale Bowling Club’ that I’m gonna drop before the end of the year too. So I’ve def been productive. I just gotta get out the house more now and start meeting people.
Yeah. Was totally necessary.
Do you have a spot you like to go chill out yet..where is it at and why?
When I’m home it’s the creek at the end of Avondale Road. Either that or just anywhere in Avondale. Familiarity makes me relaxed in that way. And I just feel normal there. In Melbourne, I just like to get on my bike with my girl and we just ride to wherever.
Where would you say you were at right now, on your artists timeline?
I think after this last project I’ve grown technically. This last project was practice for me. Just to rap for the art of it. Not necessarily trying to convey no message. But I think with what I’ve learned in this process I’m ready to make some of my best work. I’m def on a new level lyrically and technically since the last joint. And I know this ain’t my magnum opus. Ain’t spost to be. Ain’t written that yet. But I’m getting closer to it. I’m a better musician than I’ve ever been. Feel like my prime will come when I’m ready to make an album under my real name.
What’s been the best personal lesson you’ve been through recently?
Best thing I’ve learned in Australia is my appreciation for where I am as a musician. I’m not chasing any fame, or recognition or thinking of myself as anybody important, cause I’m def not. I’m not trynna be nothing but a musician. Gone back to making music for me instead of for anybody else.
How have you been describing New Zealand’s rap and hip hop music scene in Melbourne?
I don’t. We don’t talk about that.