Interview: Edward Scissortongue ‘THE THEREMIN EP’

Edward Scissor tongue

Once upon a time a boy named Thomas Hawkins found hip-hop after watching The Teenage Mutant Turtles movie at the cinema way back in 1990. Just a few years later, he would by fate find Wu Tang Clan’s now seminal debut album ‘Enter The 36 Chambers’ under a bush. It was the first CD he ever owned…

Two decades later, and now operating under the alias of Edward Scissortongue, he signed with prestigious UKHH label High Focus Records and has been modestly achieving international rap status ever since. His fan base have waited two years for the announcement of fresh material since his acclaimed debut ‘BETTER.LUCK.NEXT.LIFE’ dropped, and we are happy to report the wait is drawing ever closer to an end.

Self-described as “a fantastical, observational study of impending doom”, ‘THE THEREMIN EP’ is sure to be appreciated by those who fell for the unparalleled lyricism on display throughout his debut. We spoke with Edward Scissortongue to get an insight into the perspectives that haunt his new release, what motivates its cynical concepts, and what Edward is hoping for in the future…

Edward Scissortongue THERMIN

For the readers unknown to your background, how many years have you been signed to High Focus, and how did you first become affiliated with the label?

“I have been signed to High Focus ever since my debut album dropped back in 2011. My affiliation runs deeper than that but mid 2011 is when it became official. High Focus is like one big family; I met every single artist on the label through my adventures on the scene, long before the label was born, and as time passed the roster has gone from strength to strength. I feel like there is something for every rap fan on the label; there are so many styles that we got it pretty much covered.”

Looking back on ‘BETTER.LUCK.NEXT.LIFE’ and your career since ‘BETTER.LUCK.NEXT.LIFE’ dropped, what moments would you say have been career defining?

“I have always found writing songs to be the most rewarding way to exercise my brain. I get such satisfaction from it, so to put together an album that was well received is just about as good as it gets. In all honesty, I find it tricky to pinpoint any particular moments within the writing and release process that have defined me as an artist. Every single time I pick up a pen to write has the potential to be pretty defining if a decent track comes from it. However, the way that album was received has led to some seriously spectacular, unforgettable moments. Playing any gig is huge for me, but playing to huge crowds (especially on foreign soil) is something that I only really experienced this summer just gone. Playing to those MEGA crowds, those thousand plus type crowds, is pretty career defining. The summer of 2013 was unforgettably great.”

Let’s talk about ‘THE THEREMIN EP’. How would you describe the release?

“THE THEREMIN EP’ is a fantastical, observational study of impending doom. My intention was to pen a concept record that showcased my attention to detail and my weird and warped imagination via the art of storytelling.”

How many tracks are on the EP, and how do they differentiate from one another?

“THE THEREMIN EP’ is seven tracks long which in my experience is pretty long for an EP. I spent a fair while juggling the idea of turning him into an album and a couple of additional tracks would have almost certainly done that. The fact the EP features the work of a handful of producers meant it was always best suited as an EP. Also, the fact that so many wonderfully talented producers contributed means each and every track has its own distinct sonic style.”

Does the album have an overall concept which you felt strongly about laying down, and what inspired you to choose it?

“Each track dabbles in concepts of doom. Whether it is a blow-for-blow account of what it might be like to be the last man standing or a grandiose premonition of that final, all-encompassing MEGA TSUNAMI. It is all in there. Jesus Christ even makes an appearance.”

“If BETTER.LUCK.NEXT.LIFE was an album concerned with ‘life and death’, then THE THEREMIN EP is only concerned with ‘death’.” – I caught this quote in another recent interview of yours. What are the reasons behind the pessimistic thematic underlying the release?

“I like writing cynical and damning prose. It is what I am best at. If you strip it all away the World is a MINDBLOWING place that the human race is responsible for slowly crippling. This stone cold fact is especially depressing as there is next to nothing we can do to fix the damage done. I find the process of projecting myself into the near future (in-and-amongst when everything goes to complete shit) thoroughly liberating. I like writing about the future. Investing all your time in the here-and-now is nowhere near as liberating as projecting forwards.”

Is it a completely solo release or have you got some tasty collaborations featuring that you could leak for us?

“The EP features two people; a stunningly talented singer called ‘Toyface’ and my good friend Johannes Schaff who expertly plays the aforementioned ‘last-man-on-Earth’.”

If you could compare Theremin’s sound with any other rap album, which ones would you choose (if any)?

“I would say it sounds more like the moment Mogwai’s classic track ‘Like Herod’ drops (02:58) than any rap record.”

Let’s talk more about the production. Could you shed insight into the chemistry between both you and the producers handling the release?

“The EP is produced by these great producers (in this order): Miles Courtney, Eon Ra, Lamplighter, Dirty Dike, Sumgii, Konchis, and Lamplighter again! There were no beefs whatsoever. Every producer involved is a forward thinker with their own distinct style. I absolutely loved working with them all. They would make a great five-a-side football team. Lamplighter would be goalie.”

Review: Edward Scissortongue – The Theremin EP

Review: Edward Scissortongue – The Theremin EP

What lasting impression do you hope remains on the listener when the EP reaches it’s duration?

“A strange sense of melancholy. And the irresistible urge to hit the repeat button.”

Has working on Theremin been a tougher project than ‘BETTER.LUCK.NEXT.LIFE’ or vice versa?

“’THE THEREMIN EP’ offered total freedom. There was no limit to where I felt I could take the project as there really are no limits to telling a story. The only issues I faced were how far to take each track and what to strip-away or focus-upon to ensure that every track remained compelling and concise. I could have written a series of hour long songs I swear.”

Have you got any videos in the works for any tracks to promote before the release?

“We are dabbling in a few interesting ideas. I don’t want to give too much away as I want the videos to have as explosive an impact as possible. What I can tell you is that I guarantee there will be no smiling in any of the videos at any point whatsoever.”

Lastly, have you got any shows already lined up to follow the release that the fans need to know about?

“’THE THEREMIN EP’ is launching in early May at Westminster Reference Library in central London. More details on this to follow. I am thoroughly excited by the launch. It will be EPIC – mark my words.”

‘THE THEREMIN EP’ IS COMING SOON ON HIGH FOCUS RECORDS. www.high-focus.com

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