Interview with Anthony Martini of E-Town Concrete: Time To Shine

Would the new music still be rapcore, which is basically a style that’s on life support in the States?

I mean, I don’t know. The thing is, when we came out at that time, we kind of came out before the whole rapcore thing really took off. Like Limp Bizkit and all that, we were out before that. Then in the middle of our careers, that’s when everything was big with bands like Korn and Rage Against The Machine and all that kind of stuff. But we never considered ourselves part of that. We always thought it was more like a schizophrenic type thing, where we had rap parts that were just rap parts, and then we had hard parts that were hard. You know, we never really put them together like a lot of other bands did.

I always wanted to find a way to do something that was totally different. With E-Town, I don’t think we really achieved what I had in my head when we were doing it – playing full time. There was a way that I kind of heard it that we never achieved. I think with the new songs, we want to kind of figure that out. You know, maybe try to do something fresh. You look at people like Lil’ Wayne and Kanye, all these dudes that are experimenting with street hip hop and just experiment with different genres like electronic shit and rock. Most kids I know kind of listen to everything anyway. The lines between genres are getting a lot more blurred, I think. If we did some new music, I’d like to figure out a way to do it in a cool way and not sound like some old fucking rapcore group that’s corny as fuck. [laughs]

What kind of music did you imagine for E-Town in the past?

I always kind of wanted it to be a rap group with a band. Kind of like Gym Class Heroes, but a harder version of that. Like if Young Jeezy had a band or something. You know, something that is real and cool, and not some funny white dudes rapping. [laughs] I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. But I think honestly, Young Jeezy is probably the closest to what I wish E-Town would have been. Like back in the day, it was Mobb Deep. I always kind of wanted to be the rock version of Mobb Deep. But for some reason, we could never figure it out. Like now, Young Jeezy is kind of heavy metal. The beats sound dark and kind of evil, and he’s talking some hard shit. To me, I think he’s more rock and roll than a lot of rock bands, you know what I mean?

Are you one of those people who believe rap rock was dismissed because of Limp Bizkit?

Rap rock to me, I always hated rap rock. I thought it was corny. I think most of the bands that did it were corny. Honestly, Limp Bizkit, yeah, they sucked in the beginning. But they had some hits, so I can’t fault them for that. The thing is too, I like pop music, so I like the songs that are annoying. So when they had a couple of big songs, I can respect them for that. You know, like ‘Nookie.’ Is that what it was?


Like that was a big song. To me, it was pop music. it wasn’t really rap rock, it was just a band doing what was popular at the time. Like a lot of the other bands that were lesser known bands that were trying to jump on the bandwagon at that time, I just thought they sucked. The hillbillies from the Midwest and they were trying to rap, and they all had stiff ass beats. I just always thought it was corny. That’s why I always kind of hated the fact that we did it. But I always thought we did it in a better way and the people around here, they understood it more. I mean, when we went out to the middle of nowhere towns, they hated on us and called us wiggers and all that. But people around here understood because people from here listen to real rap, and I think that’s where we draw our influence from.

Why do you think E-Town didn’t go as far as it potentially could have?

I don’t know. I think a lot of it had to do with timing. You know, we were young kids. If I knew then what I know now, I think it would have been a lot different because now I’m on the other side. I’m on the business side where I see bands trying to come up. There were certain things I was doing and feeling back then. And I kind of see the mistakes that I was doing. We were just young and thought we knew better than everyone else. There were a lot of interested labels and we got popular pretty quickly. And I think we thought no one could tell us what to do. People would give us advice on how to change our music to make it more appealing. We thought we knew better than everyone.

It’s true it’s good to stick to your art. But at the same time, I think you should learn from other people’s expertise and experience and be open to criticism and take that into account. It’s just a lot of mistakes like that. But I think for what we did, we had a long career and we had a successful enough career. I mean, I didn’t have a regular job until the band was over. We toured, and we made enough money to do that and pay all our bills and do stuff. We saw the world, played on MTV, all types of stuff. So, I really don’t think it was a failure. I just think by the time we realized how to play the game, the window of opportunity closed, you know what I mean?

E-Town Concrete performs at Starland Ballroom on Feb. 13.

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