featured interview

Vanderslice Phoenix villain How shitty can life be for a producer? Being incarcerated and having nothing to listen or to watch to except for the radio or BET/MTV. Eric Vanderslice can tell you more about that. But what's really to remember from 2005, are his productions on Access Immortal's 'Shades Of Reality'. If you ask us, it's one of the most promising underground releases of the past year. Time for a chat with the man behind the music. Not only a producer, Vanderslice is also promoter for Chinga Chang Records and a columnist for MV Remix'. However this time, Platform8470 claims a slice of his time.

What?s goin on Vanderslice?

Same shit, different toilet.

First of all, who are you, where you from, what do you do?

My name is Eric Ryan Vanderslice, I'm from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania and I do this music stuff.

Judging by your name, do you have a Dutch background?

I'm half Irish, the other half of my heritage is a mixture of things. Dutch and German definitely, as my name would state indeed.

You?re a part of Low Class Productions, so you mostly produce as one half of a duo?

Well, my partner GreenSteez also makes beats. He produced -Authentic Made? and -Bust My Gun? on the Access record. He was sort of my understudy who has evolved into my colleague.

How do you and GreenSteez work together in order to make a beat?

We don't collab on beats really, but I know we inspire each other. If I make a ridiculous beat I always let him hear it first, and it makes him want to make something just as ill, and vice versa. Steez is more so family than anything though, like I can't thank em enough for all he's done for me, I just hope my impact on him is just the same.

Who are the PhoenixVillains?

The PhoenixVillains are a lot like the Mash Out Posse. We have like 40 members and only 3 of em makin music. The PhoenixVillains are a movement! Nah, I'm kidding, The PhoenixVillains was the moniker my cousin and I used when we started out, even before I was ever making beats. My cousin Jay aka Mc Isolation was an aspiring MC with a day job, and he and I started out rhyming over industry instrumentals. We got tired of not being able to find the beats we wanted to rhyme on, cause this is pre-MP3 craze, we had to cop vinyl for our beats you know? So I noticed a lot of the beats we wanted to rhyme on were loopable, so I bought a Boss SP 202, solely to try and chop loops from beats that had no instrumental for us to rhyme on. I started buying drum library records and battle records and such for drum loops, and started to make my own beats. We?ve been the PhoenixVillains then, even though I only rhyme for fun now a days we're still the PhoenixVillains.

How?s Phoenixville at this time of the year?

DANGEROUS SONNNN!! Especially with all that ice on the roads.

How long have you been down with Access Immortal?

Jamal and I have known each other since about 98? 99? It's funny because we first met in a chat room, and we had an argument about hip-hop. I was looking for someone to dub old Stretch & Bobbito radio shows for me, and we started trading tapes (yes, TAPES!) and our relationship progressed from there. I thank him for a lot, because we both progressed together. My beats went from wack to respectable as did his lyrics, that?s why the chemistry is there, cause we've been working on music together for a while now.

J-Zone is on the Access album thanks to you. How did that go?

J is my man, I was always a big fan of his music, as was Jamal and as long as I've known J, I never ever pushed my music on em. I felt like Jamal and I should wait until we had a product that people couldn't front on, and when we had the 12 tracks for -Shades of Reality?, we then needed some names. The first person I ever asked for a favour was J Zone, and he obliged with a more than gracious gift.

How long you and Zone go back?

I don't really remember. It's been a minute, I just remember writing for MV Remix about J when he wasn't getting much love cause it was mind boggling to me how someone so ill and original could get slept on.

Access releases his -New York Yankee? mixtape in a minute, but you?re not on it right? How come?

I'm working on A LOT of side projects, I don't have the spare beats to throw out for mix tape joints, I mean we have a lot of older material that he could have used, but I also think he wants to stand on his own two as do I. I'm on his new album, we did a song with Reef The Lost Cause and a third mc who shall remain nameless till he records his verse (laughs). He's working on the U Be project which is a collective of 4th Pyramid, Cannibal Ox, C Rayz Walz, Swave Sevah, Double AB, Karniege and Access. He's working on a project with this kid named Lawz Spoken as well.

For lack of a better term, I'm doing my own thing. GreenSteez and myself are working on a full length project for Oktober, and I'm also working on a full length for my man Lord Willin out of Rhode Island. I'm doing a few beats for this guy named The Wrist out of New Jersey as well, we just did a song with RA The Rugged Man and Okwerdz, I'm also doing stuff on the business side of music. I work for Chinga Chang Records, we're prepping our first single for a spring release. I don't really wanna speak on it yet, but I will say it involves Kool G Rap and Dj Premier, so please look for that as well.

How?s the -Shades Of Reality? album doin as far as record sales?

It's doing well, I mean honestly this time last year I was like a week away from jail, so I mean selling music is a blessing in itself.

What albums have you been listening to the last few days?

Lately I've been listening to a lot of Alchemist, I just picked up that Saigon -Gangsta Grills? CD which is cool, I mean this time of year the music market is dead anyway, it's more a time of reflection,... Reflect upon what came out in 2005 I guess?

Who do you wanna work with in the future?

I'd like to work with the NYGz, M.O.P., Blaq Poet, Saigon, Immortal Technique,,... Street cats who aren't on some rah rah shit. People who actually have something to say. I like rugged music with feeling behind it. I don't wanna say real because everyone says that shit, but that?s what sound I go for with my music. I like music that provokes feeling, whether it be hypeness, sadness, anger, rage etc etc,...

When did you start producing?

I started producing in like 98 or so.

What?s your production set-up?

I use a Boss SP 606 and Cubase.

Is there any gear you still really, really wanna have in the lab?

Not really, I mean it would be nice to have the Dre set-up with an SSL and a million dollars worth of outboard gear, but it's not essential to the process. I make beats at home, and music at the studio you know.

So do you leave your studio now and then for some digging?

I go digging every day on my trusty computer. The spots around here are gutted to death, I shop a lot overseas. Denmark has the spots, I have to come over there solely for records, cause that?s the type of music I like. Prog/Psych Rock from Europe circa the 1960's is my genre right now.

Any other place abroad you wanna go to for the records/girls?

Anywhere, I've never been anywhere abroad, or in the States all like that. The furthest I've been was to Maine which is like 12 hours away? I'm not a traveller all like that, but yeah I'd like to go to London, Ireland, Amsterdam,...anywhere where dope music and dope women are. (laughs)

Can you still name some of your latest top finds?

I haven't been digging in a minute to be honest, I shut down for the winter, it's too cold, but as far as E-Digging I found a stash of Library records on cdandlp.com that were ridiculously underpriced, I got the Clearlight stage band's -Music Report? for 12 bucks! Insanity!

Any records you are still desperately lookin for?

I'm still on the hunt for soundtracks lately;
1.) Hit Em Hard OST - Bobby Davis Orchestra
2.) Metralleta Stein OST - Stelvio Cipriani
3.) The Valachi Papers - Riz Ortolani
4.) Conroy Library - Background Action
5.) RKM Library - The Beat Action
Those are my top 5 wants at the moment,...

You?ve been incarcerated. How has that changed your life?

It was wack to say the least, being in jail is definitely eye-opening though. You see things you don't see EVER. The way the prison system works here in the States, it's designed to fail. There are things people don't tell you, like for instance a public defender, which is a court-appointed Attorney isn't there to -defend? you in any way, shape or form. This is why, when you get arrested, they give you up to 90 days until you actually go to court. The court appointed Attorney is there to make sure you understand what?s being held against you in a court of law, and it's your job to build your case. When you're incarcerated from arrest to trial, the law library is there specifically for that reason. I mean there are a few problems with that though; you take into account that more than half of the people who are incarcerated aren't exactly educated? And alas, you get sent to prison for things a normal lawyer would get you a fine for. Things like that humble you quickly when you see things like this happen to people. I was very fortunate in my cases to have had proper council.

Were you able to work on any music behind bars?

No, they don't even allow CD players, I-pods, walkmans or anything. There's nothing but BET/MTV, and the radio. That was the hardest part of being behind bars.

Then what did you do mostly?

I read, wrote letters to my people. Just reflected on what I did and what I was going to do when I came home. Like I said I was fortunate, cause I was on the highest level of medium security, because I committed a violent crime. I did 6 - 12 months, and I was seeing people getting booked for over 30 years. It was a sad thing, but at the same time it just made me focus on what I was trying to do with my life and where I was going with my life. I'm not built for jail...

What follows are some questions you asked in interviews, now let me reverse it:

Favourite porn actress?

Brandy Taylor

You ever gave a girl the Moose knuckle?

Sadly,...no!

Would you do gay porn for 10 million dollars?

Yes, but at the same time, there isn't much on this earth that I wouldn?t do for 10 million dollars. I think anyone in my position who says no is a selfish mutherfucker. You know what I could do with 10 million dollars? My family would be stressless, I'd take one for the team if it meant being able to pay off my grandmother?s hospital bills, and pay off my cousin?s house.

Why did K-Otix never returned your 20 questions?

Who knows? That shit was wack though.

You ever took Karate?

In the immortal words of Big L: fuck Karate, I practice Gun Fu.

Please comment on the following:

Sev Statik:

Sev's my man! I just produced a song for him for a compilation that cat Braille is doing.

Necro:

Underrated

Non Phixion:

They need to cut the solo album shit out and get back in the lab.

Mios Tios:

Peace to Diox! That?s my ace from Spain!

Dustmightz:

Jigsaw is a grumpy old fuck, Liquid6 just signed to G Unit records, and I'm just me. Dustmightz massive, we're not working on anything collectively,...yet! Jigsaw is back in the game, he just got a midi controller, if any of you didn?t know he produced -Hated? for Goretex.

John Vanderslice:

Softest guy attached to the Vanderslice name,...that shit kills me,...some bum ass folk singer.

Hip-hop journalism:

Lacking. -Elemental? is lacking, -Life Sucks Die? isn?t in print anymore.. There's a severe lack of dope hip hop journalism.

Ideal girl:

Big Rack, Thick Rump, and deep pockets.

Internet:

Useful tool for both good and evil equally.

Kanye West:

George Bush doesn?t care about black people and neither does Kanye.

What can we expect from you in 2006?

Dope music and a grim death.. I'm going to kill you all!

Any shout-outs?

Connecticut Dennis is the future.

 

POSTED 01|17|2006
conducted by cpf

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