WITH WOUNDS HEALED and lessons learned, Jurassic 5 are back and better than ever, explains DJ Cut Chemist (Lucas MacFadden).
“[Getting back together] was super-easy and amazing,” he says. “It was like no time had passed. The magic we had on stage ten years ago never went away. We got an offer from Coachella, who were interested in getting Jurassic 5 back together and having us perform. I think it was the perfect timing as everybody had done their own solo things and were ready to come back together and do something. The fact that they asked us at that time was kind of perfect timing for everybody, and everybody was up for it.”
The alternative hip-hop group formed in California in 1993, but split in 2007 amid rumours of the dreaded “musical differences”.
“They just didn’t get along at that time,” says Cut Chemist. “I left in 2004, and I read it somewhere in an interview and I was heartbroken. I had my own solo career during the split; I had a deal with Warner Brothers at the time, and put an album out through them. I toured a lot for the Hard Sell album with DJ Shadow in 2008, and in 2009 I worked on a project called Sound Of The Police, which came out in 2010. After that we started talking about the reunion, which then happened in 2013. It’s been a year now and it’s been great; one hundred percent. People can’t be cynical about it because we’ve done so many different shows, not just big festivals. I think there was some talk in the beginning about us just doing it for this or that reason, but we’re doing it because we love it and when you see our show you can tell that we’re not just phoning it in.”
With a diverse group of members featuring five rappers and two DJs vying for creative input, it would be easy to suggest that the reunion will be a short-term one. Not so, says Cut Chemist.
“I think any past disagreements became irrelevant,” he says. “It had just been so long, and people doing their own thing outside the group gave them the perspective of what they can do on their own and what they bring to the group. I think the split reinforced everybody’s idea of themselves and it’s given us a more professional approach this time around. We’ll be taking it year by year, you know? As long we have a project and work to do this year we’re good. Last year was the reunion, and this year it’s to expand the brand and get it back up and running, and continue re-establishing ourselves. Next year it could be anything, and I couldn’t say right now, but we’re not just going to go dark again. J5 is a strong brand and we want to keep it going for the rest of our lives, and any way we need to do that we’ll do it; whether it’s touring here and there, putting out product, videos and documentaries or whatever. It’s something we don’t want to die.”
The group may have an EP and four albums worth of material to play live, but new tracks can be expected in the coming months.
“We got something coming out,” says Cut Chemist. “We have a single that may or may not be ready by the time we get out there, but it will be some time this year. We don’t know about anything bigger yet. Right now we’re just trying to take baby steps towards locking our show down and our touring down, then we’ll work on putting out some music and see how that goes. Not only has our music changed in terms of technology [since 2007], but in the way people buy music too. We come from a day and an age when people bought the product in a case, but in the age of free downloads and singles content we’re trying to figure out how we can adjust, and that’s what this year is going to be about.”
Australian fans can catch Jurassic 5 in March during a five-date tour; something Cut Chemist is looking forward to.
“Australia has always been one of the best places to tour, no matter if it was Jurassic 5, with DJ Shadow or myself,” he says. “I’m just looking forward to being out there and digging the shows, because I think people are going to go crazy over the show; it’s going to be nuts. I just can’t wait to see the support and excitement we get from the Australian audiences, because you guys get wild. Expect a very entertaining show that encompasses a lot of the elements of hip-hop; DJ-ing, creativity onstage, and all the different things coming together. We’ll be bringing in a lot of new sounds; we’re not stuck in the time when we were making music before; DJ Nu-Mark and I try to mix it up a little bit. Anyone who has seen Jurassic 5 in the past won’t be disappointed.”
JURASSIC 5 PLAY EATONS HILL HOTEL MARCH 22.