Monday, June 6, 2011

Interview With Dikembe

For the first few months of their existence, Dikembe was pretty much a mystery. Other than four free tracks on a Bandcamp page, there was no information at all about the band. The EP titled Chicago Bowls started to get a little bit of hype, showing up on several forums as people began comparing Dikembe to bands like Balance And Composure and Tigers Jaw. The members of Dikembe took several questions from us at Muzik Dizcovery, regarding background information on the band, the band's apparent obsession with weed and basketball, and what the band has in store for the future, as well as more which you can read below.

Firstly, can you list your names and what you do in the band?

David - Slappa the skins
Kenny - Slappa the bass
Ryan - Guit
Steven - Guit and golden voice

Dikembe began as a band with no Facebook and no website, only putting music on an Bandcamp page that had no band members, no email address, and no information. Can we get a little introduction about the band?

Steven and I play in another band together called Wavelets, and over time, 3/5 of the band migrated to Tallahassee for school, and we're in Gainesville so it got frustrating at times coordinating shows and practice and whatnot. We mostly just wanted to have a band that could operate more frequently, so we started writing songs as Dikembe and Steven asked David, who he works with and is in the band Young Hookers, if he'd play drums for us. After that we asked Kenny, who is in Senders with whom Wavelets put out a split, to play bass for us on our demo and for a show, and because we love him so much we asked him if he wanted to go steady with us.

Without all this information, it’s surprising the band’s name has gotten out so quickly. How did you first get the band noticed?

I was definitely caught off guard by how fast things happened. Really it all just stemmed from friends sharing the link to our bandcamp on blogs and whatnot, and eventually we got talked about by people on some pretty big sites.

All of your music is currently free on your Bandcamp page. Was this a way to get fans a lot more quickly, or is this something that is going to continue on through a few more releases?

Certainly making music easily accessible to people is a great way to have people listen to it, but that's not why we do it. We just appreciate free music. If you're not dumping any money into recording or a physical product, why charge people for it? I think there's something to be said about the intent of bands like Algernon Cadwallader and Snowing who consistently get their music out there for free in some form. Realistically, I'm not sure that we'll have any more full releases that you can just download for free from bandcamp or mediafire because if someone else is willing to invest money in us to put out our music physically, it might be more difficult for them to compete with that. However, I'm all about trying to work something out with a label that involves getting the music out there for free somehow.

You just released Chicago Bowls. What have you felt the reception has been to it?

Like I said before, I'm honestly, but pleasantly surprised. We really just recorded it to have something to bring to shows. I probably would have worked a little harder on my parts had I known how many people would end up hearing it.

The song and album title also have some marijuana references. However, your Facebook page says that you don’t smoke. Why did you put these references into your music?
The album title, song titles, and band names are all references to basketball in the 90’s. Is there any reason for this other than the fact that you obviously love basketball?

All of the other guys are really big legit basketball fans, and while I'll watch a game here and there, I'm moreso a fan of video game basketball and the personas of the players. We were playing A LOT of 2k11 and Jam at the time we were recording the EP. Some say my 2k11 character, Don Caballero, is the greatest 3 point shooter of all time. So there was that, and I don't really remember exactly when the weed portmanteaus came in to play. Some of us have never smoked, so we say the kind of stupid shit about it that only total nerds would say, and make stupid jokes about it, and eventually the portmanteaus arose. We actually talked briefly about putting the EP out as a split tape with marijuana themed humor duo Reign in Bud. But to answer your question as to why we use these references, it's really just because it all seemed funny at the time.

Many people may think you guys aren’t serious with those titles and the 4/20/69 release date, however once you listen to the music, you can hear the seriousness in the lyrics. Are you guys more of the serious guys that you hear in the music, or the jokesters we see from the peripheral cues?

We are just serious about the music, and try not to take ourselves too seriously. Even with the music, with the two songs I wrote the lyrics to, some of the stuff I talk about it not as serious as it sounds and partially intended to be tongue in cheek. We have a platform to scream along with other people about the things that bother us, which is an awesome opportunity. But if someone wants to come chat after a show we're not going to be all mopey and depressed and make someone feel uncomfortable. Ultimately, we wouldn't making music if we weren't having fun.

Are you guys planning on playing shows sometime soon?

Yeah, we've got shows in Gainesville and Tallahassee in the next week, I can't remember what we have beyond that. We don't have any concrete touring plans yet, but it will happen sometime for sure.

What are the plans for the band in the upcoming months?

Right now we've written about 9 songs towards a full length which we'll have to record sometime. I'm sure we'll be playing shows. Other than that, who knows? We're just trying to let things with the band evolve organically and I hate plans.

Do you have any final words?

Fuck Odd Future, fuck Lil B, Kevo is the only true underground hip hop. Go CANUCKZZZ.

I would like to again thank Dikembe for taking our questions. I see a bright future for these guys, especially within the scene of Run For Cover and No Sleep bands. You can download Chicago Bowls for free on the band's Bandcamp page, as well as "like" them on Facebook.

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