30th April 2020
Melbourne hip hop duo Flagstaff have recently released their latest EP “Thanks for coming”. I caught up with Renny Dalton and Tom Eddy for a chat about all things Flagstaff.
Tell us about the Flagstaff journey
Tom: We just love music. Writing beats for ourselves to rap over became the most natural process for us. We both came up through different bands and loved the creative freedom that came with this new stuff we had been doing. It was something we couldn’t get with a group of 4-5 people. Everyone has competing ideas and visions for everything. Hip-hop has this very free approach to collaboration, like, let’s just do whatever, Screw it.
Ren: Tom and I had been on a competitive lil journey for who could drop the best verse over his freshly minted beats after he showed me one at a party and I said “Keeping all the good beats to yourself are we?” Since then the projects that we were focusing on slowed down and Flagstaff (a name which comes from taking a gacked selfie at the station of the same name) allowed us to wreak 808 and autotuned havok but push us to find ourselves and sounds in an authentic way and to put all the good, bad and ugly in the bars. We took a huge leap working with Future Artist Development and The Venom Collective and we owe them a lot for being able to push and service our stuff properly.
What is the creating/writing process like for you guys? And who inspires your music? (I love the EP and how it is a mixed bag, Gave me Rhapsody Tape vibes 😊)
Tom: We love so much different music (Been watching Ocean Grove since their first EP so Big cheers!) so the writing process comes from a lot of different places. Rock, Jazz and Metal are all worked into our beats. I really like building music from the ground up, finding the right sounds and samples to realise the vision I’ve got. It normally starts from an idea around how I can go about making a beat differently, because I don’t like repeating what I’ve done already. Then when one of us have a vocal idea that sticks that’s how things normally end up getting finished. Some beats make it, but there’s a lot that don’t as well.
Ren: I’ll usually catch Tom either in the middle of writing a beat and give sporadic input on when to make stuff “greasier” or he will show up with a whole beat written. From there it’s a matter of figuring out where I fit and what I wanna talk about, sometimes there’s a hook written and a place Tom really wants something or we swim about lost figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes we put stuff down for a day (or in the case of some beats on the ep a year) and sometimes we scrap what we did the first day entirely and knock the whole thing out in fifteen minutes in a burst of extra good inspo
How have the first 2 singles January and Headband been received?
Tom: It’s been awesome. Just having people say they’re digging the stuff and being able to show something for our work is great, but Headband’s been just incredible. The whole process was a blast, so I think that fact came across in the final product.
Ren: It stills trips me out that our lil rap project is no longer this lil private lovechild but a whole project that people have heard and enjoy. I couldn’t ask for anything more and I’m keen to reward the love we been receiving by throwing all I can at it till the wheels fall off.
With the release of your EP “Thanks for coming” what’s on the horizon for Flagstaff
Tom: With everything going on atm, it’s hard to say. Either way there’s gonna be more music real soon.
Ren: I’m beyond excited to see how the EP is received and rip the band aid off, but on top of that I feel the music we’re sitting on currently is some of our best yet. I’m keen to find out where we stick in the culture and where we resonate because the more we make, the clearer it becomes, and I can’t ask for more. Also, more shows with my boys Doonie Way please!!