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P.O.S Brings Punk Politics to Canada [Interview]

Minneapolis, MN – It seems that eventually, counter-cultures will necessarily meet – P.O.S and the Doomtree collective have proved this to be true by bringing their DIY aesthetic to the world of hip-hop for the past ten years. Fresh off the success of No Kings, the collective will be touring Canada – Timbre Productions are hosting them at Fortune Sound Club in Vancouver on January 28th. HipHopCanada had the chance to chat with P.O.S about his reflections on Canada, the unpacking of symbols, and each person’s place in their greater environment. Check it out after the jump.


HipHopCanada: So you and Doomtree have toured Canada a few times now, what are your impressions?

P.O.S: I love Canada. I’ve been there several times since 2004 and I’ve always had a really good time there, and interaction with people. I look forward to it.

HipHopCanada: Who within the Canadian music scene do you feel an affinity with?

P.O.S: I’ve worked with Josh Martinez in the past. I like Buck 65. I also play in a band with Wade from Alexisonfire, and I’ve worked with Cancerbats.

HipHopCanada: You come from a more punk and hardcore background, where do you find the greatest point of dialogue is between those genres and hip-hop?

P.O.S: I think it’s in a lot of the politics, whether directly talking about presidential or community politics. The most hardcore hip-hop and punk rock you’ll find a lot of the same themes of social change and social equality. And a lot of really silly punk rock and ridiculous hip-hop as well but there’s room for everybody.

HipHopCanada: Can you break down some of the symbolism that Doomtree uses?

P.O.S: Wings and Teeth – I think that in the ten years since we’ve been using that everybody’s drawn their own vibe for what it really means. Wings are pretty obvious – stylistically flying or trying to fly and do as much as you can. And teeth…bite to back up your bark.

HipHopCanada: What is your greatest individual strength as part of the Doomtree collective?

P.O.S: I don’t know. I think maybe just encouraging everybody to expand with the style they’re most comfortable with as often as possible, Whenever I get good at one thing I like to push myself past it so I can grow and get better at different things.

HipHopCanada: How do you feel each of you interacts as part of the whole?

P.O.S: I don’t think that we could do it without each other. Whether it’s musically or on the business end or organizationally everybody pulls a different piece of weight. All of us within Doomtree – I don’t know what it’s like to work outside of Doomtree – over ten years in the first years everything took forever cause everybody wanted to be everything but now it’s smoother because everybody’s found their roles and trusts the vision for where we’re going.

HipHopCanada: You guys have a real DIY aesthetic, is it difficult to make music that way?

P.O.S: It is difficult but the internet has made it a lot easier to get your music out to people, we’ve got a pretty decent website and all that stuff so I think it’s more about doing what you’ll say you’ll do and being accountable.

HipHopCanada: Any thoughts on the foreshadowing of internet censorship that we’re experiencing, or the internet blackout date?

P.O.S: I participated [In the January 17th Internet strike] – I didn’t use Google or Twitter today – I’m actively against SOPA but I don’t know what I can do as someone who is pretty illiterate on the internet other than to not participate in a mass way. I stepped out for the day.

HipHopCanada: What’s hot off the presses for Doomtree right now?

P.O.S: No Kings is the highlight right now, we’re all really excited. We just played a full week of shows in Minneapolis in support of it and are all really excited for the tour.

HipHopCanada: And for you as a solo artist?

P.O.S: There’s a new P.O.S record coming this year – I just finished it. The fans I have that are drawn in by the urgency and loudless of punk rock might be taken back a little bit by the noticeable lack of heavy guitar. But the urgency is still there and the production is super advanced for me, a new direction but not too far as to alienate people. A lot of growth for me and my fans.

Interview conducted by Amalia Judith for HipHopCanada

For more info and tickets on Doomtree’s Vancouver visit click HERE.


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@HipHopCanada is Canada's largest source for Canadian hip-hop. Check back regularly for new music, videos, stories and discussion. Be sure to follow our updates on Twitter @HipHopCanada. This account is maintained by various members of the HipHopCanada team.

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