Newport’s biggest rap group Goldie Lookin Chain are back with their TWENTIETH (!) album and this time they’re aiming to resolve international political discord with a bold plan for peaceful Welsh dominance. FEAR OF A WELSH PLANET, set for release on Fri 3 November 2017, features 16 soon-to-be classics, zeitgeist-capturing tracks, full of disco and hip-hop-inspired beats, traversing subjects as diverse as Netflix and road safety.
Mark Millar caught up with GLC member Rhys.
The band is soon to release the new album FEAR OF A WELSH PLANET. Did it feel good going back into the studio with the band?
Yeah, it did. We have got a lot of GLC songs that haven’t been released. You could call them B-sides and curious songs that were finished but we hadn’t put out on anything. We were kind of going to do an album like that.
We did mixtapes and we made a rave album like classic hardcore and we had little bits left over. Then in January, we started having a flurry of activity writing new songs and coming up with new ideas and it was cool. We would have an idea and everyone would get around and sometimes record them really quickly and be done in 2 days and sometimes it would take a month to finish a song because it would be hard to get everyone together in the studio. Then we would finish it and just want to get it out there. We finished it around June-July and it’s coming out in November. I really can’t wait for people to hear it in its entirety.
Was it an enjoyable experience recording the new album? It sounds like the band has a good laugh in the studio. I certainly did listening to it.
It’s all about having a good time, all the time. For some reason, we suddenly started listening to loads of disco. I found a load of old disco music that I had never heard. You wouldn’t believe how much disco music there is out there. They say about films that there are more westerns than there is any other genre and I think there is more disco music than there are any other genres. Originally we were going to make a full disco album but we whittled it down to only 3 disco tracks. We were really getting into the disco vibe and having a great old time doing that sort of thing, but there is some good hip hop on there. We are just trying to make each other laugh. When we write a song we come up with an idea for a song and then someone will write a couple of lines and then someone else will write another couple of lines. We try and outdo each other.
Did you produce the record yourselves?
Yeah, we put it out on our own record label. We should have some CDs coming into the shops if people want to buy it and then buy a car that’s ten years old to put it in the CD player and listen to it or buy a laptop that’s 3 years old so they can put the CD into the drive on the laptop. It’s quite easy to put music out these days. What’s really fun for us is to make all the videos we have made about 8 or 9 videos from this album, we got involved with some really cool animators to do some animation videos. We did one for the song called Bonk Eye and one for Netflix In Bed which is coming out next week.
I really like the song Netflix In Bed, where do you get the ideas for the songs from?
A lot of us have got Netflix and then one of the boys was going out with this girl and then one of his mates was getting on with his girl and he was a bit upset about it, so to make it up and apologise he said, “you can have my Netflix friends and family login.” I thought that was kind of funny.
GLC has been around for a long time now. What’s the maddest GLC story you can tell?
We went to Ibiza to play a gig and we ended up staying there for a week by mistake in a villa. I have no idea whose villa it was but by the end of the week the pool turned green and no one could swim in it because it was just vile. There was no rubbish being collected and it piled up outside. It was stinking with rats and flies around it. We thought while we are on holiday we will cook a roast Sunday dinner, so we bought all the stuff for dinner and we got the chicken back and it still had a head on it. And there we are having a roast dinner in the hottest weather you can imagine sitting next to a green pool, it was gross. Two of the boys ended up going over to where (Welsh Actor) Rhys Ifans was staying and dancing with (actress) Sienna Miller, she ended up slapping him because he was out of his mind and ended up saying something to her, it’s all a bit weird. We have had some wild times, most of them we can’t remember. We have disputes about where things happened.
Which GLC member has the worst taste in music?
Adam Hussain, he only likes 3 things – Ghetto Boys and Bob Dylan, they are the only 2 CD’s he’s got. He doesn’t listen to anything else.
Why did Maggot leave?
Yeah, Maggot has disappeared. He stopped turning up to gigs and we were all a bit worried about him. It’s really sad because we aren’t entirely sure why he left. I think he wanted to go and live on a commune but it didn’t work out for him. We would love to have him back. Maggot is one of the nicest and kindest people you could ever meet he is so much fun to be around and we aren’t around him anymore which is a bit sad. If anyone does see him point him in our direction.
What drives the band to keep making records after all these years?
I dunno its one of those things where we think we are never going to do another record or song, then all of a sudden we have written ten songs. I’m not convinced we are going to make any more. This record could be our last one ever. There are other things that get in the way like family and things like DIY. Trying to get 8 men in a room together is quite difficult. Everyone has lives and girlfriends now. When we used to go on tour when we were younger we didn’t have time for that. Things catch up with you and you end up in a situation where you have to take pills just to get you through the night like indigestion pills.
So when your not making GLC records, you made a piano record?
Yes, I’m just working on a second one now which I’m trying to finish off. Its classical piano sort of stuff. I did a vocoder album with me singing into a vocoder which was really sinister.
Will the band be playing any shows in support of the record?
We are playing Doncaster on the 17th of November, Cardiff on the 8th of December and a place called Oslo in London on the 9th which really confused me because I thought we were playing Oslo and London at the same time. I thought we were going to fly out afterwards. It looks like we will be doing a gig in Newport as well.
How do you listen to music nowadays? CD – vinyl – download?
I love listening to records but I have young children. Young children and records don’t mix so I put stuff on iPods and listen to them or I listen to CDs in the car. A car is your ideal listening situation in my opinion.
Do you have a record that you always return to?
I love Beck’s Odelay because of the production by the Dust Brothers it’s really cool. There’s a singer called Al Bowlly whos awesome but he’s dead now. The Orb is great, I still love them the first 2 albums are brilliant.
What have you been listening to recently that you could recommend?
Have you heard of Bideo? He did an album called Silver Wilkinson which is absolutely amazing. There’s another guy called Floating Points, check out his track called Myrtle Avenue you will find it on the internet its brilliant. And just listen to old disco. There’s so much old disco out there its crazy! Disco is where it’s at!
A formidable live outfit, renowned for showcasing cutting edge of male fashion and grooming as much as the sharp end of contemporary hip-hop, the Goldie Lookin Chain announce an earth-trembling ‘homecoming’ show at the Tramshed in Cardiff on Friday 8 December. Tickets are on sale HERE.
The full track listing for FEAR OF A WELSH PLANET is:
1) Chicken Soup
2) Fear of a Welsh Planet
3) I Got A Van
4) Bonk Eye
5) It’s The Law of The Streets
6) Netflix In Bed
7) Mystikal Back In Position
8) This One Goes Out to The Ravers
9) Adam and Ball Show
10) It’s A Goldie Lookin Chain
11) Six Feet Tall
12) Sex People
13) Pass The Pipe
14) I’m The One
15) I Loves Green
16) Rom Com Lover
Forming just after the Millennium in the historic South Wales city of Newport, Goldie Lookin Chain self-released six albums before signing a major label record deal and recording two, top-20 albums between 2004 and 2005, including the UK Top 5 release, ‘Greatest Hits’ (2004). The GLC have scored six Top 40 hits, including ‘Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do’, which peaked at number 3 in August 2004 and have continued to write, record and perform as a collective of up to 20 rappers for almost two decades.
Fav Band(s): U2, R.E.M, The Stone Roses, Oasis, The Verve, The Charlatans, Happy Mondays, Mansun + loads more
Fav Album: Achtung Baby – U2
Follow Mark on Twitter: @markontheweb