WR842: Park-Like Setting

Episode 842 November 04, 2023 00:50:06
WR842: Park-Like Setting
Witchpolice Radio
WR842: Park-Like Setting

Nov 04 2023 | 00:50:06

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Hosted By

Sam Thompson

Show Notes

It’s been 18 years since they released ‘Craftsmen’, but prairie rap triumvirate Park-Like Setting are back with a new record, ‘This, That and the Third'!

On this episode, I talk to Yy, mcenroe, and Bazooka Joe 204 about PLS in 2023, making records with your friends (“synergy!”), the upcoming 30th anniversary of Peanuts & Corn Records, and so much more.

Need more PLS in your life? Hear Yy on episode #042 (Sept. 2013 w/Nestor Wynrush), #466 (March 2020), #657 (Jan. 2022 w/Gruf and Rob Crooks), and #709 (as a member of Turn the Gun). mcenroe appears on episode #471 (March 2020). Bazooka Joe appears on episode #346 (Dec. 2018 w/Rob Crooks) and #625 (Sept. 2021).

This episode brought to you by our pals at Devine Shirt Company.

Huge thanks to everyone who supports the podcast on Patreon. You can help out for as little as a couple bucks a month if you like the show and want to throw some change in the guitar case!

As always, if you like the podcast, please tell a friend or 20! Rate and review on your podcast player of choice! Word of mouth is still the main way Witchpolice Radio reaches new ears. Thanks for listening.

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Episode Transcript

WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Welcome to Witchpolice Radio. I'm here with three people who have been on the show before, but not you haven't all been on the show together. You've all been in different sort of contexts talking about different projects. And so it's kind of cool to have all of you on the show together as a unit talking about this new release you have as a threesome. So I think the best way to start this off is if the three of you want to introduce yourselves and then listeners can just put a name to the voice. So I'm going to start on my left in the way I'm seeing the screen, which is Yy, if you want to introduce yourself. And then we can go from there. YY: Hey hey, my name is Yy, legal name Danny Corrigan. WR: All right, who else we got? MCENROE: My name is mcenroe. Aka Big mcenroe, aka Rod Bailey, aka Roddy Rod the Microphone God. My social insurance number is... YY: Stop! BAZOOKA JOE 204: And I'm Bazooka Joe. WR: And together, collectively, you are Park-Like Setting. M: Today we are. WR: Yeah. Today you are. And so the reason that we're here is because you have a new record that by the time this podcast comes out will be out in people's ears and hands and whoever else they acquire music. And I guess maybe just for some context, I mean, Park-Like Setting has put out two previous records, I think, and there was also, what, a half of a twelve inch or something before this? But the lineups changed. M: Right. WR: It wasn't always the three of you as the group. So what has the sort of trajectory been over the course of this project? M: Well, Park-Like Setting was originally myself and Joe and DJ Hunnicutt and it was kind of like the evolution from Farm Fresh, which, you know, Pip (Skid) left the group and then we started a new group that was sort of picking up that energy and then it evolved from there. But then very quickly as that, you know, at the beginning of that, I think we weren't such a solo career focused label. But very quickly with other influences and things like Wu-ang where everybody had solo record then Park-Like became kind of more of just one of our permutations and combinations, which we had fun with, which is this group of people is this group and this group of people is this group. And then collectively, we had the Break Bread crew with Pip Skid and Gruf and Hunnicutt. So that's sort of how it started. And then as we evolved and everyone had done a solo record or two working together with Park-Like came an idea to add Yy and be sort of more focused on lyricism and just having a different energy than all the solo projects we were doing at the time. So that's kind of the backstory... if anybody wants to add anything. WR: No, he summed it up well? And I guess one of the things that I'm sure I've probably said this to either one or all of you at some point, but one of the things I like about sort of your whole collective and the Peanuts and Corn label and all of these projects that you've been in is that it just sort of seems like there is this constant flux of the same members in different permutations and different groups. And for whatever reason, the five or six or seven or however many of you there are at any given time seem to really work well together. I imagine that's why this is still a thing all these years later to come out with a new project under the same name and with the same members. What works so well between the three of you specifically, but also with that larger group where everyone just seems to be on the same page in some way or another, musically and creatively? M: The bond is strong. I think back in the day it was like we had a label and we had a movement and we were going places as far as there was a growing appetite for independent rap that was non commercial because the commercial rap scene was so dominant at the time. And then there was a full undercurrent. The Internet was blowing up, people were selling their records and we found an audience. And so that really fueled us as far as not only having like we always had a strong Winnipeg audience, but then we found we had audiences all over thanks to websites and just that energy and appetite for what we were doing and so many other labels around the world who kind of had that same energy. And it sort of formed a real movement, I think, at that time. And then now it's the friendship bond. Like, these are my brothers, right? We've been through so much together over 20 plus years. Been in the back of vans all smelling like shit and farts, and we've just done it all, I'm sure you guys could add. But now it's pure friendship and love for the music and each other. YY: Yeah, most definitely. I mean, I came up on P&C with the really early tapes and everything, but even before they officially brought me into the fold like, me and Joe became real fast friends through Hunnicutt and our friend St. Louis, but and we're making music together. But it wasn't even just about the are these are some of my closest friends type of thing. So I think that kind of cuts through the music and makes the bond pretty strong. WR: Yeah, for sure. I mean, that helps, right? Having that history with each other and that experience with each other. For sure. How did this particular project, this record, how did this come about? Because it's been a while, obviously, since the last time the three of you put out an actual project, a full project together. Why now? I guess what sort of sparked this? M: I can't remember. Do you guys remember? BJ2: I think Rod and I both released solo projects and then it was what's next up? What's the next project we're going to do? I think somewhere late 2020, early 2021. The writing started in earnest, but it's just batter up since kind of restarting the creative engine, at least for know, obviously for Rod, it never stops. And Danny's got side projects going on and we've always got stuff going on, but as far as under the P&C guise, this is the next logical project. And not to make it sound like it's some sort of a procession or something like that, but it's how you get excited, right? You finish a solo project, the next one maybe isn't so personal and I get to goof off with my homeboys and talk a bunch of shit on record as opposed to delving deep into your personal abyss to pull out a solo album. WR: Sure. YY: And sometimes it's just like one of us writing to a dope beat and it's just like, this sounds like it could know Joe on it, this sounds like it could use Rod on it, and we're just exchanging things and it organically comes together where it's like, I think it's time, let's make a PLS record happen. WR: Cool. Well, with all these various side projects that you've all been involved with, and major projects, I guess they're not all side projects, but do you have to get to a different mindset knowing that this is going to be a park like setting recording or a song you're working on? Do you get into a certain mode when you're going to be recording with the three people that are in this group and on this kind of a release? Or is it just the same as if you're doing anything else? Is there, I guess, a different piece of your brain that you devote to Park-Like Setting versus any one of your various other groups or projects? M: I think it's like Joe said, where it's personal versus if you're doing your own personal stuff, solo stuff, where you tend to be more introspective and give a little piece of your soul maybe a little more. Whereas with a group thing. You could have a little more fun with it, have a fragmented idea and not have to write three verses yourself about it, that kind of thing. But as far as Park-Like itself, it's just about the energy we have together. But I think it's just solo versus group is really the distinction, what the group is, whether it's like Danny with working with Gruf or whoever works with someone else, or if I ever work with Pip again with Farm Fresh or whatever, it'll just be always be lighter than doing your own thing. BJ2: And even knowing that you're only writing a part of something is so much different than having to map out a whole song and being responsible for all of it. And I know when I'm on a record, especially with Danny and Rod, the last album was called Craftsmen and it was because we were really emphasizing and really working towards the technical kind of ends of things, us together as a unit. At least when I'm doing it, it's like friendly competition, you know what I mean? I'm trying to be as fly as I can in my 16 bars that I have allotted, right? Which is a completely different writing mindset than conceptualizing something from the ground up and then being responsible for the whole thing, right? YY: Totally. And then I think also playing off of each other is a whole thing besides the theme. It's like, here's a style someone did, here's where they take their pauses, here's how they're flowing on this. And it's like that sparks an idea. Like, oh, I'm going to play off of that. And I probably wouldn't have written something like that on my like that's a whole other fun side of it. BJ2: As can even you can hear that almost verbatim in the song Words with Friends from the album in which Danny's first two to four bars are like an exact cadence card and copy of my first four bars. On purpose, obviously. YY: Yeah, exactly. BJ2: You hate to use old corporate speak, but that's the synergy that happens. M: And at this stage of our careers, where we're basically making music for ourselves, for its own know, we're not playing to sold out shows and doing tours and all that, right? We're just doing it. Having this group setting where you're working with that. It's like Joe giving me feedback on my stuff. Danny giving me feedback, me giving them feedback. That energy is just such a positive thing. You know, solo stuff. It's like especially in my case, because when I do a solo record, I record it, I produce it, I mix it, I master it. There is really no one going, yeah, is this a good idea? So working with them is just so much more. To have that process and that energy being passed back and forth is really fun for me anyway. WR Well, having that I mean, all of that completely makes sense. Having that cohesion between the three of you and all that as well. How has this record changed sonically, compared to the previous one? I mean, again, it's been a number of years since the last Park-Like Setting record. And obviously all of you have been doing other projects, you've been in other groups. Surely your writing has changed, your rapping has changed, your just general abilities have changed and matured and grown or whatever you want to call it. So what's sort of the major differences as far as the way this record sounds compared to previous releases? BJ2: Bass. There's so much bass in this record. I'll let Roddy to talk about the production, but there's so much bass in this record. It's so good. But yeah, go ahead, Roddy. M: Well, I mean, I just look at records that are slices of time for us, and it's like the Craftsmen record is defined partially by Joe and his situation at the time, coming up with really wacky ideas and us following his lead. And this record is just this is us in this other slice of time, which it's a little more balanced, I think, but we're obviously much more mature. This is a long time ago and we've all grown up quite a bit, but I think it's still just a slice of time. There's an evolution or the production is different, but the fundamentals are there. And the raps are different, but the fundamentals are there. We're still rapping in four/four time and doing what we do, and we sound similar to how we sound. It's not like some kind of sea change, right? It's more like, well, this is what we sound like today. But I think especially with the Craftsmen, to me, the first record, the School Day Two record, is a totally different era where I think we had a lot of maturing to do and we were still figuring out how to make records, how it was made and how it was written. And it's way too long. And not that it's wrong, but it's dated to me, Craftsmen isn't as dated. I think that this is different, but it's not hugely different in that we haven't changed who we are as people fundamentally so much between those two records. WR: Okay. YY: And I think it's like a natural evolution, and I think we are better rappers now. WR: I should hope so, after doing it this long, right? YY: Yeah. And that happens when you feed off of each other's styles. And if we're biting anyone, if we're biting each other, we take influences from each other. But we're not chasing trends, we're not trying to keep up with something that we're not under. We're just kind of building on what we've got. And I think we've can, I say, mastered our styles. We're 40-some. We've been doing this for long enough that I think we've gotten pretty fucking good at it. So that shows on this record. BJ2: And it's not a given that you keep getting technically better and you see that in a lot of the older rap stuff where people just fall off completely, right? WR: Yeah, that's true. BJ2: We're lucky we have the privilege of not having to craft these records to sell the maximum amounts. I'm not like casting aspersions on what led formerly good rappers to end up whack. But yeah, I think the idea that we are continuing to improve technically and in other ways too, and in presence and even in the act of recording. We've arrived at that place because of the privilege of just doing whatever the hell we want in rap music as opposed to trying to keep up with anyone or trying to sell records to anyone. WR: Is that sort of the death knell for doing something creative like this? If you try to get commercial is just going to kill it, I think. YY: For a lot of people. M: I don't think we know how to do that anyway. YY: The wrong people. That was hip hop in the late 80s. Anyone who was rapping, you can count on one hand how many people were relevant by 1993. Sure, 1993 kind of the same thing. It evened out at a certain point. But now there's 50 year olds that are actually still wrapping their asses off and stuff. Like times have changed a little bit, so I think that's a piece of it as well. That just times have changed and stuff. But yeah, definitely. We're in a different place than a lot of people would. BJ2: Regardless of genre, anytime the old guys are trying to keep up with or sound like young people, it's going to end up wack anyways? There's very few artists over the course of history unless you're bringing young people in in a very deliberate way. Right. Like someone like Bowie later on is bringing in young people to help change what he's doing. Right? In rap, especially back in the day, it was this thing is moving and evolving so quickly that people get left in the dust and then they try to switch their whole shit up to try to maintain some sort of relevance and boom, that's that's that's when you lost, right? WR: Yeah. YY: And I think we kind of had this weird vantage point being in Winnipeg, being removed from everything, being rappers in, you know, white people in music that wasn't created by white people and stuff, and being very critical of our place in it and stuff, not trying to be things that we're not and stuff. All of this perfect stew that just kind of like I mean, here we are, for better or for worse, where we're at. But I'm pretty happy with where we're at as rappers and making music, and especially on this record, right now? WR: Well, at the time we're talking here, the record will be out when people hear this podcast. It's not out yet, but you have given some teasers and given people a bit of a taste of what's to come. What has the response been? Because, again, it's been a long time. People maybe weren't expecting the three of you to put out a record in 2023. What have people said to you about what they've heard so far, if anyone has? BJ2: I got a text from my brother who really loved it and he used the word serene to describe it, which was really that was kind of like a nice thing to hear. But how does everyone feel about it? One to three flame emojis under every I think our engagement has been pretty good. Like, people showed up and bought copies or sorry, bought access when we released it last week, or in the Internet future a couple of weeks ago. But I think we're still kind of waiting on returns from it. Roddy, are you getting anything in the... M: I would say just what we see on social media, other than that my mom and dad haven't listened to it yet. They haven't got around to it. WR: Do they usually listen to your stuff? Do you have family as a sounding board? M: No. YY: They've got the other 60 P&C releases to go through. M: They got the Space EP somewhere, but they fell off. WR: Well, how does this work? Obviously, again, it's not the same situation, any of you, life wise and career wise and all these things that you would have been when Craftsmen came out or even when the first one came out. But how does this work now with you? You're not all in the same city anymore. You have this record that's coming out that's going to be out. You can't necessarily play shows, maybe you don't want to play shows. How do you sort of get this music out there nowadays when it's not obviously as easy as just going three of you going out and getting on a stage somewhere and performing it? M: We're hoping you can help us out, Sam. WR: Good luck. M: That's the conundrum in 2023, right? That is the pickle. It's a very crowded world for attention, but we're not to be discouraged as far as it'd be nice to have a lot of listeners. And our loyal fans have definitely been stepping up as far as our bandcamp support and all that kind of stuff and wanting to show support when they know that it's going to come out on streaming. And they don't necessarily have to, but they want to. So that's been very heartening. Other than that, I don't really know. Joe has taken a big active role with the label as far as stepping up with our social media engagement and just trying to give more content. And so we pushed a lot harder on this record and I think we found that people were ready for it versus past releases. That's about all you can do at this point, unless we're going to all quit our jobs and go follow the dream. But I'm going to pass on that one for now. That's fair. WR: I think maybe the right choice. So what is sort of the situation with PNC now then? Because I saw, obviously this came out, that this is a big deal. You've been putting out releases pretty consistently. I guess a lot of them are mcenroe solo releases lately. But how active is the label at this point? Are there plans to get more active now that you have this on the go? M: The label is about me producing my friends, right? So I can only do so much and I get demos, I get all kinds of things, but we have no interest in expanding beyond that. It makes no sense. This is about a group of friends who make music together and share with those who are interested. I go through times where I have no time for music. But right now, even the last two or three years, I've made a conscious choice to make more time for music, make it back into my life. Like, I think from 2012 to 2020, it was a lot less of a focus. I was kind of putting my career to the forefront. Now my career is stabilized and it is what it is. And now my kids are a little older. All those things have happened and I could kind of focus on making music with my friends again. We wish we were in the same city. I think we could do dynamite stuff, but they won't come here and I'm not going back. Sorry. So we do have some stuff in the pipeline. Next year is the 30th anniversary of fancy corn. So we have a number of things, ideas going. So I think next year we'll be a little more active in terms of celebrating our past and having some new records. We've got some stuff in the pipeline. I will say that I have a new record, a sequel to Brandon called Winnipeg, and that is 95% written. So that's definitely coming out next year. And then we've got some other stuff and some reissues and some remastered records and stuff to celebrate our past and all kinds of stuff. So next year, I think maybe we'll even try to get together and play a 30th anniversary show. We'll see how the schedules all line up. WR: Cool. M: Just keep the fun going, right? BJ2: Yeah. The one thing I've noticed, and this isn't backed up by data or qualitative research, but people have been following us for 20 years, 25 years, and they like to hear about the old stuff. So we're going to celebrate what we've done. I think it's worth celebrating. And on top of that, we're going to continue to release music. I think those things work together as opposed to searching. For new ways to get over or anything like that. There's no illusions here. We're artists. I think it's important to talk about. We're artists who are working. Right. A lot of people are kind of frou-frou about the thing. We work, we're craftsmen, we put the boots on, we get the writing, we kick the raps. That's what we so we all got stuff going on. Danny's like, doing his thing and he's got kids. Roddy's got kids and his career. I'm in university of all things right now, juggling school along with this. Like, I think we give it as much as we can and we're stoked to have any output at this point. YY: And it's still fun. That's the biggest thing. Having that creative outlet and doing it with people who are so talented is still just personally so fun. WR: Cool. I was going to say, I like how Rod, you said about not wanting to come back, but then you have all of these nostalgic records, Brandon and Winnipeg again. So you seem very comfortable talking about this place, but not actually coming back here. M: Oh, I love coming back. I just can't move back. In an ideal world, I would come back three times a year to hang out with my friends, but my schedule doesn't allow it. But I'm not moving back. But I love being there. WR: That's cool. Where do people find this record? I mean, again, by the time this comes out, it'll be out there. What's the best way for someone to obtain either a physical copy or a digital copy of the new Park Lake setting? M: Well, the reality is that the best way to support us is on Bandcamp, peanutsandcorn.Bandcamp.com, because you could get our whole record, or you could grab a song and throw us a couple of bucks. That money goes directly into projects that we do, whether it's studio time or whatever we have to do to make this music. It's sort of just a self perpetuating thing. Music is not free to make, at least not if you want to make it with high quality. So that's really the best way. But ultimately, people can make their own choices. Your support is definitely appreciated. Your attention is very much appreciated. So it will be on all the streaming services as of October 20. By the time you hear this, it'll be onSpotify, be on Apple Music, be on Tidal. Tidal's. Cool. I still like that's. That's good. And another thing is, if you really like our music, then drop us a line and let us know. Because really, we're not hanging out at the merch table after the shows anymore. So really, it's a bit of a black hole. You put music out there and does someone hear it? I can't look at the data anymore. It's too depressing. Just because I don't want to know what second of each song someone stopped listening. It's just not helpful to my mental health, really. Fire emojis, cash and nice things said are the currency in this digital age for us. WR: That's awesome. I guess. Yeah. Fire emojis, skull emojis, whatever the emoji du jour is. Do any of you have other projects on the go that you want to plug before I let you go here? Anything happening in the near future? Any new releases with other projects that are coming out? M: I already said my project, which is Winnipeg. You guys both have projects, but I'm leaving it to you if you want to tell the world about them, Danny. YY: Okay, well, I'm currently working on a very ambitious solo record with Roddy for P&C that may come in phases. I'm going to leave it at that. But stay tuned. M: It's going to come in phases. It's super cool, cool. And it's going to happen. Your first phase will be probably in a month or two. YY: That soon. Oh, shit. You heard it like I did. BJ2: And for me, I'm still working on some stuff with Crooks. We'll see what a release looks like for that. But it's going to be something small, probably closer to an EP. We've got a couple of songs in the can for that. But really the most exciting thing, and I'm totally open to talking about it, is I'm doing a sequel to Pinky's Laundromat. It's called Empress Lanes, and it's about the character from Pinky's Laundromat 20 years later, working in a bowling alley. That's the next thing I'm going to do on Peanuts and Corn, I think. WR: Do you have any idea when that's planned for? Is there like a year or a date or anything in the works yet? BJ2: Next is what I would say upcoming. WR: Okay, right on. And then one last thing. What's the best way for people to find out what you're up to? As far know, someone could hear this a year from now, and by then the PLS album is already out. You might have a bunch of other things out. What's the best way to follow each of you online on social media to find out about your now current whenever you're listening music and other things. M: I think our best is our Instagram account is Peanuts and Corn Records. Our Twitter sucks. It's @Peanutsandcorn1. I'm @bigmcenroe. @bazookajoe204. @YwithaY, right. Is that it? Tapes it Together? It might be. What's your password, Danny, and social insurance number to you. We'll get that fixed up for you. I think our Instagram is our best at the moment, has the most engagement and the most followers. And so that's where we're putting our energy. We're on TikTok. I think we have three followers right on. WR: Pulling in big numbers with the youth. M: Because as soon as we put up a music video on TikTok, it says your video has the sound muted because copyright violations. Because our music gets added. Like, our digital distributor, I guess, has some copyright mechanism. So we have a few TikTok videos that are just no sound. So it's kind of pointless. BJ2: Very effective. WR: Yeah. You're there, though. M: You're on the platform if you want to be follower number four, holler at it on TikTok. Peanuts and Corn Records. WR: Awesome. And then, I guess, one more thing. I've noticed that this month you've kind of opened up the mail order for some of your older releases. I've been bugging you about that because there's some I want to buy as well. Is that going to be an ongoing thing, or is it just a temporary? M: No, by the time I hear this, I'll probably shut it'll be over. WR: So you're too late. If you're listening now, you're too late. M: I can only really do it for very short periods, and I got to shut it down. Do you still have hands and knees? Go in my basement, in my crawl space, pull shit out and ship it. I'm only doing that, like, once a year or so. So I'll do it this week, and then I'm not doing it. WR: All right, so when you hear this is too late, you missed your chance. M: But, yeah, Sam, you're good. We'll take care of you. WR: All right? Right on. Okay. Thanks a lot, guys.

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