With his early memories of hip hop wrapped around the original ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie and Wu-Tang’s ‘Enter The 36 Chambers’, the UK’s Edward Scissortongue was always destined for a career holding a microphone.
Your bio states that the original ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie was the inspiration behind your love of hip hop; explain yourself, mister...
The first ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie (1990) was the first SUPER BIG craze to sweep over from the USA to the UK during my childhood. All I gave a fuck about before that was football and sweets. Along with it came a soundtrack riddled with all-star hip hop names featuring the likes of Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer — all the chart toppers at the time.
Spinning that 12" picture disc on my Mum and Dad's belt-drive turntable and learning the dance moves from all the music videos really introduced me to the culture. I fell in love with it and would like to take this opportunity to thank Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello. And Splinter too. Without your help I would be a death metal singer probably.
And who’s your favourite shell-backed mate?
Raphael all day.
‘Enter The 36 Chambers’ as your very first CD is pretty big... did you wear the laser beam out in the CD stereo playing that over and over as a kid?
That CD scared me, but drew me in at the same time. I was ten years old. My parents objected too. They didn't want their son listening to a CD that said multiple swear words in every bar, so I had to listen to it on the sly, or with headphones on. It truly is one of the finest rap records ever. It is EVIL.
Your early years of musical appreciation — who did you have on your Discman?
Pre-TMNT, I was listening to the stuff my parents were playing; classic ‘60s stuff like Mamas & The Papas, The Beatles or The Who/ The Doors/ T-Rex from my Dad. I had no real choice in the matter. My sister loved Take That. I didn't...
When I started buying music myself I was listening to Funkdoobiest, Naughty By Nature, Cypress Hill, Snoop, Slick Rick; any giant US hip hop that the local record store (Jay's Records RIP) had in stock. That was the only store in my hometown that stocked the imported US stuff. So long as it had a badass picture on the cover of some dudes throwing money and swinging TEC-9's then I would buy it.
Was there a watershed moment when you knew hip hop was your career path and spitting into a mic your calling card?
Yes. When I started spitting at house parties and people showed me love. It was like, these people are handing me spliffs and girls are looking at me all like 'heyyyy'. I knew then that rapping was the perfect accompaniment to my desire to be the centre of attention at all times!!
What is the perfect idea of fun for Edward Scissortongue?
Something that involves sunshine, moderate amounts of booze consumption and Arsenal smashing another team off a football pitch by four clear goals. If Arsenal lose then nothing is fun for at least 48 hours after the final whistle.
Your bio mentions your music represents the “battle with the pictures” behind your eyeballs... can you expand on that please?
The 'battle with the pictures' is a reference to my desire to delve deeply into the way my brain operates. I decided that music was the best way to explore my thoughts creatively and that is why I continue to push myself as an artist.
I am interested in delving into the endless layer-upon-layer-upon-layer-upon-layer of abstract thought that only my brain is capable of creating. Long gone are the days of me sitting and penning a verse about riding bikes or hating my job; the brain in my skull has a whole shit tonne of things to communicate below the surface of the inane lives we all lead in our own unique and sometimes spectacular fashion. If I want to learn about politics I will not listen to hip hop, I will read a book.
If I want to learn how to fix a car engine, I will not look for answers in a rap song, I will buy a manual. Hip hop for me is about exploring life without limits. I get told what to do in my life way too much already and refuse to let these limitations affect my music making.
Edward Scissortongue joins the Smoke My Tour at the New Globe Theatre this Friday, November 8.