April 23, 2012 2 Comments
Cody Foster, better known to his loyal following of fans as Sadistik, is artistically indefinable by any means. He’s the sort of lyricist that other famed lyricists would do right to emulate, or at the very least, learn some shit from. He’s been around the world on endless tours and has spit more verses than you’ve shared bong hits with your “cool Aunt”. The pride of Seattle (not Minneapolis as so many believe), this indie hop hopper has conquered the land, and has developed a loyal following unlike anything the music industry could imagine. And he’s done it all on his own. On his own, but with a whole lot of help, to complete juxtapose my previous statement, with the likes of other amazing artists like Kristoff Kane, Eyedea, Kid Called Computer, Lotte Kestner, Louis Logic, Bodi, Mac Lethal, and so many more.
And while I absolutely adore Mr. Foster’s work, when the opportunity to swap words with the this indie hip hop sensation, I could think of no one better to help me think of some ideas for conversation than my old friend and part time musician, barista, and long time college attendee, Christina Hess. She resides in Minneapolis (again, not home to Sadistik) where we all know just might be the Mecca of indie hip hop, being the home to the now legendary Rhymesayers Entertainment. Christina has definitely been my go to girl when it comes to all things dealing with the subject matter, and she had some great things to ask the mad hatter of hip hop.
So check out this wonderful conversation with one of today’s greatest hip hop artists and read as we discuss his future, Edgar Allen Poe, loss of friends, and G.G. Allin’s infamous enemas. Enjoy!
Ron Trembath: What can fans expect from your upcoming Whiskey Note Speaker Tour with Louis Logic? Any new material?
You can definitely expect some new material on this upcoming tour with Louis Logic. I’m finally going to start unveiling some of these new songs from Flowers for My Father, but I’ll still be mixing in some of my older music as well. I also am planning on improvising during my sets more and seeing how the crowds digest it. We’ll see how it goes. (Note to reader: We are well aware that this tour is not “upcoming” anymore, and that Sadistik recently had to to bow out of the last couple remaining shows. Some time elapsed between the interview and this session. We just wanted to keep his response, because, well, in the Train Wreck’d Society, Cody Foster shits gold plated diamonds and can do no wrong. So we want every word he will give us. Please continue….)
Christina Hess: In your opinion, what is the best thing since sliced bread?
I would have to say Jameson being readily available. Shout out to whoever made that possible.
CH: If we looked in your refrigerator, what would we find?
Basically a lot of beer and sandwich ingredients. I go out to eat pretty often so my refrigerator wouldn’t impress you.
RT: Who do you consider to be the best female vocalist out there today?
Well, best and favorite are two very different things. I would say my favorite is my friend Anna-Lynne Williams. She goes by the moniker of Lotte Kestner and I absolutely love her sound. In fact, she will be appearing on my new record a few times. Some other female vocalists I’ve been listening to lately are Phantogram, Warpaint, and Blonde Redhead.
CH: Who are some of your non-musical influences? Why?
I have a ton of non-music influences. I think if you listen to my music closely it’s pretty evident actually since most of my references are from film or books. I’m a huge movie buff, especially horror films and foreign, and I would say that is probably my biggest influence outside of personal experiences and relationships I’ve had. I’m also becoming quite an avid reader these days as well. I’ve definitely learned that everything I experience, watch, read, hear, etc. makes its way into my art in one way or another.
RT: It’s been said that you are quite the film buff….let’s do the whole desert island thing, and grant the fact that you had a TV and DVD player with magical electricity on this island….What 5 films would you not want to be stranded without?
Ah, speaking of the devil. That’s tough, but here’s what comes to mind:
1. A Clockwork Orange
3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
CH: What are some of your other creative outlets?
This is something I’ve actually been exploring more lately. I’ve kind of come to grips that I need creative outlets in order to avoid feeling crazy inside my head at times, but sometimes I just don’t feel like writing or I don’t feel as confident in the words I put together so I need other outlets. I’ve been slowly learning some basics of guitar and I’m also working on a poetry book. I also wrote and directed that “Higher Brain” video with Kristoff Krane and I really loved that experience. I absolutely love film and would love to direct at some point in my life. Maybe I could make some cool creepy short films or something eventually, I don’t know. That’s one thing I love about having full creative freedom with my projects is that I get to be involved in other mediums such as album artwork and music videos.
RT: If you were sent before the supreme court to defend hip hop music as being a “truly artistic” genre, what would you say?
People have been arguing over what’s art and what isn’t forever. I think that as human beings, we have this curious need to compartmentalize everything and try to squeeze it into a box just to see if it will fit. To answer your question though, of course rap is art; it’s people expressing themselves. Now, is it good art, or relevant art or innovative art? That’s a different discussion. Genres are such a broad term to me. I personally see rap artists like Sage Francis or El-P in a different artistic light than someone like Gucci Mane or Lil’ B, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t art. I mean, Jason Pollack dripped paint on a canvas, Andy Warhol hired people to replicate his paintings to claim as his own, and G.G. Allin would give himself enemas on stage. Are they artists? Obviously, those are drastically different examples but I personally believe it is all art, some of it just happens to speak to me louder and clearer than others.
CH: How do you separate yourself from other rappers (in your genre, as well as others)?
That’s a good question and it’s something that I’ve thought about pretty often lately. Since music is so accessible to make these days, there are thousands upon thousands of rappers all vying for the same goals and the thought of fitting into a crowd has never really appealed to me. I work really, really hard on trying to get better at my craft and I hope it shows in the final products and that people will find a reason to want to hear what I make. I mean, I’ve never met anybody that is exactly like me, so I don’t think I should be a replication of anybody else artistically. I certainly am influenced by a lot of other rappers and admire some of their work very much, but I hope that at the end of the day people can say I have my own sound in some way or another.
RT: Our mutual pal Alex, a.k.a. Bodi, wrote about his experiences with the late Michael “Eyedea” Larsen in a little book called Children of Mercy: Tales and Teachings From The World of Independent Music. You were also friends with, and worked alongside Eyedea before he passed (The book was also dedicated to his memory. How did Michael influence you? And how much of him is in your own art?
Micheal has influenced me even more drastically than I think I’ve fully realized. I find myself thinking of him and missing him on a daily basis. I actually made a song about him and shot a video for it in Minneapolis with his friends and family recently. The goal of the song wasn’t to say how great of an artist he was, I think that’s been pretty obvious, but how good of a friend he was to me. He also was the connection that brought Kristoff Krane and I together, whom I consider to be one of my best friends and favorite artists. The fact that Mike believed in my music in one way or another will always be one of my proudest achievements and I don’t really have an accurate way to describe how I miss him.
RT: If you could perform for any historical figure, alive or dead, who do you think would most understand your work? Why?
I’m going to cheat and give an answer for each. The first person who comes to mind as a dead historical figure who I think would understand my work would be Edgar Allan Poe. I feel like he obviously wrote very dark material but the closer you inspect it the more you can see the craftsmanship and details he put into his work. He also had a pretty difficult time dealing with certain obstacles in his life that I think would relate to my material in some way. As for a living person, I would say David Lynch. I admire him for many reasons, but I really love how Lynch doesn’t give a shit about answering concrete questions in his films, but instead he is much more concerned about painting the mood and tone that he wants you to feel. Oftentimes in his movies you can’t really recall all the details of the plot like in most movies, but you can remember the way it made you felt long after it is finished. I feel like I aim for that in my music at times.
CH: Do you believe that Minneapolis could be considered the epicenter (a.k.a. the Compton of the early 90’s) for indie hip hop? Why or why not?
Is this why people always seem to think I’m from Minneapolis these days? Haha, anyways, I guess that would seem like a fair statement to me. I mean, the Rhymesayers guys have really built the business model for indie rap in a lot of ways. I have a lot of respect for their work-ethic and feel like they deserve every bit of their success. Beyond the bigger acts in the Twin Cities, I feel like there’s a ton of talent out there too. Kristoff Krane, No Bird Sing, Kill The Vultures, Ecid, etc. are all great acts that are below a lot of people’s radar.
RT: What was the last thing that made you smile?
My girlfriend just gave me a home made birthday card. That made me smile.
To learn more about Sadistik and his current and past releases, upcoming tours, and all the what have you that you could ever want to know, head over to his website, sadistikmusic.com. And you can find him on that new social media site called Facebook.