Ugly Duckling - Ugly and still wearing 8 pounds of rope

A "meat shake", 8 pounds of gold dookie rope and being kicked out of a "hot tub" chat room for making crass comments. Andy, Dizzy and Einstein of Ugly Duckling certainly have had their shares of highlights and higher-lights.


From the heart of Urban Gangster hip hop, Southern California, this trio has been an unlikely alternative to the status quo of the genre. Their first EP, Fresh Mode, launched them onto the scene into unprecedented heights. This was chased up by Journey to Anywhere.


How has this sudden escalation to fame impacted on the band?


"It can be difficult being away from your family, friends and the comforts of home. I try to focus on the task at hand; namely, doing the best possible job performing for and interacting with the people who support our band. Other than that, I try to soak up the culture and sights of different countries," says Andy.


On their current trip to Australia, Andy comments that it's interesting negotiating not being well known to the crowd.


"Playing the Parklife festivals was a blast. There were a lot of people in the crowd who didn't know our band and we really had to step up our performances to keep everyone into the show."


With the bands next album launching I asked Andy if they felt much pressure following up a widely acclaimed album.


"We're always nervous about releasing new stuff but, again, you have to put it out there and see what happens… This album is much simpler than the last one. We put together 12 tracks that are up-tempo, funky and exciting."


With such a chaotic workload in creating albums, touring and media, there isn't much time for other side projects, like many hip hop artists.


"Dizzy has some stuff that he does but my focus is completely on Ugly Duckling. The way we make music is very time consuming so I am not ready to commit to anything else."


Away from that it is interesting to note that despite the mainstream hip hop social commentary that does appear on their album, Ugly Duckling shy away from any direct advice from them.


"We try to make good music that people can enjoy at home and with their friends. We certainly believe in being positive but we don't feel that it is our duty to educate or advise people on life. There are enough rock stars and celebrities who do that right now."


So after a wholesome serving of dookie rope, washed down with a healthy flask of meat shake, peppered with a liberal does of take-the-piss-out-of-gangsta-rap, Ugly Duckling seem to balance themselves out as a rocking hip hop trio unlike anything we have seen. All power to them, because we need more people in this world who drink meat shake.

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