Hug of War's Hip Hop Will Make You Warm and Fuzzy and Thoughtful

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So how come the new album is darker in subject matter?
It's important for any musical project to continue to evolve; I definitely don't want to be thought of as doing only one thing. Expressing negative emotions can be a very positive thing if done for constructive purposes. If we can't face down our own demons and change the way we treat ourselves and our loved ones, how could we ever change anything else?

What's about this one? "It's a Thrill Being Mentally Ill."
This song is about the fine line between being eccentric and being harmfully crazy. Most everyone I've ever known who was worth a damn has had some screws loose. I'm sure it's helped them be more interesting and creative, but it's often been at the cost of their having to live a very uncomfortable existence.

You also name drop Michael Jackson. A while back, you posted something on Facebook about listening to Michael Jackson albums non-stop. Did that have any effect on the new material?
Michael Jackson was a big influence on this album, particularly his Bad era. Prince is influential to me as well, as far as how they could both show how tough and cool they were in a way that was still very dandy and elegant and eccentric. It had nothing to do with whether either of them could ever win in a fight with anyone. Their toughness was a state of otherworldly being.

"Don't Make Whoopee After We Break Up" sounds like logical good advice.
This is about the dark force that love can become when one's own selfishness is put above the well being of the other person.

"Me vs God"?
God is for the most part portrayed as a very jealous and petty being. We need to stand up to our bullies! That's the only way they'll respect us!

Then you end off with the sweet "Dear Evey."
A sappy, sentimental song for my kid. If Will Smith can do it, I can do it too!

I've spoken to Rubber Brother Records about the viability of the cassette format but i was wondering about your take on it.
Cassette culture is still very important. And many tapes come with instructions on how to get the songs online in mp3 format; all most people do with CDs is rip those songs onto the computer, then let the CD itself collect dust.

So why not make a cassette? Rubber Brother are doing great things for tapes locally. Analog vs digital arguments aside, the cassette is a great embodiment of DIY culture. I still love making mix tapes too. Cassettes and vinyl also encourage the listener to listen to an album beginning to end.

I wouldn't say the internet is pure evil. But it has definitely overloaded our brains, made passive music listening WAY more common, and made tasks like sitting down and listening to a whole album beginning to end much more difficult. But it doesn't have to be this way. We can take music back!

Hug of War is playing The Rubber Brother Records Round Robin Festival Day 2 this Saturday at Parliament in Tempe.

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