[OZ Interview] Def Wish Cast (interview by Alida Hoebee)
Alida: Why did Def Wish Cast take such a long hiatus?
DWC: Its funny to us as we have been releasing product since our first EP in 91' so to us there was no gap, but when people focus on
DefWishCast then that’s a special thing ,but the group split in 95' as we had 3 separate lives as well and that’s the way it is.
Alida: What have each of the group members, DefWish, Die-C and Sereck been up to in the meantime?
Sereck: Building solid foundations for Basic Equipment Boys and have also finished running Sydney hardcore hip hop nights for a year
with Rivals and also some other killer gigs with GPS, Deva, Scott Burns and 2Buck.
DefWish: Getting our band "The Quickness" on the road and recording a tight album in the studio.
Die C: Just had a little girl and enjoying a new outlook and involved in martial arts studies.
Alida: Please explain the situation with Celsius and Kilawattz.
DWC: They are one off moments for us in-between the DefWish stuff and making records like these help introduce talented people to
Australia and the world like Brass and Sinus. Dash and Shime did one of the best covers on the first Celsius album as well. The Kilawattz EP helped
continue relations with Melbourne and pushed boundaries, we only progress from this.
Alida: What exactly initiated the group's reunion?
DefWish: An American record label approached Kilawattz with a record deal and we then decided to use this opportunity to bring the
cast back together which was already on the cards for some time prior to this contract. The deal fell through but it was a blessing in disguise for we
couldn’t be happier to now have Hydrofunk backing us.
Alida: Can you recall your first exposure to hip hop culture and what initially attracted you to it?
DWC: Beat Street, Style Wars and Rock Steady Crew held the whole package for us.
Alida: Where were the major influences in solidifying Def Wish Cast's uniquely Australian style of hip hop drawn from?
DWC: Living in the Western Suburbs where rock was a major lifestyle and people talk a bit more abrupt and blue collar area + taking
the Australian Accent and mixing it with inspirations like Public Enemy, Run DMC, Hijack(UK),Ice-T,Tuff Crew etc. It’s about being in tune with each
other and to bring across the accent in way where it comes across smooth and forceful.
Alida: How would you describe Def Wish Cast's trademark style when you first came up, and now on the new album?
DWC: The first album we were young and making our first records and our lifestyle was a bit more hectic living every element in hip
hop to the fullest. We class the new album as a more mature BBoy Funk approach as its 14 years on and we have done so much and not just making
records. This album is a closure of 4 years.
Alida: How has Def Wish Cast's style changed and grown with the group over the years?
DWC: We have brought the whole style to a very clear and direct flow and the music is going to change as we have to evolve as well
and hopefully on the next album you will see a different style
again. We won’t please everyone but that’s the way it goes and on future releases we'll always try to bring an elevated DefWish style.
Alida: Being one of our country's first ever hip hop groups, would it be accurate to say that Def Wish Cast are responsible for creating an
Australian brand of hip hop?
DWC: Its hard one as we don’t want to say that but it’s great to hear that we had a major part in this culture of ours. There are
pioneers and people have blazed trails before us like Sound Unlimited, D-Man, Bad Reputation, Mentor, Spice etc. But when we talk of the Australian
hip-hop as we know it then I think we are referring to when we took the accent and really pushed it on record/studio and in live shows and hardly
no-one was rocking intense shows like us + we were the first to have a full fan base in Oz hip hop which gave an all-round patriotic feeling amongst
this country. People got to understand that their style comes from the early nineties from our shit and people like Intense Quality, Raph, AKA, Finger
Lickin, Mamas Funk, Mentor (Just Us) etc.
Alida: Do you think any group can reasonably be compared to Def Wish Cast in terms of etching the blueprints and laying the foundations of the
hip hop scene in Australia?
DWC: This is too detailed to get into as we are talking hip-hop and there are a lot of people who have done their bit in different
Alida: As the founders of the Australian hip hop scene along with hand-full of other notables, do you feel Def Wish Cast get the respect they
deserve from within the hip hop community?
DWC: Yeah and no but we don’t care as we are going to do this till the end of our lifespan.
Alida: How would you describe the present state of Australian hip hop in contrast to when Def Wish Cast first came up?
DWC: In the early nineties there wasn’t the separation of the elements as now every element is separate. And a lot think if you
are getting airplay then you are the shit! Not the case! But today's scene is challenging and we like that.
Alida: Are you concerned with the current state of the hip hop scene in Australia?
Sereck: No, not really as the quality is at a higher standard and access to paint/consumer items is at hand but a little concerned
on too much and the history and I think maybe people take things for granted when its easy to get. A lot more groups should be going into proper
studios and learn sound and the difference with outboard gear in studios too home PC mixing. But as long as most of the older heads are around then
there is a stable form for education.
Alida: How do you interpret what has been repeatedly referred to as the Americanisation of hip hop in Australia?
DWC: An Australian accent speaking person MCing in an American accent doesn’t do much for us or for the Australian hip-hop
culture. It’s up to the judgement of ones self, really, and their interpretation.
Alida: How do you read the groundbreaking success of Hilltop Hoods into the mainstream market?
DWC: It was meant to happen and it’s meant to be Hilltop Hoods. We think their music has an all-round good feel for all types of
music listeners and the timing and business was right - Congrats Fellas! You need guys like this to be representing! We are glad it’s someone like
the Hoods cause there has been some weird representations.
Alida: Australian hip hop is often said to have began in the heart of Sydney's Western suburbs. Observing its swell nationwide, particularly
in Adelaide, is Sydney still holdin' it down?
DWC: The abrupt hardcore style comes from Western Sydney. Sydney is king! Sydney contains so many different styles and that’s
challenging too, we will always hold that down. We have so much going on here at the moment! This is a big city and it’s easy to get lost in it.
Alida: Name your top ten Australian hip hop releases in no particular order.
Sereck and DefWish: These are not top tens, but favourite artists and releases that come to mind for overall production...
Prowla - Money Walks
Funkoars- Greatest Hits
Brad Strut – Legendary Mixtape
Just Us -Voice of the Hunted
Hermitude – Tales of the Drift
This is a hard question ‘cause we thought of more like Hyjack n Torcha’s Drastic Measures, Katalyst, Resin Dogs new shit is amazing as well
.F&d’s shit is hot.
Alida: What do you see as next for Australian hip hop?
DWC: More acts touring overseas!
Alida: Def Wish Cast's myspace explains, "Def Wish Cast championed the importance of representing oneself by having a very identifiable style
and sounding distinctly Australian." How do Def Wish Cast plan to continue to protect the future of the Australian B-Boy?
DWC: By keeping all elements involved in our music and the way we bring our art across on our product and shows. We are a
representation of what is left from a period when hip-hop was formed from four elements.
Alida: How would you describe “The Legacy Continues" in comparison to "Knights of the Underground Table," or the even earlier EP "Mad as a
DWC: Different with age. “Mad as a Hatter” contains untampered young voices trying to find ground in the studio and ready to
take on the world from Penrith, and on “Knights” we did a more complete overall style with layering on the vocals and a more perfected approach in
the studio. On “Legacy” you have 3 MCs that have been doing this for a long time and we have gathered things from the start and bits from
Kilawattz/Celsius and also joined with a few musicians and do what comes naturally. We want a record where it is at least tackling new sound.
Alida: Name some of the themes and topics touched upon in the new album.
DWC: This is about DefWishCast in 2006 with a pinch of Knights. Topics are touching on growing up in hip-hop in School and on
"Complete" we are conquering ego and what makes us young and too keep marching on. "Head Messer" is about what makes ya head spin and that can be
relationships/Sereck’s dad/ the growing threat of war/emails being interpreted wrong and the politics. "AUS Down" is obviously patriotic and just
mentioning some friends in Australian hip-hop that have been around for a while and boosting morale.
Alida: Apart from rejecting the digital revolution which seems to be corrupting recent production dexterity, what is the motivation behind
employing so many live instruments on "The Legacy Continues"?
Sereck: There is still about 85-90% of sampling. You have to remember that half of today’s sampling banks and some virtual
instruments are sampled themselves and I can hear the difference to when I get John Stuart (Soundheaven Studios) who has played in Cuba and Boston to
play the cabassa (shaker) and pedal steel guitar live, Pauly J on real analogue keyboards (Ms 20-Korg and Nord) and Jeremy Glover on bass who know
their hip hop and you have something original and unlimited. This is about music as well and our progression with this vessel. When I have the
musicians leave my studio after some sessions then I just sit back and take and re-arranged what ever I want....nice! It’s about collecting sounds
as well and ends up in an editing frenzy.
Alida: How long did it take to complete the album?
Sereck: About 4 years of doing different remixes and me finishing the second Celsius record and plus just finding what we wanted to
do and we didn’t want to make any album that sounds like everything else, or it isn’t us.
Alida: To coincide with the release of your latest offering, will Def Wish Cast be scheduling a national tour anytime soon?
Sereck and DefWish: We want people to listen to it first ‘cause it’s a great feeling when people know your album. We’ll be
touring in October and November.
Alida: What is the story behind the hook up with Bomb Records, Tommy Tee and reaching no. 1 on Norway’s music charts?
Sereck: I can’t really remember how it comes about but Bomb Records wanted an Australian to represent and Bomb were closely knit
with a lot of LA's hip hop scene. Tommy Tee helped us push our record as he loved it when Hype magazine had sent a copy and it was in the top 10 of
most requested plays on Rainbow Radio on the Fatcap show. Proparagga went number 2 in the monthly chart for most requested and Mad as a Hatter was
charted the 9th strongest album of 92.
Interview by Alida Hoebee
©2006 OzHipHop.Com – No part of this interview can be used without permission from the Webmaster.
Fill your hand you son of a bitch.
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Good to hear the promise of another album.Please dont make us wait another 14 years.
Oz Hip Hop newb
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Def Wish Cast were a direct influence on us guys, and growing up in st marys and werrington made it easier for us knowing they were from the same area
and had kicked off the OZ hip hop seen along with Just US..We had the same influences as well, Hijack, demon boys, silver bullet etc...cheers for the
Direct - Base Dynamics
Oz Hip Hop newb
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Hip Hop TV - Australia's hottest Urban show
Welcome back Def wish cast!!!!!
Let\'s go Australian Hip Hop!!
Oz Hip Hop Member
Location: The Hill
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mad respect for these dudes, dope interview!
STILL BROKE out now!
Featuring production from 76, Cam Bluff, Dave V, DJ Butcher, Royalz & more
Featuring Raven, Esvee, Associated Illness, Ruste Juxx & more
Buy it at all good record stores or http://grhymeproductions.bandcamp.com/album/still-broke
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