Hello Everyone, Just a quick blurb to say peace and thank you to R-Juna, Philmatic, L-ion and also The Bishop for having The ProForms come down and set the stage ablaze. We had an incredible show, it was a blast. Peace to everyone that came out and enjoyed themselves. Thanks for the energy and kind words. We definitely got to do it again real soon.
Category Archives: Joe Harvey
We’ve been getting stuff together since September 2011 to make the announcement and now it’s here.
Cut Camp is…
Our single “Get Ready” actually has reach # 3 on the RapNetwork Record Breakers Chart and # 6 on RapAttackLives Chart. That is some heavy stuff. Thanks to all the DJ’s for the support and be on the look out for our new single at the beginning of the year. Cheers and Happy Holidays to everyone.
Yo! The Proforms debut single “Get Ready” has been steady on the rise on the RapAttackLives chart reaching # 10 so far and the Rap Network Record Breakers chart at # 11 so far. Keep your fingers crossed and hopefully we’ll reach even higher more loftier goals. Thank You everyone for the support. Peace.
Yo, Our Friend Dawhud over at Illin’ in the Basement was generous enough to interview us. here’s the interview or just check out the link and the rest of his blog while you’re there.
The Proforms (Cipher Sessions… the writtens)
First off… all four of the members have been rather prolific and worked on other Naptown projects. (Mudkids, Twilight Sentinels, Breakdown Kings etc.) How did this group come about and is this a one time project or do you have plans for further releases?
Joe: Twilight Sentinels were working on an EP, featuring a different person on every track. At some point in time, we were gathered at a local hooka bar- to talk, write, and listen to beats. We outgrew that space, and Skittz coerced everyone to come to his crib to hang out. Out of all of the people who hung out, the three of us (Joe, ACE & Skittz) were the only ones who continued to regularly get together. Eventually, we said fuck it, why not form a group?
Ace: Firstly, we do plan on future projects. The Proforms is an actual group. Stories may differ, but here’s mine: Long ago before the “Great Flood”, Joe Harvey always talked of forming a collective of emcees & using the name Proforms. Michael Graves aka Mike L. Knight, Shogun, etc. Of Twilight Sentinels always spoke of wanting to rock w/Skittz, myself, & Son Of Thought on a track/tracks. DJ Top Speed was on board at the time. We all began to kick it on the regular at The Egyptian Hooka Bar & Skittz’s pad(before the “Great Flood). Nutshell: We started writing & recording w/ourselves(3 emcees), Shogun, Son Of Thought, & Topspeed; some cats stayed & some split, but we’re all still real close; longtime homeboy DJ Spoolz(The Dirty Thirty) joined the fold & SHAZAAM! Here we are.
Spoolz: The Proforms were established before I ever joined the group, but I knew everyone prior to joining (seeing Ace & Joe at shows and talking a lot, same with Skittz, plus doing cuts for the Rhyme Strong, Volume 1 album… check that shit out). Last summer, Joe said they needed cuts for the album, then eventually asked me to join the group. I still do scratches for other artists, but I rep The Proforms… this is who I build with, whether it’s music, or life, or whatever. I can’t wait to start putting in work on this next project.
The Proforms: We plan on doin’ mo’ shit.
First time I met you all it was when I first moved to Indy. I remember I went to a Mudkids show and Ace was standing next to me. He nugged me and was like, “Yo, do what Rusty is saying… snap yo fingers, tap your toes.” After the show I found myself talking with Skittz about being new to the scene and networking. I had a similar experience with Joe Harvey at the MLK center when he preformed with the Twilight Sentinels. From the experience I had in Indy, the scene was very welcoming and WANTED to network and build itself up unlike other cities and scenes where there was a “crabs in a barrel” effect. Has that been the same experience for you?
Skittz: Yes, Indy has been very welcoming, and the artists here are hungry to get the city on the map, as far as hip-hop is concerned. There is a large, loosely connected network of mc’s and dj’s in the city that all hold each other down… and are all pushin’ to get themselves out there and rep Indy.
Ace: I agree w/you, because you were apart of that experience Dawhud. That was beautiful time that you speak of, bro. That’s where I’d like see Indy’s music scene be, but 20 to 100 fold.
Spoolz: Absolutely. There are a ridiculous amount of talented people in this city, and most everyone is down to help and contribute to the overall goal of getting Naptown on the map.
Joe Harvey headed up the production. Was there a certain vibe you were going for or was this just a project that evolved as the three of you began working on it?
Joe: My idea from the beginning was to make a project that was harder edged than the Twilight Sentinels album. You know, a little more grimey but, at the same time make it better sonically. I’m quite obsessed with trying to improve the quality of my music.
I know in a lot of cases, asking what a producer used to create their music can turn into a “d!ck measuring contest” and I am one that knows it doesn’t REALLY matter what you have, it’s how you freak it. BUT, I always find in interesting to hear how a beatmaker works on their product. That being said… what was your inspiration when working on the production and what sort of software/gear were you using to develop your sound?
Joe: I just wanted to make some hard hitting, golden era, boom bap banging shit. Majority of Hip Hop music to me nowadays is too damn soft.
I use Acid Pro 6.0, Sound Forge 7.0, a turntable, vinyl…and the power cosmic. Oh yeah, I did use an Akai MPC-60 for one track.
Last time I ran into Joe Harvey he was saying you were thinking about a vinyl pressing. Is that still a possibility?
Joe: Yes- anything is possible.
Ace: Whatchu got on our vinyl, Dawhud??
What’s your opinion about how over the last couple years independent releases have almost been strictly digital, i.e. bandcamp, free and physical copies have become almost non-existent?
Joe: On one side, it’s awesome as an independent artist to be able to get your music to a wider audience. The downside is that it makes music disposable in most consumers eyes… anyone can post something online these days, and it detracts from the overall quality of music.
Skittz: RIP Steve Jobs- this is the era of easy access. The “digital age” has provided listeners with such a high volume of music… it has opened things up to where artists aren’t getting the attention they used to get when vinyl and cds were popular.
The Proforms: Scheduling played a small part, but ultimately, we wanted it to be the first track on the album, and we decided to make it with just the group members.
“Hold On” has that reggae/dub vibe, which I dig. There’s something about that ish that’s on some party rocking ish. What were you trying to do with that track?
Ace: Exactly what we did… made a joint to getcha lifted.
Skittz: Ditto on that! The message in the song is uplifting…we go from a general artist PSA about not quitting and staying true to your craft, to holdin down your crew/fam, back to the PSA thing with a different flavor to it.
Prior projects you’ve worked on have had some great production, but it seems that this project seems sharper and more in tune with itself, what’s your opinion?
Ace: Yes, yes it is. We really tried to make this project a “step up” from all of our previous work. That’s the way it should be.
Skittz: Depends on who you are asking that question…both ACE and I have been involved with a high variety of production…Joe handles his own…I do state that Joe is my first choice because he’s a drum junkie and that’s my shit…but this project should seem sharper regardless though…I think we have all evolved and gotten much sharper with what we are doing. We definitely make each other better.
Joe: Yes it is.
Skittz: Joe Harvey is the Hell Boy of Boom Bap
Joe: … and boom goes the dynamite.
Skittz: Bringing it back? Nah..we doing our part to make sure it holds it’s place…it aint gone nowhere contrary to what some believe.
Spoolz: I suppose you could say that… we’re just weirdos that like our hip-hop with lyrics that rhyme and mean something, over bangin’ beats, with dope scratches. (laughs)
The dynamic of the three of you on the mic is reminiscent of how Wu was able to have this collective of different styles and allow them to mesh together instead of having these emcees all over the place. Ace has this powerful/commanding delivery that is mixed with a drawl, Skittz has that cipher/battle rapper vibe and Joe Harvey brings a lot of introspective thought provoking lines. I honestly find this combo really entertaining because you’re able to bring something to the table for everyone and keep the music interesting to the listener. Was this something you were thinking of when you formed the group and developing songs or was this something that just formed organically?
Joe: It’s something that just happened organically and we did notice it when the album was complete and we all listened to it. The reason in my opinion it works is because we all come from such different backgrounds which makes our approach to music individually diverse. But when it comes to our outlook on Hip Hop music and how it should be done and/or handled, we are in complete agreement. So that synergy is what makes The Proforms, The Proforms.
Skittz: Beee..eeaaasy mayne! I hate battle rappers…that ain’t me! Ha! Organically indeed…we focus on the notion of in some cases you have to be able to have a personal, friendly bond to manifest….we were getting used to one another, kicking it…writing a bit…more making sure we were on the same page with concepts of songs…trusting that we all had something of value that would be dope. It’s just how we are and what we do….been at this for a minute. Later in the process, Spoolz was added to the mix and brought that raw cut we wanted to add consistently. *pats Bradley (Spoolz) on the shoulder*
It is so nice hearing a DJ on a track. (period) How important was it to bring that element into the fold?
Joe: I personally think it’s a waste of time. just kidding. I think it’s one of the most important parts of Hip Hop and being in a Hip Hop group that gets overlooked or pushed to the side. A DJ’s role in a group is more than just playing your music and standing in the back. A DJ is the band leader, it’s their job to dictate the pace and mood of a show and to make sure shit runs smooth. I believe a good DJ can make or break a performance.
Skittz: Ohhh so sorry…please see above for more but Spoolz basically is our show manager and has been able to bring that dj element as a perfect compliment to the lyrics…vocal samples that he brings are better and better…that is his input lyrically for us…he likes to find things that have substance with the content of the song, and not just something that he thinks he can scratch well over…he works at it because we do too and it’s not always an easy transition into that…gotta figure out how to cut/scratch it and make sure it sounds dope.
Spoolz: What’s crazy is I often have people approach me after shows and say the same thing… it’s nice to see that people still appreciate what a DJ brings to a show.
What’s the best compliment/review you’ve ever heard regarding your music?
Joe: I don’t know. That “your music makes my pussy wet” comment is pretty difficult to top. I was speechless when that happened.
Skittz: I would say it is the constant encouragement we get from our local peeps leading up to all of this…there has never been a doubt that we are supported and heads are anxious and READY for what we have to offer. We are all respected and have individually and collectively pioneered some hip hop nostalgia. From the previous groups mentioned to small bits of inroads along the way….Imma say the intro to the album says it all…so cop it and listen..hearing that is a compliment to me because it speaks to how this all came together….the wet kitty comment never hurts…this is not sex music but if it add moisture to your lift *HIGH FIVE*
Hit ‘em with the product.
The Proforms debut album “Atavism” will be available 10/25/11 at:
- Amazon Digital
- Juno Digital
- Medianet Stores
- Mobile Outlets
Hey, follow us…seriously.
also Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theproforms
Upcoming shows in October:
October 5th – Dave & Rob’s 10 Year Melody Inn Anniversary 5 Day Extravaganza! @ Melody Inn (3826 N. Illinois St. Indianapolis, IN) Doors at 8pm $5
Just wanted to write a more personal welcome to everyone/anyone to The Proforms site and to inform the people what this will be about. Here you’ll find music, pics and ramblings of all shapes and sizes. You’ll also find links to our friends and colleagues sites and anything else that might keep our attention for any length of time. So enjoy and we’ll try to keep it interesting. peace.