Talkin’ Shit with Ivan Ooze

Ahead of his headline tour we got to have a chat with rapper extraordinaire Ben Townsend AKA Ivan Ooze about his new mix tape, touring with big names, music festivals appearances and KFC.

Vulture Magazine: Is it exciting to finally be doing a headline tour again? What can expect from these shows?

Ivan Ooze: Yeah, it’s exciting. I haven’t really done one in a while. We’ve even had about a months rest from performing in general, so it’ll be something different. New songs, new stage show, I guess that’s what you can expect.

VM: What was it like getting the opportunity to tour with Wu-Tang clan? There were some haters who weren’t happy about your slot, what would you say to them?

IO: I’d probably just tell the haters to (fuck) themselves to be honest. I learnt heaps from just chilling with them…I got to interact with them so much on tour. I learnt from them and then I guess now I’m trying to incorporate it in my stage show with new ideas. The tour was actually incredible, a really really good experience.

VM: You are playing Groovin in the Moo in Bendigo real soon, how stoked are you about playing this festival and who are you excited to see play on the day?

IO: I’m definitely stoked. I’m probably most excited to see Danny Brown. I’ve seen him before but I was behind him, so I want to be in the crowd this time. My friends at Beyond The Valley were like, “it was the most insane set” and I’m thinking “damn why wasn’t I in there”; actually shattered.

VM: Your new mix tape is called 93’ KFC Rotisserie Gold, as well as the tour, why did you decide to call it this? What significance does it have to you?

IO: In 1993 KFC were the first corporation to advertise Rotisserie chicken on Australian television. It was completely new and everyone wanted to try it at the time. So that’s why I named the mix tape after it, it’s a new flavour and a new thing that has come out that everyone wants to try or listen to. If you like it, you like it, if you don’t, you don’t.

VM: How does this mix tape differ to your other releases? What made you want to put it out for free?

IO: I get a little bit deeper in this one and there’s a couple more party vibes and more melodic raps and hooks like that. It’s on bandcamp for free because there’s some tunes that I rap over, but can’t put out as my own and sell as a CD or whatever. I don’t encourage people to buy it or ‘donate’ but they can donate.

VM: You are pretty explosive on stage and you have your DJ and your mate pumping up the stage with you and singing out backing vocals. Did you decide on this dynamic?

IO: I’ve never seen a hip-hop act do this in Australia like besides, Thundamentals. I’m not just a rapper, I’m an entertainer, so I wanted to put more in my show so people could get more out of it. It causes attention; people think “wow” that dude just did a flip. You want people to get hyped; you want them to have fun throughout the whole day, even early on.

VM: Do you eat a lot of KFC?

IO: Me and my friends have this thing where we just call it “tucky” and they all just eat it non-stop and they post pictures of KFC into the group chat, but they eat it way more than I do. I thought it was a catchy name for a mix tape, but they just eat heaps of shit. I don’t understand how they can eat so much KFC (laughs).

VM: What’s the craziest moment you’ve ever experienced as a performer, so far?

IO: At the end of the Wu Tang tour in Brisbane, Raekwon pulled us aside and we thought he was going to yell at us for something. But then he gave us props and then all of the Wu Tang clan came over and gave us props. He said “Not many people can come out before us and do what you did, and for that we’re going to drink.” It was the craziest moment because I got props from someone I used to listen to when I used to skate growing up. I fanboy-ed over that, my hype man that does the flips said that he almost cried.

Ivan Ooze’s new mixtape ’93 KFC Rotisserie GOLD is out now.

Ivan Ooze ’93 KFC Rotisserie Gold Tour Dates
*Tickets on sale at www.ivanooze.com.au

Sat 23 April, The Grass Is Greener, Cairns
Sat 30 April, Groovin’ The Moo, Bendigo
Thu 12 May, Jimmy’s Den, Perth
Fri 13 May, Arcade Nightclub, Joondalup
Sat 14 May, Rocket Bar, Adelaide
Thu 19 May, Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Fri 20 May, Agenda Nightclub, Toowoomba
Sat 21 May, Flinders Social, Townsville
Fri 27 May, Karova Lounge, Ballarat
Sat 28 May, Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Thu 02 June, Rad, Wollongong
Fri 03 June, Newtown Social Club, Sydney
Sat 04 June, The Small Ballroom, Newcastle (U18) – day
Sat 04 June, The Small Ballroom, Newcastle – night

Sara Tamim

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