City Pages recently caught up with Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson to talk about their new group The Uncluded, their debut album Hokey Fright, and the ongoing Hokey Fright Tour (in the Midwest this weekend!). An excerpt is below, click here to read the full piece.

You both have fans of hip-hop and folk rock, what do you want your fans and new listeners to grasp from this record?

AR: I don't know if I ever think of things that way. For us, it was was therapeutic and fun. You're so in a bubble when you're creating it that you don't know what you did until its in your hands, shrink-wrapped. You get scared at the last minute. I always forget I put all of this stuff on a record forever and now its going to come out. I think it's better for me to block out that people are going to hear it. In hindsight, it's cool to see the people who do get the record. There's been a lot of "how do these two people even know each other and how are they friends" and not attempting to get it. The flipside is that the people who really get it tend to say, "Whatever you guys did is resonating with me and I don't know why but it's working."

KD: Like he said, I never go into a project imagining other people hearing it. It's always cathartic getting shit off of my chest. It's been awesome hearing what different people say about the way we are approaching grief creatively and talking openly about loss. There have been people who have come up to me after shows. There was a guy who said his mom died a month ago and one kid who lost a friend that morning. Talking about the hard stuff, people are needing to hear that stuff in such a frank way. Also, you can be friends with people you don't expect them to be friends with and you can work together. You don't have to do what people expect. You can be bummed out and hopeful at the same time. You can laugh your way through the hard shit and not have to be alone.

AR: A lot of people write songs about loss or stuff we're talking about. It's hard to find anyone who's feeling the same way I am about it. My reaction to this tragedy is this and everyone else is reacting in their own way which is totally normal and expected. But it's difficult to find someone who can identify within those scenarios and it can lead to bottling things up and not dealing with a lot of it. Even though there's thousands of songs about loss, love; maybe there isn't the right song out there for you or to connect with who you are and what kind of weirdo you are in the world. It seems like people coming up to us are finding that in this record and it's fucking awesome. I think me and Kimya made these songs because we're both like, Wow, I feel like a weird alien and can't find anyone who feels the same way about this that I do. We found some similarities in our reactions and that's a difficult thing to find.

KD:That's the cool and important thing about music: that everybody needs to receive certain messages in a different way. I know I won't be issued pop success probably but the kids who need to hear what I'm saying in the way that I say it, that means everything to them.


Pick up Hokey Fright on CD or Vinyl from Fifth Element, digitally from iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and listen on Spotify.

The Uncluded: Facebook | Twitter | #TheUncluded
Aesop Rock: AesopRock.com | 900bats.com | Facebook | Twitter | Google+
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