Seattle emcee Sadistik has returned with his third solo album, Ultraviolet. The album is a 60s inspired psychedelic project that allows the morose rap artist to show a little more color than normal.
Dropping on July 1, Ultraviolet features appearances by Nacho Picasso, Lotte Kestner, Yes Alexander, Terra Lopez, Tech N9ne, Sticky Fingaz, and the late Eyedea. The album features production by Kid Called Computer, Eric G, SXMPLELIFE, and Maulskull.
In support of the album Sadistik will hit the road with Cage and Maulskull as part of the Destroy the Archetype tour. The tour begins on July 3 in Denver and makes stops in cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Boston, Seattle, Dallas, and San Francisco before finishing up on September 5 in Los Angeles.
Sadistik spoke with yeahstub.com about securing a verse from his late friend Eyedea, performing on the upcoming Destroy the Archetype tour, and his new album, Ultraviolet.
SS: Explain the title of your new album, Ultraviolet.
Sadistik: I knew I wanted it to be succinct and kind of represent the mood of the album. The tone was kind of a main focus of mine. I was reading a lot about ultraviolet rays and different color spectrums that some animals can recognize but humans miss. I just went into this little spiral when I thought of that album title and I thought it made sense. Plus purple was a big theme in it. I painted all of my studio walls purple when I started getting into it. When you hear the album the title makes sense.
SS: Did you really do this album on acid? I think I read that somewhere.
Sadistik: No, the guy that wrote that took some real creative liberty. I did experiment a little bit with hallucinogens while writing this album but it wasn’t like the main component at all to the creative process.
SS: How is Ultraviolet different from Flowers for My Father?
Sadistik: I think this record is a lot different from Flowers for My Father. There are pieces of Flowers for My Father in it, but this is brighter in some spots. I felt a lot more confident along the way. I was a lot more sure in my creative decisions and the direction I wanted to go with this one. Flowers for My Father really had a lot of messages and ideas to get off my head. This one was more like a mood I wanted to convey.
SS: Is it reflective of your life?
Sadistik: It definitely is. It still has my confessional style like the other stuff does but a lot of it is mood, feeling, and ambience. I took a lot of influences from psychedelic movies from the 60s and 70s – a lot of LSD movies. I just tried to weave in a lot of references that I wanted to be purposeful about and keep it all within the same color scheme of sound that I was aiming for.
SS: The Owen Hart reference on the albums first song — that kind of surprised me. Were you apprehensive about putting that lyric in there?
Sadistik: Yeah, that’s why I go, “Until they fall for me like Owen Hart/I hope that’s not in bad taste like Peter Jackson’s horror start,” [laughs]. I literally did have apprehension right when I wrote it down and then I rhymed a line about that apprehension that felt right so I kind of kept running with it.
SS: Are you a wrestling fan?
Sadistik: No, no, no. Not particularly. I like certain aspects of it a little bit but I definitely wouldn’t call myself a wrestling fan.
SS: That was kind of a long time ago, you know? I was wondering if people would get that.
Sadistik: Yeah, yeah.
SS: Talk a little about the single ‘Cult Leader’.
Sadistik: I had most of the songs on the album done at that point. I had come up with the concept of the album and the target I was aiming for at that point. I hit up the producer of it, SXMPLELIFE and described exactly what I wanted. I said I wanted a slow tempo and I wanted it to be booming, and I wanted it to go from simple and aggressive at the beginning to one large build up at the end where it’s almost like a cacophonous thing. I wanted the words to be aggressive but the flow to be laid back so it’s more menacing. When I started playing around and doing the screams in the background that’s when I got sold on the song and figured out that I really liked it.
SS: You have a song with Eyedea on it, ‘Chemical Burns’. Talk about the origins of that song. How old is that song?
Sadistik: That song was made in 2009. That’s how I initially met him, I reached out saying I really wanted to do a song with him and we became friends and toured together. We recorded that song to something Emancipator and I were working on and that project eventually got shelved. I didn’t want to release it on Flowers for My Father because the timing felt a little weird. Now that I know that the Emancipator album is shelved I wanted to update the song anyway so I gave it a little facelift, built a new beat around it, re-wrote my part, and polished everything around it to make it fit into this ultraviolet mood. I’m really happy with the song. I’m glad to finally get it out. I hate keeping that song from people. I feel like I want the diehard Eyedea fans to have another verse of his, especially if the verse is really dope. It’s in ¾ time signature – it’s kind of like a waltz. As far as I know it’s the only time he really rapped in that signature and he kills it.
SS: Tell me about the Destroy the Archetype tour.
Sadistik: That’s going to be a 40 in 45 show tour with Cage and Maulskull. We’re breaking it in two legs so it’s going to be July and August across the States. I’m going to play the new Ultraviolet stuff. This is the first time Cage has toured in years so he’s going to play the new stuff off his Kill the Archetype album. I’m excited about it. I feel this is a really good line-up top to bottom. I feel like people who come for one act are going to like all of them.
SS: What’s your favorite part of doing shows?
Sadistik: It’s tough. It’s not the most interesting answer but I really like performing. It’s exciting, frustrating, and emotional. It’s always something interesting that happens, especially in the heart of the tour when everyday you’re in the car for six hours and in you’re in hotels every night. It gets a little bit repetitive so being in the venue and all the build up to the 45 minutes that I’m on stage reminds me that it’s super interesting up there and every crowd is a little bit different. Sometimes I’m like, “Oh God, don’t go through the motions. Be in the moment.” But almost always I feel like performing is fun. There is a flow and wave to it and every show is a little bit different.
SS: Why should fans buy Ultraviolet on July 1?
Sadistik: I won’t even say they should. People can buy whatever they want. I hope they like it though. I put a lot into this album and I believe in it so we’ll see if people listen to it.
Purchase: Sadistik – Ultraviolet