We interviewed DarkoTheSuper. Or was it Doc Heller? Dwarf Nebula? Either way, we discussed his latest albums and who/what inspired his offbeat personas.
Being fans of some of the most mysterious and eccentric alter egos in hip hop (Madlib/Quasimoto/YNQ, DOOM/Viktor Vaughn/King Geedorah and Kool Keith/Dr. Octagon/Dr. Dooom amongst others), we’re happy to embrace the many faces of Evan Souza. Whether he takes the form of DarkoTheSuper, Doc Heller or Dwarf Nebula, his music transcends a lot of styles and personas between both production and rapping. We caught up with the master of nom de plumes and talked over a number of topics including his latest joint, Loser, and who he’s loving in the UK at the moment.
Sampleface: First off: who are we talking to now – DarkoTheSuper, Dwarf Nebula or…?
DarkoTheSuper: Doc Heller or Darko, either or. Dwarf’s doing a bid for sticking up a Blockbuster right now, he’ll be out soon though. #FreeDwarf!
SF: Tell us about your new projects – Loser and Good Little Automaton Droids.
DTS: Well I went in depth about “Loser” for the Indiegogo campaign, so I’ll try to keep it to a minimum here cos I could talk all day about this album. But I’ll say it’s definitely my best work yet, probably the best thing I’ve done with my life. It may be the greatest weirdo rap concept album since “MM.. Food.” That’s how strongly I believe in it. It’s all about accepting yourself or even who you want to be for whoever that is. “Loser” comes from the song that got me into Beck, who is one of my heroes. I felt like a loser for not going to prom so I start listening to that song over and over till I started laughing like Donnie Darko before the tangent universe ends. (*Spoiler Alert*) When it comes to GLAD, that was pretty much my greatest hits of the beats I made in 2013. There’s no clear theme, it’s more of a compilation album, but I’m still really happy with it. And I’m very glad it was released by such a great label like Lunatick Records. The title “Good Little Automaton Droids” comes from my favorite movie from my childhood “Mystery Men.” Which is also the film I take my producer alias from, Doc Heller. I used one of my favorite Mr. Furious quotes for the title because it seemed to fit the content in a way, I’m not sure why but it just felt right.
SF: Would you say they’re your best projects yet?
DTS: Yet, yes. But I’m working on a new rap album titled “Buck Naked The Movie God Vs. Buddy Jesus & The Keanu Reeves Statue” that might explode minds and grow em back like Robot Santa. Plus I just completed “Loop Diggin’ In The 8th Dimension 2” and that’s pretty damn great as well.
SF: You’re known for your wacky flow and obscure lyricism. Where would you say you get that from?
DTS: “Who he got his style from? His pops.” Shout out to Fred Farkle. I take in my environment, my situation, pop culture, things I enjoy, mix it in a stew, eat it, then proceed to puke it into a rhyme. I gotta credit my influences, MF DOOM, Eyedea, Beck, Frank Zappa, Murdoc, MyGrane McNastee, ODB, Del The Funky Homosapien, and many others. Listening to them helped me mold my own flavor using their spices. I look at everything like sampling, even lyrics. I take parts of all this poetry and time stretch it, pitch shift it, throw a filter on it and call it the new shit.
SF: When did you start making beats?
DTS: About four or five years ago I guess. I started rapping first but realized I would need my own production to start selling my work so I downloaded a free trial of a software called Mixcraft and have been using it to this day. I love it.
SF: What sort of music did you listen to growing up?
Eminem, Jay Z, 50 Cent, Kanye West, Gorillaz, Sum 41, Tony Hawk Pro Skater Soundtracks, Mike Jones, whatever was popular at the time. I was dumb.
SF: What was the first hip hop track that caught your attention?
DTS: Probably “The Real Slim Shady” cos I thought it was funny. I wanna say my older brother had it on cassette and that’s how I got to listen to it. I also really liked “The Day I Beat Shaq” by Aaron Carter.
SF: Who influences your style and the multiple alter egos?
DTS: Well the alter ego dynamic comes from wanting to be like DOOM, Madlib or even Kool Keith. The whole superhero aspect and being a man of mystery. Also Donnie Darko was a paranoid schizophrenic I might as well be one too. “The Dark One, take apart guns with my mind like The Sphinx. Terribly mysterious, you can ask my shrink…”
SF: Do you think it is important to have a musical background, whether it be classically trained or just learning an instruments?
DTS: No not really. I know nothing at all about the technical side of music. I can’t even count bars and I definitely can’t play any instruments besides a computer. I think the main thing is to “PLAY FROM YOUR FUCKING HEART!” as the great Bill Hicks would say. Just do what yah love and love what yah do and it will come to you.