For Australian hip hop metal artist KidCrusher it seems that out of the darkness came the light, or at least an incredibly successful career. Internationally regarded for his dark and diverse blend of rap, metal and hardcore.
Since he first began making music over a decade ago, KidCrusher has released 12 studio albums, toured extensively opening for Insane Clown Posse (ICP) and Tech N9ne, as well as headlined the release party for EB Games’ Grand Theft Auto V in South Australia. He’s even had his music featured on every ones favorite legal drama, “Law and Order.” Just like ICP has struck gold, and platinum, with the countless albums they’ve released over the years creating an unshakable empire on the basis of being “The most hated band in the world,” KidCrusher took societal ostracism and turned it into a golden throne of Horrorcore stardom. Juggalos around the world know him and they never fail to show their support.
Last year KidCrusher’s most recent album “Metal Murder 3D” took home Metal Album of the Year at the Faygoluvers Music Awards. For the award, which is determined by public vote, KidCrusher was up against other international heavy weights in the metal genre including Mushroomhead, Cannibal Corpse and Hed PE, but KidCrusher’s fans spoke the loudest.
Earlier on in his career KidCrusher’s song ‘F**ked Up’ was featured on the Tunnel Runners compilation released by Psychopathic Records, one of ICP’s labels, which debuted on the Billboard Rap Charts at #21.
In addition to writing and performing all of his own material, KidCrusher creates the majority of the beats and plays most of the instruments heard on his tracks; and he continues to come up with new and innovative material. Anyone who has seen some of the music videos that he has released to date, whether they are fans of metal or not, will agree hands down that KidCrusher has a unique talent for creating videos that powerfully support his music. From videos like “Meet The Monstors” and “Alice In Zombieland” it’s easy to see that he knows how to effectively deliver intense visual stories that often make viewers feel as though they are watching a horror film.
His impressive skill in that regard has definitely not gone unnoticed in the film industry either. Over the last few years KidCrusher has been tapped to lend his musical genius to films like the 2015 post-apocalyptic Australian flick “From Parts Unknown: Fight Like A Girl,” for which he composed an intense and original metal score in addition to handling the film’s sound design. He also did the sound design and composed the score for the upcoming film “Sheborg Massacre.
To find out more about KidCrusher make sure to check out our interview below!
You can also check out his music and find out about upcoming releases through his website: http://kidcrusher.com/
And follow him on social media at:
Where are you from? What was it like growing up there?
KC: I was born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia. I grew up in a suburban town with my mother and two siblings, sadly my father passed away when I was only 6 months old. Throughout my childhood and high school years I was labeled as an outcast therefor I spent a lot of time on my own. I’ve always loved Adelaide though, can’t seem to stay away longer than a week without getting home sick.
How and when did you get into music?
KC: With so much free time on my hands, I fell into creativity and entertainment with movies and music. I was attracted to creating music at a very young age inspired by hardcore hip hop as it was so restricted for me to listen to, that did nothing but power my urge to want it even more. I started my first rap group at the age of 12 and released 2 albums on cassette tape (around 1998), when I reached high school I was introduced to metal music and assembled my own cover band but everything kept falling apart due to the lack of commitment from other members. At this time I wanted to go solo when I discovered a breed of darker hip hop that was mixed with death metal, two genres I was fascinated with. When I released my first single, the music video went viral and it really gave me the drive to do it professionally. Not long after that I gained a massive following internationally online and that was back in 2005.
How many instruments do you play and how long have you been playing each?
KC: I’ve played guitar, bass, programmed drums, piano and vocals for all about the same amount of time since, pretty much since I started back in 1998, but I am more focused on vocals, guitar and sound engineering. I do a lot of production work on my albums, along with the help of various other producers on some occasions. I have recorded all of my albums since 2007 in a home studio I call “The kCave.” I studied music and sound engineering at Tafe SA and worked under two different recording studios before building my own.
What does music do for you?
KC: I still remember the first time I recorded a track to mp3 and burnt it onto a CD and listened to it on my sound system, it was almost like giving birth to a child and it became so addicting and exciting. I became my own biggest fan in a way, I wasn’t concerned about having fans or playing shows, I just wanted to make music for my own entertainment and then I shot my own music videos to begin with in my backyard. I honestly never thought it would go any further than that. Music is and was my way of ventilation. That’s how I feel a lot of my fans have connected in some ways more than others, because I let out a lot of personal feelings as well as fictional entertainment for those who want some fun.
Why are you passionate about playing music?
KC: Music has always been like my best friend forever, I connect so well with it that to me, music is my life, career, and the past, present and future of me. Every time I finish an album I say to myself “I’ll take a mini-break and relax for a bit” and it never happens, it pulls me back in. I feel so separated without it. I don’t know if it’s boredom or the drive for that amazing feeling of creating a masterpiece. Ever since I gained a following, I feel like I owe them everything for everything they’ve done for me, I still feel like I haven’t given back enough, even with 12 albums under my belt, they always ask me for more and I feel guilty it takes so long to release albums in the present time of my career, because I always look at my last album and want to do better than that because I know I can and I’ll refuse to rush an album for the sake of releasing an album these days. Overall I’d say my music is an artwork, a symbol, a decade of my life and one of the most amazing rides I feel so privileged to be a part of. It will always be somewhere that feels like home to me.
Who are some of your music influences, and how have they influenced you?
KC: SPICE1 was the first rapper that brought me into the dark side of rap, it was when I heard the “Tales from the Hood” soundtrack in primary school. Prior to that Slipknot, Korn, Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit for their emotional and personal connection with music as well as the rap-metal influence. System of a Down, Mudvayne, Fear Factory and Marilyn Manson are some more metal influences, as well as a strong inspiration from the Australian industrial grind group The Berzerker for motivation of getting music done with or without anybody, and of course for their extreme brutality and character. I would have to say Insane Clown Posse and Twiztid are probably my biggest influences for pursuing my dream and creating KidCrusher as I never felt so connected with any other music, it made me want to represent their following and become a part of their world.
How would you describe your personal music style?
KC: It’s hard to put my entire catalogue into one genre, as I love to venture out into several styles. So my album can go from straight hip hop, to metal rap, to death metal, to Dubstep, to industrial, to comedy skits. Overall people would consider me apart of the Horrorcore genre and a Juggalo rapper.
Have you played on or written any songs used for film, television or commercial projects— if so, can you tell me which songs and which projects they have been used in?
KC: My song “A Dirty Fuckin Murder” alongside the music video was featured on TV’s “Law and Order” in the episode “Steel-eyed Death,” which I made headlines in magazines such as the New York Times for. The episode was based on the Farmville murders killer “Sam McCroskey” who was a fan of my music in real life.
I created an original musical score and did the sound design for two Australian films by Strongman Pictures entitled “From Parts Unknown: Fight Like A Girl” and the upcoming release “Sheborg Massacre.” They also produced several of my music videos including “Back To The KidCrusher” and “Alice In Zombieland.”
Alice In Zombieland was a short film for a KidCrusher song with the same name, which screened in cinemas around Australia during the Monster Fest Trasharama.
Can you tell us about some of the music videos you’ve released so far
KC: ‘A Dirty Fuckin Murder’ was the first music video I ever shot for my band, KidCrusher, and the song is featured on the album “Light to Dark and Life to Death.”
‘Meet The Monstors’ was the first professional KidCrusher music video I did and it was produced by Strongman Pictures. The video came together after I requested to produce a song for the soundtrack of a film they were developing. It was shot inside Aradale Mental Asylum in the outback of Melbourne, Australia. The theme of the video/song was that of the script of the movie (Love, Lobotomy and Zombies). Fangoria Magazine also covered the production. The song is featured on the album “Cannibal Clown.”
‘The Naughty List’ is the second KidCrusher music video produced by Strongman Pictures; with my spin-off side Christmas project based on the movie “Dr. Suess’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas” with Jim Carrey. The video brings in more of a serial killer tone than the original; the song alone is about killing evil people in my home town on Christmas eve.
‘Heavily Medicated’ was another video for my band that was produced by Strongman Pictures. We shot the video in an abandoned building and the song is about my struggle with depression over not being able to perform for my fans in the United States and being treated like an animal and drowning in the past. The song was released as a single and given away free online.
For the music video for the KidCrusher song ‘Alice In Zombieland’ Strongman Pictures came to me with an idea about shooting a short film/music video inside a role playing zombie factory based on Alice in Wonderland. The song for the movie was also featured on my album “Metal Murder 3D” and the video also screened in cinemas for Monster Fest / Trasharama.
The music video for ‘Back To The KidCrusher,’ produced by Strongman Pictures, was created to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of starting my career as KidCrusher. It also happened to synchronize with “Back To The Future Day” October 21, 2015. Back to the Future is my all-time favorite movie so I wanted to theme a music video towards the film and time travelling back to “2005” when I started KidCrusher to remix my first single “A Dirty Fuckin Murder”. We also had a DeLorean in the video and special effects. After the music video features a 30 minute documentary entitled “Ten Years Of KidCrusher” which highlights the albums and moments in my career.
What do you think separates you from other musicians? What makes you good at what you do?
KC: Not to be completely cocky about it, but I believe I’m one of the hardest working, and most successful independent underground musicians in Australia. What other artist has done 12 studio albums in 10 years, and produced movie grade music videos and scores for films? Has toured with major artists and did it all without management, a label, or basically buying their way on stage or into promotions. I’ve done everything with nobody but me, my music and my fans to get me there and I’ve done all of it from bottom of The Underground of the Industry. I’ve never had commercial radio play or major promotion, I’ve written recorded and released and distributed everything from my own CDs, DVDs, MP3s and a clothing line all myself and have the determination to take it even further.
America has had hype building for me since 2008, I feel like I’m that animal in a cage, waiting for be given my chance to be with my fans and really give the world what I have got. Just in Australia I’ve played by request for Insane Clown Posse, Tech N9ne, Hed(pe), Mushroomhead, Hopsin and more. I’m the outcast of hip hop and metal, I’m the underdog that succeeded by being rejected by the world and taken to an underworld of music. In the tunnels we run and you will find me, under the ground.
How do you feel when you’re playing on stage? Was it something you had to get used to, or were you immediately comfortable in front of the crowd?
KC: I still have stage fright from time to time, it’s kind of like, you snap out of character and start to think, and that’s the point I slow down - the normal stage you just flow with the music and you’re on pure adrenaline, that’s what I love. It’s definitely something I had to prepare for physically as well, as I’m not very fit, as I was never planning on performing live when I first started so to this day, I need a few months to prepare for a tour. Most of my songs are too difficult to perform live as well so there is only a small list that works. The more I’ve performed over the years, I’ve definitely progressed and I feel more powerful than ever up there today. It’s something that’s become an addiction like the production of my albums.
Aside from playing music in the bands you play with, do you write any of the music or lyrics—if so please tell me about some of the songs where you had the biggest role in that aspect/ where you got your inspiration/ what the collaboration process was like?
KC: I write all of my music, usually the beats as well. Inspiration comes from various things in most cases when I first started KidCrusher, I studied a lot of serial killers and cannibals through documentaries and online. Not because I love or support it in anyway, but because of the shock factor in entertainment. I wanted to produce a horror movie on stage / or / in your mind. My albums are designed the way a movie soundtrack is put together, there’s sounds you’d usually hear from movie scores, intros intermissions outros, as well as the amount of skits and samples I use. Other inspirations come from real life situations or movies which I twist into an original tale.
What do you hope to achieve in your career as a musician?
KC: Continue to have a die-hard fan base and of course touring the world and making music full time. I have conquered a few of my goals already, which was to share the stage with a few of my influences; Insane Clown Posse, Tech N9ne and The Berzerker..