That Handsome Devil
"The blinking of a billion lights/a city dressed in dynamite"
If the city is dressed in dynamite, Godforbid and That Handsome Devil just light the fuse. And as the night's sky is lit up by the explosion all of the dirt, neglect, pain, injected chemicals, abuse, fear, hatred, will be exposed in a flash and then burned. In a blaze of eleven tracks, singer/rapper Godforbid spins bar stool tales of poverty, drug abuse (legal and illegal), and a solid level of pain that is about erupt and kick down the doors of every company in every industrial complex in America. His words are real and biting, covered in grim and booze, a snapshot of the underground crashed and bleeding.
Ok, before I get you too concern, musically A City Dressed in Dynamite is a wonderful mix of Tom Waits, Gogol Bordello, and G. Love (if he decided to grow a pair and stop singing about basketball and lemonade). It is jazzy jive talk, poetry, and rap. Godforbid has seen the darkness of the night, deep and substantial, and moved through it all into the mornings harsh and unforgiving light. He is not only the frontman for That Handsome Devil, he is also member of the rap crew Alaskan Fisherman, and he has managed to blend rap and rock in a way that has never been done before.
Recently, Godforbid was kind enough to answer a few of my questions.
Orange Alert (OA): The artwork that is included with your new album, A City Dressed in Dynamite, by Neil Parkinson is amazing. How did you come to work with Neil Parkinson, and what are your thoughts of his take on each song?
Godforbid (THD): As far as I know he doesn't exist; we've only communicated in brief conversation through hi-tech devises, but he understood and was down for the movement. It's all puzzle pieces, the skill is knowing when you see the right one. I think it looks perfect.
OA: You have called the music of That Handsome Devil "Fringe Pop". What makes this music fringe pop?
THD: At times it seems out of control; moving frantic, saying things you shouldn't. But wears it well, and knows how to get away with it in public.
OA: The various themes of this album, specifically in songs like "Kiss the Cook" and "Pills", cover some very dark issue. Do you feel this album speaks to a specific generation?
THD: Addiction and emptiness were around long before you and me; the things we treat it with are generational. In that sense; this is for us.
OA: In an interview I read you made the statement, "in control when I lose control". How big of an influence is alcohol on your music and writing?
THD: The music and writing are just the left-over's of life; we eat life and shit art. At the meal I drink.
OA: Is there anything brewing with Alaskan Fishermen?
THD: The new album is dirty and raw, it's got an untamed intelligence that's frightening and dark. We'll put it out when we get around to it.
OA: What's next for That Handsome Devil?
THD: Giant magic tricks.
A City Dressed in Dynamite
Side A: Damn Door/Wintergreen/Rob The Prez-O-Dent/Pills For Everything/Cry/Kiss The Cook
Side B: Viva Discordia (mp3)/Squares/Mexico/Reagan's Kids/Treefood
For more information on That Handsome Devil please visit their website, and to purchase your copy of A City Dressed in Dynamite go here.