"Talking about social issues isn’t really as sexy as a party song or about getting trashed all the time"
Since releasing their last album, The Herd have toured Australia over and worked on other projects, while in late 2012 the entire Elefant collective was invited to the Graphic Festival at Sydney Opera House to put on a performance deconstructing the literary works of Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr Seuss – The Herd taking on Cat In A Hat. Label co-founder, producer and Herd musician Kenny 'Traksewt' Sabir explains how invaluable the experience was for the group, as well the entire Elefant roster. “It was certainly a great honour to be the first to put on a show like this. And to be the first rap act, too. It was also great to sit back and see the cross pollination between the Elefants working outside of their respective bands and really making it work.”
It's the cross-pollination across the roster and a social conscience that keeps the artists, (Ozi Batla, Urthboy, Unkle Ho, Toe-Fu, Traksewt, Rok Poshtya, Berzerkatron, SuLo and Jane Tyrell) from constantly churning out radio-friendly, party-loud Herd material. Sabir compares their sixth album, Future Shade, to the group's previous work, explaining how The Herd's latest album reaffirms their status standing outside of mainstream rotation. “We had a certain sound that cut through (to the mainstream) earlier on but there wasn't one track that cut through to the mainstream off this last album. And we accept that; not that we would have changed anything or cut out songs – what we have we were happy with. Talking about social issues isn't really as sexy as a party song or about getting trashed all the time, that kind of stuff, you know, a lot of people connect with straight away. Social issues, you have to be either completely engrossed in the music straight away and can understand it or are accepting of people who want to say things out of the ordinary or challenge people's views. So it's definitely going to make it a smaller market and yeah, they're the choices we make.
“For example, one of the songs we had was about child abuse – My Sister's Palace – so if you were going to have in mind of having your music played loud at parties, then these wouldn't be the topics you would be talking about, but they're topics that we feel we need to discuss.”
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