On Monday, April 11th, I caught Random Citizens performing at the Dragonfly bar.
State your names for the record, please.
Brian: What up, this is Brian.
Mike: Mike. What’s good?
Alright, cool. And what’s your name.
Random citizen: I’m not part of the group.
What are you doing here?
Random citizen: I’m filming them.
Oh, I’d like to see it.
Random citizen: It probably won’t be done until May.
Alright, I’ll look for it. Ok, so what’s up? What’s going on? Which one of you is the talkative one?
Mike: Ya, what’s good. I’m always on the mic, Mike is always on the mic with Random Citizens. We do a lot of shows, we’re like a hip-hop fusion band that does slapping ass shit. Right?
How do you guys know each other?
Mike: We’re out of L.A. but we’re from all over. I’m from Pomona. He’s from Whidbey Island…
Vazif: I’m from the Bay Area.
[Editor’s Note: According to Brian’s Facebook, he’s from San Jose]
So how did you come together?
Vazif: School, ya. We all just play music everywhere with a bunch of different people and eventually, it just happened.
How long have you been playing together as Random Citizens?
Brian: Seven month?
Mike: Ten months?
Brian: Ya, almost a year now.
Danny: We started last June.
Vazif: So last June. What’s the math until now? It’s April.
I fail at math and calendars.
Mike: Ya, ten months.
So, you’ve playing a lot of shows and getting better.
Vazif: They’ve been playing a lot of clubs, but I’ve finally been getting into it with them now.
Ya, with the live drums?
And it’s better playing with the live drums.
Mike: Ya, it’s different we can do different shit. The drums give it a more live feel. But, I mean, they’re all equally as good but the drums give it that extra kick.
Vazif: We’re trying to make people dance.
So your on the drums. And you are…
Brian: Mega-producer extraordinaire.
That’s important. To make it all sound good.
Vazif: Ya, make sure we’re not going acapella.
You guys played USC last weekend.
Mike: We opened for Mos Def.
How did that go?
Mike: It was dope. I mean we had a pretty big turn out for going on so early. And we got to meet Mos Def, which was cool.
How was his set?
Mike: Mos Def’s? It was dope. I heard they had a fight.
Vazif: Ya there was.
Mike: I heard. It was dope live, a dope experience. We got to sell some mech.
Danny: We gave Mos Def a sweater with the logo on it.
Mike: It was a pretty fun day.
Do you each do anything on your own, or separately from Random Citizens.
Vazif: Ya we all have side-projects.
Mike: That’s kind of how this all came about. We started working on my solo project called The Hitchhikers Guide to Insanity. And he [Brian] produced the whole thing, and he [Danny] hosted and DJ’ed the whole thing, and he [Vazif] drummed on a couple of the songs. So that’s the beginning of the entire thing. And then we formed Random Citizens. And now we’re planning to put out a project with all of us collectively working on it instead of us just piecing things together. Like all four minds on everything.
Danny: So we all work on the tracks together. I mean, on the first project we all worked on the tracks…but he had all the beats—
Vazif: Ya, he’d have the beat and I’d go and play drums on it, then he’d go and put vocals on it.
Mike: Exactly. For the most part I already had lyrics already kind of in mind, but now we have four minds on the song. I’m a solo hip-hop artist, he DJ’s at clubs all the time, he drums in two bands…
Vazif: …a funk band, Funky Slippers.
Brian: I produce for some bay acts.
Mike: We all work with other artists. We work with his boy from Pomona. Leeboy.
Danny: Leeboy swag.
Mike: He’s coming out with a new hit, it’s called SLAP SLAP. It’s going to be the greatest shit.
Brian: And also bands, recording bands.
What’s coming up that we should know about?
Right now we’re working on the EP to come out. Basically it’s going to be a five or six track EP with some of the best songs from the guys with some new songs mixed and mastered. Ready to push officially. Because the first release was kind of a free mix tape. I’m putting out another mix tape, just in the process of doing it. Plus we have a lot of B-sides that are out. And [Brian]’s going to come out with mix-tape soon for sure. I know [Danny]’s coming out with DJ mixes. We want to come out with live shit.
Vazif: I mean, we an album that’s been coming out for a year and a half now
Brian: Experimental shit. Me and Mike are going to put out Doobie Houser.
Mike: Doobie Houser. And then also we have a clothing line we’re working on right now called Random Citizens. Crew neck, sweaters.
Vazif: Sweaters hats shirts t-shirts. Booty short.
Mike: in the next couple weeks we’ll have the online site up, so you can buy merch on there. Pretty swag.
Danny: The single She’s a Fox is coming out.
Brian: Oh ya!
Mike: That’s big. That is big!
He doesn’t talk a lot but when he does it’s important. Do you have a music video for that?
Vazif: We’re in the process.
Mike: We got two other videos in the process, one for Up and Up and I think we’re still going to do that other one. Maybe maybe not.
Mike: A lot of video’s in the works.
It sounds like you guys have a lot going on.
Brian: Too much. We’re trying to take advantage of every opportunity.
Alright you haven’t talk much, what do you have to say?
Brian: What’s my deal?
Ya. Ok, you’re a producer. So that means a lot of shit.
Brian: To be honest, this is all much bigger than I ever thought it was going to be. At the beginning it was just me and Mike just joking around. Maybe we’ll make a mix-tape, maybe something will come of it. Then these guys were chill and wanted to hop on board. We all have our own talents that we love doing, so we decided to put all our minds together instead. Now people are feeling it, people are coming out to these show. Things are happening for us.
Any freestyles, anybody freestyle.
Mike: Give me a beat.
Alright, waybe we’ll save it for later.
Vazif: Ya let me get a few more drinks.
You guys are about to play a set, what’s the pregrame for the show? How do you get ready?
Danny: A couple of beers, some meditation.
Mike: Get all the text messages out. Check some tweets, tweet the world, let them know that we’re about to go on. Not really. Just talk some outlandish shit so I can lose like four followers today.
Vazif: I just drink a lot of whiskey usually. Not tonight though, it’s Monday.
Mike: Fiesta starburst on deck.
Brian: Peanut M&M’s
Vazif: Barbeque pop-chips.
Mike: Pop-chips, ya.
Danny: Make sure you check out the homey Virus.
Mike: He’s the MC. I don’t think he’s here yet. I haven’t seen him. Ya, he’s an MC but I think he’s spitting out here.
Danny: Is it a freestyle thing out here?
Mike: I don’t know. Freestyle, spoken-word, open mic. He’s nasty, though.
You play shows with him a lot?
Mike: This is actually the first show we’re doing with him. He’s just a homey.
Danny: He’ll let us do rap shis at their shows, which is cool cuz they’re like raves.
Mike: So we basically do rap sets in the middle of raves. So it’s the break.
Brian: We really haven’t done the same type of show more than once. It’s always a different crowd.
Mike: Minus the Bar Melody residency.
Brian: Ya that’s like home turf.
Mike: Once a month on a Thursday we throw a free show at Bar Melody on Sepulveda and invite one of our homies to come perform. First time we had Rob Roy come and do a show with us. The second time we had The 87 Stick Up Kids. So it’s basically our homies who are doing music in the area come party with us for the night. A bunch of college kids come out for the night.
Alright, fuck. I’m going to chill with this beer for a second.
Mike: Random Citizens!
Mike: Shouts to Miley Cyrus and Mackenzie Lee Kirk. And Sam Shirizu everyone who works with us.
Vazif: Raul Guerro.
Mike: Ryan Sheckler. Nicholas Cage, no fuck Nicholas Cage.
Brian: Ya, Stussy.
Mike: Shout out to Stussy. Shout out to Dancism. Shout out to all the people I fuck with…people with hairy nipples.
Brian: To the manager of course, Mapuana Hom. We used to party with that girl, now she’s managing us.
Mike: Mapi’s cool. Her shows good as fuck
[Check out Mapi’s show WHATEVER WEDNESDAYS on KXLU 88.9 3-6PM]
Vazif: Shout out to all the bad bitches…and foxes.
Mike: And shout out to The Space God
Mike: Oh, oh! Shout out to Wendy Peffercorn.
Danny: Oh, shit. That’s it.