I caught up with Los Angeles-based duo Inc., Andrew Aged (right, age 28) and Daniel Aged (left, age 26), after a recent show at Voyeur nightclub in Philly. Shortly after we sat down, we were joined by Philly alt-rapper Spank Rock (aka Naeem Juwan) and MORRIS, who is one of the producers of Spank Rock’s in-progress third album. What was intended to be a quick interview turned into a relaxed 45-minute conversation. Here are the highlights:
SPANK ROCK: Obviously, Maxwell is an influence on your vocal style. Who’s an influence that people would not expect?
ANDREW: Hmm. Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins.
PORTADELPHIA: Your live show has more of a rock sensibility than your recorded stuff so that makes sense to me.
SPANK ROCK: Tell us about growing up. What was that like?
PORTADELPHIA: Is it just the two of you or are there more siblings?
ANDREW: It’s just the two of us. A lot of people think we’re twins but we’re 14 months apart. We grew up in Monterey, California - the Bay area.
SPANK ROCK: You live in LA now. Do you draw a lot of inspiration from LA?
ANDREW: We spend a lot of time in the musician scene, playing with different people. Like, I toured with Robin Thicke, and worked with people like Pharell and 50 Cent. Daniel’s toured with Raphael Saadiq. Being in LA lets us work with a lot of great people.
PORTADELPHIA: Tell us about signing to 4AD.
ANDREW: They came to one of the early shows we did. I think it was our first show in New York. We didn’t have much music out but they came out. We really got along with them on a personal level. I think they could see where we were going or what we wanted to do. We signed with them in 2011. Our friend’s band, Ariel Pink, had signed with them. Our roommate, Kenny [Gillmore], plays keyboard in that band. I don’t know how it worked but they came to see us, and then we just clicked.
PORTADELPHIA: You said 4AD saw your vision. What is that vision?
ANDREW: We want to make good music, write great songs, put a feeling out there. We want to give back in a way to some of the people that created this energy. Like when you hear Marvin Gaye and you feel that soul and energy? That music feels like healing to us. I remember the first time we heard [D’Angelo’s album] Voodoo that changed our life for the better. We want to keep that feeling alive in our own way.
It’s nearing 100 degrees one afternoon in July when Spank Rock orders his first frozen margarita from the patio at Life Café, a casual restaurant in New York’s East Village. But even before the tequila hits his bloodstream, Spank Rock (real name: Naeem Juwan) proves to be loquacious and forthcoming, more than willing to discuss the setbacks that tempered the recording of his second album,Everything is Boring and Everyone is a Fucking Liar. (The Baltimore native and Philadelphia transplant is more private about his age, insistent that he’s as “old as the wind,” despite being only in his midtwenties.) Writer’s block, a failed record deal, and depression were just a few of the hiccups.