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B. Dolan interview with Dead magazine
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b. dolan
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Joined: 17 Nov 2004
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B. Dolan interview with Dead magazine  Reply with quote  

Q: What´s your connection with Poetry Slams? As far as i understand you started out as a spoken word artist but left the "scene" after winning some titles?!


A: Well, my public career started as a spoken word artist, but I had been a writer for years before I ever stepped onstage. For most of my childhood I was in my room, writing all kinds of weird shit... comic books, plays, poems, or whatever i was into at that moment.

So, in 1999 I moved to New York City to try and somehow establish myself as a writer, though I had no idea how I was going to do that. I read out of my notebook at a coffeehouse somewhere, and someone told me I should go check out a poetry slam at the Nuyorican Cafe in Brooklyn. Things sort of developed a momentum of their own from there.

I stayed in and around the Poetry Slam scene in various capacities for about 3 years after that, and met with some success. Even during that time, however, I was a vocal critic of the scene. At this point, aside from a few poets I really dig, I'm mostly disgusted by the desperate hackery and greed that has overrun that community. They don't hear me though.

Q: On some songs off your album as well as on the posse-cut "Survived another Winter" you seem much more like a rapper with the intensity of a spoken word artist than a spoken word guy rhyming - Did you already write rap songs when you were still focussing on slam poetry?

A: Yes, and before that. I've been a fan of hip hop, and writing raps, since before I knew about spoken word. So, I guess my spoken word has always been hip hop influenced. And now I guess my hip hop has been influenced by spoken word.

I don't make any real mental distinction between one thing and the other. I see all these skills as interrelated .


Q: What´s the future of B.Dolan the rapper?


A: He releases his follow-up album in about 6 months. It adheres more closely to a
hip-hop aesthetic, while retaining the raw kick-assitivity and experimental spirit of "The Failure." The crowd goes wild. B. Dolan the rapper then enjoys a brief run of popularity, before being murdered over some internet message-board beef. Legendary status.


Q: Although there was no chance to see , yet, I understand that your live show makes you what you call a "performance artist", with all those different characters that you embody on stage - Can you briefly explain those, how they connect to you and if they will ever appear in Germany?!


A: I definitely hope to bring the circus to Germany, and hopefully soon. When I imagine Germany, I picture a country where everyone wears all black clothing, all the time. When I visit Germany, I will probably be disappointed to find that's not the case.

I'm not sure how to explain the characters I embody onstage. Maybe due to the fact that I used to write lots of stories and plays, characters just appear in my head at times, the same way poems or songs do. So, when an interesting character appears with something to say, he or she shows up in the live show.

I'm a big fan of spectacle and absurd theatre. I like to subvert the format of whatever I'm participating in, whether I be at a poetry slam, a hip hop show or a karaoke bar. Anytime the audience is expecting performers to conform to a set of norms, it's an opportunity to knock them on their ass and turn their reaction into part of the show. The result is a more dynamic experience ... different kinds of emotion can be explored and elicited from the crowd... It's what makes for a good show, to me.


Q: Where does your affection to Evil Knievel come from?


A: A record I heard one night on late night college radio.

I was driving home from a show, and suddenly this DJ started playing audio from one of Evel Knievel's press conferences. I had never heard him speak before, and was immediately hypnotized by both his way of speaking and the things he was talking about.

In particular, he had a lot of really poignant things to say about life and death, as someone who literally risked his neck professionally for his entire career. I knew immediately that I wanted to somehow incorporate him into an act.

After that I spent about a year obsessively collecting information and performing as Evel Knievel before writing the poem "The Skycycle Blues", which was released a month before Evel died.

My connection to Evel Knievel is one of the weirdest paths my art has ever led me down. I probably don't fully understand it myself yet.


Q: Could you briefly describe what knowmore.org is?


A: Knowmore.org is a website I created in 2005 with Sage Francis, which has since grown into a web-based grassroots community.

The mission of Knowmore.org is to compile social responsibility information about every corporation imaginable, and connect that information to the choices consumers make every day when they shop.

So, for example, if you visit Knowmore.org and type into the search bar: "Exxonmobil," you will see the long history of crimes and abuse connected to the gas you buy.

We rate every company for worker's rights, human rights, environmental concerns, political influence, and business ethics. Our aim is to teach consumers that they are effectively "voting" every time they open their wallet and support a company with their purchase.


Q: It seems like your art mostly revolves around certain issues - mostly social and political. Do you feel that your art as well as knowmore.org is part of an overall concept? Do you see yourself as more of an activist or an artist / writer / poet?


A: I see myself as equal parts activist and artist. In 2001 I made a decision that I could not be one without being the other. It seemed hypocritical, for me, to make political art without being politically active, and it's not in me to be a full-time activist and leave art behind. Maybe one is my passion and one is my duty. I'm passionate about my duty though.

My art and Knowmore are not consciously part of the same concept, no. The things I research and think about obviously find their way into my art, but the two worlds occupy separate space in my thoughts.

Activist B. thinks corporations are behind everything. Artist B. thinks shapeshifting reptilian humanoids are behind everything. See the difference?



Q: What has changed for you since you are now officially a member of Strange Famous Records?


A: By releasing "The Failure" on Strange Famous and continuing to enable my work, Sage Francis has boosted the visibility and viability of my career in a really serious way....

I was never going to stop making my weird shit, but with Sage's stamp of approval and resources behind it, people are actually going to be exposed to my weird shit. This makes all the difference in the world for obvious reasons.

Also, I'm now able to use the company jet, which is nice.


Q: Strange Famous appears to me like some kind of family business - Do you all manage to see each other on a regular basis? How much are you involved in the label work?


A: It's very much like a family business. When new positions open up, Sage doesn't put ads in the newspaper for help. The people who end up working for us are loyalists who have often been around for years. This keeps things tight knit, heartfelt and personal. Like a sweater from Aunt Sally.

When I'm not on tour, I work about 10 hours a week in the SFR office, handling mail outs and correspondence with customers.


Q: What are your future projects?


A: The next thing I release will be a hip hop album, which I'm choosing not to give too many more details about right now. There's lots of cool shit being built behind the curtain though. I've been hard at work on this, and it looks like there may actually be enough material for two albums.

Also, I wrote a horror movie last year for a producer named Michael Corrente, which looks to be moving slowly toward production. Not sure when that will see the light of day, but the writing has been finished on my end.
Post Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:13 pm
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mortalthoughts
LAME KID


Joined: 12 Dec 2002
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question for ya b. if you dont mind my asking

are you originally from the land of the chowdah or just ended up there in your endeavors?
Post Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:31 pm
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Bring that Beat Back



Joined: 20 Mar 2007
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"Activist B. thinks corporations are behind everything. Artist B. thinks shapeshifting reptilian humanoids are behind everything. See the difference? "

classic.
Post Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:32 pm
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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When I first played Germany one of the things I noticed is how people were wearing all black. Seriously. So you are not off in your speculation about German garb.

Also, I don't know how you can drop a bomb like that in your final answer and expect to not have some further explanation of what the hell is going on. hahahaa. You fucking wrote a Horror movie script for a Michael Corrente film! I cannot wait to see that shit hit the theater. However, I'm still waiting for Pride and Glory to hit the theater.
Post Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:39 pm
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b. dolan
FBI agent


Joined: 17 Nov 2004
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mortalthoughts wrote:
question for ya b. if you dont mind my asking

are you originally from the land of the chowdah or just ended up there in your endeavors?


i'm originally from here, but lived in ny from 99-01
Post Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:40 pm
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mortalthoughts
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Joined: 12 Dec 2002
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Location: MI
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b. dolan wrote:
mortalthoughts wrote:
question for ya b. if you dont mind my asking

are you originally from the land of the chowdah or just ended up there in your endeavors?


i'm originally from here, but lived in ny from 99-01


well it seems the accent is gone or i just might be dumb... or both
Post Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:42 pm
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b. dolan
FBI agent


Joined: 17 Nov 2004
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i think i have an italian-american accent maybe... or some weird hybrid of a few accents... my grandmother is an italian immigrant, and my mother and her siblings all grew up in new jersey, so they never really talked like rhode islanders. my accent sounds like them, mostly... maybe with some rhode island mixed in.
Post Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:59 pm
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Plum Puddin'



Joined: 26 May 2008
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Quote:

A: He releases his follow-up album in about 6 months.


Hell yes!
Post Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:08 pm
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bbreakz



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
Posts: 948
Re: B. Dolan interview with Dead magazine  Reply with quote  

b. dolan wrote:

Q: What´s the future of B.Dolan the rapper?


A: He releases his follow-up album in about 6 months. It adheres more closely to a
hip-hop aesthetic, while retaining the raw kick-assitivity and experimental spirit of "The Failure." The crowd goes wild. B. Dolan the rapper then enjoys a brief run of popularity, before being murdered over some internet message-board beef. Legendary status.



Sweet. I can't wait for all of it. Minus the murder, unless it makes subsequent albums better. Between The Failure, writing a new album and working on a horror movie, i am sure you have plenty of time to start work on your Posthumous album.
Post Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:40 pm
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sequence



Joined: 21 Jul 2002
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I just had a conversation with a friend about how I wanted a B. Dolan rap record, I think, about two minutes before I looked at this thread. Fantastic. I will purchase it and spread it like the plague.
Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:49 am
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IAmNiki



Joined: 15 Aug 2005
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Location: North Smithfield, RI
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Really excited for the hiphop album, but the fact that you wrote a horror movie is just.. wow. I'd love to see what comes out of your mind put into a horror flick.
Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:10 am
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kese



Joined: 16 Mar 2003
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Good interview. I like the style. Shows another angle into the depth of your writing.

"Activist B. thinks corporations are behind everything. Artist B. thinks shapeshifting reptilian humanoids are behind everything. See the difference?"

haha.... truuuueee...

When's the book coming out?
Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:56 am
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cakes



Joined: 15 Dec 2006
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b. dolan is clearly the kind of dude that gets it. (as if that wasn't already common knowledge)

horror movies? snap.
Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:10 am
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anomaly
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Joined: 22 May 2008
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Re: B. Dolan interview with Dead magazine  Reply with quote  

b. dolan wrote:


Also, I'm now able to use the company jet, which is nice.




is there really a company jet?
Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:25 am
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b. dolan
FBI agent


Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 5694
Re: B. Dolan interview with Dead magazine  Reply with quote  

anomaly wrote:
b. dolan wrote:


Also, I'm now able to use the company jet, which is nice.




is there really a company jet?


no. i was distorting the truth for the sake of humor.


Last edited by b. dolan on Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:42 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:41 am
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