The track “Just a Song,” submitted on last year’s compilation CD was created with Claire Taubenhaus. Could you give us more information on your upcoming album, “A Loud Heart?”
It’s an EP of all acoustic hip hop. Claire plays guitar and sings, and I rap. Big Cats! adds a few bass parts, and Renee Klitzke from Me and My Arrow plays cello on a few tracks. The album explores the places where the personal and political overlap, and it’s also just… pretty, I guess. Probably the prettiest music I’ve ever been associated with. It’s still very much hip hop in its attitude and directness, but has a pop edge to it that’s something special. We’re releasing it on 11/11/11 at Honey (7pm, 18+), along with Black Blondie and an acoustic set from Kristoff Krane. It’s very exciting.
Did you enjoy performing at TBLIF2 last year? How would you describe the overall experience?
It’s not necessarily the lineup that I’d have put together, but it was fun. Culture Cry Wolf always puts on a great show, and Kristoff Krane is one of the best live performers in indie hip hop. The album itself turned out great– the design work in particular was really nice, and though I definitely didn’t love every track, it turned me on to some artists I’d never heard before. I think we should be doing more compilations as indie artists– it makes a lot of sense. Next time, I’d like to see more women and more people of color involved as performers; it was kind of a white guy rapper party, haha, but I’m sure the organizers are working on that. More women on the CD too.
We saw that last years submission was played by 89.3 The Current. How do you feel about the response you received?
People really seem to like the song. I think aside from the novelty of it being an acoustic rap song, the substance of it has hit a nerve, at least with some people. Because it’s not just about “wack rappers getting on,” which is a topic that’s been done to death– it’s about more universal things like shallowness and having standards, about reaching beyond what is easy. And Claire has a great voice too.
What is your ideal Valentine’s Day date?
Staying the hell inside, just watching a movie or whatever, eating some really good takeout. Maybe some ice cream cake.
To you, what is love?
Be sure you check out A Loud Heart ( Guante & Clair ) CD Release Show, on 11/11/11 at Honey (7pm, 18+), along with Black Blondie and an acoustic set from Kristoff Krane. ( FB Event )
For more information on Guante, please visit: www.guante.info
Interview conducted by Mandy Karman for The Best Love is Free ( @mandyapolis )