INTERVIEW: Random and Willie Evans Jr.

Posted on March 7, 2012 by Beau B Wan.
Filed Under Interviews, Videos | 2 Comments
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When The VS Tour swung through Charlotte this weekend I had the chance to have a talk with Random, aka Mega Ran, and Willie Evans Jr. Listen to that below.

Random and Willie Evans Jr.

The show was fantastic. With the crowd squeezing into the cozy Crown Station venue fans played Street Fighter and Tekken while they waited for the show to begin. The first three acts were all great. RoQ’y-TyRaiD opened the night followed by The Thought Criminals and Mr. Invisible. All of the sets were full of energy and great fun. By the time Willie Evans Jr and Random took the stage as the last two acts some of the crowd had thinned out. This wasn’t a big deal though, they both did great with the crowds that they had. We didn’t get out of the bar until after 2am.

Random’s official site | Facebook | Twitter
Willie Evans Jr.’s official site | Facebook | Twitter

There is still a bit of time left to catch The VS Tour live. I included the remaining tour dates for you to check out. There are also two new videos from Willie and Ran and a couple pictures of the two reaching at the camera. It’s a good pose. The first video is from Willie Evans Jr.’s new album Introducin’ titled “Nerd English”. Secondly, a track from Random’s latest disc Mega Ran 10 titled “Lookin’ Up”.

Willie Evans Jr.

Mar 06: Jack Rabbits – Jacksonville, FL
Mar 07: the geek easy – Orlando, FL
Mar 10: Smoke and Barrel – Fayetteville, AR
Mar 11: Aardvark – Fort Worth, TX
Mar 12: Check Other Outfitters – Houston, TX
Mar 13: SXSW – Austin, TX

Random, photo by James Johnson

Direct link to the video

Direct link to the video

I also got permission from the two to share a couple mp3 files. If you dig the music, check out the Amazon ad or their respective Bandcamp pages and buy the album! I did, how do you think I got these files?! The songs are mixed in there with the interview below. “Cyber Sheik” is a track from the new Willie Evans Jr. disc Introducin’. It really stuck out in my head from the show because video of The Iron Sheik played in the background on a projector. Oh, and it’s a good track.

The mp3 from Mega Ran 10 is a collaboration with Adam WarRock. He is a tour buddy on The VS Tour, although he didn’t join up until after the Charlotte show. I didn’t get to see him. Aw well. Listening to “Pump It Up!” is a satisfactory consolation. The song was produced by Frelance.

How did The VS Tour and exclusive EP come together?

Listen to their response!

Willie and Ran did a few shows together and tossed the idea around of touring. While talking about a tour theme the idea of the VS Tour came together. After coming up with the idea to use Indie Go Go to fund the tour they decided on The VS Project EP to thank fans.

Ran says he and Willie share a lot of common loves including hip hop, games, comics and general nerdiness. After the two first connected in Florida they decided to not only go on tour but make music that would extend beyond that lifespan.

I heard that you guys have brought along some video games this tour. How do you incorporate these into the shows?

Listen to their response!

Ran explains that their original idea for video games on the tour was a lot grander, but they still bring out a couple systems and fighting games particularly Street Fighter for each show. One thing that Ran doesn’t like about concerts is the down time between sets at shows. Since he doesn’t smoke, the idea to allow folks to pick up a controller and play came up and expanded from there.

Willie gives a quick shout out to DJ DN3 won a Street Fighter tournament at the Louisville Arcade Expo. He is the champion. Willie only made it to the final round which is still a feat in itself.

Your work is heavily influenced by video games. What were some of your favorites growing up and today?

Listen to their response!

Random lists Super Mario Brothers, Mega Man (of course), and a lot of Capcom games as inspirations. He is also a big comic fan and digs any comic type games. A favorite aspect of the Mega Man games is that the soundtrack is done so well. For games today he loves fighting games like Soul Calibur as well as adventure games. In the 90’s on he lists Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, Uncharted, and God Of War. He is also hooked on Skyrim.

Willie lists Baulder’s Gate, God of War, Trojan, and about any fighting game as favorites… even the horrible ones. He is a big Tekken fan and working on getting rust off of his Street Fighter skills.

Willie Evans Jr. - Introducin
MP3 file has been removed. Sorry!

You are both good examples that a hip hop musician doesn’t have to fit the gun toting, drug selling, gang banging mold. Do you feel like this helps or hinders your career in the industry?

Listen to their response!

Willie believes that three years ago it might have hurt. Today we are entering an era where it is “hip to be square” in hip hop music. He doesn’t consider himself “Nerdcore” but happens to consider himself a nerd. At the same time some people include these more questionable aspects into their music and still make good music. Good music is good music. He feels like Ran is ahead of the curve. A favorite of his, De La Soul, inspires him to believe that the only way to be good at what you are doing is to represent yourself as clearly and plainly as you can. Although this happens to come off nerdy when he does it, Willie assures the female listeners that he is not nerdy. He does manly things all the time!

Random feels that guys like Willie are ahead of the curve as he’s always represented himself honestly. He is able to balance a nerdy element but not allow it to take over the music. It is definitely an asset to represent your inner nerd these days. They also want it clear that Freddy Gibbs is who they have been bumping all tour. Again, good music is good music.

Ran, you’re from Arizona. Willie, you’re from Florida. Obviously very different places. Touring the country you probably see a lot of places. What are some of your favorite cities?

Listen to their response!

Ran was born and raised in Philadelphia and moved to Arizona. He lists San Diego, Austin, LA, Portland, Seattle, and Midwest towns like Columbia and Madison as favorites. Cities that are usually fly overs for larger acts are some of the most supportive. Florida is one of his favorite places, particularly Orlando, and other East Coast cities like New York and Philadelphia. There are a lot of places that Ran loves.

Willie loves San Francisco, but believes that opinion might be different if he had to pay taxes there. He also includes New York and about the same cities Ran listed. He tells a story about why acts don’t usually go into Florida and how he can relate to cities in the Midwest that just don’t get to see a lot of shows.

Tell me all about Japan. How was that?

Listen to their response!

Japan was the most awesome experience Random has ever had. He explains it as over, above, beyond any expectations he may have had. He felt it as if his childhood expanded and splattered over a 500 mile radius. They also did a lot of sight seeing while there and he can’t wait to go back. Everything there was just so cool. He tried to take as much video as possible so that everyone else would be jealous. You can watch these on his YouTube page.

You recently released an album called Introducin’. What can you tell us about that?

Listen to their response!

Willie’s new album Introducin’ was released on the Bronx based label High Water Music. He was found by Sucio Smash on some random mixtape called Southern Scramble. He talks about the title track’s video for “Introducin'” featuring guest appearances by Pharoahe Monch and Jean Grae. He also mentions the more recent video filmed for “Nerd English”. This was exciting because he got to film it in his city with friends who came up similarly to himself. You can stream that video earlier in this post.

Random, you just released Mega Ran 10 and a remix disc. What can you tell us about that?

Listen to their response!

Mega Ran 10 was released in November, two and a half years in the making. Random states that this is the last chapter on his Mega Man inspired music. Willie doesn’t believe his fans will let that happen, but Random insists that he can’t be truly random if people know what he’s coming out with next. The next phase is based on another nerdy love of his: comic books. He loved Mega Ran 10 because he got to bring in a lot of familiar names on one project. He is very proud of the release and the final song “Mega Man Forever”.

January 31, one year following the release of the original Black Materia album he released the new remix project. This includes remixes of every song. They have secretly been working on it the whole year. Beatmaker Lost Perception is such a perfectionist that there are multiple versions of each song, so these extras made up the content of this affordable $5 album. Get it on his website! There is also a limited edition copy that includes the whole collection in a big chunky case. He considers it a DLC sort of release to continue the memory of the disc.

Willie also throws in a quick plug for Android users. Search your market for an app called Willie Evans Jr and he will soon be sending things directly to your phone! Nice.

What new projects are you both working on. Any new collaborations, album, anything?

Listen to their response!

The VS Project! There are always a lot of things but this is the most important going on now. You must donate to their Indie Go Go to hear it, there is still a limited amount of time left to get that. Get it! It’s going to be great.

Random - Megaran 10
MP3 file has been removed. Sorry!

You’re no stangers to collaborating with other musicians. Is there anybody who you would love to make an album or even just a track with that hasn’t happened yet?

Listen to their response!

Willie lists Kool Keith and shoots for the stars and includes De La Soul. Random’s top person he would love to work with would be Cee-Lo Green. I would like to hear that album myself.

If you were a hot dog what condiments would you have and would you eat yourself?

Listen to their response!

Willie answers first with cole slaw, ketchup, mustard, a bit of relish, and a little bit of chilli. It would be delicious but he is conflicted as to whether he would eat himself. Well, maybe not so much. Random likes to keep things simple and lists ketchup, mustard, onions, and relish as his condiments. He would take a nibble once in a while, but make sure to savor it. Willie chimes in with some deep and though-provoking thoughts on the subject.

Anything else you guys would like to mention?

Listen to their response!

Get out to the remaining VS Tour dates! These are listed above. Check out the Facebook page and be sure to donate to Indie Go Go. This is the only way to get The VS Project and helps the gang get to the next city. Check out Mega and The Nerdy! Willie was happy to meet all of you and waves goodbye through your speakers. Wave back at him. Do it!

Oh, check out DJ DN3 with his Street Fighter trophy. Word.



2 Responses to “INTERVIEW: Random and Willie Evans Jr.”

  1. Me on March 7th, 2012 1:03 am

    Yo, you didn’t ask what they favorite curse word was! Now how am I ever gonna know?!

  2. Skittle on March 7th, 2012 1:10 am

    Ahhhhhhh darn, I forgot. I let you down man. I let you down…

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