I’ve been digging Spit Syndicate‘s music for some time now, although it feels like the Sydney hip hop duo have garnered a new and refreshed sense of exposure in 2015 through the emergence of the One Day crew onto the national radar. For Nick Lupi and Jimmy Nice, although the last few months have been dominated with hosting the popular One Day Sunday parties around the country, popping up with the crew at festivals and fitting in their own Spit Syndicate sets as well, working on new material and focusing on the next has always been a priority.
This weekend, the boys will be performing at The Plot festival event in Parramatta, a hometown show Lupi can’t wait to get around.
“For the past little while, we’ve had our heads buried in the game,” he says. “We’re pretty close to finishing an album and between that and working on other songs and doing these parties, our heads have been really deep in the game. These shows that we’re playing at the end of the year have just snuck up in a lot of ways, but I’m expecting them to be really refreshing, you know? It’s re-energising that when you spend so long working and crafting these songs, it’s nice to be able to go and play shows and test new songs out and connect with the people who listen to our music and support us. I’m really excited about playing these shows, particularly The Plot in Sydney, I’m really excited about playing a hometown festival in an amazing location with a hectic lineup of artists. It’s going to be a really dope day for Sydney.”
Approaching the tenth anniversary since the release of their first mixtape The Future’s Bright, Lupi admits that there have been some moments where he’s found himself weighing things up. Ten years in, do we continue to strive forward? Or should something else take priority?
“It’s [music] certainly not the most viable way to be living your life,” he laughs. “For us, Spit Syndicate comes first. We’ve been working on it for so long, we’re finishing our fourth Spit Syndicate album and it’s reaching this point now where we love doing it, but when you’re getting older and people’s lives are changing around you, it’s inevitable that you question. It’s normal. ‘What am I doing? Is there a better way I could be spending my time fulfilling my potential?’ A big thing for us in making this album has been the realisation of, ‘What else would we do?’ – I don’t mean that in a literal way, there are plenty of other shit we could do, but we’re way too deep in it to stop. Everything we’ve been doing for the past ten years has been building up this music and it feels like we’re just continuing to take strides forward.”
“You don’t really get that many moments to stop and look back.” he says of Spit Syndicate’s accomplishments so far. “This job that I had before, I worked at the Harbour Bridge doing these bridge climb tours, and every year you were there, they would get all the people in your intake together and put on an afternoon tea and commemorate your one year, two year, three year, four year service. They don’t do that when you’re in a band! There’s not that many opportunities to sit back and go, ‘That was cool’. We still do of course, but it’s been a bit of a trip to think it’s been ten years since we started. As you said, we have been pretty hard working but we’re not trying take long gaps in between albums anymore. We’re just trying to keep it rolling.”
While the follow up album to 2013’s Sunday Gentlemen is still a little way down the road, the shows Spit Syndicate have lined up before the end of the year are going to be the perfect opportunity to re-enter the spotlight in their own right and get back in the zone of live performing. Recent shows as part of One Day have seen the duo bounce back and forth off the energy of their fellow hip hop heads and the results are reflected in the popularity of the collective with Australian audiences this year.
“I really hope that we can repay the support and loyalty of people like yourself with these new songs we’ve been working on,” Lupi says. “That is really what we’re all here for. I’m really excited for people to hear them, this is the best we’ve ever been and the reaction that it’s gotten from people I’ve shown them to has been awesome and helpful in clearing some of the fog in one’s head that starts to gather when you’re making an album. You lose perspective, ‘Is this good? What are we doing here?’ – I’m just excited to be done with it and then it’ll belong with other people.”
As for how he’s managing to handle everything else when he’s not in a Spit Syndicate headspace, Lupi is taking everything One Day in his stride. Always busy, Lupi’s surprisingly chilled out as he talks embracing the workload, hectic schedules and increased attention surrounding the collective.
“It’s just the way it is now and the way it has been now since this One Day has become it’s own beast.” he mentions. “To be honest with you, in terms of working on Spit Syndicate stuff and working on music, that’s always been some kind of balancing act. Just before, it was balancing it with a day job or it was balancing it with study. Now, the balancing act is between more music-related stuff, which cool in itself. I’ve got to remind myself to be thankful for that and thankful to be just doing music-related stuff now.”
“It’s certainly a bit of a head fuck at times,” he laughs. “If we can pull it off, all these One Day Sunday parties, this Spit Syndicate album we’ve been working on…I’ll be pretty impressed with everyone who’s been working on it. There’s a lot to pull off, but that’s how it is now. I’m lucky to be working and to be surrounded by incredibly driven and talented, inspiring people who are my friends and my crew. It’s good!”
“It’s been the best time that I can recall,” Lupi says of hip hop’s relevance in Australia at the moment. “As far as music being progressive in how it sounds, what it’s talking about and the way it’s looking at the world and its values. It’s a really good time for that right now. A lot has been said about the diversity of voices, that they’re starting to emerge in music in general, which is great that music is finally fucking catching up to all those other parts of society. In the words of Drake and Future, what a time to be alive.”
Spit Syndicate will be appearing at The Plot in Parramatta this Saturday, December 5th! Grab your tickets and information at The Plot‘s website!