By Doug Kerry
If you watch Adult Swim you know his voice, but some still don’t know his name. He composes songs for some commercials for other Adult Swim shows. He is the voice of MC Pee Pants from early Aqua Teen Hunger Force and has reappeared as different reincarnations of said critter. His character on Sealab 2021, Hesh , is a cult favorite.
He is MC Chris and there’s more to his story than late night toons, Aside from his voiceover work, he has a hip-hop career that is SKYROCKETING right under the music industry’s nose.
How did you begin your career in rap?
My mom would call me downstairs when her bridge club would break for finger sandwiches. I’d break out the Casio and try to bring it. I think I was about eight or nine.
What influences your lyrics and sound?
the lyrics are influenced by my fans, (they let me know what they’re into on my message boards,) as well as my own personal experiences or tastes in pop culture. the sound is mainly influenced by the combination of my strange voice and my DJ’s love of all sounds synthetic.
A lot of rappers and hip-hop artist reference sci-fi, horror, comics, etc in their lyrics. What do you think of the impact these aspects of fandom have upon the music and scene?
I think it’s a good thing. If it gets out of hand there will be a backlash though and I think the nerds have been through enough. my people can only handle so many wedgies.
How does the world of Fandom interest you?
Well mainly these days it’s all about video games and the next Star Wars film. fans seems to be excited about Batman and Hitchhiker’s as well. and I’m of their ilk so whatever they’re into I’m usually into as well. like I’ll play resident evil 4 and if I get stuck I just ask a fan. It’s nice to have them. I’m not just interested in these things though. I have a personal life, and I like pop punk and seeing concerts, and I obviously like to draw and write as well. so it interests me, but only to a point. often times, my nerdom becomes research for music and bits during shows.
I have been watching Adult Swim since its first month and watched it do nothing but get bigger and more recognized. What do you think of the popularity of the programming and what do you feel was the major cause of this success?
I think it’s great and [AS] owes a great deal to Seth MacFarlane and David X. Cohen. I think being a small cult thing like Space Ghost was is nice, but it doesn’t really pay the bills. If Family Guy brings in greater ad revenue then we get more shows like Aqua Teen and Robot Chicken, the cheap experimental stuff, that is cut from the same cloth as Space Ghost. And it was great for those two big shows to get the respect they most definitely deserve.
< How did you get involved with adult swim?
I got discovered in a bar by Dave Willis. I can drink a pint of beer in under five seconds. This impressed him.
What amount of involvement do you have in the creative process with the shows you are featured in?
If it’s a song total control. With sealab sometimes i get to come up with my lines, sometimes not, and with ATHF I’m usually encouraged to give my take on stuff which usually gets in. I wrote two Brak Episodes, and I’ve drawn stuff for all the shows. I’m never a producer, the guy that’s the boss, and often times the writer. I’m just someone that helps them bring their concepts to life. Or at least, I used to be. I rap now.
Since your work with Adult Swim you have received many remixes of your own tracks. What do you think about these fan efforts and do you think they will be used for anything the future?
I love them all the same like they’re my children. And I plan on working with some of the more talented individuals in the future. For example, I asked Badddspellah if he wanted to score my cartoon, but that’s in like two years.
Have you worked with anyone that really made an impact on your career thus far?
Listening to how Dana Snyder takes what’s scripted and turns it into what you hear in the final show was amazing. he’s the king of cartoon VO improv. Dave Willis was also really cool to watch in that regard. And watching Mike Lazzo was like watching Johnny Carson or early Letterman or some other great TV pioneer. i will never stray from his television theory regardless of what i’m involved in, and i hope to apply it to movies as well. the basic rule was do the unexpected. figuring out what that is is the trick. Very punk rock.
Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with one day if given the chance?
Reggie and the Full Effect, The Beastie Boys, Danger Mouse, Cee-Lo (again) any of the great cinematographers like Tak Fujimoto.
You have a new album out, tell us a little about its production, lyrical content, sound, etc.
It’s called Eating’s Not Cheating. It’s got about fourteen fifteen songs. It’s basically about unrequited love, internet dating, partying, sex and what a bad ass I am.
How is the road treating you? Are the shows going well?
the road is great. I can say without a doubt, regardless how i feel about America’s ideologies, it’s hella easy on the eyes. It’s just a beautiful place. I wish we (aka white people) never showed up. the shows are going great. We only had a month to rehearse so it’s not perfect, but it’s getting there and what’s great is that the rooms are packed with loving fans that are just happy to see me no matter what.
Has anything interesting or strange happen on the tour?
We bought antiques from this lady that immediately started talking about her dead son. I wanted to know how he died but we were in a hurry. Oh and it’s pretty strange that we sold out every show.
Can you give any insight into the future of MC Chris or Adult Swim? Any teasers? Any rumors in the mill?
All I can say is that I’ve done stuff you still haven’t heard for both shows. The last thing I did for [AS] was the Robot Chicken commercial. Oh and I record Hesh on Monday. but that’s a secret.
Finally I have to ask, What were/are your favorite 80’s/early 90’s movies, bands, and cartoons. All your references to the decades in your music inspire this question of course.
There’s too much to list. I love the Bill Murray comedies, I loved the 3/4 inch GI Joes, I love classic rock. The SuperBowl Shuffle by the Chicago Bears was an unrivaled experience. I just love where I came from and what I experienced. Well… everything except my actual childhood. I was treated pretty crummy. thank god I had star wars.