His name is Billy Bunks and according to the man himself, he put out an album with (i.e. produced entirely by) Nick One about 5 thousand years ago called Spit & Gristle. “As far as describing the sound, well it was pretty heavily influenced by the 90s era hip hop that we grew up on. You know, heavy use of samples played a large part in the production and the lyrics were on that good old fashioned ‘fuck you’ tip. It was a bit dark, a bit silly and a bit thoughtful at the same time, a bit like me I guess. It really only reflected the sides of me I was willing to share with the general public, so nothing about my bat wing leather g strings or anything like that” he explained.
Bunks first started mucking about at home and making beats around 1995. “I think the thing that really drew me to hip hop is the fact it’s so wordy” he told. An avid reader as a child, combined with a passion for listening to and analysing what people are saying, meant that hip hop was always going to appeal to that side of Bunks.
Those who are familiar with Bunk’s work, would know that a decent proportion of his songs centre on booze. Something he attributes to him living a pretty alcoholic lifestyle, he states, “it’s strange because I do have a lot of interest in world history, science, philosophies and the nature of things. I do have opinions about issues that face us as a planet all the way down to those that impact our local communities and personal issues as well, but I always just seem to write about drinking gallons upon gallons of that gloriously wretched broth.”
Billy also thinks it may have something to do with the drunken, arrogant ‘fuck you’ side of his personality he was presenting through his lyrics, which lent itself more to the style of music he was trying to make. However, he senses his mum would probably tell you that he is scared to be his brilliant self, so he aims low. “I know that because she’s said it to me before. She might be right” Bunks added.
Recently, Bunks has been on a trip throughout Europe. An experience he describes as awesome, as it’s somewhere he’s always wanted to go since being a massive Asterix head as a kid. “It’s pretty spun out walking around and thinking about all the rich and colourful histories they have here. Like one minute you’re in Paris and the you can just gun it over to London and you’re thinking, these blokes have been jumping in boats to head over and fuck with those other guys and hating on each other for ever and I can just now in this day and age shit in both their pubs, and I have. Not just those two, they’ve all had weird and constantly changing relationships with each other for thousands of years” he described.
Billy compares Europe to walking around some huge living tapestry and loves it there for that reason. It has also made him realise a few things he loves and hates about Australia as well.
Billy doesn’t think hip hop ever died, but believes he is the wrong person to be asking if it is thriving, as he is never one to catch all the latest bangers. “But I have really enjoyed a lot of new(ish) stuff that I have been hearing lately. I’m really trying to be mindful of not turning into the equivalent of some old school stuck in his ways elder, that misses out on a lot of cool shit because it doesn’t sound like what I grew up on. Having said that, I don’t want to be one of these cool grannies that has an iPod and knows how to use the internet, I think grannies should know they motherfuckin role. I do plan to be a stooped and grumpy old man with one of those ear horn things one day” he stated.
A while back, rapper 360 started a craze called rapper tag, a platform where a rapper records a video of themselves spitting a verse and then tagging in the next rapper. When it was time for Bunk’s turn, he upset a few people with his 8 minute video which poked fun at the concept. He explains, “I truly believe taking the piss is a noble art. I can’t remember what was going through my head exactly, at the time, but I think I probably just figured it was becoming a bit of a big circle jerk really. A bit of a ‘look at us’ affair, which is essentially all rapping is anyway. The posturing and the me, me, me. People had fun with it and people enjoyed watching it which was cool, you know, but sooner or later someone’s going to go ‘Come on, fellas’ and make you sit there and watch while they do their shopping and eat and talk absolute shit, which like a great man once said, is essentially all rapping is anyway.”
As for tagging in Odin, Bunks loved the hatred he got for that. “I love how serious everyone who hated it was taking the whole thing and the more they hated on Odin, the more we were actually sticking it up em. That worked out exactly how I wanted it to, and I also think Odin did a fucking great job as well … It was a fine moment, we were all very happy. At the risk of sounding omnipotent, it was like pissing in an ant farm for a little while there. One thing I had to laugh about was some guy got pissed because Vikings never actually had horns on their helmets. For the record, I am sorry for perpetuating the stereotype” he told.
Rolling forward, Bunks has no immediate plans. He just bought a bike and plans to spend this summer riding around the islands and swimming. “At the moment I’m just blowing around the planet like a dirty old plastic bag. I try not to worry too much about plans because planet earth seems to make its own anyway” he said. That’s not to say he is without drive or direction, he just doesn’t worry too much about it.
You can follow Billy Bunks on Twitter.
Billy Bunk’s album Spit & Gristle is available now on iTunes