As Most Korn fans know Fieldy is involved in another band called Stillwell. Stillwell recently released their highly anticipated first album named Dirtbag in April of 2011. Stillwell also released an EP in November 2011 entittled 'Surrounded By Liars'. Both can be purchased on Itunes. Korncentral was given the opportunity to interview StillWell's lead singer Q-Unique. Korncentral wanted to give Korn fans the opportunity to learn more about how Stillwell came about and more about Q-Unique himself. Q-Unique has been involved in the music indusrty for many years. He started his career in New york City.
Q-Unique's Bio provides a long list of accomplishments: To simply label Q-Unique as just an "underground rapper" is doing a great injustice to his contributions to several genres of music. Q has written, produced and performed in countless areas of music and entertainment from his early years with the legendary Rock Steady Crew to the indie rap group the Arsonists to becoming the lead vocalist in the super hard rock group Stillwell along with Fieldy from the multi platinum metal band Korn and Wuv, also from a multi platinum band known as P.O.D.
Q-Unique's career began in New York, where he was surrounded by the early forms of Hip Hop. Q instantly took to the culture finding a creative outlet for his soul. It wouldn't be long before his demos would find their way to Crazy Legs, president of the iconic Rock Steady Crew. Seeing potential in Q, Crazy Legs would be the first to show Q-Unique the ropes as far as dealing with the music industry, and provided Q with several career changing opportunities, from becoming a cast member in the off Broadway production of "Jam On The Groove" to appearing in music videos like "Rappers Delight" with Redman, Keith Murray & Erik Sermon, to scoring a #1 Billboard hit with the multi platinum dance / pop group C+C Music Factory.
Q-Unique's 1st experience in independent Hip Hop was with a small group Q put together called "The Nomaads", the death of the groups DJ would force the members to disband by 1995, but not without releasing a 12" single called "The Ultimate", which would prepare Q for what he considers one of his personal favorite moments in Hip Hop, joining the indie super group, The Arsonists. Together they recorded 2 critically acclaimed albums, "As The World Burns" & "Date Of Birth". They toured the world earning a reputation as one of the best live Hip Hop acts. Rage Against the Machine's Zack De La Rocha is quoted in Rolling Stone magazine stating "The Arsonists are seeing Hip Hop again as a vehicle by which to engage in things that are substantial in people's lives". The Arsonists music started to spread everywhere from Fox Sports' extreme sports show, "Bluetorch TV," to movies like "Restaurant" with Adrien Brody and "Empire" with John Leguizamo. The Arsonists thought outside the box when it came to music, collaborating with the electronic band Atari Teenage Riot on their "60 Second Wipeout" album and Q doing a remix for the alternative rock band Yo La Tengo.
Q-Unique was approached by fellow lyricist Ill Bill who became Executive Producer to Q-Unique's solo debut "Vengeance is Mine" which is considered an indie Hip Hop classic. During this time Q would produce for and collaborate with artist like La Coka Nostra which featured House of Pain, Raekwon of the Wu Tang Clan, DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill, Necro, Immortal Technique, the Beatnuts, Tony Touch and Pitbull. Q released his 2nd solo album "Between Heaven & Hell" on his own label capital Q music partnering up with Fat Beats records, again earning Q-Unique praise for a solid performance both lyrically and production wise.
Shortly after Q released his first solo album he received a phone call from Bobby Ruiz, the President of Tribal Gear clothing that would again change the course of Q's life and career. Bobby had asked Q if he would be interested in working with Fieldy from the world renowned Nu Metal group Korn. The result was Q and Fieldy forming a "Street Metal" band called Stillwell, along with Wuv, the drummer from the Metal band P.O.D. and new comer to the scene, Spider, on the bass. Q reinvented himself in a new position as the lead vocalist for the band. Their debut album "Dirtbag" has a raw, real, and rugged sound. Fieldy describes it best, "It's bluesy metal with a street edge. It's a little dirtier and heavier than your average rock band is." With the combination of Fieldy's Metal background and Q's roots in street music, Q came up with the genre, Street Metal to give their sound a lifestyle and its own lane.
Q has recently co-produced Fieldy's solo bass album "Bassically" a collection of bass driven music that includes funk, jazz, break beats, electronic and world music, all instrumental and will be released in the near future. There's no telling what Q-Unique will get involved with next, a true renaissance man who simply cannot be labeled or placed into one box.
Taken from Q-Unique's website Click Here
Korncentral would like to thank Q-Unique for taking the time to answer our questions and providing fans with interesting information about Stillwell and himself.
Who came up with Stillwell name what does it mean to you?
I came up with the name; it's the name of an avenue in Brooklyn, NY that runs through the neighborhood I grew up in. What's interesting about Stillwell Avenue is that it separates a rough neighborhood from a nice residential neighborhood; I found it interesting how this avenue held that balance, that's one of the reasons why I chose that name, also because it represents Brooklyn NY.
Bobby Ruiz, the President of Tribal Gear clothing, contacted you about collaborating with Fieldy, what did you think when you received the call? Why did you decide to collaborate with Fieldy?
At the time I didn't think much of it other than, I'm just going to collaborate with this rock dude, and move on from there. The genre of music that I'm originally from is a totally different planet from Korn's world. I figured it would be a quick & cool experience. Little did I know, my life would drastically change with this one phone call.
How did Wuv and Spider become involved with Stillwell?
Fieldy & I met up with Wuv at a Halloween party in LA. Since we were all members of the Tribal Gear family, it made sense to have him be a part of the band. Funny thing about the 1st day he came to listen to the
demos that Fieldy & I put together, at the time we were using drum machines until we had found a drummer. For some reason, the protoools session decided (yes I think music programs & computers sometimes are temperamental & have a mind of their own) to play all the drums off beat. For a second, I thought that Wuv must've thought we were insane or something. Fieldy met Spider at a party & then he introduced him to me & Wuv. It was the song "Trepidation" that hooked Spider into the band. That's like his theme song.
How do you like working with Fieldy of KoRn and how was it supporting KoRn while they played big festival crowds?
Working with Fieldy is awesome, as the years have passed we've become like brothers, so there's a real good chemistry.
Supporting Korn & playing to big festival crowds is surreal, I would've never thought in a million years that I'd be experiencing something like this.
What were your inspirations for songs on Dirtbag and Surrounded By Liars? When the concept changed why did you decide to release Dirtbag first instead of Surrounded By Liars?
That's a real touchy & detailed story. Let's just say there was a lot of behind the scenes confusion from forces both in & outside of the band. It kind of tossed us into a whirlwind of confusion. It had gotten to the point that since we had been recording for such a long time, we finally decided to just get an album out, especially since we were getting a lot of offers to tour & do shows. So we recorded, re-recorded and then re re-recorded songs. After the crazy rollercoaster ride for "Dirtbag" we decided to put out "Surrounded By Liars" because we felt there was a group of people that had been on the journey since day 1 with us that wanted the original material, so we wanted to do right by them, because at the end of the day, it's all about the people that support you.
What is your favorite Stillwell track, lyrically?
I like all of them for different reasons; I enjoy the simplicity of writing for rock music, its way different from what I'm used to writing for with Hip Hop. If I had to pick I'd say, the original
"Surrounded By Liars" off the EP, "They All Had Their Hands Up" off Dirtbag, "Trepidation" original version off the EP, both "I cant be stopped" & "You cant stop me"... I can go on & on.
Any plans to release another cover song with Stillwell? What song(s) would you like to cover?
Yeah we were talking about it. Not sure what to cover yet, we have some choices, but haven't decided on anything yet.
Are you thinking about recording another album after the Surrounded By Liars EP?
Yes, we have already started recording a new album, what's good about it now is that we all learned from our mistakes, so it puts us in a place of knowing what works for us, and what doesn't. We are also contemplating putting out another EP of original material, sort of like a "surrounded by liars 2". Stay tuned.
Is there anything different you want to do for the next Stillwell album?
The 1st thing that comes to mind is that we won't be doing what we did on the "dirtbag" album, we are steering away from the blues rock foundation that we experimented with, and we're going for just a hard rock / metal sound.
Can you describe the songwriting process that goes into Stillwell?
We have a few different methods, from everyone in the band picking up a guitar and riffing, to jamming in Fieldy's or Wuv's studio. We do a lot of writing on the road, it's basically guitars, bass & a drum machine, then when we have a basic structure of the song, we get over to Wuv to record real drums, then we either keep adding or taking away from the music until we're satisfied.
How is the approach to songwriting in Stillwell different from the one in your solo project or the other groups you have worked with?
Writing for Stillwell to me is more poetic and simplified, where as writing for Q-Unique or other projects like that, those are more wordy and full of detail, its poetic but more based on skill level of the delivery of the word & the word play.
What I find crazy about writing for Stillwell is that 1 or 2 words can describe a paragraph of lyrics that I would use for Q-Unique stuff.
What music projects are you currently involved in outside of Stillwell?
Well for the New Year, I think I'm going to be producing a lot more than usual, some Hip Hop, some electronic music. I'm also in the beginning stages of a new Q-Unique album, but its going to be very different from the 1st 2.
You co-produced Fieldy's solo bass album "Bassically". Can you tell us more about that project and when it will be released?
Man, I'm so excited about that album. Again it's like nothing I've ever done in my life, the same for Fieldy. We worked on a wide range of music from jazz, funk, Spanish music, the list goes on. This album allows us to totally step away from the genres that we're known for and put us in a whole different universe. It should be out real soon.
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Check out part two of this interview here!