Houston Music

Artist of the Week: Sigur Ros-Sampling White Rappers Guerilla Foco Clan

Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to [email protected].

At a recent Devin the Dude concert
, we caught a set by Guerilla Foco Clan, one of the evening's 39 opening acts. When they first walked out onstage, our initial thought was something along the lines of, "This seems like a good time to go the restroom."

However, after about 45 seconds of their show - they managed to successfully combine some old-head boom-bap hip-hop with some new-head electronic bells and whistles - it was pretty clear that the boys were fly. So much so, in fact, that we felt obligated to tell at least two people, "These guys are good, and not just Good For White Guys good - like, actually good."

We chatted them up for Rock's Off's Ask A Rapper segment a while back, but with their new EP beginning to come together, we felt the need to upgrade them into the Artist of the Week camp. After the jump, read about Che Guevara (fun!), Sigur Ros (fun!) and how they might be rap's Bill Buckner (fun!).

Rocks Off: We feel like we should know this, but can you explain what y'all's name means?

Guerilla Foco Clan: Guerilla Foco is a name derived from Che Guevara's revolutionary theory of Focalism. Basically stating that through immense methods of focus behind his troops, he could set out to instigate change. That's what we're all about: change. I like to incorporate old school with the new, combining soul with electro and all sorts of other things. That's our way of revolutionizing the game.

RO: Umm, why do you all have a song called "Sigur Ros 2"? Is it because you guys are super crazy? Has anyone else ever used the phrase "swagger" within a Sigur Ros reference?

GFC: "Sigur Ros 2" was originally the second track out of five Sigur Ros remixes that I made. The idea came about when I kept hearing of Jay-Z being remixed with bands like Radiohead and the Beatles. I used to jam Sigur Ros all the time, and one day it just dawned on me: Wow, this whole fucking album is like a sampler's gold mine, how has no one remixed this yet?

And so the Sigur Ros remix EP was born that very same night. It was intended to appeal to the indie audience, something to show them that good rap music can be incorporated with almost any other genre of music. It's all an attempt for mass appeal, ya dig?

RO: Everyone was talking about the anniversary of DJ Screw's death was last week. Don't you think "anniversary" is an incorrect term for that? It seems too celebratory. Maybe we could start trying to get people call the anniversary of a horrible event a "horribleversary"? Or, better yet, a "shittyversary."

GFC: In my mind, there should be a set time for grieving for someone you've lost. But let's be honest, you can't be sad forever. So I think it's only right to party it up in their name after the sadness is gone. But yeah, I dunno about the term "anniversary." You only do that with awards and marriages.

RO: Last we spoke, you all were hipping us to how it was so 2008 to point out when white rappers are white (our words, not yours). Is that still the case? Have you all gotten tired of talking about this yet? It's probably how Bill Buckner feels. He's white too. No sure if he's a rapper, though. We're not sure how the point of this question got away from us. Sorry.

GFC: [Laughs] Yeah, to be honest, I get it a lot. You have to remember, both Chess and I's last names are "White." Very ironic, don't you think?

RO: Tell us a bit about your upcoming project. Can we expect some contributions from some local acts? We think anytime someone asks you something like this, you should tell them you all bought the rights to a Big Moe verse. And also that you all secured a drop from Dakota Fanning because she's your cousin's cousin or something. That'll help build some buzz.

GFC: The new EP we're working on is light years beyond our first EP, both in beats and rhymes. Not to say our first EP was bad, I'm just saying this one's gonna be that much better. Every track on there is fucking ridiculously awesome. We have a much more refined sound in this one, and we've got everything. From the crazy bass-heavy synthed-out electro songs, to the party songs, to the song for girls, to the stoner songs and more.

We did a track with Fat Tony, where I sampled the Beach Boys and Grizzly Bear, and I made a track for my recently passed friend, Lee Powers, may he Rest In Peace. Honestly, I've poured my fucking heart out into this one and can't wait to let everyone hear it. I guaran-fucking-tee that anyone who even remotely likes rap will enjoy my new EP.

Check out Guerilla Foco Clan on Facebook here and watch for their new songs here.

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Shea Serrano