CHH:Where do you come from? HJ:I am a hick/hippie hybrid from the backwoods of Vermont. It’s called the Northeast Kingdom and it’s basically Vermontistan - most folks think we’re part of the United States, but that’s only a complicated scam to keep those Federal Reserve checks coming in. I grew up surrounded by insanely talented musicians and artists and thought that was totally normal. I started out rapping in fifth grade when I wrote a truly evil diss track to a handicapped kid in our class. You could say it was my Grind Time phase, I was always ahead of the curve like that. Since then, I’ve hopefully grown up a bit. I owe a lot to my friend Dave Pransky, who took me on tour and introduced me to inspirational people around the country and showed me how much work and preparation being a professional musician really is. As cool as Vermont is, I learned a hell of a lot more after I left. CHH:What are you currently working on? What's available now? HJ:Back in 2007, I did an album called Keep it Moist and it’s been nothing but a steady stream of remixes and singles since then. I’ve been working on about a dozen projects at once for three years and they’ll pretty much all be done at once this summer. My main project is a proper full length real deal debut album, Pure Fu**ing Love, but that will probably drop in the Fall, we have tons of side projects, collaborations, and EPs lined up to keep making noise all year. Currently, the biggest focus has been getting a team together to execute and promote all this, and getting prepped for music videos because that’s the most important step I haven’t taken yet.I’m also recording for a project with Louis Mackey, called No Humans Allowed, that’s basically an album-length diss track to the human species. I can’t wait to release it because I have no idea how it will go over...but I think it will find the right people.
CHH:Why did you choose the name Humpasaur Jones? HJ:It was from an ancient joke track I did for Bananamal, a super-weird, drugged-out collective from Gary, Indiana. Somehow, that joke has grown into a career. I still don’t even know if their guru, DJ Squid, is kidding or not but he could be David Koresh material. Obviously, when Shock G dropped “Humpty Dance” that had a profound effect on my 9 year old brain. I think that was the same summer that I got my 2 Live Crew and NWA tapes, and I was listening to Guns N' Roses then, too, and suspected that Axl Rose wanted to be a rapper. Cadence is the weapon. I’ve always made music under a lot of different names, but I’m sticking with Hump Jones for awhile because it’s fun. It translates way better to live shows because sex music is party music.
CHH:Who or what is your music inspired by?
HJ:Women. Women are the best thing in the Universe, anywhere, ever. When I hear rappers talk about rapping for reasons other than women, it baffles me. My generation really needs to get their priorities straight.
CHH:Why is your upcoming EP called Breakup Music? What inspired that title?
HJ:I know every rapper says this nowadays, but it was inspired by a Joni Mitchell song, Both Sides Now. I already had a track called Breakup Music done, but I thought it was too sneering, too cruel. People still need that, of course, but I wanted to balance it out. So I kept getting more and more material flowing, hitting this universal theme of Love, Ending, and it evolved into a dope EP. Then, I suddenly and predictably found myself single at the beginning of this year. At the same time, a couple rappers I really respect heard the EPmaterial and wanted to get on board, so it’s evolved into an album and we’ll be recording it all in March. Breakup Music is really a love letter, though, it’s not some morbid emo navelgazing sh*t. I’m trying to emphasize the growth, the change, the positive aspects of these horrible phases we all have to go through. It’s definitely the most complex album I’ve done so far.
CHH:How did you get into music?
HJ:My Dad, definitely. He doesn’t play any instruments, but he’s into music like few people I’ve ever known. We used to try and call song titles off the first bar when something came on the radio, so doing that since I could talk, I think I hear music differently than most folks. The second I realized that regular people were making all this beautiful noise with their hands, there’s nothing else I’ve cared about much aside from music. Like, to the point of sociopathy. Today, I’ve toured as a bassist and I love to play guitar, but rapping is my dream job. Looking back, I was doomed from a young age.
CHH:What producers are you currently working with?
HJ:I’m lucky to be in the middle of a whole collective of producers who aren’t on a national level yet and we’ve got the spacetime to create some really hungry material. Through World Around, I work with Dr. Quandary, Louis Mackey, Daimyo! and DJ Multiple Sex Partners. I’m also working on some left-field conceptual stuff with Naturetone, a Swiss producer who found us by completely destroying a 4 song remix contest we did two years back. We figured it would be an opportunity to spotlight 4 different people but this guy just had no mercy. I’m a fan.Outside of that, I’m working on beats from Ronnie Raygun, who produced the Alaskan Fishermen album, E-Train from the legendary San Fran demolition crew The Loyalists, and a very fresh cat from back home in Vermont by the name of Face One, who’s your typical rapper-poet-producer Sufi type. CHH:What have you been listening to lately? HJ: Doesn’t it drive you insane when cats complain about hip hop? There is so much talent out right now, it’s extremely humbling. Aside from obvious names like Elzhi or Crooked I, I’m digging Malcolm & Martin, Signif, The ILLZ, Silent Knight, Witness, Dom Kennedy, Savant, Invincible, Che Grand, and I’ve been tripping out over how fast YC the Cynic and Jon Hope have evolved. My all time favorite rappers nobody respects enough are Motion Man, Godforbid and Sir Menelik Scaramanga Shallah. It’s not hip hop, but check out Toubab Krewe. Their second album is just completely insane, it’s like nothing else on the planet right now. That’s my number one recommendation for all Earth humans.