"I love how pop culture references can help an audience relate to universal themes and help a pop culture-based artist get deeper points across,” says nerdcore rapper MC LARS about his use of topical memes as inspiration for his new album THE ZOMBIE DINOSAUR LP (Horris Records; October 6, 2015), which name-checks Legend of Zelda, Comic-Con, Bushwick, 50 Shades of Gray , Jack Kerouac, Roger Rabbit, Jedis and Hans Moleman (The Simpsons' geriatric former mayor of Springfield) without missing a beat. "This album's central theme is the survival of the underdog at any and all cost. All of the topical songs play with this idea," he says.
The title The Dinosaur Zombie LP might seem a bit random at a cursory glance, combining the obvious touchstones of Jurassic Park with The Walking Dead, but the meaning goes deeper. "The zombie dinosaur is a metaphor for the unstoppable person who just keeps going - at any cost," he explains. "It's crazy to think that I've been putting out albums since 1998, touring internationally since 2003, and playing the Warped Tour every other summer since 2011. I feel like a dinosaur because I've been doing this so long, but I also feel like I've gotten better and better each year. You could also say that I'm a zombie in the sense that my rhymes and beats are more infectious with every release, and if you are there when you hear my spit, you'll forever be converted and changed (much like the result of being bitten by a zombie). #metaphors"
An artist who doesn’t dumb down his music for his audience, MC Lars is always working to educate and inspire. For example, the previous released single "Dragon Blood" (based on HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones), finds deep connections with… wait for it… Shakespeare (Lars is a Stanford University alum). "I can appreciate George R.R. Martin's Shakespearean themes as an English major," Lars says. "So many of the main characters in Throneshave the dramatic breadth as characters in tragedies like Hamlet, Macbeth and even King Lear. Martin and Shakespeare both show us what happens when the lives of flawed heroes of high standings are disrupted by the supernatural and unfortunate.” Heavy.
Other tracks include "Sublime with Rome (Is Not the Same Thing as Sublime)" featuring Roger Lima of Less than Jake and Suburban Legends ("an empathetic song for the any music fan who has been duped into seeing a half-hearted reunion show of a band that used to be great with only one or two original members… or less!"), "The Dip" featuring Kool Keith ("about my favorite movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit… Kool Keith and I rap about the dismantling the old-school music industry as indie artists, much like Judge Doom plotted to destroy LA in the film”) and "Triforce" (which "uses the themes of 'power, wisdom and courage' from the Legend of Zelda to talk about all of the things I've gone through and realized over the past few years as an artist").
Executive produced by Adam F. Goldberg, creator of hit ABC TV show The Goldbergs, The Zombie Dinosaur LPis an all-star affair, featuring guest appearances byWatsky, Kool Keith, Spose, Roger Lima of the Less than Jake, STZA Crack of Leftöver Crack and Brian Mazzaferriof I Fight Dragons. "Goldberg came into the mix via Kickstarter," Lars explains, referencing his super-successful crowdfunding campaign to launch this album. "He hit me up to tell me he had been a fan for a while and that he wanted to help me out with this album. He's is a big supporter of the indie nerd music world in general. What a guy." Zombie Dinosaur was produced by Lars himself, with help from old producer friends Jim Greer (Foster the People, Hieroglyphics, Macy Gray) and Damondrick ‘D.J.’ Jack (K.Flay, Jidenna).
MC Lars kicked off his self-penned "post-punk laptop rap" career in the late 90s and rose to acclaim with the release of his first debut recording the Laptop EP in 2004. Rooting out source and sample material from punk and emo bands, he was quickly revered as an important music voice, receiving extensive college radio and MTVu airplay, as well as pieces featured on MTV and on CNN. His most recent release was The Edgar Allen Poe EP revisited the famous author's poetry and prose in a hip-hop context, with songs like "The Tell Tale <3", "Lenore (I Miss You)", "Mr. Raven" (featuring the Dead Milkmen) and "Annabel Lee R.I.P."
Heading to 2015 Vans Warped Tour this week (kick off is on Friday, June 19th in Pomona, CA), MC Lars will be debuting some new material among classics from his catalogue. "I love the Vans Warped Tour because no other festival hits so many markets, represents so many different genres, and really supports indie / DIY artists in such an organic way," Lars says. Looking ahead, he adds, "The Zombie Dinosaur LP will be dropping in October, and then I'll be doing a headline tour as well as a LOT of projects coming together that I can’t announce yet, which will include Adam F. Goldberg, 'Weird Al' Yankovic, and a whole lot more friends… stay tuned!”
The Zombie Dinosaur LP will be released on October 6, 2015 via Horris Records.
For upcoming 2015 Vans Warped Tour dates, please go to: http://vanswarpedtour.com/dates