No, not Two Ton Boa. There is, curiously enough, another local band with a moniker that describes a two-thousand-pound animal. But unlike the thumping dark cabaret of the Boa, the Sloth is a baffling assembly of found noises, junkyard hiphop beats, and the clenched-teeth flow of spoken-word frontman Brad Hamers. On their most recent release, Two Ton Sloth Is Brad Hamers & PZ, it's hard to ignore the gritty production half of the duo, who goes by the name PZ. In the past few years PZ's groundbreaking forays into the murky genre of mash-ups have put his name on the map, tweaking material from the likes of Radiohead and Beck. PZ took a moment from mashing his musical library to talk about his hunger for success and tofu, the world of mash-ups, and which two-ton animal can throw down the best.
What was the motivation to focus on a collaborative project like Two Ton Sloth instead of sticking with mash-ups?
Mash-ups are just a hobby, something light and fluffy to take the edge off, sort of like Cheetos. Yes, if music were food, mash-ups would be a corner store bag of Cheetos or those corn horn things. I eat them on occasion, but I'm more apt to eat tofu stir-fry, know what I mean? Tofu stir-fry being Two Ton Sloth, I guess. Damn, these metaphors are getting out of hand. I think I'm just hungry. Essentially, I'm often working on other kinds of projects; it's just that the mash-ups and unauthorized remix work usually attract the most attention. My heart usually resides with Two Ton Sloth.
Since mash-ups involve you being separated from the artists, was it a transition to work hands on with Brad Hamers in Two Ton Sloth?
Oh no, not at all. I'd been seeking a solid musical partnership for some time, and our first album really came together in a matter of weeks. I approached Brad with the project as a fan of his work. I knew what he was capable of, having already been familiar with his solo album. I already had a clear idea of what our collaboration could be and what I wanted to contribute to it.
Since there is another local band called Two Ton Boa, I have to ask, who wins in a rumble? The Boa or the Sloth?
If we're talking a rumble in the animal kingdom I'd have to say that a sloth would win on sheer apathetical merit alone. However, if we're talking a rumble in the parking lot with the actual band? We'd probably lick 'em—I can throw a cell phone pretty hard.
Two Ton Sloth perform at AudioCinema on Sat Jan 26.