Mr Grevis on Mining and Music

By Evie Lavers - August 19, 2012

It seems like only yesterday I was talking to Gary “Mr Grevis” McPhee about flying back to work outside a local hip-hop event. The fly-in-fly-out mining industry, being a past time that we both shared. A life styled fuelled by binge drinking, 14 hour shifts, endless piss-tests and an excessive amount of disposable income. Though the mining game is rich in material royalties it lacks the comfort of family and close friends, home cooked meals and apologies to birthdays, weddings and unfortunately funerals. After a while the demoralisation from the institutionalised day-to-day living in camp gets to you. I spoke to Mr Grevis about his recent break from working away to focus on his music career, his distribution deal with Obese Records and his plans for the future.

How long have you been making music for? I have been writing music and poems for as long as I can remember and freestyling to my mates for a laugh since I was a kid too! The first time I recorded something was on a Target mic and my best mate made some dodgy beats. That was back in 2002 I think, this album has taken about 6 years at a very very lazy pace. Even last year I was thinking "fuck it... I don't really have the time but then I lost my job and my passion came back harder then ever before. I bashed out 6 new songs to add to the 6 old ones I had then bang, I had me an album!"
Who are your main music influences? The first ever hip hop I heard that made me love this music was Naughty by Nature's Self Titled album back in 92. Then I was into NWA, Snoop dropped Doggy Style (still one of my favourite albums ever) and the obession continued with Biggie, Wu and 2pac. These days I'm into P Monch, Brother Ali, Guilty Simpson, Sean P and Apathy. Australian act Hilltop Hoods are still ahead of the rest in my eyes and a major influence as well as Drapht, Mantra, Oars and Downsyde.
A huge congratulations on the deal with Obese Records, how did it all come about? Well it was the Funkoars and Drapht sharing The Youth film clips on Twitter that caught emcee Reason's attention and he asked me to jump on stage with him for his last perth show. So I did and got along well with him, he's a top bloke. I then finished the album a few weeks later and I approached some heads. In the meantime Reason showed Pegz my tunes and he loved them and was keen for a chat. It all fell into place really quickly, it totally spun me out! One minute I'm doing some music for shits and giggles then a few weeks later my album is being sent to record stores Australia wide. I'm very grateful to Reason and consider myself pretty fortunate and lucky. What if he never saw that tweet!
From working away myself for long periods many of times it was hip hop that kept me sane, do you feel the same way? Oh most def. I would always take my ipod into whatever crane it was that I was driving, while away at work haha, got to be prepared. But with that said, my last contract away was 7 months work and I only wrote “The Youth” up there. Creativity my mind was switched off. I think due to the 'jail like' environment and the long hours and limited time.
What advice can you share to emcee’s, DJ’s and producers that pursue their careers whilst putting their creative dreams on hold? Save your money and use it wisely. Money can buy you really good beats and high quality studio time for that professional sound. Never think your too old to be involved in music or to chase your dreams!  
What have you got planned over the next 12 months? Well I'm working 7-days-on-7-days-off at the moment so it's leaving alot more time to write. I have my album launch in August and I will be using any profits for a national tour, hopefully around November!
Your launch is on the 24 of August, What can we expect on the evening? Well maybe you should come down and find out haha. Will be a fun night with a good local line up on the bill and defiantly some give aways. I will be getting the crowd involved for a song or two and maybe a cheeky drinking game!
I am very much looking forward to this SOLD out event! For more information on releases, shows and his kickarse new merchandise line head to Mr Grevis's website here here.

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