When local Australian radio station In The Mix (www.inthemix.com.au) told me that I was going to be speaking with one of the most talented hip hop kings of the old school, I could barely contain my excitement. Kool Keith has been responsible for so much in the hip hop scene for over a decade. I was so chuffed I hardly thought about whether the rumours were true about him being difficult to deal with whilst in the interviewee seat. The day finally came and I called the number given to me right on time, he answers, but the person on the other end of the line swears he isn't Kool Keith. Today he is Reverend Tom, his character from The Undertakerz. Reverend Tom quickly explains that the phone rang while he was in the middle of a eulogy, but is happy to be taking a break to chat about as he's already performed six intense eulogies throughout the day. I warn you all before you read any further, that this is one of the weirdest interviews I have ever encountered and I have tried to make sense out of parts of it that don't seem to make much sense, but what's the fun in that? Here's what the Reverend had to say.
Semone: How did The Undertakerz come together?
Reverend Tom: There was life on Mars and we wiped that race out. They were a good race, they gave us a good fight but they no longer exist. We work closely with what you earthlings call 'the greys' They're not the greys as we call them, we call them the antillians. The government let us be here, our only link to this planet is between Jackie Jasper (which is our pole bearer.) We saved his life from the battlefields of what you call Vietnam long ago and we have been friends with him for a long time, that's how we're able to co-exist on your planet and be able to be apart of what you call the human race.
Semone: So, what do you guys have in store for us with the new album?
Reverend Tom: With this new album, we're giving you the finest sounds and theatrics along with a little bit of classical music, something that has never been done. We know that the earthlings here on this planet somewhat like classical music and where we're from classical music is very big. People dabble in it on this planet, but it's good music, it's great music if it's done properly. We've got great inspiration from Chopin and Mozart and we know for a factor that without those two influences we would not be able to perform or be able to give you the beautiful music that we create and when you listen to it, you will see that.
Semone: So, with all of your different projects and alter egos, how do you differ you headspace from one to the next?
Reverend Tom: All I can tell you my child, is that I have been here on this planet before, you have known me as different personas, but this is my real persona. You may have heard me previously on an album previously when I had transported myself back to earth to a recording studio and I was on the 'Ultra' album with Tim Dogg (I believe you've heard of him), you might believe when you've heard that album, that that's when I first began to record as my true self 'The Devastating Reverend Tom' about five years ago.
Semone: So what kind of music inspired you from earth?
Reverend Tom: Your greatest artists that are here, I would have to say Kiss, Nirvana, it would also be such acts as Ozzy Osbourne - though we know him from up here, meaning we've met him before in the early 70s and we had a falling out.
Semone: What happened?
Reverend Tom: Well actually, he was doing something at the time that we had forbid him to do during his stage shows, which was biting the head off of animals. Our other greatest influence here was Cooper, I can't remember his name at this time, his name is something Cooper, I can't believe I don't remember his name... it's Gary, no, not Gary that would have been one of your actors. I'm thinking some sort of rock artist, Alison Cooper I believe is the name.
Semone: Alice Cooper?
Reverend Tom: That's correct, that was one of our biggest and greatest influences.
Semone: In his early days or his later days?
Reverend Tom: In his earlier days, he's just a knock off of Rob Zombie now.
Semone: So, how are you normally accepted by the crowd? How do they normally react to your shows?
Reverend Tom: I love performing and giving my eulogies to the crowd, to give them back a touch of reality of what's happening in the world. So that this way, when they hear me speak in my lyrics, they know that I speak within a new factor. And the crowd love me, actually, I have thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of fans, they love to see me no matter where I am. I probably can't even walk down an ordinary street sometimes, every time I have to morph into a different identity, I constantly have to morph.
Semone: Do you morph often?
Reverend Tom: It's better to morph than to stay who and what I am, because if I was to stay that way, then your government wouldn't allow me to be here any longer. Then the jig is what you say, would be up. And because you know that within the group, I cannot function without my partners, which are The Embomber and I'll Buryu and The Funeral Director. Actually, me and The Funeral Director go many places together all the time, as a matter of fact sometimes you can't see one of us without the other, sometimes you will see me as a guy they know as 'Money D', but that's not him, that's the funeral director.
Semone: Do you all live together in a funeral home as one big happy family?
Reverend Tom: Yes, we have a mortuary home in which we all do stay, I'll Buryu actually works in a real graveyard, here in a Hollywood cemetery in West Hollywood and The Embomber, she works in a real mortuary place in UCLA's hospital, that is her true identity, that's why she takes on the form of The Embomber here. My friend The Funeral Director, I love him, I cannot and will not know when he will show up or when he will not, cause he has the power over all of us and we never know when he's around or when he will be around, all we know is that we must be at his ready when he needs us. He is more powerful than all of us, but he needed us all because of our specialities for this planet earth.
Semone: So, he put together the super band?
Reverend Tom: That's correct, some fans actually think we're super heroes, cause we have super powers, unlike your group Kiss, many years ago when they had their own TV show, you got a chance to see their real personas, I mean Kiss isn't from this planet either, that's why till this day you'll notice they're still together.
Semone: So, how long did it take you guys to record the new record and what or where is The Flower Shop?
Reverend Tom: It took us about a good two weeks. We recorded it at a funeral home, just out of West Hollywood, it's called The Flower Shop. It's just right off Melrose, it functions as a real flower shop slash mortuary, you see, it's a funeral home, but on the next side of the building is a floral shop and over the top of the floral shop is the recording studio, that does really exist, if you come to LA, we'd love to take you on a tour. Make sure that I am home first, as I often transport to other worlds to do eulogies there to, I don't just do them on this planet, as I am the higher reverend, I am much in demand from other worlds too.
Semone: So how often do you transport yourself from to other worlds?
Reverend Tom: As much time as time permits, cause time is all we have, so you gotta always keep in mind, we cannot only morph to the future, we can morph to the past and I can tell you for the future, the young people will take over this world. Actually, your first president will be 18 years old. When I had to perform a eulogy for the administration for the government at The White House at that time, one of the young men had one of his family members perspire and I was there to do the eulogy at the time and I will tell you that what they did to the older people wasn't too nice at all.
Semone: What other duties do The Undertakerz undertake? (Pardon the pun)
Reverend Tom: You know when people die in space nobody ever hears them scream right? That's because we have them and we are the soldiers who transport their bodies to the highest bidder after they die.
Semone: What exactly do you do with the bodies once you have them?
Reverend Tom: Well, I can't tell you, cause if I were to tell you, I would have to come over there and ...
Semone: Okay, I guess we'll leave it up to the imagination.
Reverend Tom: That is correct and feel free if you need any assistance in any matter of anything you need furtherly for the future, you let us know in the present and we will accommodate you at any given time and if you need any eulogies, you know who to call.
And make sure to tell everyone that the Devastating Reverend Tom loves all of his fans and all of his people of this planet earth and that they prepare themselves to be devastated by the ultra-magnetic, supersonic, Undertakerz of this world!
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