INTERVIEW: Epic Beard Men (aka Sage Francis and B.Dolan)

Hailing from the industrial outskirts of Providence, Rhode Island, Epic Beard Men are walking hip-hop vaults who fiddle with esoteric knowledge over hypnotic, sprawling sample compositions. For well over a decade, no matter how many tours they survived or solo releases they dropped — more than 20 between the two, depending how you count ‘em — the members of this dream team and their DIY Econoline ethic endured a certain outsider status in the rap world. Last year’s debut EP, Season 1, poked fun at that label, while still delivering a sublime buckshot blast of political commentary, interpersonal dispatches, and healthy introspection. Now the joke isn’t so funny anymore.

Hi B. Dolan, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi VENTS, thanks for having us.  We’ve been shot through several cannons in the past couple months, and we’re still standing goddamit. Ready to finish this touring season in a blaze of glory.

After so many years touring individually – what’s been like to go on a tour together?

We’ve been touring on and off for over a decade at this point, yet we continue to find ourselves in  new types of weird situations.

Its been Fun.  Its also been brutal at times; we’ve both had some heavy life shit going on while touring these past few years.

But Sage’s presence provides the immediate affirmation of someone who is Seeing This Shit as it goes down; the thousands of baffling daily interactions and occurrences that have taken place around the world as we make our way to these shows.

We’re both grumpy cunts at times, and it’s all taken it’s toll.  But I wouldn’t trade it for the WORLD, y’heard?

How does your background behind the scenes as label owners or executives help and influence your musical perspective as a whole?

It’s been a long learning process and I’ve encountered various creative and/or financial roadblocks along the way.  Sometimes the money tells you “get creative” and sometimes your creativity produces unexpected money. To maintain a self-sustaining music career for the past decade has required all types of gymnastics, some of which have brought me into other disciplines like writing and scoring movies.  Which has in turn opened up all kinds of new musical perspectives and possibilities.

You are hitting the road in support of your debut material – do you get to play the whole record live?

I think we play most of it?  We’re also mixing in a lot of our Season One EP, which dropped a year before the LP.  They were part of the same collection of songs so this current set is the best representation of that we can show people.  Some of the bangers on Season One are still going to be hard to let go of live.

Can new and old fans can expect you playing some old stuff from the heydays?

Today is my heyday, baybay. Fuck all the old stuff!

Nah just kidding. I’ll be back to touring the old stuff in some new form soon, but for now both of us are putting aside our solo catalogues and performing the EBM material.

That said, for a lot of our fans EBM material has it’s own ‘old stuff,’ and certain group songs we released back in the day will be on display.  Hey hey!

The album features some special guests as Atmosphere – can we expect to have them joining you guys live on stage?

Unfortunately we could not afford to hire Pistol Dave for this run.  We’re still attempting to pay off the van roof he destroyed and the hotel penalty fees from the last tour.  We’ll probably just freestyle during that part of the song and diss him nightly.

What other things can fans expect?

Blood sweat and bubbles. Bass. Treble.  Bars.  Hooks.  Choreography.  Burial of soundboys. Murderation.

What else is happening next in Epic Beard Men’s world?

Hibernation. The EBM will be on hiatus until we next see the beard signal over Gotham. We’re both working on new solo material, and I’m midway through the next draft of a film that’s slated for production next Spring.  Our final group tour for the foreseeable future is about a month away!

Their up coming UK tour will be running 30th July until 14th August (13 shows in total) link to dates here:

RJ Frometa
Author: RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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