MC Lars Horris Biography
Last updated: 10/04/2011 12:00:00 PM
Science Experiment: Take a kid. Give him one of those brains that takes everything in and processes at speeds higher than you or I care to deal with. Give him The Performance Gene. Just as he enters his teens, stick him in the middle of the mid-90's new wave of punk rawk (Green Day, Rancid, Offspring), then quickly dose him with classic rap artists (Run DMC, Public Enemy). Let him mull it over for a few years in a punk band. Then give him a rap show on a college radio station, allowing him access to some of the greatest hip-hop vinyl ever to have existed. Quickly feed him a computer that makes music, put it all in a beeker and stir vigorously. After a few small explosions you will have created...
MC Lars makes post-punk laptop rap. It's not a category exactly, but he's working on that. Musically, his songs come from computer driven beats, samples and a small pile of instruments that sit next to his dorm room bed. His homespun recording sessions tend to run late into the night, annoying his studious neighbors at Stanford University. Not many people know what is really going on in there... it's for the better that they do not.
Let's backtrack a bit. The MC Lars experiment began on his parent's couch, where at an early age he performed groundbreaking songs about not wanting to clean up his room. He was experimenting with tape recorders and computers by the time he hit the fifth grade, but it wasn't until the ripe old age of fifteen that he found Beck and discovered the concept of home-recording beats and music together. This led to a dark period, otherwise known as the Insane Clown Posse Evil/Scary Phase ("Trust me, it wasn't pretty"), of which Lars will deny everything. Soon after, he began performing regularly at hometown open mic nights, ultimately pulling together a style that was inexplicably all his own. As his home recordings developed, he took on the name MC Lars Horris - eventually dropping the Horris because "people often thought it was Lars Whores, which is terrible."
Lars moved to Oxford at this point in the tale, a change which ultimately put him on the path to making music his full time ambition. He began playing gigs all over town, on any bill that would have him (including shows with folkies, punk bands and even Mark Gardener from Ride). He quickly drew attention from local label Truck records, which picked him up immediately. Says Trucker Paul Bonham, "There quite simply hasn't been anyone quite like him... especially not in Oxford. His DIY spirit was what encouraged us most, 'the I record in my dorm' attitude contrasted with a professional stance on how to get on with people and make the most out of life. Also, MC Lars is a cartoon living in the real world." Radio Pet Fencing was quickly released by the label, birthing into the musical universe such tracks as "Rapbeth", "Atom You're Awesome" (a veritable love song to Atom and His Package), "My Rhymes Rhyme" and a track about the unfortunate whale who was lost in a San Francisco waterway for some time ("...Humphrey The Whale should get GPS").
After our young MC returned to the US, he knew what he had to do: Take the past ten years of experimentation and influence, somehow almalgamate these sounds and record tracks that would become definitive of his burgeoning style. How could he fuse a sound that combines his awkwardly assembled influences, ranging from Weird Al Yankovic to KRS One to The Sex Pistols? He started by quitting his sometimes punk band Amphoteric and getting to work, crafting beats and music in his studio and finishing them up with producer Mike Sapone (Brand New, Movielife, Taking Back Sunday). "Hurricane Fresh" proved to be Lars' first breakthrough. "It was the first time I saw what a bridge could do. It hit me how to take hip hop elements and really fuse them with rock and pop elements, because a lot of rap songs don't have a bridge or pop-oriented song structures. That's when I realized, OK, here's my style. Rap music with rock elements and pop conventions, glued together."
The result of this laborious effort come in the form of The Laptop EP, a selection of songs that appropriately showcase Lars' mental muscles for the first time. Subject selection ranges from the outright autobiographical ("Straight Outta Stockholm") to a smirky interpretation of England from the American Student persective ("UK Visa Versa"). "Mr Raven", one early standout track which samples a Brand New song, came about completely by accident. "I had been reading Poe and listening to Brand New and had this revelation that the four bars of that song fit this meter of Poe's. It was a song I had to write because the pieces fit well together - I couldn't help myself."
Sampling Brand New fired another spark in the cells of MC Lars' cranium, and "Signing Emo" tells the tale of how the music industry can lose touch with 'the kids', hopping from bandwagon to the next and failing to keep up with the fast moving but organic underground. Critique of the music industry and youth culture doesn't stop there, with "iGeneration" both a nod and stab at fast-tracked technology. "There are songs that sum up the generations of the 60's, the 90's grunge kid... I wanted to be the first to write one for the Internet Generation. I wanted to talk about how all of this fusion of information has led to a world view where it's normal that you can download the complete works of Shakespeare or a periodic table on your cell phone in two seconds."
Lars' focus now turns from recording to touring, bringing his music to salivating kids who are looking for a new orator to make sense of there over stimulated, cut and pasted edit of pop culture. MC Lars is the first creation of fast technology. He's the, 'I've seen it, I've downloaded it, now I'm going to make my own' kid. His new software The Laptop EP is packed with both cultural reference and originality with nods to philosophy school, old skool and nu-skool. In short, there's a hook for anyone who's a rebel in any class. This is one Science Experiment which gives a result everyone shall be aware of.