“It’s designed to be heard, at maximum volume.” Armand Hammer speaks on their latest release on Mornings
March 7th 2023
- Armand Hammer :: interview with Lindsay Riley
New York hip hop duo Armand Hammer are currently touring Australia for the very first time. Both billy woods and ELUCID caught up with Lindsay Riley on Friday Mornings for a wide-ranging chat about their latest record Haram, and what they hope people take out of their music.
Haram is a first for the duo, in that it’s produced entirely by one producer, The Alchemist. Legendary for his work among hip hop’s finest, both past and present, ELUCID talks about how The Alchemist molded his usual sound to fit Armand Hammer’s sonic world.
“The beats that he made for Haram… that was him trying to make things for Armand Hammer which is a crazy high compliment, of course.”
woods spoke highly of a recent collaboration with Sydney band Party Dozen, wherein he reworked a track off their latest record.
“I actually thought the track was really, really great… I thought it was dope, and I say that not knowing a lot about the band before reaching out.”
Armand Hammer albums are often overflowing with ideas and ruminations on life and complex themes. woods explained the conflicting feelings that arise when others try to decipher and interpret Armand Hammer’s work.
“People are going to come to it in their own ways. Now that doesn’t mean that I can’t look at somebody’s analysis and say I don’t see it, you know. But it also means somebody’s analysis could parse something in the work that I didn’t consciously think of or intend, but it might have merit or value, it might be enlightening to me as a creator, If I’m open to it.”
Yet he also hopes that listeners and critics don’t pigeonhole certain monolithic ideas onto his music, and try to engage with the full spectrum of ideas being presented.
“I think that anyone who wants to approach my music and take as much away from it as they could would be well advised to come in both ready to question their own assumptions, and ready to think broadly, listen and then see where it takes them.”
ELUCID shared similar feelings about his lyrics representing a range of ideas, or even sometimes just acting as a way of “processing confusion.” He also feels encouraged by having dedicated fans who are always excited to uncover deeper meanings in Armand Hammer’s music. At the same time, he also appreciates that his art is an audio medium, and that, although people may sometimes hear and interpret lyrics incorrectly, there’s still something special about coming to a musical understanding purely through listening.
“That’s what I really love about rap. I don’t know if I’ve ever wanted lyrics of mine printed, it’s an audio art to me, and I think there’s a certain magic that only exists if you’re just listening to it. For me, what I want to do, it’s not really necessarily designed to be read on a page, or a screen. It’s designed to be heard, at maximum volume, you know, and absorbed that way.”
Armand Hammer fans have been spoiled in recent years, with four albums in five years, alongside a slew of solo releases from the duo. Both artists speak of each other’s craft with deep admiration, and ELUCID says that respect and friendly competition pushes them to keep creating.
“I love the spirit of competition… I definitely want to stand out, I want people to rewind my verse, I want them to skip past your verse (laughs).., making music with woods, we’re dealing with top tier, the best, so I really have to come with it.”
Listen to the full interview up top, or on Friday Mornings with Lindsay Riley on FBi 94.5
Armand Hammer are playing this Wednesday at the Oxford Art Factory, with Teether and Zion Garcia on support. Tickets can be found here: