Real for the first time

Del puts his video games away for his new projects

Del the Funky Homosapien once thought in futures. For the founder of the Hieroglyphics crew and cousin to Ice Cube “utopic” and “dystopic” described times of day. Beats and rhymes burst along synapses twisted into flux capacitors at 1.21 jiggawatts of electricity. Street and thug life faded into 8-bit sound samples. Then came the Gorillaz. Brought on as a last minute replacement by Dan the Automator the success of the animated super group brought a new approach to music as Del immersed himself in music theory. Life went on and Del spent the next seven years obsessively perfecting his next solo album. The Gorillaz moved in a different direction and Del’s personal life started to unravel including an ex-girlfriend who tried to hang herself twice and stabbed him once and the loss of new material to a robbery all detailed on the recently released 11th Hour DVD. It’s given way to a darker Del who forgoes his nerd jokester persona for life on terra firma. At the edge of consciousness Del fights through fatigue and illness from a long tour to reveal the new Del and his new future. Fast Forward: You’ve described this new album as grounded. Do you feel your previous work was too out there? Del: I definitely think Deltron and Both Sides [to the Brain] went over most people’s heads or where I come from at any rate. My way of speaking [now] is basically more direct. And having to deal with real situations in my life really just woke me up. So no more side projects? I keep it all within the context of whatever project I’m handling so as not to confuse folks. Gorillaz is not Del. Deltron is not Del. Those kinda projects are determined on my state of mind. I’m actually slowly writing the new Deltron album. The album is done music wise. Dan was just ready before I was I just left it up to him he don’t need someone lookin’ over his shoulder. 11th hour is completely done and I have an EP by the name of L.E.D. coming out soon. So what makes 11th Hour more grounded? I just try and keep it as real as possible. Nowadays most people ain’t with the fantasy unless you have a life that doesn’t deal with real things. Once you arrive to a certain point in life you realize shit is real and your interest in fantasy gets limited. Video games are pretty much out [of my life]. That just isn’t my world anymore. It would seem this is quite the shift for you. That’s where my head is at — reality. I definitely would prefer to be at home at this point in my life but my level of success which it is not great enough to warrant me staying at home for too long determines that I have to make a living. I have to work to keep my family and my girl secure. That’s the reality of it. There’s very little fantasy in my life.