By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
B of A’s second album, Eyedollartree, titled in reference to greedy, complacent overconsumerism (i-dol-atry . . . geddit?), was about to be released on Atomic Pop a couple of months ago, when Al Teller’s ambitious, Internet-only venture went belly up. “Atomic naively thought they were going to make it strictly as an online label,” says Benyad. “It was a fantastic, brave idea, but we told them our research showed only 1 percent of our potential audience would buy records online. Shocking but true — not every young person in this country is a computer geek with unlimited dough and time to spend on the Net. It’s another marketing-media myth.”
Benyad and Mazik told the company that its concept was several years away from viability, and that they’d still need to sell via old-fashioned retail, with online sales as a bonus. Atomic heeded their words, yet by the time it tried to implement retail sales, it was too little too late. So B of A jumped ship with their master recordings and ready-to-go artwork.
The new Blood of Abraham album is a mixture of trippy, band-oriented backpack hip-hop with a few guitar-rock tunes thrown in, and at least three or four solid singles. Production credit is split between Ben, Mazik and Will.I.Am for about 70 percent of the 13-track collection, which includes cameo raps by Divine Styler, Kool Keith and Will.I.Am. Producer/programmer Cyrus Melchor handles the other 30 percent, with Motiv8 (also from the Peas) creating one track. Ben and Mazik brought in lyrics and their record collections. Their current band, which played along to a few preprogrammed tracks on the album, also gigs as a live entity consisting of Dan Ubick (guitar/piano), Joe Karnes (bass), Steve Smart (drums) and DJ Rick One (beat programming, turntables).
Accompanying the record is a beautifully executed 10-minute experimental film, co-directed by Ben and Mazik with filmmaker Brian Beletic, which features noirish black-and-white photography combined with stock and new footage. It’s an impressive display of the duo’s multifaceted talents.
“We want to score and direct more commercials, videos and short films,” says Ben. “And although we know we can sell 20,000 of our record out the gate by ourselves and make 6 bucks apiece, we’re talking to a bunch of different labels right now to enable us to get over on a wider scale. We have a marketing plan and an entire concept ready to go. We’re looking for label subsidy, and we’re currently free and clear . . . and open for business . . .”