Because he is so super cool, we got to interview one of MTYMNHKA's favorite rapper/singer-songwriters Heath McNease. Please go help and donate to his next album, Thrift Store Jesus. It is totally worth it.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well....my name is Heath Daniel McNease. I was born in the swamps of south Georgia. I'm a trained actor who happens to be making music full time. And i shave every square inch of my body 3 times a week. Seriously...EVERY inch.
In 2011 you released 3 albums. Is 2012 going to be as prolific as last year?
Maybe. It's hard to say. I don't try to force music out. I'm just blessed to be able to do music every day, so i'm allowed to be a little more prolific than some. but...since i'm indie...i'm also required to be more prolific in order to stay alive. gotta keep the tunes coming. I'd say i'll definitely put out 2 records this year. But I dunno about 3. We'll see what kind of inspiration i can conjure.
Tell us a little more bout your next album, Thrift Store Jesus.
Thrift Store Jesus is the first really serious album I've done. There aren't a ton of knee slapping moments in this one. But it's the most open and honest i've ever been in the realm of hip hop. i feel with "Shine On" and "The House Always Wins" i was able to do quite a bit of that. but just not as an emcee. I'm truly excited about this record. But it doesn't have the novelty appeal of the mixtapes i did in 2011. It's way more mature. It's gonna hopefully make people think.
Can we expect a single or some cover art anytime soon? *wink wink*?
Haha. honestly if the cover was ready...i'd show it to you. But i don't have the artwork finalized yet. when you work on a shoestring budget...you gotta go at other people's pace. But it is LITERALLY the worst painting of Jesus you've ever seen. that's the album cover. it's just a horrible painting that someone gave away at a yard sale. He looks like Richard Marx.
Having recording 6 albums with a record label and without, which would you say is better (label or indie)?
i'm sure there are some awesome label situations, but mine wasn't one of them. i'm sure there are better indie situations than mine. and i'm sure there are ones that are less convenient than mine. I'm doing indie, because it gives me the freedom to give my stuff away for free right now. and that's important to me as i gain a fan base...earning their trust. I'd certainly look at a label deal if it was a good fit for me. But i think it's case by case. Labels would have to be really hands off with me, because i put out a lot of stuff and try a lot of things. i also don't think about radio or appeal. i just write what i feel like writing. and it would take a label that had the foresight to understand why that works in the long run.
Do you have a certain plan for your hair in 2012?
haha. it's gone. all gone now. I feel so free again. But my neck and ears are freaking freezing. It's been two years since they've seen the light of day. But since the rest of my body is hairless...it feels good to be streamlined again. like a cute little dolphin.
There's an awesome video of you playing a Panic! at the Disco cover on a ukelele. Will the ukelele ever make a return?
yeah. i play the uke at all my live shows. i've got a ukelele song on Thrift Store Jesus. the more comfortable i get with it...the more i do with it. it's such an amazing little instrument. so it's definitely got it's place in my material.
If you could tour with anyone in the world, who would it be?
The Beastie Boys, The Avett Brothers, Jack Johnson, or Sigfried and Roy. Roy's got sequin swag.
While you are often advertised as a christian musician, how would you describe your music?
i'm certainly a christian. i'd say it's the most important thing about me. and i love leading worship and serving the church in any and every way i can. but i'd hardly consider the music i make exclusive to believers. i think people who like music appreciate open and humble music. when i was rapping Wu stuff and Nintendo stuff...i was just trying to have a good time. There was no gospel presentation. I just write what's on my heart at the time. I don't try to shy away from topics or unnecessarily embrace them. i'm just a conduit for whatever's happening in my head at the time.
Would you ever release a vinyl album?
I'd love to do something like that. i'd love to press some of my stuff on vinyl. but that's just a really limited fan base for me at the moment. i'm doing all i can just to give my stuff away. so to go through the trouble and expense of pressing vinyl for an extremely limited vinyl consuming clientele...it'd be counter productive at this point.
What was the last album you listened to before answering these questions?
4 Thieves Gone Wild by The Avett Brothers.
Why does Playdough never where a shirt?
haha. he's just comfortable with himself. it's all about context, you know? if you're on a nude beach and everybody's nude...it's all good. but if there's a dude with a turtleneck on...he sticks out. Playdough's just the opposite. other people have clothes on, and he's just shirtless...letting it fly. you gotta respect being that uninhibited. block it out...block it out, and have a good time. have a great time. just get out there and throw something against the wall. if it sticks...go with it. if it doesn't...leave it there. that's how he does it. just touch one soul. just touch one heart with your physique. it's the greatest gift of all.
Would you say people like your acoustic albums or rap albums more?
i think people are just more familiar with me rapping, because that's what i've done more of. so i have more rap fans. but there are people who heard my acoustic albums, and had no idea that i rapped until later. my live show is a lot of hip hop, so that's probably what people expect. so i don't know if it's preference. i think its just expectation. if people are rap fans...i don't necessarily expect them to care that i'm making singer/songwriter albums. and vice versa. but if they like both....then that's great for me.