Cypress Hill have announced their return by unveiling new single ‘Band Of Gypsies’ from their first album in eight years, ‘Elephants On Acid’. Check out our interview with Sen Dog and their UK tour dates below.
Released on September 28, this is the first Cypress Hill album produced by DJ Muggs since 2004’s ‘Til Death Do Us Part’.
“Anything can happen when Muggs, B-Real, and myself get together to record,” said Sen Dog. “We were kids when we first got together. We’ve grown up as men now, but the chemistry is still the same. When we first came out in the nineties, we sounded like nobody else; we sounded like ourselves. This is another continuation”.
B-Real added: “The album is both a trip back to the roots and an escape into a completely new world.”
What’s the aim with the new album
Sen Dog: “We wanted to achieve something new, and make something different from the last album. Not that we hated the last album, but we wanted something with a heavy Cypress vibe on it and we achieved that! It’s a pure Cypress Hill album from start to end.”
‘Elephants On Acid’, what’s the thinking behind that title?
“The name Elephants on Acid, DJ Muggs came up with that name. I know what it means for me, but it might mean something different to everyone else. To me, Elephants on Acid is the ability to be weird and to be strange with music. It’s not following the same cycle of whatever is hot at the same time.”
It’s been eight years since the last record. Why the delay?
“Well, it’s a good question! Back in our day we would put out albums every two years, or every two and a half years. With this one, we were being very cautious with the steps that we took and other projects came up – people started doing other things.
“Overall, I think we were just being cautious – we wanted to make sure it’s an accurate representation of what Cypress Hill is. We wrote a lot of songs too. Shit happens sometimes, it takes a long time!”
And it must be exciting to finally get it out there for the fans?
“Definitely man! Cypress Hill fans are very patient, we stay busy on tour but it’s all about the new stuff to prove that we’re an important band. We don’t want to rely on what we’ve done in the past, we want to stay changing and groundbreaking when we come up with new shit. I can’t wait for them to get an idea of what Cypress Hill means now.”
In those eight years, we’ve seen B-Real go off and do his thing with Prophets of Rage. Were you tempted to bring some that in, maybe make an anti-Trump track?
Not really! I’m not a political person to tell you the honest truth. We didn’t want to bring that vibe to Elephants on Acid.
A lot of artists are taking that stance and I respect them for that, but this album is more about good vibes and stoner music. There’s a psychedelic vibe and I don’t think politics has anything to do or anything to put in with that vibe.
You’ve got your star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. How big a deal is that as a recognition of your career?
“Ah man! That’s an insane thing. I’ve never gone around and thought about the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Cypress Hill being on it. I’ve thought about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame maybe, but when that [the walk of fame] happened, I was flattened.
I was in shock, like ‘are you serious?’ I remember as a young kid going to Hollywood and seeing the Walk of Fame out there. I’d never really thought about it, but it’s a grand honour to be an act on the Walk of Fame. I’m very thankful for it, and if I could relive the last 30 years to get that star I’d do it all over again. I’m very honoured.”
You’re playing London’s Brixton Academy later this year. London is obviously the home of the London Symphony Orchestra. Doesn’t that seem like the perfect opportunity to relive the Simpsons cameo that the fans are calling for?
“We’ve been talking about it, so anything could happen! I’d be OK with it. If we got it together then I’d be OK with it.”
Your career in hip-hop has been so long and so enduring. What’s the secret to playing the long game do you think?
“I don’t know about a secret, but it’s a great job to have. It’s fun and we travel. Another important thing is that we’re still friends, a lot of bands have that challenge but the guys in the band – we’re still actual bros. That’s a very important thing to have in a band that goes their own ways for seven years.”
“We still feel like we’re an important band to make music too, for the history of music and the history of hip-hop. Overall, I think the fans have supported us since day one. They show up at our concerts whether we have an album out or not. They keep coming out and enjoying our shows – they gave us our career.”
Cypress Hill tour dates and tickets
Cypress Hill’s upcoming UK tour dates are below. Visit here for tickets and information.
30 November – Manchester Academy
1 December – Leeds 02 Academy
3 December – Glasgow Barrowland
4 December – Birmingham 02 Academy
5 December – London 02 Academy Brixton