Boulder Weekly hosts a concert on Friday at the Fox Theatre welcoming students to town with Boulder’s Only Back to School Bash, an event free to anyone with a student ID. The ushers escorting students into another year of collegiate life will be Colorado-based rap duo Cobraconda. MCs Spencer Foreman and Graham Nation bring the same party-hearty electro rap vibes as close friends 3Oh!3, but they are quick to point out they are not pop stars.
“We’re far different people,” says Foreman, whose brother Sean makes up one half of the 3Oh!3 equation. “We’re covered in tattoos, talk shit, get drunk; we’re dirty motherfuckers, so to speak.”
Spencer Foreman and Nation met in Colorado through a mutual interest in punk and hardcore music. The two played together for six years in various projects, deciding just a year ago to walk away from their New York hardcore label, shift their attention to rap, and move back home to start anew.
“We came back from one of the largest cities in the world to be here and do our music here,” Foreman says. “There’s a very specific reason we came back, and it was to do this. When we were both living together in Brooklyn, one morning we both woke up and kind of looked at each other and were like, ‘Fuck this. Let’s go back to where we know we can kill it.’” What survived in the transition was the punk DIY mentality that keeps them unmanaged, without a label, and happy. Right before their nationwide tour alongside 3Oh!3 and Innerpartysystem, Foreman’s laptop was stolen and the guys made an all-new (much better) set in just two weeks. And instead of making tour schedules, the duo prefer to fly out to a city as they see fit and rock DJ sets in dive bars and warehouses. When they decide to pick up the mic, it’s Foreman, Nation and their laptop on the beats — simple as that. Though they began touring with musicians on keyboards and drum machines, they’ve found that simpler is better.
“It was kinda more trouble than it was worth,” Foreman says of their former backup musicians. “I see a lot of bands these days who started with the bare bones stuff, and that’s why it was cool, who then went into the full production deal. … We don’t need that many distractions; the beats kind of speak for themselves. We like to keep it simple and raw.”
Nation says his version of simple, raw fun is to rap about “drugs and big rims and fat asses … pretty much living like you’re kids, just having fun and trying to survive and the fun they still can have.”
“When you come to one of our shows, you’re coming to a party,” Foreman says. “There’s a lot of people out there doing what we do, but for all the wrong reasons. It’s not to get bitches; it’s not to like, do whatever; it’s because we just want to have fun with you.”
On the Bill
Boulder’s Only Back to School Bash, with Cobraconda, Willdabeast and The Um aka Umconscious, hits the Fox Theatre on Friday, Sept. 3. Doors at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are free with student ID, $10 for non-students. 1135 13th St., Boulder, 303-443-3399.
The last time Cobraconda played The Fox, the booze bit back and Nation wrecked himself on a loose beer bottle on stage.
“I was standing on a monitor,” he says. “We pretty much had a 12-pack of beer bottles on stage with us, and I stepped right onto one and kind of stutter-stepped, my foot just snapped. … I didn’t really have time [to recuperate] — it was our second song.”
“Short of one of us dying,” Foreman points out, “I don’t really see what would stop one of our sets. And if one of us died and the other one knew the rest of the material, I have a feeling the show would go on anyway.”
So while these two might not be the typical band you’d expect to play role model for the new students’ impressionable minds, they offer some valuable advice.
“It’s up to you to make your scene, especially in a town like this,” Foreman advises. “You can’t just expect all this shit to be thrown, so get active. If you want something to happen, if you want a band to come, do it, get it done. That was one of the biggest appeals in Austin [Texas] for me. … They were taking it into their own hands, booking [their friends’ bands] coming through on the road, y’know? House parties with touring acts. It was awesome.
“I think there’s a good young scene here,” Foreman says. “It just needs a little bit of kickin’ in the ass from the older boys. I’ll take that job if I have to.”