Doomtree/Rhymesayers MC P.O.S. and indie-rap favorite Astronautalis have taken their frequent collaborations to the next level by officially becoming a duo by the name of Four Fists. We have the premiere of their debut single “MMMMMHMMMMM,” whose 7 inch vinyl single is now available for pre-order before its October 8th release, and spoke to Astro about what made them decide to tackle a full-length project as a gruesome twosome.
How did you and P.O.S. first meet?
It was 2004 on the Warped Tour. He was working as the merch guy for Atmosphere with the promise he might be able to work his way to the stage once in a while. Halfway through the tour there was an opening on my stage and he urged me to “come watch the show!” I watched it and was totally floored by it. I still remember quite vividly hearing him do “Music for Shoplifting” and thinking “Holy shit! This is something totally new! We’re friends now, let’s make music together.”
You’ve both collaborated a lot over the years, what inspired Four Fists to become a full-fledged duo?
That was sort of the intention all along. All of the collaborations we’ve done have sort-of just been placeholders in the meantime until we could start being a group together. With both of our touring schedules and life in general, it’s a lot to wrangle sometimes. Those collaborations would sort of tide us over until we finally got a chance to sit down and get to work on the group itself. This has been sort of a daydream since 2005.
Where did the name Four Fists come from?
Stef and I had been talking about books and he asked me if I had read any of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short stores. I had read Gatsby of course and Tender is the Night, but not many of his short stories, and he gave me a complete collection and said to start with the story called Four Fists. I was just absolutely floored and began tearing through the rest of the book. We had a big long talk discussing how fantastic his work is, and the idea of naming the group that came about. These two songs on the seven inch are influenced by him content-wise and thematically.
Being you both have such distinct voices and fierce touring schedules, what’s the writing/recording process like?
We work really well when we’re together. We both makes beats, but we’re not full-on beat-makers. Once we’ve spent enough time on beats for ourselves, we don’t know how to write to it, so we would sit in his bedroom and cycle through beats. “Next one, next one, next one, STOP! Loop that.” We would write to each others’ beats, comeback and meet up to piggyback off each other’s passion. We’re inspiration junkies. It was a fun back-and-forth process. In some ways we’re very different people, but the nature of the way we create is very similar.
What made you decide to lead Four Fists off with a split seven inch?
We had these two songs done for a really long time. The full-length is taking a different direction than these two songs, but we really wanted to get them out. We’re really proud of them, and a seven inch made the most sense because it’s only two songs and seven inches are cool. I’m an old indie rock kid, he’s an old punk rock kids and we both grew up collecting seven inches and being pumped when our favorite band would put out a single and have some obscure song on the b-side as a rad thing.
Who did the single art?
That’s Eric Carlson. He is great. He did most of the artwork for the last two P.O.S. records. I can’t say enough about this dude. When it came time for the artwork, it wasn’t something we discussed. We didn’t have to talk about it. He’s one of those people where you tell him “Here’s the song, here’s the idea about it” and he just piles it all on. He’s just the best.
You’ve been intertwined with Doomtree for a longtime. Not only will this new record with P.O.S. be coming out on Doomtree Records, but you’ve also been performing and releasing music with their members a lot, including your song “This is the Place” with Sims from earlier this year. Does this make you Doomtree’s Killah Priest?
(laughs) I think I’m more like Doomtree’s Poppa Wu, but I think you could call me Doomtree’s Killah Priest. I don’t think anybody in Doomtree would have a problem with that.