RAT BOY first found Armstrong’s punk/hip-hop band The Transplants in his father’s record collection, and subsequently delved into his back
Separated by 30 years of age and the Atlantic Ocean, RAT BOY and Armstrong sound like the very definition of an odd couple. But they immediately connected on their first phone call, through a shared love for mixing the visceral energy of punk with hip-hop beats. In many ways, it’s hardly surprising: both musicians share similar influences and often reflect on their upbringing in their lyrics.
The pair met at Armstrong’s
The momentum was such that the project was entirely written and recorded during three visits, which amounted to a total of two months’ work. RAT BOY’s live band joined him in Los Angeles, while other collaborators include former Aggrolites bassist J Bonner and The Interrupters’ vocalist Aimee Interrupter. JohnKing of The Dust Brothers (Beastie Boys, Beck) also contributed production.
“I wanted to do this completely differently because ‘SCUM’ took so long, and I was learning the whole way through making it,” says RATBOY. “I wanted to make something more personal and raw, which reflected me more. I was trying to find that sweet spot between hip-hop and punk, and Tim really understands that stuff. I’ve never really spoken to anyone else who love hip-hop and punk like I do.”
The result is twelve tracks which amplify RAT ROY’s rabble-rousing riot act to a new level. He’s drawing on diverse influences which echo, at various points, The Clash, Beastie Boys, The Prodigy, Rebel MC, Green Day and Run-DMC.
‘INTERNATIONALLY UNKNOWN’ is released on streaming, download, vinyl and CD formats: the title track contrasts manic verses with an anthemic downtempo hook; the aggy street-punk rush of opening track ‘CHIP ON MY SHOULDER’; and the experimental production that underpins ‘NO PEACE NO JUSTICE’, which also features a one-take improvised verse from Armstrong.