10 minutes with the next big thing

The NewsHouse talks Pokémon and Passion Pit with eclectic Syracuse University hip-hop duo Mouth's Cradle.

It's been a whirlwind year for Syracuse's own Mouth's Cradle: In between recording their first full-length, The Next Big Thing, and jumping to the "New and Noteworthy" page on iTunes, the genre-morphing hip-hop duo somehow found time to open Juice Jam for Super Smash Bros., Passion Pit and Lupe Fiasco.

Brandon Linn (BLinn) and Kevin Hegedus (Mouf) were busy at Skytop on Sunday, as well, but The NewsHouse managed to snag a few minutes with them after their set.

The NewsHouse: I heard from a reputable source that you guys were able to play Juice Jam because Passion Pit was playing Juice Jam.

Hegedus: Yes.

NH: Wanna talk about that?

Linn: We got a show at the Highline Ballroom in New York City. Passion Pit’s manager Rich [Cohen] was there and he was very impressed with our show. He knew we went to Syracuse, so he said, “They’re going to play Juice Jam with my band Passion Pit.”

NH: By that time was Passion Pit already decided for Juice Jam?

Hegedus: I would think so.

Linn: They were like, “Mouth’s Cradle needs to be on that line-up.” Our manager [Max Gredinger] interned with Passion Pit's manager… So you know we blew them away.

NH: Yeah, this is effectively your biggest crowd so far.

Linn: Oh yeah, definitely.

NH: What’s next for you guys, do you know yet?

Hegedus: I’d have to say that right now we’re making a lot of fans and working on putting our mixtape out, which is occupying most of our time. We talked about it during our set. We’re going to call it Mouth’s Cradle vs. the Hype. It’s gonna be, you know, about Mouth’s Cradle vs. the Hype [laughs]. It’ll be out in the next two months, I’d say.

NH: Any date on that?

Linn: No, no date.

Hegedus: We’ll tell you when we know,  but we’re still working, still trying to fix stuff.

NH: How much new material did you debut from that mixtape today?

Linn: Today we got to do three new songs.

NH: Wanna talk about them?

Linn: One of them is called “Pallet Town.” It samples the Pokémon theme song and it just bumps. We pay a little homage to our hometown Allentown. We say that living here in Pallet Town is kind of like living here in Allentown, Billy Joel style.

Hegedus: Allentown is really important to us, so we wanted to play that. We also played a track called “Summertime” which we actually released about a month ago, maybe?

Linn: Yeah, and that samples Train’s “Soul Sister.”

Hegedus: The mixtape is going to be cool because we love sampling. It’s something that’s very important to both of us, but we didn’t really get a chance to do that on The Next Big Thing because we wanted to release as an album and get it on iTunes. This mixtape’s going to be a chance for us to sample and experiment.

Linn: And “Ice and Snow” was an original that we played … just a great stomp-and-clap jammer.

NH: I asked [UU President] Andrew Beyda and he did not divulge the breakdown of money, but were you guys paid to play today?

Linn: This is free for us.

Hegedus: It was about the opportunity to just do our thing in front of our peers.

NH: One last question. Kevin, you’re here in Syracuse, and Brandon, you’ve just graduated. How does that affect the creative process?

Hegedus: We’ve always been to some extent working from different locations. Even when we made our Next Big Thing album the tables were turned. I was taking the semester off for my health and Brandon was at school. It’s a constant -- I guess problem -- but not so much a problem as an obstacle we’ve had to deal with because of our lack of proximity sometimes. So you know we’re just making it work as best we can.

Linn: As for the creative process of recording, almost 90% of the songs we’ve made we’ve never been in the same place at the same time. We work so much through our computers, which is crazy because, you know, Mouth’s Cradle is just this mash-up of crazy ideas and genres. We separate the parts out, and when they come together, I don’t know, they work. But they’re actually created at completely different times, when inspiration strikes each of us.

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