Def Wish Cast
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Def Wish Cast


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"Interview (2012)"

Oldies like me have a special place in our heart for Sydney Hip Hop group Def Wish Cast. They were one of the first Australian Hip Hop groups I ever heard, and grew up seeing their sick graf in magazines like Hype back in the day. These guys mos def live the Bboy lifestyle and are masters at pretty much all the elements. Bloody all-rounders! But homeboys are supportive, nice guys too that have been down since day dot. And they still got more hardcore fans out West than a footy crowd at the MCG.

And that timeless logo….woaaaah!

Last week Def Wish Cast dropped their 20th Anniversary Album, Evolution Machine on Creative Vibes / MGM. To celebrate this monumental release, Def Wish Cast are hitting the road for a stack of shows around Australia. Expect to be brought back in time as DWC hit you off with a Bboy Jam and Art Exhibition, showcasing their incredible 20 year career!

Tash spoke to one of the nation’s b-boy royalty, Sereck AKA Unique (IBS), on the eve of their Australian tour.

Tell us about how Def Wish Cast formed….what year was it?

Def Wish and Die-C went to the same school and they formed Def Wish Posse, as close school mates. In approximately 1990 they saw me painting one day. I just moved out west and they said to come down to this battle in Parramatta that they were in. I knew about it and went down to watch them. After that we all started to hang out. We knew from that moment we had this chemistry, and there was definitely a higher force working.

How did yall decide on the group?

We recorded a few 4 track demos in my bedroom, where I had my beat station setup, and we went from the word Posse at the end, to eventually cast (as in All Star Cast). We just felt the word posse had been thrashed and we wanted to start a fresh thing altogether.

When did you personally start rapping?

I used to muck around in-between 2 tape decks in the mid 80’s, but 1988 is when I took it more seriously and we came up with some killer apocalyptic topics with my old partner in crime Mistery from Brethren. Def Wish and Die-C started rapping in school together.

We were that generation in the early 80’s that came from BBoyin first and then blending Graffiti writing and you soon find out if the music sets in on your life and we all have had a great interest in the music side so that was pretty natural. I’m a beat maker as well. We are heavy into the backbone of allot of shit that happens in this country as far as tours, promotions etc. But we represent all the main elements of Hip Hop as you can see in our shows and our history.

Who was your DJ back then?

We had no official DJ when we first started. But we needed to get our shit to the next level. So with the help of DJ A.S.K with production on Mad as a Hatter first EP in 1991, he really gave us a step forward as a DJ on our first main shows. His years of experience were exactly what we needed. DJ Vame came a little after as he lived in the same area as us and hung around the same crowd. He gave us a demo tape and it blew us away instantly, so we gained Vame as our personal DJ. He got a track on “Mad as a Hatter” EP and then we did the album “Knights of the Underground Table”.

Has Def Wish Cast’s style changed much over the years?

The first stuff is very aggressive Bboy shit as coming off our days of hardcore writing and just wanting to breakthrough an ignorant music scene and also make that dent. No holds barred!!!! I’d just come from living on the streets and getting into trouble with the law. As you see over the years, we have always had a love for funk over all. The style on Legacy was just a straight up style and no tricks. But this latest album is a cross of the early shit in terms of flow and with Tommy Rock on vocoder we brought a futuristic old sound and we got a few different producers on this latest album, which has helped take us to a new dimension in sound.

How would you describe your style?

Ha..It’s that attacking Bboy style in all elements with one aim to smash it and leave an echo. With the music it’s Scratches, Stabs and Sonic Booooooms… exciting we like to think!!!! But we have an element we love in our music and that’s so you can close your eyes and create an everlasting picture!

What’s been the most memorable gig you ever did?

It would have to be our time support Beastie Boys & Helmet. What an honor, especially at a time when AUS Hip Hop was nowhere near as big as it is today. RIP MCA!!!

Have you painted and/or performed much out of Australia?

I was flown out to Germany in 1997 and that was for a BBoy jam in Hannover. Bboy’d a bit and had a good paint. I also dropped a solo set but it’s funny who comes up to you. A couple of kids heard I was out and brought all their albums to get signed. I was blown away that they knew our shit. We’ve always have had much love from Germany, Norway, Denmark and in the UK. Funnily enough, since we dropped this new stuff, the overseas reviews and shout outs have started again. Just yesterday we were hit up from fans who are Zulu Nation members in the Ukraine and Japan. So the overseas love is there. Now we just need to get on those planes and show the rest of the world what we can do on a stage!!!

In between albums, what other projects have yall been working on?

The main focus was getting this album together and having a detailed plan in place once we finished it, so we took allot of time to get the tracks right and try to map out the next few years after it drops. But we have also been working in the background, helping organize tours and shows with our Basic Equipment and Joint Adventure fam. On top of that we have been painting, doing clothing designs, and living in the day to day. Most of us have families nowadays. It’s a bit different to when we were teenagers. Responsibility takes over your life! haha…

How important are all the elements of hip hop to all members of the group?

We are Hip Hop, so it’s everything we know and the reason we are still here. We owe everything to that energy that has kept us searching for that perfect beat (style).

Are you still painting much man?

Yeah!!! haha…I’ve done a lot of private work, but out tomorrow with the boyz!

For your upcoming tour and new album is it the original lineup?

Yessss!!! The album is the current lineup of DWC, with the addition of Thomas Rock on Vocoder duties. However our original DJ, Vame, comes back to produce one of the tracks on the album.

We are performing in most cities as an anthology of our lives as DWC. We want to flip up the normal rock show mentality with it always being supports and then headline act and bring an experience. We’re taking people aboard the Evolution Machine, and bringing them back to the beginning and finishing in the here and now. For most of the shows we have all kinds of guests popping out, including DJ Vame, Brass (Celsius) and more!!!

What made you reform after all these years?

We knew we were always gonna reform. There’s unfinished business. We say it all the time how for some unexplained reason we knew it was gonna be this way. Def Wish Cast is not in any way a manufactured product or here to impress anyone on false levels. We are here because this is us and what we do and love. So, even though we are back, you must realize… we never left!

Word! What were some inspirations behind the new material?

Tuff crew and Star Wars as usual! haha… We got a stack of electro vocoder feel like the 80’s Jonzun Crew, Bambaatta, etc…But we are just bringing in what we have learnt over the couple of decades. It has taken 20 years to create this album!

How have the singles been received so far in Australia? The rest of the world and media?

I will say it simple…more than what we thought! Dun Proppa & Forever have been getting hammered on radio for months, receiving high rotation, etc. Since the album dropped, we hit #3 on the Itunes Hip Hop album chart, and all the reviews have been incredible. It seems like some of the people who didn’t take notice of us before are starting to open their eyes to what we are doing and have done.

We are very pleased, as its a great start to the next 3 albums we are dropping. This is just the beginning. We have more on the way, and no longer will you wait 5 years for the next album. Trust me!

We are very simple lovers of what we live, and just grateful for whatever comes our way. I have to say its about timing and this feels like the right time for us. Things are falling into place….

That’s rad…Are you a fan of much other Australian Hip Hop?

Whatever tickles ya fancy. We are fans of Hip Hop, period. So when something is good, it doesn’t matter where it comes from, what nationality they are, etc. There is good and bad shit in everything. Everyone has a beat station and everyone is having fun. When we are asked if we like a particular track, we observe it on another level. When it represents this land internationally, on a great level, then of course we love it. We have some very talented people here in Australia and just wish this country acknowledged their skills more. Music and visual art is a battle here, as we all know. But when you see people here striving off fuck all to keep their passion alive in all types of music, art, etc… then it kinda overrides it all.

Do Australian rappers get many groupies?

As we say, there are no fans just extended fam. Without fans we wouldn’t be getting interviewed by you right now. If you are wanting to know more specifics on “groupies” in the Australian Hip Hop scene, I will have to use my right to remain silent… haha..

Damn it!! What’s been your favourite release in the last 12 months?

I haven’t actually listened to much over the last 12 months as we I have been way too busy and focussed on planning our next 5 years. Also, when we are in writing mode, we tend to go back to some older, timeless releases. Guess it’s our way of not sounding like anything you are hearing now. We occasionally listened to newer releases from people like Action Bronson, Roc Marciano, DJ JS1, etc + our AUS fam like Mr Clean, Sleeping Monk, Trem, Dialectrix, Bingethinkers, etc. But you have to understand we hear alot of production too, and not just MC’s, which blows our mind. I heard Rainman and Maunds new ones the other week, and they were both very impressive!!!

What can we expect from your tour?

Energy as always!!! You’re gonna be shocked how much energy comes from that stage. Like we are 20 years old again. Not celebrating a 20 year anniversary! The set contains 4 live sets, covering periods of Def Wish Cast over 20 years. We may need oxygen tanks on site! hahaha…

After the tour what’s next for you guys?

More touring, shit loads of fun remixes and writing this next album we want to drop in 2013. We are ready to continue this comeback without a gap. Its that time to focus and give you 100% nonstop DWC. We are focussed on giving it our all now. This is it!!!! No more gaps.

Always rockin’ total bboy style give us your top 3 favourite sneakers?

Puma Peppermints, Airmax 90’s (of course) and i miss the Nike Air trainers with the velcro back in 89/90.

Now tell us your top 3 favourite hip hop records…

See that’s a hard one…no man should be put on that spot….Newcleus, Run DMC “Raising Hell” and … ummmm….personally i love Alkoholiks “Coast to Coast” and even Freestyle Fellowship “Inner City Griots”…..oh and “Hard to Earn” by Gangstarr. There a few more, cause you can never give just 3. haha…

Finally tell us 3 things that make you go Hell Yeah!

People loving our shit, fresh stock of paint delivered to your door and Parramatta Eels and Balmain Tigers in a Rugby league final!!!!!! - Hell Yeah Mag

"Interview (2012)"

Since the days when Hip Hop culture first arrived in Australia, there are many who’ve become obsessed with the traditional four elements; B-boying, Emceeing, Deejaying and Graffiti. Def Wish Cast epitomise the whole package, with extreme dedication to all the vocations. They symbolise Hip Hop in its purest form. They created something localised that was revered and is now mythologised: they are Def Wish Cast; they are Australian they are Hip Hop.

How did you all meet and when did Def Wish Cast officially form?

DWC formed out in the Western Suburbs out in St Clair, Mt Druitt and Kingswood as thats where we all lived at that time. It was around 1990. A lot was happening out there with nights happening in Fairfield, Parramatta, Seven Hills and Penrith. I met Def Wish and Die-C when they were Def Wish Posse and when I came in we all decided to take it too another level and changed Posse to Cast as felt it more timeless…

Who were the groups major influences when you first started?

There are many, but Tuff Crew, Black Rock and Ron, T LA Rock, Ice-T, LL Cool J, Miami Bass, Sir Mix Alot, Egyptian Lover, Arabian Prince, Public Enemy, Afrika Bambaata and the Soul Sonic Force, Cold Crush Brothers, Hijack (UK), Demon Boyz etc are some.

Describe the Hip Hop scene at that time which groups/artists were out and what was the interest in Hip Hop like?

There were still a lot from the pioneering days of the early 80's around and that was what was beauty of that time as you have to remember i am a graffiti writer and Bboy through the 80's and we involve ourselves in other elements too. So this aint all about the music! So around 90-91 you had the music groups / artists who were very active like Sound Unlimited Posse (Westside Posse), Bad Rep, Just Us, AKA Brothers (VIC), Skank One (WA), Blackhand, D-Man, PeaceFender, The Ghost and some groups forming like my man Tormentem from 046 and there are a couple more, but alot started forming at that time and thats what makes it a prominent period .

What are some of your most memorable moments from back then?

There is so many!!! But, I think it’s always the early days when everything was new…Cant beat it!

“Knights of the Underground Table” was one of the first Hip Hop albums from an Australian group. What were your expectations when it was released?

We have a mentality that isn’t about small backyards. This album was us just going hard, and out of that we created something. We were full of energy and not giving a shit! We were learning so much on the go and didn’t have many expectations.

The 4 elements of Hip Hop play a big part in Def Wish Cast. How important is it for you represent that?

Very important! Its the foundations. Its great that people want to think they have to remove themselves from the complete but its the simple way and natural way it formed and that will reign till eternity. We are about Hip Hop Culture, where one sub culture stems from another. We are no better than anyone who reps one element. We are just naturally living what we love Its how we grew up and it formed our beliefs.

In 1997 the group took a break, you formed Celsius with Brass, while DefWish and Die C, alongside DJ Vame, formed KillaWattz. How was it working outside of the group and will you ever be working on side projects again?

Oh it was awesome. Its in us, so even though something changes, we keep creating and it’s sometimes for the best. Working with Brass revived me. It was great working with someone younger. I’d go and see my brothers as Kilawattz. I’m another fan ha. But we always somehow knew we would never let Def Wish Cast die.

How does it feel when some of Hip Hop’s biggest names in Australia cite you as an influence on their music and why they started rapping in the first place?

Its a great feeling and we take that with great respect as we name the ones who inspired us too, and so it goes down the line. Evolving this culture is what we are about and the respect is always passed down. We never inspired to be these people where we are the ones who inspired them, but we are very grateful that everything we did helped create something new. As that’s how styles are formed.

Being one of the few to be around when Hip Hop first started in this country, what are your views on what it has become?

We are apart of it but there is a few more who deserve more credit. Just apart of a bigger thing. Australia has a broad Hip Hop Culture that goes deep. Alot to discover about the past. But today is what it is and we hope that our input has some grounding effect. It’s changed a lot now, but it’s amazing of what opportunities are now available to upcoming Hip Hop artists.

What one thing does Hip Hop in Australia need right now?

They need to stop calling it Aussie Hip Hop! Enough of this oi oi oi shit. Its just Hip Hop! We never called it Aussie Hip Hop, as we just tried to create Hip Hop which was repping our home of Australia on a global level!

The video to your new single “Forever” features some classic footage from back in the day how hard was it to source then compile it all and are there plans to put more of it out?

It wasn’t hard at all. We had the tapes, we gave it to our friends at Versus Media and gave them creative freedom. After they made the 1st draft we offered slight adjustments and away it went!

The footage in that clip is a very small percentage of the footage we have in our personal collections. There are plans for a DWC documentary to be released at some point, which will tap into plenty more rare footage that we have. It will be a real insight not only into DWC’s history, but also the history of Hip Hop in Australia.

Your new album “Evolution Machine” has production from Hip Hop heavyweights M-Phazes, Plutonic Lab (Muph n Plutonic), DJ JS1 (Rocksteady Crew / NYC), Katalyst and more. Did you take a different approach to the making of this album compared to others?

Yeah, it was a very different approach than we were used to. In the past, the majority of the production was handled by myself or DWC’s inner circle. For this album we wanted to venture into new territory and called upon some of our producer friends to take us there. We sourced a stack of music from them and slowly narrowed it down to the best of the best and began writing to each song. It was a slow, stressful process for us, but we got there in the end. I think we achieved what we set out for, which was to find the balance between old and new. To bring back that future funk and let everyone know that we are still as relevant today as we were 20 years ago.

The next album is going to be completely different though. Though we love the end product, we also learned from our mistakes on this album. The recording, mixing and mastering process will run a lot smoother on the next one and we will be taking you on a whole new journey through sound. Can’t wait to get into the depths of this next record! Exciting times!

Out of all Def Wish Cast’s releases what has been your favourite and why?

Probably “Knights of The Underground Table”. Only because we were so young and learning every step of the way. There were no expectations then. It wasn’t about business, radio play, tours, etc. It was only about going as hard as possible to smash all competition. It was a very special time in our life that helped create the people and artists we are today…

You have just been on an extensive tour to coincide with the album release what was your plan with the shows?

On these shows we wanted to take people on a journey through our 20 year career. We started at the beginning with the material from “Knights of The Underground Table” and “Mad As A Hatter” and worked our way up through the Celsius and Kilawattz tracks, into “The Legacy Continues”, and finished on the new tracks. We also tried to include some old faces into the mix, like Brass, DJ ASK, and original DWC member, DJ Vame. We also took our newest label mates, NTSC on the road nationally to showcase their AVDJ style and assist us in taking our own visual show to the next level. It’s been a great return to the stage for us…

In the last year Def Wish Cast seems to have been getting a lot of attention with radio play and also a nomination for APRA Song Of The Year. Why do you think there has been so much interest?

I think people are sick of the lollipop. Hip Hop seems to be coming full cycle. There is return to the original elements brewing under the surface, and the time was right for DWC to come back. We are grateful for the love we have been getting since our return. But we need to let everyone know that this is just the beginning. We are far from finished. We are already working on our next album, and no longer will there be long periods of time in between releases, tours, etc. We are just getting started on you guys!

For those unfamiliar with Hip Hop in Australia what 5 tracks would you tell them to listen to?

It’s almost impossible to narrow it down to only 5 tracks, but here are some of the greats that have been made over the years…

Finger Lickin’ Good- Funky Whos Deffer
Frequency Unknown – Analyst
AKA Brothers – On the Tea Cosy Tip
Lyrical Commission – Press Release
Prowla – Money Walks

Def Wish Cast have been in the game for over 20 years what’s the secret to your longevity?

We have always been true to ourselves, our passion and our creativity. We have never sold our souls for the almighty dollar. And most importantly, we have always been about refining our skills to be the best performers we can be. We attack the stage like it’s a battle each and every time. Doesn’t matter if there are 10 or 10,000 in attendance.

What advice would you give to up and coming artists?

Learn your history. Knowledge is power. Also, don’t do this if you want to get rich. Because the chances of that happening are minimal. Do this because it’s all that you know and all that you love.

What does the future hold for Def Wish Cast?

More releases, more shows, more collabs, more Def Wish Cast… You better get used to seeing our faces, because we’re not going anywhere!

What’s your definition of Grindin’?

Grindin’ is the art of hustling and working non-stop. Putting everything you have into making productive moves for yourself, your team, your fam, etc. Might be grindin’ to put food on the table, excel at an artform, whatever. It’s putting in hard work!!! - Grindin'

"Interview (2012)"

Australia’s music landscape was a vastly different terrain back in the early '90s. Midnight Oil, Jimmy Barnes and Johnny Farnham were rocketing up the ARIA charts, pub rock was spilling out onto the streets and nobody had a clue what an MP3 was. It may seem like an eternity ago for some of us, but back then a few boys from Western Sydney were laying down the foundation for a fresh new scene: Aussie hip hop.

When hip hop arrived on our shores, Def Wish Cast were some of the first guys to embrace the culture with open arms. Their crew – MCs Paul Westgate (Sereck), Simon Bottle (Def Wish), Pablo Chiacchio (Die C) and DJ Vame (Shane Duggan) – started putting a local spin on the sound. “It was a fresh culture of funk”, explains founding member Pablo Chiacchio aka Die C, with a distinct Aussie twang in his voice. “It was different to what we were growing up with in Western Sydney, where there was lots of rock ‘n’ roll. As kids, you look for something different to stand out from the crowd, and for us it was breakdancing and graffiti.”

When we catch up with Pablo he’s getting off the bus after a long day at work (he keeps it real working at Rebel Sport during the day). Although he sounds a little tired, he’s still happy to reflect on some of the hurdles Def Wish Cast faced in the beginning. “It was very difficult to even get gigs in the early days because there was this perception that hip hop was rap, and in their eyes rap was crap,” Pablo recalls. “They didn’t even think rap was music.”

Nevertheless, Def Wish Cast stuck to their guns and in 1991 released 500 copies of the Mad As A Hatter EP on vinyl. In addition to their live shows, interest in the group started to sizzle thanks to the EP’s distinctly Australian sound. The track 'Proppa Ragga' even exposed the crew to a global audience, charting in Norway. Part of the EP’s charm lay in its authenticity, as Pablo explains: “When we were first starting out, there were a lot of people coming out with American accents. I suppose we were one of the first crews who came out with our own accent. We always believed in writing raps and rhyming in the way we speak. It just didn’t make sense to be speaking in another accent that had nothing to do with us.”

While the music has always been front and centre, Def Wish Cast incorporate all elements of hip hop into their public persona, including graffiti (the Mad As A Hatter EP cover was designed by Def Wish and Sereck). Pablo says that graffiti was part of the culture when they were growing up, and that all members of Def Wish painted murals both legally and illegally. However, this “expression of self” did land the boys in hot water on occasions. “As younger fellas we got in trouble for doing graffiti”, Pablo confesses. “It was one of those things where you thought you were doing the right thing by expressing yourself. Unfortunately, the law doesn’t work that way.”

The following year the group built on the momentum of Mad As A Hatter with the release of their debut LP, Knights of the Underground Table. The album was a game changer for the lads, adding a notch to their profile to take them to the next level. With their rapid fire wordplay and the slick turntable skills of DJ Vame, word of mouth led to the Def Wish crew quickly finding themselves touring Australia and supporting some big name international hip hop posses.

“We supported the Beastie Boys in 1994 at the Hordern Pavilion, Sydney”, Pablo recalls. “That was awesome. In those days hip hop was still growing, still infant in that sense. It was a big deal having the Beasties here for the first time. We’ve grown up listening to them ourselves so it was an awesome experience”.

What came next was a hiatus for the group beginning in ’95, when each member pursued side projects and other interests. Sereck formed his own record label and released a documentary on Australian hip hop, Basic Equipment, while Pablo and the others focused on their own musical ventures. DWC was not finished, but was put on hold while its members grew and found other outlets for their creativity.

Def Wish Cast re-emerged with their next album The Legacy Continues in 2006, with DJ Murda One replacing DJ Vame. Pablo says that aside from the DJ changes, the core of Def Wish have stuck together since the beginning. “Murda has been part of the crew going on nearly 6 years. The three MCs have always remained the same, except for the DJ changes", he says before joking, “in a band sense, it might be like getting a new drummer”.

This year Def Wish Cast enter the next chapter in their career with the release of the appropriately titled, Evolution Machine. Pablo describes the record as both an evolution in hip hop and of themselves, and draws from their experience growing from boys to men within the scene. Unlike their previous album (which was mostly produced by Sereck), this time they enlisted the support of a younger generation, with production credits going to Katalyst, Resin Dogs and M-Phazes. If you listen to triple j, you might have already heard 'Dun Proppa', a track from the album that shows how in tune Def Wish are with today’s scene while staying true to their roots.

Since their inception, hip hop has grown exponentially in Australia. It’s no longer on the fringe - it’s the mainstream. So with chartbusters like 360, Hilltop Hoods and Bliss N Eso, does Pablo think the younger generation have taken credit for something they pioneered?

“I think they’ve worked hard themselves. They were fortunate to come about during a time when radio was picking up Australian hip hop. Those guys have worked hard to get where they are and I give all power to them. I remember when they were just kids growing up in the scene, on the other side of the venue fence trying to come watch us. These kids have been inspired by us and inspired by the scene itself. They’ve gone on and manifested it into their own thing. They’ve really brought a lot more people into Australian hip hop and they’ve opened so many more doors”.

Now 38-years-old, Pablo is the youngest member in Def Wish Cast. While they may be seen as the godfathers in the scene, he says they have no intension of slowing down. “You don’t stay together unless you’ve got that spark happening. When we get together, we really feed off each other. The energy is just amazing. We surprise ourselves all the time in the sense that nothing’s changed. Something special happens when the three of us get together. There’s always new fans out there who haven’t heard of Def Wish Cast. You’ve gotta keep putting material out there. So that’s definitely what we want to do”. - Everguide

"Interview (2012)"

It’s hard to overstate the importance of Def Wish Cast to Australian rap music.

In the early ‘90s, long before the Hoods, Bliss N Eso and 360, this intrepid hip hop crew were clambering onto stages around Sydney, their ultra sharp battle rhymes matched only by the quality of the graf that they’d be busily spraying the next day.

For a time it seemed the western Sydney mob of Def Wish, Die C, Sereck and DJ Vame would be just a brief blip on Australia’s musical landscape: Vame had left for Melbourne in 1995 and Def Wish Cast were more or less on hiatus. Indeed, it wasn’t until after the millennium that the crew finally began to come to terms with the impact that they’d had on Australian alternative music culture.

“It was when we came back in the early 2000s that we realised the history we have,” Sereck explains over the phone from Sydney. “And we fought for it. In a way, you’re coming back, but you’re coming back to a whole new generation who don’t know us but they might know other things.”

Def Wish Cast virtually had to start again and get used to life with a new DJ – Murda One coming onboard to replace the departed Vame. There was little in the way of leaning on the glory days. “We like respect, of course,” Sereck says, laughing. “But at the same time it’s what you do now, not what you did some years ago … You’ve just gotta go back to training. That’s pretty much how we got here.”

Fastidiously living in the moment has kept Def Wish Cast relevant, even as the Australian rap landscape changed rapidly around them. Ten years on from their official reunion, the crew are prepping up for the release of a new album, ‘Evolution Machine’, and the way Sereck tells it, this is yet another beginning.

“Like any album, it’s a new sound, because we’re working with a variety of producers. So basically, you’re receiving everything from the producers.
“I think we work well receiving music, but we can be iffy on it as well – it has to be something epic. It’s not your normal 4-4 beat and depending on the MC and how athletic he is, he can rip anything over it and make the beat sound good. Sometimes we like the beat to set the mood for us and make us excited to write, as well. Sometimes you’re writing over one beat and you end up putting it over other stuff anyway, if you know what I mean. We like to create the whole thing – that whole journey.”

The timing certainly feels prescient. Australian hip hop has become a more self-reflective beast in recent years, and a cogent narrative is both being discussed by artists and taken up by the genre’s fans. Hilltop Hoods’ Suffa perhaps summed up Def Wish Cast’s role best when he claimed that the crew “are without a doubt the most important group to shape Australian hip hop into what it is today”.

“People are speaking about it naturally, [but] we were always underway, in a sense,” Sereck says. “We [talk about it] together: we couldn’t have done this a couple of years ago. It wouldn’t have been the right time a couple of years ago. It’s now, so it’s perfect. And at the same time, before we dropped it, doing the recent tour with KRS-One, we were just blown away. You look at each other and think, ‘What the fuck is goin’ on? There is something higher goin’ on here.’ It’s perfect. I suppose it’s what you work towards and how hard you work towards it: at some point it’s got to break.”

‘Evolution Machine’ is a more than welcome release crammed full of Def Wish Cast’s punchy, vital verbal gymnastics. But the crew’s natural environment is always going to be the stage, and that’s where you’ll find them over the next month as they set out on an east coast tour in support of the album. The dates with KRS-One went down brilliantly, but as Sereck says, there’s something special about playing your own show to your own fans.

“Yeah, man. We’re totally ready: it’s just putting together an epic kind of show where it’s not really about supports, it’s more about an experience. We’re just a little bit over the traditional ‘rock line-up’ style of shows. We want to bring back the overall experience and we’ve got enough music to kill it for a few hours. We do it in stages and show our life through the music – 20 years of music.”

Sounds more like a party than a show, perhaps? “Yeah!” Sereck laughs. “It’s more enjoyable and it’s a different experience. It should be great.” - Scene Magazine

"Album Review (2012)"

The ‘Knights Of The Underground Table’ are pretty much the reason we have a hip hop scene in Australia. Fiercely passionate about hip hop as a culture, not just a means to radio play and national tours, they have been killing stages for 20-plus years. On their latest long-player Sereck, Die C and Def Wish have continued to just do that. Sonically, the pace seems to have slowed a little from their last classic The Legacy Continues, as the music, much like the title suggests, has continued to evolve. Beats are changed up a little with some outside influences on board (M-Phazes, Plutonic Lab, JS-1) but from start to end, this is definitely a DWC album. Lyrically, these three always bring something different to the table, while many concentrate on writing lyrics that make MCs go ‘woah’, DWC concentrate on bouncing off each other and riding a beat with energy to make the party rock. Standouts are Dun Proppa, Rock On and Day Tripper, but there are no weak moments. - Onion Magazine

"Interview (2012)"

It's impossible to exaggerate the importance of Def Wish Cast to Australian hip-hop. They were the pioneers of the scene back in the late '80s and early '90s, when Aussie hip-hop as a genre didn't even exist. Their debut full-length record, Knights of the Underground Table, released in 1993 (on CD and cassette!) was one of the first full-length Australian hip-hop albums, and Def Wish Cast have always garnered enormous respect in hip-hop culture.

It's hard to imagine now but when Def Wish Cast began doing their thing, Aussie hip-hop was strictly underground. They may have been the progenitors, but they pass on due credit to another crew for completely changing the game. ''A lot of credit goes to Hilltop Hoods,'' Simon Bottle, aka Def Wish, says. ''They really took Australian hip-hop out of the underground. They got everyone's attention in mainstream society, not by using gimmicks but with real skills.''

The game has changed in the past 20 years, but Def Wish Cast have always remained true to the original four elements of hip-hop culture: MC-ing, graffiti, breaking and turntablism.

''What we try and do with what's happening now, we always try and bring it back around full circle and always bring it back around to be about the culture,'' Def Wish says. ''Not dissing anyone else but that's what we've always been about. We don't want people to forget that MC-ing, DJ-ing, it's part of a whole culture.''

It's been six yearsThe Legacy Continues. Their latest offering, Evolution Machine, is only their third in 20 years (there was also an EP, Mad As a Hatter, released in 1992). The long wait is, in part, due to perfectionist tendencies. ''We're never happy 'til all of us are happy and sometimes even then we're still not happy!'' Def Wish says, laughing. But they do struggle with the business side of things: finding a manager, a label and a distribution deal took a lot longer than you'd expect for a band with this much respect in the scene. But it's not as though Def Wish Cast - MCs Def Wish, Die C , Sereck and DJ Murda One, rounded out with Tommy Rock and his electric vocoder - have been sitting around twiddling their thumbs. They have solo projects on the go and recently supported KRS-One on his Australian tour. ''Because we're graffiti artists and b-boys as well, we're always doing those things,'' Def Wish says. ''I do a lot of breaking shows and Sereck is always doing big painting jobs. We're always active in the culture and we're always working on music.''

Evolution Machine boasts a roll call of some of the best hip-hop producers in the country, including M-Phazes, Katalyst and Plutonic. ''We've been fortunate to have the respect that we do, that these producers were really keen to do it.''

It's a welcome return, and ''this is just the start,'' Def Wish says. ''We're going to be touring non-stop now, and we're planning on releasing an album each year for the next three years. It's what we should be doing and what we should have been doing in the past. We're kicking ass and we're in gear now.''
- Sydney Morning Herald

"Interview (2012)"

Australian hip-hop in the last decade has come leaps and bounds in regards to popularity. Breaking into the mainstream through the likes of Adelaide’s Hilltop Hoods and Perth rapper Drapht, the Aussie form of the genre has topped the charts, national touring circuit and the ARIA Awards.

While these two aforementioned acts are household names when speaking in reference to the genre, another who are far too often overlooked is Sydney’s Def Wish Cast. They’ve been living and representing the Aussie hip hop for over twenty years and show no signs of slowing down.

Having just released their latest album Evolution Machine and now touring nationally, MC Sereck took some time to talk to Tone Deaf about the new album, the progression of Australian hip hop culture and what fans can expect from their tour.

“Evolution Machine,” begins Sereck, “It is a great start for much more to come. It is a nice completion of us kicking back off in a bigger way.” Their new album has been in the making for quite a number of years and the release is the culmination of both a very collaborative, but also solitary, style of creation. “We will all get together and have ideas but then we also go home and write in our own time. It’s you as individual MCs, you are still on your own thing.”

Looking back at their progression as artists, their growth their first EP (1993’s Mad as a Hatter), in regards to both style and content in their music, is very much evident to Sereck. “You can hear it in the first one,” says the MC, “we are much younger and while there was - not so much aggression… it was more forceful. We were just releasing everything. But out of that we created a style and I think we have grown through music. We still keep that passion.”

An act whose career spans such a length of time, the Def Wish Cast are no strangers to the importance of embracing the changes in musical genres and tastes with the masses. “When you have a 20-year-span,” explains Sereck, “you have gone through different genres and different changes as well. You have got to get excited about those changes in music. As soon as you lose the excitement, it is pretty much gone. You cannot just only listen to ‘90s shit, you have to appreciate what is going around now. The kids are moving on as well.’

Def Wish Cast head out on the road this month in support of their new album and they are excited about the format for these live shows. “We are trying to move away from the normal: Support, Support, Headline,” says the rapper.

“You can come and enjoy it as a funk night,” he continues, “enjoy yourself with music. We are trying to bring our anthology through. We describe it to people and then we do the album that we did in that period of time and then move onto the next period of time, DJs playing in-between to get everyone back up dancing. In the end we do the latest album.”

What else can punters expect? “We have an [Audio Visual] DJ set, the visuals are travelling around with us throughout the country,” says the MC. “We are taking a bit more on with us. It is a pretty cut even tour; there is no money to be made, it is to bring the enjoyment back to hip hop.”

Having opened for some prestigious names in the world of hip hop, such as the Beastie Boys, Blackalicious and Masta Ace, just to name a few, Def Wish Cast earned a new fan in March this year in rap legend KRS-One’s daughter.

“His wife said, ‘Our 13-year-old daughter is here’,” tells Sereck. “Apparently she really likes Def Wish Cast. She was like, ‘Mummy, Mummy, who was that group?’ She basically turned around and said, ‘My daughter loves you guys.’ KRS-One’s daughter is a fan of Def Wish Cast.”

What’s next for the hard-working group? “We are non-stop going to bring music from now on,” declares Sereck proudly. “Next album is next year. We are in it for the long haul now, which is why it has been a long preparation in-between albums,” he continues, “it is a good point in life for us all and all of us are on the ball and now we just want to get straight into the next album. This is it. This is our life. It is what you have to live.”

A group that has put in the hard-yards over their lengthy career, if there was ever a time to discover this influential Australian hip hop act, it is now. With new material from Evolution Machine that is both a throwback to old school hip hop and at the same time fresh and contemporary. As well as an original live show that breaks the mould of what we have come to expect from a gig, do not miss Def Wish Cast in 2012. - Tone Deaf

"Album Review by Reason (2012)"

The ever evolving sound that defines Def Wish Cast has become a template for past, present and future generations of Australian emcees. Knights of the Underground Table is unanimously one of the greatest albums ever made, and the world eagerly awaits for the original B-Boy crew to share their fire once again. The depth of lyrical intent and the crews creative persona are a testament of their two & a half decades of dedication that shines throughout the highly anticipated EVOLUTION MACHINE. There is no doubt that Def Wish Cast have stepped back into a world that they helped to create; and with this in mind, they are not about to become bystanders; they are in fact more than ready to take on all before them.

The listener is welcomed into the fray by the simple yet effective drum patterns on the aptly named ENTRY, which sets the tone for what lies ahead. The title track EVOLUTION MACHINE elevates the crew and most importantly, the listener through a landscape of reflections that resonates through each kick and snare. Memories of B-Boy battles from days gone by permeate through the hard-hitting Dun Proppa, which for me, is reminiscent of oldschool parties like the Triple Tee P and all the way to St Claires early 90's where DWC used to ‘run tingz!’ THE POSSIBILITIES and the thought provoking HARD TIMES are tunes which present a deeper and heartfelt series of reflections that give the listener an insight into the world of DWC, whilst DAY TRIPPER is the type of tune that musically builds hype ‘inna ready for battle stylee’ and makes for an elevated heartbeat through the headnodding that seems to organically happen on its own.

Inspired by the grit and passion, complimented by a world class production team that includes Plutonic Lab, Katalyst and The Resin Dogs, it is hard not to feel somewhat inspired by what has been created by these veterans of Australian Hip Hop. Die C, Sereck, Def Wish & DJ Murda One have stepped back into the fray with gusto that is clearly a sign that the break between future releases will now transpire into a continuing presence amongst the masses. One for the traditionalists, tunes for the next generation and a return to a world that is now all the better for their presence. Salute… - Grindin'

"Live Review (2012)"

Def Wish Cast hit Brisbane on their ‘Evolution Machine’ tour last Thursday, and BOY what a show.

When I was growing up, this was the holy grail of hip hop shows; a Def Wish Cast show.

They three MCs hit the stage with a god like presence, like the old school pioneers they are, gear blue tracksuit tops, matched, fly kicks in check.

They trio looked more like Run-D.M.C. or the Beastie Boys in their fine form from the ‘80s than your cliche ‘Aussie hip hop’.

Running through their early material like A.U.S.T. and then their separate incarnations as ‘Celcius’ (Sereck’s solo project) and ‘Killawatz’ (Die C and MC Def Wish's old crew), they gave the crowd some rarities from their extensive catalogs.

Then the evolution began.

Thomas Rock and DJ Murda-1 hit the stage and performed a good portion of their album.

‘Dun Proppa’ is a sure favourite and an anthem already having the crowd going wild. It’s definitely a show you have the see live.

These guys have it down pat so well, it's not funny. Three MCs working well on stage is a hard feat, throw in a vocoder and DJ, and visuals… making it work could be a nightmare, but Def Wish Cast leave it feeling surreal and somewhat nostalgic.

I spoke to MC Def Wish after the show, it was a mediocre turn out being a Thursday night, smack band in exams, but he said verbatim: "you know, we'd rather perform for ten REAL heads that thousands of fake ones".

Word to that. Staying as true to the game as they ever have. Sharp tidy show! - Scene Magazine


Albums and EPs

- Mad as a Hatter - Random (1992)
- Knights of the Underground Table - Random (1993)
- The Legacy Continues... - Hydrofunk (2006)
- Evolution Machine - Creative Vibes (2012)


- "A.U.S.T." - Random (1993)
- "Allstars" - Hydrofunk (2006)
- "DunProppa" - Creative Vibes (2011)
- "Forever" - Creative Vibes (2012)


- "Hear My Roar", Bomb Worldwide - Bomb Records (1997)
- "Proppa Ragga", 15.Oz Vinyl: 15 Years Of Australian Hip Hop On Vinyl - Crookneck Records (2004)
- "Allstars", Bra Boys: Music From The Film - Sony BMG (2007)

Guest Appearances & Contributions

- "Boogie Boy", Def Wish & DJ Sing (Feat. Tom Thum) - Airheads Two - Australian Beats And Rhymes (2005)
- "It's Only Right", 13th Son (Feat. Sereck on backing vocals) - Airheads Two - Australian Beats And Rhymes (2005)
- "Too Damn Long", Sereck - Airheads Two - Australian Beats And Rhymes (2005)


- "Wattz A Kila?", Kilawattz (DJ Vame, production) - Basic Equipment (1998)
- "The Last One", Dope Runner (DJ Vame, production) - Basic Equipment (1998)
- "Flow", Brethren (Sereck, production) - Basic Equipment (1998)
- "Nothins gonna stop me" - 13th Son (Sereck Production) (2001)
- "By The Wayside", 13th Son (Sereck, production) - Culture Of Kings Volume 2 (2002)



Since the initial days when hip hop culture first arrived in Australia, there are many who’ve become obsessed with the traditional four elements; B-boying, Emceeing, Deejaying and Graffiti. Def Wish Cast epitomise the whole package, with extreme dedication to the many vocations. They symbolise Hip Hop in its purest form. They created something localised that was revered and is now mythologised: they are Def Wish Cast; they are Australian; they are Hiphop.

In 1990 Def Wish Cast, originally Def Wish Posse, began taking their skills to the stage. Every show was an experience. Already at this early period in their career, they were perfecting stage techniques and crowd interactions that hadn't been witnessed previously by local crowds. Def Wish Cast championed the importance of representing the country of their birth, by having a very identifiable style and sounding distinctly Australian.

In late 1991 the 500 limited edition four track vinyl "Mad as a Hatter" EP with help by the Original DJ A.S.K from the legendary West Side Posse and DJ S.I.N.G became available and was eagerly snapped up. The cover was co-designed by Sereck and Def Wish and became an instant collector’s item. Recently an original pressing went on eBay to a German bidder for more than AU$430, proving that even years later their importance is still recognised by many fans.

DWC quickly became known amongst the underground scenes of many overseas countries. DefWish’s lightning speed double-time delivery and dextrous wordplay impressed many, as the track Proppa Ragga Style became popular here and abroad. Coming in at #2 on Norway’s Rainbow FM HipHop show with Tommy Tee, it was the first Australian Hip Hop track to break into the international radio charts.

Come 1992, DWC released one of the hallmarks by which all Australian Hiphop would be judged. The 15 track “Knights of the Underground Table” was finally unleashed, featuring the turntable and production skills of DJ Vame. The unrelenting music contained within this release encapsulated everything that they had displayed on stage It was intense, layered and dense. It was an instant classic, and the first real album from an Australian Hip Hop crew. With this album under their belt, DWC started getting support acts for international artists such as the Beastie Boys, Helmet, Young Black Teenagers, Wrecks n' Effect, and many more.

DWC ventured into a new realm, by recording the first Australian underground Hip Hop film clip for “A.U.S.T” with the help of some film students. The clip clearly cemented the track’s position as the official song to express patriotism wrapped in a blanket of fortitude.

It was 1995 when DWC recorded for the prolific San Francisco label, Bomb Records, for the international compilation Bomb Worldwide. The track Hear My Raw indicated a different style, yet not long after, the crew disbanded amicably to pursue other ventures.

Sereck formed his own label in ’97, Basic Equipment, releasing a documentary and compilation that included his former crew members in their new guises. DefWish and Die C returned, with DJ Vame on production, as the crew Kilawattz (they later released the EP Kila Kombo in 1999), while Sereck teamed up with youngster Brass to create Celsius for a 2000 release and then a 2nd in 2004 "Kickin it to Hell n Back".

In 2003 DWC reformed, now with local legend DJ Murda-1 holding down the decks and filling the gap left by DJ Vame. Dedicated fans once again got the chance to see their heroes in action as DWC brought their classics back to stages across the nation. Soon after they retreated into the studio to create their comeback album "The Legacy Continues", which was released on Hydrofunk Records in 2006. The album was extremely well received, and from it spawned a new generation of Oz Hip Hop anthems, including "Allstars" and "AUS Down".

The album featured production from the likes of Sereck, Geoff Blunted, DJ Sing, Dave Dog and DJ Katch. The cuts were supplied by a number of different DJs, including Geoff Blunted (of the Resin Dogs), DJ Bonez, DJ Sing, DJ DCE and of course DJ Murda-1.

The success of the album led to a stack of shows, including the Resin Dogs National Tour, The Legacy Continues National Tour, Parkjam Festival, Platform Festival, Groove is in The Park Festival, Re-Up Festival, and many more. Over the next few years they headlined shows all over the country and supported the likes of EPMD, Masta Ace & EMC, Q-Bert, Maceo (De La Soul), Digital Underground, Kool Keith, RA the Rugged Man, Louis Logic, Akrobatik, and more.

In 2007, their talents were recognized by the mainstream audience with their nomination for “Best Hip Hop Group” at the 1st Annual Urban Music Awards.

Now in 2012, Def Wish Cast have dropped their biggest release to date. DWC's ability to outlast most of their peers, constantly push musical boundaries, and continuously set the standards for Australian Hip Hop, has led to the name of their upcomin