Karl Phillips

INTERVIEW: Karl Phillips (& The Rejects)

Less than a month to go now folks!  That’s right, in exactly one month’s time, the party will have well and truly started here in Ratlinghope at the 19th Farmer Phil’s Festival, and I for one am so excited that I’m struggling to sit still as I type this.

One artist making their debut in the Shropshire Hills this year is Karl Phillips & The Rejects.  We caught up with Karl earlier this week to get the lowdown on the band and an idea of what to expect when they hit the Farmer Phil’s Festival stage.


FPF: For the uninitiated among us, talk us through Karl Phillips & The Rejects’ sound.  We’re picking up rap, hip-hop, ska, punk rock, even elements of dub and dubstep – how would you define yourselves?

KP: Yeah that’s pretty much it! I’d say the main sound running through most of the songs is ska, closely followed by rock and punk, and then there’s little bits of nu metal, dub, reggae and loads of other stuff… normally with a bit of a hip hoppy or grimy rap too!

FPF: And what can we expect from your live show at Farmer Phil’s Festival?

KP: Energy – a lot of jumping up and down. Get ready to party!

FPF: In amongst all these musical leanings, is there any one genre in which your heart lies?  The rap theme seems to run through most of your material on YouTube for example.

KP: I’d have to say ska if I had to pick one genre, especially the second wave – bands like Madness and The Specials. I like my music to be fun!  But yeah, as you can hear in our songs, obviously I love rap too. Eminem and UK grime rappers like JME do the trick for me! 

FPF: On the subject of YouTube, how was the whole Don’t Flop rap battle experience, and if you were to battle Zain Azrai, who’d come out on top and why?

KP: Well… it was definitely an experience to do a rap battle! And something I’m glad I did, too… but I don’t think it’s really my game – I much prefer playing gigs with the band. And I don’t think I’m ever gonna do another rap battle to be honest, so I’m gonna have to let Zain have this one! (laughs)

FPF: We’ve got to know you a little bit, but what about The Rejects?  Who are they and what do they add to the mix?

KP: The Rejects are a random bunch of amazing musicians that I’ve somehow managed to beg, steal and borrow from other bands. Expect two guitars, a bass player, drummer and a horn section!

FPF: Your latest release is ‘Plastic Gangsta’ – what’s the story behind that tune?

KP: I grew up in a town where there were a lot of idiots who thought they were hard as nails, when in reality they were silly little mummy’s boys. I hope this song and video sums that up a bit!

FPF: When the dust settles on your performance at Farmer Phil’s Festival, what does the rest of 2017 have in store for Karl Phillips & The Rejects?

KP: Well literally the next day I’m off to Boomtown Festival to do a set, and pretty much every weekend until the end of September we’re doing at least one festival, so it’s all guns blazing! Other than festivals, we have plenty of gigs in the pipeline and a new EP coming out soon!

FPF. Exciting times – where can folk find out more about you, your forthcoming gig dates and the aforementioned EP?

KP: Best place is our facebook page – https://facebook.com/karlphillipsmusic, and we’re also on Twitter: @karlphillips_


Here’s Karl Phillips & The Rejects’ latest single ‘Plastic Gangsta’ – enjoy!

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