Bliss n Eso: Flying back in full colour

Brace yourselves people, because lyrical masters Bliss n Eso are back and brash, and ready to blast your eardrums with a brand new album called Flying Colours. The boys have all grown up a bit since their last album, the hugely successful Day of the Dog which was released in 2006 and the new album is evidence of their growth as artists. Even if you’re not a die-hard hip hop fan, you can’t help but get drawn in by the quality and infectious feel-goodness of the fat beats and rhymes showcased on this album. And the response has already been as you’d expect – singles Bullet and a Target and Woodstock 2008 have already been getting a caning on the radiowaves.

This time around, there’s no mention of Virgin Flight attendants and dreams of being sponsored by beer companies as there was on the last album (although they assure us that it is still the group’s ultimate dream). “I think there’s been a big artistic evolution from our last album to this one,” Jonathan Notley AKA MC Bliss told ITM. “I think mainly it stems from just a growth, you know, just a general kind of maturing of all of us as we become older I guess it’s definitely been reflected in the rhymes and the subject matter of what we are talking about,” he says. “But there’s still a lot of playful elements in there that we’ve kind of always had as well. So I guess it’s kind of just a natural evolution, that’s’ how I would describe it, really, sound-wise.”

The cover of the album features amazing artwork by tattoo artist, and friend of the group, Steve Cross from Melbourne. It depicts a guy with blazing coloured wings leaping off a cliff and no, we’re assured that it’s not meant to be the mythological Icarus with his wings of wax, flying into the sun. “Nah, he’s just gonna take off and keep going!” says Bliss. “With this album we wanted to do something a bit different than just pictures of us. We kinda wanted to go a little bit more creative and imaginative. We thought of this concept of this guy like leaping off this cliff with these flaming colourful wings, and it kind of really worked with the context of this album and obviously the title.”

Originally from the States, Bliss moved to Australia back in 1992 when he was just thirteen and met fellow MC Eso at the Glenaeon Steiner School in Sydney. Although he wasn’t old enough to go to gigs back then, he was drawn to hip hop from an early age from the stuff he was listening to on the radio. “Back then hip hop was basically non-existent; there was no urban or hip-hop section in the CD stores. You’d be lucky to find a couple of albums like a Public Enemy album or something if you went to the CD stores. So I guess that’s one of the reasons why Max, who’s Eso, and I kinda bonded at high school, I think, because he was really the only other guy in the school who was into hip-hop.”

Eso later moved to Mosman High School which is where he met DJ Izm, and that’s how Bliss n Eso eventually came together. The group initially went by the name of ‘Bliss n Esoterikizm’, but that proved to be too much of a mouthful for most people so it was shortened to just Bliss n Eso. Currently launching the new album on the Unified tour with fellow hip-hoppers The Winnie Coopers, Funkoars and True Live, Bliss promises fans that there will be a Flying Colours tour later in the year – but he’s hesitant to divulge any crazy touring stories this time around. “I’ve done that a few times before and I don’t know if I’ll share any stories this time because, yeah, I don’t know if it’s the best idea! There’s been some pretty funny incidents, but if there’s any Bliss N Eso fans that wanna come down and listen to us I’m sure there’ll be plenty of crazy stories to tell if they come and party with us”.

Bliss n Eso’s Flying Colours isn out now, check the band out at the following shows…

27th May – Latrobe University, Bundoora

28th May – Monash University, Gippsland

29th May – Flinders University, Adelaide

30th May: Flinders University, Adelaide

31st May: Monash University Caulfield, Melbourne

5th Jun: Deakin University, Warnambool

6th Jun: Deakin University, Geelong