Interview: ST~Prime (Soultaku Sound)
This was originally published in late 2011. As of republication, the group now promotes under Soultaku Sound, and can be found on SoundCloud and Bandcamp!
It took a few months in the making, but we are pleased to publish our second and last interview from MTAC Goes to 11 with ST~Prime! Hailing from Memphis, TN, the Nerdcore Hip-Hop team has come many ways from The Band of Seven to ST~Prime; today, their story is told.
At MTAC, only Fox and MTrilogy were present at the convention, so we were unable to perform a live interview for the podcast. However, despite a few delays, I was able to interview ST~Prime together via mail!
1. Introduce Yourselves!
Our group consists of the White Tiger, Mtrilogy, the Red Dragon, and the Ferocious Fox. Some would call me the ‘manager’ of the group. Aside from being a performer, I find places to perform and do some PR work. Of course, these duties can be spread across the group, but they’re usually mine.
2. What got you into anime?
White Tiger: I looked up to my older cousin a lot so whatever he liked, I liked. He showed me a few anime series when I was younger (around 7 years old) and I have been hooked since!
MTrilogy: When I was a kid, I had a few friends who encouraged me to watch Dragonball Z, and ever since then i’ve been into the stuff. =^)
Red Dragon: I got into anime at a young age because of my family exposing me to it and my love for it grew because of my friends bringing other animes over my house and watching them with me.
Fox: One of the things that got me into anime is what got most into anime today: the legendary programming block known as Toonami. I owe a lot to that block and I’m paying my respects by helping to revive it using a fan project named “NeoToonami”, for which I’m voice acting as an announcer. Other than that, I owe my ‘otaku-dom’ to my cousins, otherwise known as the White Tiger and the Red Dragon. They introduced me to many other animes back in the early 2000s, many that weren’t even dubbed yet.
3. Tell us more about the history of ST-Prime; how did the “Soultaku” Movement begin?
Well, interestingly enough, when we came up with the idea to start making music, we weren’t even named ST~Prime! There was originally supposed to be seven participants in the group, so we named ourselves “The Band of Seven” (a Seven Samurai/Inuyasha reference). As we started up officially, three of the participants dropped out and the four of us kept on going. We produced two albums, “Baka Chronicles” and “Memoirs of an Otaku”. We weren’t satisfied with how they were produced because of the rushing we had to do to get it out by the conventions, so we agreed to take a hiatus until we figured out where we wanted to go with things.
We decided it was time to change the name when it got to the point where we’d tell people our name and they’d always ask, “Well, where’s the other three?”. We needed something that spoke for what we stood for. The first name change we considered was simply “Soultaku”. Soultaku is a Japanese and African mesh of a term, coming from the words soldaat (meaning “soldier”) and otaku. To spice the name up a bit, we opted to change it to “Soultaku Prime”, but it sounded like somewhat of a mouthful so we shortened Soultaku to “ST”. That’s how we came up with the name “ST~Prime”. Occasionally people confuse it with “saint”, so we tell people “it’s ess-tee, not saint”. We are anything but! Haha!
4. What does it take to be a Soultaku?
A Soultaku is an otaku soldier, somone who does not have any reservations about what they love to do and watch and does not care about what negativity the world has to spread about what they love. They have no shame in that fact. You can love anime, video games, cosplay, Japanese culture, etc, but really, there’s no point in loving it only in private. 9 times out of 10, if you’re a Soultaku, you love ST~Prime.
5. What Are Your Favorite Anime Series?
WT: Ummm….that’s a hard one! I like so many of them! I guess it depends on the genre. I like Baki the Grappler, Karas, Street Fighter, Chobits, Wolf’s Rain, Samurai Champloo, Outlaw Star, Tenchi Muyo series, Shin Chan, and many many others!
MT: NARUTO! Dragonball Z, Yuyu Hakusho, Rurouni Kenshin, Samurai Champloo, High School of the Dead, and Girls Bravo!
RD: I am a HUGE fan of Cowboy Bebop! Ghost in the Shell, Gundam Wing, and Outlaw Star have been favorites of mine for a long time. I’m a fan of action anime as long as the episode span doesn’t go on too long. Short animes keep me interested in the characters.
FF: Aside from the inevitable DBZ, I’m extremely fond of Fooly Cooly, Full Metal Panic!, Ah! My Goddess, Trigun, all three series of the original Tenchi Muyo, the original Pokemon (no matter how silly it was and still is), and Death Note is a big favorite. Honestly, there’s too many for me to list. That’s how deep my love goes.
6. What Are You Favorite Manga Series?
WT: I have a lot! My most recent favorites are Berserk, Naruto, Gantz, Bleach, One Piece, Tenjhou Tenge, Tough, and many others!
MT: PSH… NARUUUUTOOOOO!!!!
RD: I love me some Cowboy Bebop, ALWAYS! Shooting Star was a good one, too. One of my favorites was MPD: Multiple Personality Detective. It was an extremely interesting spin on manga comics because it was so different.
FF: I haven’t read any manga in a long time. I would like to complete A.I. Love You, To Heart, and FLCL. I have a real soft spot for romantic anime and manga. The funny part is that I’m not as fond of American romantic movies or literature, but I would watch a romantic anime or read a romantic manga. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I’m not an action junkie. Epic bloodshed. My interests vary wildly.
7. Do You Cosplay?
WT: Yes! My first cosplay was Yujiro from “Baki the Grappler”. It was very simple and inexpensive to pull off.
MT: I cosplay every time! I was Neji two years, and Sasuke the next!
RD: Yes, but just not that well, *haha*.
FF: I have a thousand things that I want to cosplay, but there is the matter of spending money, learning to sew and making props that holds me back! I’ve never fully cosplayed anyone before, but I can’t wait until I can learn how to! First person I want to cosplay: Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. GET OVER HERE!!!
8. Neo Toonami? That sounds very exciting! Can you tell us more about it?
FF: NeoToonami is a fan project dedicated to bringing back a cartoon block we all knew and loved with a revived sense of adventure injected within it. I’m part of a team that couldn’t wait on the higher ups to bring this block back. It will be web-based and we already have a lot of plans for it to grow much larger than it is. We have a new TOM and SARA model as well as a new ship. We’re a pretty elaborate project…even Steve Blum (the voice of TOM2-4) has taken notice!
9. Who are your musical influences?
WT: I’m pretty fond of the style of Samurai Champloo and the Boondocks. I like to mix the style of feudal Japan and underground hip-hop, so I would say my favorite artists include the entire Wu-Tang Clan, Nujabes, and Fat Jon.
MT: Hmm, well I’m influenced by so many. I’ve had many phases. I once idolized Prince! XD but I really like Lupe Fiasco and Turbo, which is an unknown rapper who lives in California I think. But most importantly, my influences are my friends.
RD: Well, I have quite a few: GhostFace Killah, MF DOOM, Mega Ran, Gackt and Turbo. Gackt has always been one of my favorite Japanese musicians.
FF: My interests and preferences in music vary widely. I’m influenced by Deltron Zero, MF DOOM, Notorious MSG, My Parent’s Favorite Music, Mindless Self Indulgence, even Taylor Swift! I get influenced by a little bit of everything, including things outside of music and anime; like comic books.
10. Do you have a favorite song that you’ve worked on, and why is it your favorite?
WT: I won’t lie to you. I like all of the songs we work on! I don’t think I can pick a favorite.
MT: My favorite song that we’ve worked on has got to be The Kingdom, simply because it’s Kingdom Hearts, and it is STILL in production due to a very long story line we are creating.
RD: Yes, Thundercats! I had a lot of fun working on this song and it shows!
FF: My favorite song is a song we’re working on called “Don’t Give A Damn” because it’s so different from everything else we’ve ever made. It’s got a really big techno feel to it. My second favorite is “Edge of Faith” because I loved Mirror’s Edge.
11. Do you have any words of advice you want to give fellow fans?
Yes! Please don’t hesitate to visit ST~Prime’s Facebook page and tell your friends about us! We post updates on what we’re doing at least 3 times a month. Come and comment on the page. It is the first place we go to drop major news including things like new songs, albums, or videos. Request us as a musical guest for anime cons! We’re concentrated in the Mid-South and our sights are set on MTAC and Anime Blues, but there’s also several others like Nashville Anime Day and Con Nooga so keep your eyes and ears open! Also, brush your teeth and eat your vitamins!