First, it was Hurricane Sandy, then a broken rib. Arthouse rapper and producer Aesop Rock’s return to touring after a considerable hiatus got off to a bumpy start with seven shows canceled (albeit now rescheduled).
“Canceling is a terrible feeling,” says the rapper whose real name is Ian Bavitz. “The Sandy situation was like, we were driving, we were getting calls. Everyone from promoters to agents to managers to venues were feeling sketchy; at that time everything on the news was speaking of a biblical event. It was a bad place, bad time and we weren’t left with much of a choice. Then this rib thing is just annoying. It’s a medical emergency so there’s not much I can do, but that doesn’t make it feel any better.”
The tour is for the broody indie-rapper/producer’s first album in five years, “Skelethon,” which features ex-Moldy Peaches’ Kimya Dawson among its contributors. While the Aesop Rock moniker rested, however, Bavitz was busy with several projects under different names.
“There’s never much of a time when my actual workload slows. I like doing music and attempting to be creative in general, so if something comes up and seems interesting I go for it. Anything I do outside of Aesop Rock is more fuel for the fire when I get back to my solo stuff, which I always inevitably do. Sometimes you just got to go live for a while, so that when you write songs in which the brunt of the work falls solely on you, you really have something to say.”
Dealing with stress the Aesop Rock way:
“Anyone that works with me closely can tell you that I’m about as neurotic as they come. I have made big efforts to reel it in over the years. I like to think it’s because I’m passionate about what I do. The absolute best thing I can do to combat stress is to focus primarily on the art and music side and not pay attention to the scene, or game. Just make songs and otherwise shut up.”
Aesop Rock featuring Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz
With Bus Driver
Friday, Feb. 8, 8 p.m.
1026 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia
$17-$19, 21+, 215-232-2100
Saturday, Feb. 9, 8 p.m.
17 Irving Place, New York
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m.
967 Comm. Ave., Boston
$20, 18+, 800-745-3000