"Yo! Yo! Yo!" exclaims a Black Eyed Pea. "Wassup! Wassup! Wassup!" hollers another. Then, inexplicably, a loud, "Yabba Dabba Doo!" followed by all three Black Eyed Peas cracking up at whoever busted out the hyped Fred Flintstone impression.

It's fair to say the Black Eyed Peas are feeling amped. will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo are not in the same room but their energy levels on the phone are sky-high.

"We can't wait to freaking rock the stage. I feel like a monster being part of a monster line-up. It's gonna be awesome," will.i.am says, cartoonishly exaggerating the word 'monster' when asked about performing at Friday Jams. "Me and my best friends sharing the stage with 50 Cent..."

As he says "50 Cent", apl.de.ap provides impromptu hip-hop backing vocals; "Ah... WHAAAAT?!"


"... Janet Jackson..." will.i.am continues.

"Ah... WHOOOA!" apl.de.ap exclaims.

"Jason Derulo, Keri Hilson... It's gonna be epic," will.i.am concludes, chuckling at his bandmates' phone japery.

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It sounds like you guys are ready for the party.

"Yeah, bro'. That's right. It's been 10 years since we were in New Zealand," will.i.am says before things take a surreal turn... "I don't know whose baby's crying. It ain't mine. I ain't got no kids bro'. That ain't my baby crying."

"I'm in the car by myself bro', it's the radio station," Taboo replies. "They got a kid…"

"Is that the radio station?" will.i.am interrupts. "Are they beating babies at the radio station?"


Before things fly completely off the rails I bring it back to the music. Their new album, Masters of the Sun Vol. 1, sees the trio leave hip-pop behind to return to their conscious hip-hop roots. Had pop music become creatively unfulfilling?

"Hell no," will.i.am says emphatically. "Pop is harder than our roots."

"Agreed 1000 per cent," says Taboo.

"If you want to make music for people that see the world from your perspective, that's easy, right? All you're doing is talking to people tapped into the same thing you're tapped into." will.i.am explains. "To make music for a different audience from where you come from, that think differently, yo yo yo, that is hard. You can get lucky doing it once. Doing it five, six, seven times? That is the hardest thing in the world. It may seem like 'pop's easy', but it is freaking rocket science.

"We got lucky on Where is the Love?" he admits. "We weren't trying to make it a hit. That's luck. To follow it up? That's science, bro'. I Gotta Feeling? Rocket science. Let's Get It Started? Rocket science."

Then he lays down a challenge: "Everybody that thinks pop is easy? Try it."

With vocalist Fergie recently departed and the old-school flavour of their new jams, the trio say they've stripped out the "bells and whistles" of their live show and revamped and reimagined their party-starting anthems to focus on the energy of the core trio.

"The thing with Black Eyed Peas is we got styles for the styles," will.i.am says. "In an intimate setting, we play differently to a festival setting where we whip out those guns. What you don't want to do is play intimate setting songs at a festival… that doesn't work."

"You need a screwdriver for screws and a hammer for nails," apl.de.ap agrees before building to a ruckus crescendo of an answer. "Anybody that's trying to screw in a nail with a screwdriver... that ain't too smart. So we got the bangers for the bangers and the screws FOR THE NUTS!"

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