Interview with Insane Clown Posse
Creating a hip hop world that is distinctly all their own, the Insane Clown Posse represent all that is good about homegrown Detroit music. Insane Clown Posse compromises nothing, has always done things their own way and never fail to give a big-ass middle finger to anyone who tells them otherwise. With ICP’s tenth studio album Bang! Pow! Boom! hitting stores tomorrow and a brand new tour on the way, we recently hit up Violent J to find out what’s behind the return of Insane Clown Posse’ Dark Carnival.
So how was this past years annual Gathering of the Juggalos?
Insane crazy fun. This year was the 10th annual, so it was easily the biggest and baddest Gathering we’ve had thus far. Juggalos came together from all over the world. Picture a huge typhoon sized mosh pit of thousands and thousands, underneath enormous fireworks in the midnight sky. Now, picture a huge full moon, and giant, lit-up carnival rides way back in the far off distance. That’s what it looked like from the main stage. There were 100’s of bands, groups, comedians, wrestlers, jugglers, motocross, freaks and oddities on many more stages off in the woods, with everything you can fathom, taking place for five days and five nights straight. No police, no bouncers, just Juggalos in private, doing what we do. It was absolutely, positively unforgettable.
Why did you choose to have the event take place in Cave-In-Rock Illinois?
The grounds are totally private and magical. Most of the local towns people welcome Juggalos (well, most of them do). Plus, it’s kind of the center point of the United States. And, I do believe that if you look up “middle of nowhere” in the dictionary it says “Cave-In-Rock Illinois”. The farther away from everybody else and everything, the better off we are. We just want to be left alone to be “us” for those special days.
Tell us about the new album Bang! Pow! Boom!?
Instead of pushing forward and experimenting with new sounds and flavors, this time around we set out to really bring back that classic Dark Carnival tone, which many long time Juggalos first fell in love with. We recorded the album using many of our old school tactics and tricks from back in the day. We even busted out with the same old equipment in some cases, and dusted off the very same records we used to snatch shit from. I honestly feel we did it. We absolutely recaptured that special tone without repeating ourselves. We have all brand new song subjects, stories and topics, all set to that familiar, wicked clown sound.
What’s it like working with local legendary producer Mike E. Clark?
Mike E. Clark is the Dr. Frankenstein of our sound. We did the new ‘Bang! Pow! Boom!’ album from absolute scratch with Mike E. Clark at his Fun House Studio, the same way we did our earliest works like: The Ringmaster, The Great Milenko, The Riddle Box and The Amazing Jeckel Brothers. None of that “You make the track and email it to us, and we’ll lace it up and send it back” bullshit. We worked with Mike hands on from point A to point Z. Mike is so fuckin’ incredible that he still blows my mind after 17 years together. He’s the shock master. He’s the best kept secret in the underground. He’s the underground’s best, most powerful weapon. He could put Rick Rubin to sleep while whistling wicked lullabies, and tuck that fool in for good. He could, but instead he is a prodigy of true American underground music. He’s one of the main reasons the Detroit Underground scene is as fuckin’ dope as it is. Working with Mike E. Clark for us always means three main things every time: Number 1 – A Bomb ass, amazing, incredibly original sounding album; Number 2 – His total heart and soul; all his time, effort and attention committed to the project night and day, for however long it takes; and Number 3 – Tons and tons of laughter. Good ole gut busting laughter and nothing feels better than to laugh that long, hard work day in the studio away.
You have a new movie coming out called Big Money Rustlas, tell us about it?
We did a movie about ten years ago called Big Money Hustlas, which was a mobster movie set in New York City. This movie is kind of the prequel to that because we play, basically, the same characters, only its supposed to be their early ancestors. This film is set back in the days of the Wild Wild West. It’s very funny, and features a lot of cameos by some famous faces throughout the film. It took us ten years to do this movie because the first film was shot with some major label help, and we did this one completely on our own. We wanted it to be done right, and bigger and better than the first one. I think we fuckin’ schooled it. We’re very proud of the movie, and it comes out early next year. First ,we’re taking the cast and going out on a big theatre tour with it, just before it gets released on DVD world wide. The whole thing is just hilarious.
Your record label Psychopathic Records has always been located in Metro Detroit, how important is it to be part of the local community for you guys?
We’re just a different type of label here at Psychopathic. It’s not necessary that we be based in New York or LA, because we just don’t use those typical music industry connections and tactics. We basically run our operation grass roots style. We don’t run our stuff down to the radio stations, or video channels begging for support. We’re more the type to stick a flyer under your windshield, or hand you a sampler at the mall. Being based in Detroit is actually more to our advantage. This is the Midwest; this is where the people live. We all were born and bred here in Detroit, and now we’re all raising families of our own here. We’re in the heart of the country, as far as we’re concerned. This is home. Those other cities don’t offer us anything we need, as we have it all right here in the D.
How many local artist are on the label?
Lets see, Twiztid is from the East Side of Detroit, and so is Blaze Ya Dead Homie. Anybody Killa is also from the East Side. DJ Clay and Chop Shop are all from the Southwest Side of Detroit, along with ICP. But Shaggy and I were actually raised all over metro Detroit from Berkley, to Oak Park, to Ferndale, to Cass Corridor. And then you have Motown Rage, who are from the Ann Arbor area. That’s pretty much it. Boondox is from Atlanta, GA, and The Axe Murder Boys are from Denver, CO, and that’s everybody.
Tell us about the upcoming fall tour?
The Bang! Pow! Boom! Tour starts in Minneapolis, MN on September 17th. We’re going out with some pretty fuckin’ crazy special guests. We’ve got Hed PE, and Vanilla Ice joining us for 64 big dates, zippin back and fourth across the country a couple times. As for merch, shit, we’ve got pretty much brand new everything ‘cause of the new album. It’s ‘Bang! Pow! Boom!’ everywhere you look. Our guys are riding in three tour buses and two semi trucks. We’re bringing out a full on, giant, brand new stage set like we always do. I believe this one may be our biggest yet. It’s pretty cool to see it all animated and lit up and going. With all the lights, explosions, and theatrics going on, you could pretty much just watch the stage without us even on it and see a damn good show.
Your playing Detroit’s Fillmore Theater on Halloween night, what’s in store for the fans?
That’s the Hallowicked Clown Show! Expect more big names on the bill, and also expect an extra long set with many of our classic Halloween tunes from over the years. You see, each and every year we give away a special, brand new Halloween song on CD to everybody who walks through the door. This year will be no different as we already got the fresh ass song recorded and ready to go! We say The Hallowicked Clown Show is the biggest and best Halloween show in the country! We do it up extra big and scary, Detroit style, the way we been doing it for the last 15 years! Everything’s a little louder, brighter, bigger and badder on Halloween. And, it don’t stop after the Filmore show either, as we keep it moving all night with even more bands, plus JCW Wrestling right down the street at the Majestic Theatre at the official Hallowicked After Party. Yes… the one thing Juggalos can surly expect from ICP each and every Halloween in Detroit is…. the unexpected!