Here is how it went down..
Hey J, how are you?
I’m great thanks Melissa, how you doin’?
Not too shabby…
We are hugely excited about you guys coming Down Under – it’s been over a decade! How pumped are you guys?
We are really excited! Very much dreading the airplane flight, 17 hours, coz neither one of us enjoy flying and all. But the rewards of being back in Australia make it well worth any hell flight! It’s brutal, but we are looking forward to being over there, we know there are a lot of Juggalo’s that have been waiting for us to come back and a lot that didn’t get to see us the first time are looking forward to it. When we do the gathering every year we meet a lot of Australians every year so we know there are a lot of them that come to see us, so we cant wait to get over there and see them! Its gonna be awesome!
Well, you do have a very devout Juggalo fan base here in Australia, so what has taken you so long?
The first time we came over, we were brought over by our record label at the time – Shock Records. But this time because we are doing everything by ourselves we had to find a promoter willing to bring us over and work it all out. It took us a while but we’re definitely doing it now. We wish we came over sooner but it just wasn’t in the cards, you know what I mean?
So you guys have been labeled the most hated band in the world, but I think there is far worse than you, take Miley Cyrus for example…
Here is someone who is – oh man I don’t wanna sit here and diss her, but here is someone that is doing everything that has been done before. I don’t think she is as shocking as people are making her out to be. I see history repeating itself a lot, you know? Her being naked in videos and all that, we saw Madonna do that years ago. There is nothing really shocking to me about Miley, but I am sure she is shocking her Dad plenty (laughs). Her Dad probably doesn’t like the fact that she is smoking weed on stage and rebelling, but I get it! She was Hannah Montana for years, she was controlled for years, and now she is free of all that! So she cuts her hair off, gets a new jiggy hair style, starts smoking weed everywhere and totally rebelling against everything that controlled her for years, so I get it! Am I a fan of her music? No, not really. Am I gonna run out and get tickets to her show? No! But I understand what she is doing, and I think she is sexy, but I am not much of a Hannah Montana fan myself.
I wonder if she actually knows that her Dad used to wear a bow tie and put his penis in hot dog buns for money? (Billy Ray was a ‘Chippendale' before becoming famous with that one song…)
(Laughs) Those are things she probably doesn’t wanna know! She will break her old man's Achy Breaky heart!
Its gonna go until we are flat broke!
I have to admire your determination on it! There has been a policy drawn up by a member of our government trying to outlaw groups or organizations – leaning more towards bikies etc, but in this policy it says that any group or organization with more than 3 members can be included – this could mean the same thing could be happening to Australian Juggalos. How do you feel about that?
It’s a crime! When I first heard the government say that the Juggalos were a gang I thought it was funny. But then I realized how its effecting people, like if a Juggalo is on probation and they go to see their probation officer with one of the locals around their neck or something they violate probation and go to jail. Or a Juggalo is in a custody battle fighting for their right to visit their daughter or son, the opposing attorney can say “well this person is a gang member” and that person can actually lose custody of their kids for being a gang member! Its like this country is punishing our fans for listening to our music and I think it’s very serious!
If we don’t say anything about it and if we don’t fight it – and I am not saying we can win against the FBI, but if we don’t fight it, then it takes everything we’ve done for the last 20 years, and all of our fan base and pisses all over it, says its nothing but a gang! It’s not a gang! It’s a very unique, special fan base made up of very creative and open minded people, different from any other fan base in the history of rock n roll, but they are definitely not a gang! For the government to say they are a gang shits all over everything we’ve done and all our accomplishments. The most special thing about ICP is the Juggalos, and if you take the Juggalos and say they are just a no good gang, it totally defeats our entire career as people and totally defeats what Juggalos are. It’s a family of strangers connected worldwide, and when they are together they are not strangers! They like to get in line early at a show because they wanna be together, they wanna chant songs together and hang out.
A lot of Juggalos feel alone in this world, and when they go to a concert they realize they are not alone and there is all these people that they have a lot in common with and it means a lot to all the Juggalos. To write them off as a gang is fucked up man, it’s a really bad situation.
If it happened in Australia it would be as much of a travesty as it happening here. It’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard of. If it were to happen to Miley or someone like that, the press and the world would be up in arms about it, but because it happens to ICP no one gives a shit, you know?
That’s our way of doing it, speaking about it through the music to let people know that we feel what they are going through. We come from a place where unfortunately that all took place in our household and things like that, and we are reaching out to other kids and other people that are having the same problem and letting them know that they are not alone, that’s our way.
We are not the type to stand up and speak on it. We speak through our music. I’ve never really thought about getting involved in any other way. When we do speak through our music, that’s a very real anger. That’s our strongest way to do it, and our most important way.
It’s like speaking out against racism, I feel like our style and the way we do it is the most powerful way that we can do it. I don’t think we’d be as good any other way. I wouldn’t do as good a job if I were standing at a podium compared to writing a song about beating down and chopping into pieces all the people who do things I don’t like.
Your tour kicks off here in Adelaide, are you aware that South Australia is very well known for its high quality marijuana, and that it’s actually been decriminalized here, and does that excite you?
It does excite me a lot! Last time we were there smoking weed was a crime, it was a pretty big deal, you know? I remember when I was in Sydney, I went to Kings Cross to get some weed and it was a lot of effort. So I’m looking forward to coming back and smoking some more (laughs).
I received a live version of ‘Fuck George Bush Like His Dad Did’ many many years ago and I have to say that you have a fantastic voice when you actually sing! Have you ever thought of releasing a Christmas or Swing album, something random like that?
We have Christmas songs, as I am sure you know. We have an old one called ‘Santa’s A Fat Bitch’; we have several other Christmas songs. We sing about how Santa Claus doesn’t go to everyone’s house, he forgets a lot of people. These peoples parents don’t have enough money, or maybe they are just shitty parents and don’t think about their kids very much. But unfortunately those are the ones that Santa seems to forget so we sing about that. We release a Christmas song every year as a free download on our website, but to maybe put them all on one CD, record five or six new ones and release a Christmas album, that would be cool! Very cool!
What I wanna do is release a Valentines Day album though!
Oh man, well first off, I am thankful for my kids most of all. But I am thankful for our career and that 22 years after we started people still give a fuck, you know what I mean? People like you are talking to me and asking me questions. It’s hard to believe that 22 years after we first picked up a microphone people are still paying attention. Its not millions of people but its just enough to make me happy as hell! I am thankful that we get to go to Australia, I am thankful that there is actually people in Australia that actually give a fuck and wanna come see us, and buy a ticket, and that just blows my mind. Not a day goes by that that shit doesn’t blow my mind! Not a day goes by that I am not thankful and I don’t appreciate this career we’ve been given, this life we’ve been given. I’ve been rocking stages that I don’t appreciate it! I even have to take medication to help me deal with that shit! Sometimes I sit and think about how fortunate we are and how lucky we’ve been in our life. You know I dropped out of school in 9th grade and I come from a broken home. I was destined to be nobody and to be a loser. But instead I was gifted and given this awesome job where I get to paint my face and rap the wicked shit and we have these ultra amazing people, the juggalos, who use us as the soundtrack for their lives and I am so thankful for them to! When I think about it I get so worked up and have a panic attack in a good way, that’s what the medication is for. I am extra thankful that we are still putting it down, we are still making noise, we are still kicking ass, and it blows my mind! We are gonna be kicking ass for another 20 years!
Well, thankyou so much for taking the time to talk to me, I’m really looking forward to seeing you play next week!
Listen, I hope you have a really good time! That’s gonna be a great night, we’re gonna be having fun together coz I’m gonna be having just as much fun as you I promise you that! I hope we play lots of songs that you wanna hear and it turns out to be a great day for you!
You can see Insane Clown Posse at The Gov this Wednesday the 4th of December. Tickets are still available HERE.
Interview by Melissa Donato