The Tracks interviews the legendary Chuck D of Public Enemy, and D drops serious knowledge (and jewels) on all of the Track’s listeners.
Interview with Chuck D (Public Enemy)
Chuck D, Brian Kracyla and Monty Wiradilaga
Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo
“Knowledge, wisdom, and understanding don’t come in the microwave.”
C: I think people when they ask me that question need to ask me, “Do you think that it’s something that’s lacking in the United States?” And I would say, well, yes. The maintenance of it is lacking, but it’s all over the world. I think one of the problems most Americans have is that they don’t understand that what has evolved in hip-hop is that it’s super-global. The United States is one of the places that it does it. Does it do it better than all the other places? I don’t know. You got guys that can spit three languages, how do you weigh that? I mean how do you weigh it, do you weigh it because you live in the United States, like this is it? It’s like covering the Phillies, you live in Philly, so I’m covering the Phillies, you know, so outside of Ryan Howard I don’t know what’s going on. But that’s my answer there, it’s like, political rap, you cannot be
around and in the rest of the world and not say something that resonates with the people. You cannot, it doesn’t exist. There’s hundreds of thousands of rappers out there. Whether it’s Dam, them Arabic MCs, that’s in Palestine talking about that friction over there. Whether it’s like my man MV Bill and Eli Efi from Brazil, you know we’re talking about thirty years of recorded musical science. So, this is the thing that I hope and think that the hip-hop nation here understands, that you gotta comprehend that it’s over your head. What’s the exposure? BET, MTV, any of your local radio stations. Obviously, you’re limited to the two or three places that you can name when you say that that’s the epiddimy of exposure and if whatever’s being said out there, can’t get on there, there must be some kind of ulterior motive. We’re in the days of MySpace pages, Twitter, and YouTube accounts. I mean, what do you want to include and what do you not what to include. I think that the major labels dominance of saying, “This is official”, that’s been over. I don’t know why people keep holding it up. Let me tell you why it’s no excuse, you cover hip-hop right? Sports fan?
C: Do you ever hear a sports journalist talk about activities in high school, JV, college being lost? They cover everything. Everything is covered, even damn-near the playground gets covered! And 1 gets covered! Hip-hop, it’s just like, it’s the level of laziness of going past what’s thrown at you. I mean, what’s the level of coverage is only going to depend on how legitimate the coverage wants to consider itself. They’ll say, “Oh, we only wanna cover if Def Jam releases something, we’ll follow that.” If it don’t come through this one imprint than, you know, “If we don’t know about it, we ain’t gonna cover it.” Now you in the day of MySpace pages, man. I think diligence have to go to it. It’s gotta be like, “Well, I’m not getting paid, but I does this, I follow, ‘cause I love it.” Like I said, I’m a sports fan, and they don’t let a pitch go by without figuring out was that 94 or was that 83 mph coming from this college kid that’s playing a college game that might be meaningless between two teams, but it’s still be documented.
B: But they can tell you every pitch count, yeah. You were a consultant on the Let Freedom Sing project. You wrote the liner notes. Describe that compilation’s significance.
C: The compilation’s significance is because especially black people use a portal of music and expressed ourselves through other ways when we couldn’t express ourselves to the masses just by speaking alone. There’s often times when the poets and the artists would have to say something that would penetrate the veil of racism and do it in such a way that, you know, speaking for what is right is colorless. It doesn’t matter what color you are, you speak for what it right versus what’s wrong. That’s why on that box set it’s everybody from blues artists to Pete Seger. And using music, being that we were a people and are a people that follow music a little bit more closely, because of that history of it being this expression when you couldn’t really express yourself, it meant that much more. A lot of people said, this is how I feel, so I’m gonna hum it and sing it so I won’t get beat-down maybe, or killed. Spread your wings dog!
M: When you guys were coming up, you came up with the roots of hip-hop, as artists…
C: Oh yeah, ‘cause I was getting ready to say that when I was coming up there was no such thing as rap records or hip-hop. Even when I graduated outta 12th grade, if someone would have said that I would have been making records, I would have said you out of your mind, doing what kind of records?! You know, you had Earth, Wind, & Fire, the Commodores, that kinda thing going on.
M: With your music, with how politically fueled it was, when you say about your color didn’t see color, you appealed to the masses. You appealed to me as a kid. I was a kid in the suburbs. You spoke to me, you spoke to the kids in the ghetto. What did it mean to you to get your message out there, so strong, and have the sort of influence that Malcolm X influenced you? You have a voice, in a different way, but you have a voice to the masses, where you can speak to millions of people and get your message across.
C: Number one, you’re thankful, but it does not start with, it doesn’t end with you. You’ve got to be humble to all those things that were able to give you the platform and it’s not about you. One of the greatest things I’ve heard President Barack Obama say, last year when he was actually at the democratic nomination, he said, “Hey, it ain’t about me, it’s about us as a people, and if this out there I see it and if you see something say something.” And I just think that that goes across the board. One of the worst things that ever came and attached itself to the culture of hip-hop in a very wrong and misconstrued way is when they come across and say, “Stop snitching.”, and not even know the true idea or essence of where it comes from. That’s why you got to know your history or have an old-head not afraid to tell a young-head that this where it comes from. Yeah
you can do your thing but just know where it comes from and do the right way. This whole thing of older heads mixing with younger heads to try to appeal to them and be fly with them, I think, is a discouragement and it is discrediting young people from living their life. I think the responsibility from an older person to a younger person is to say, “Yo, man, you know you can do your thing but just look out…”, boom-boom-boom, you know, and just keep it moving or whatever. No ulterior motive like, “I hope you love me, I hope you dig me, I hope you buy me. I’m thirty-five years old, your twenty-one, yo, support me.” There’s not a reason to support you! Young people wanna support their circle of things, they just want older people to give them guidance because knowledge, wisdom, and understanding don’t come in the microwave. I mean, that’s our role, that’s our objective. When you don’t do that and your like, “I ain’t nobody, I can’t say nothing, I don’t want to be preachy.” When you say that, was your saying is that,
“I don’t want to be older, I don’t wanna grow older. I might have well as died when I was young.” I think that that has hurt hip-hop. The other day I got a list of rappers right and the list was like thirty deep. And everybody was like thirty and over. And the latter half, like twenty of them, were like thirty-six and over. How can you be thirty-seven years old and not say something to somebody young that somebody young can grow off of, like we say, “drop jewels”, and you keep it moving?! There’s no excuse not to be men, and women. And not saying there’s one type of man or woman that somebody should be but being a man and being a woman that means that your mind, you know, you gotta drop somebody young down. Yeah, you know, do your thing, you know be at the club or whatever. Wup, wup, wup! If you see somebody trying to act like their… Well, you know, I got the world’s biggest teenager with me! (Laughter) But there can be exceptions! Everybody can’t be like that.
M: So, you’re a little bit older, has your message been received well by the people?
C: Always. Well, number one, ain’t nobody else my child or my children. But, I’m gonna be like that older brother figure. Yeah, cool, do your thing. If your gonna ask me a question, I’m gonna give you the answer. If you’re gonna ask me, “Yo, what’s up old-head. Can you give me your wisdom on this?” Then I’m gonna be like boom-boom-boom, I give you what I can give you. If I don’t know, then I’m gonna try to say, hey, this might be an answer you can use. That’s our responsibility, that’s our accountability. It’s been received all over the world, and I’m thankful for that. If it had to come through the portal of rap music and hip-hop, I’m doubley-thankful for that! I’m very honored and I’m blessed and there’s no excuse not to hold my head up high.
M: So, what do you think about Bonnaroo?
C: Bonnaroo is a wonderful thing. Whenever you can get groups to come together and play, and play in front of the masses… Festivals are an opportunity for people, who would not check you out of your own, to check you out by default. And Public Enemy was one of the first rap groups to play festivals. Festivals were a common thing in different continents because economically it was the thing that would work for maybe countries that just didn’t have this plethora of a financial situation. But, now that the US economy has dipped down and shifted gears, it’s like okay, festivals work and instead of promoters taking like two or three acts across arenas and stadiums is not looked upon as being feasible. Although, the arenas and stadiums are brand new and in many cases need and have a big interest in not to pay, they’ve got to fill them. But, other than major league sports, which is another pressing matter, they’re trying to get it filled. I think Bonnaroo, the Warped Tour which fifteen years ago was able to take parking lots and make that feasible… At the end of the day somebody’s got to say, “Okay, I paid the price. It didn’t kick my ass, but if it did kick my ass, I want the show to kick my ass and make me say that’s the best thing I’ve ever paid for and it was worth while.” You’ve got to give people more for what they spend. You’ve got to give them an experience, and that’s the gift of music. Now, what I try to tell many artists, and hip-hop artists really included, is don’t let your art overtake your responsibility as a performance artist. The whole key is to bust your videos and your songs, bust them in the ass when you’re live. That’s the best way that you share your experience with that audience. And that makes them go back to the music, not the music first makes you come, yeah, in a way. Really records came from the fact that I went to see Duke Ellington, blew me away, what can I take home other than just the ringing in my head? And that’s what that evolved out of. Once that became a business, it flipped back the other way. We can’t lose sight of that. But it’s easy to lose sight of it because people are distant from the history of even the things that they like. Sportscenter, when it comes on ESPN, it behooves that they show it six times so that their followers will not be stupid in the afternoon, so by the afternoon, you’re up to speed, you know. We like to see the same in rap music and hip-hop.
M: So what do you have to say to people that haven’t made the trip to Bonnaroo?
C: It’s a wonderful festival. It’s in the southeast, there’s a lot of people in the southeast that probably can’t make it out west or up north to the other festivals that are in those other different parts. If you don’t catch it, you know, we’re in a highly technological age, there’s no excuse not to hop on YouTube and catch somebody’s filming of it.
B: You’ve been one of the most vocal activists for peer to peer file sharing on the internet. Where would you like to see the music industry be in the future?
C: The music industry is healthy. I’d like to see the record industry become more supportive and the music industry become even more supportive of providing platforms for artists to be able to come at a grassroots performing level and really try to help a great minor leaguing, maybe Single A, level of artist doing their thing and let that cream maybe rise to the next level. One thing you have in sports, not to go back into the sports analogy, somebody always has a chance to try out for JV or varsity. Not to say that they’re gonna make the team, but they have the chance to try out. Well, a person should have the chance to try out as an artist, somewhere. Not to say, this whole thing, “Well, I gotta blow up!” If you can’t do your thing and be supported and blow up local, you know, down the block, then why should you even be bigger?! So, I always asked for radio, urban radio, how come it doesn’t support it’s local? If an Indianapolis radio station calls itself the home of R&B, then how come everything you play is groups that get signed to major labels from L.A. and New York, and even the Atlanta artists! They’ll play the Atlanta artists but only if they’re legitimized by the New York and L.A. companies. You can’t have no legitimacy that way. So, I would like to see the structures be more giving to, my wife says it best, territory bands. Territory bands were a big thing in the early parts of last century, territory bands. You really succeeded by maxing out your territory before moving into other territories. We need to see that in rap music and hip-hop. If not, it’s gonna be this thing of “Oh, we signed this person and nobody knows who this person is. We’re gonna put this put galvanizing, steroid of a marketing plan behind them. I hope everybody gets it and it blows up!” I mean, that’s ass-backwards, and because it worked at one time in our past doesn’t mean it’s the right way.
B: What’s the future hold for Chuck D?
C: Getting on stage, and trying to defy time! (Laughter)
B: Alright, Chuck, thanks for your time.
The Tracks crew are big fans of Slightly Stoopid and their Stoopidheads, so news of their upcoming album created quite a buzz. We’ve gotten our hands on the entire album, and it’s sounding spliff-aliciously good! But for now, go check SlightlyStoopid.com TODAY, and hear the title track from “Top of the World”!
Slightly Stoopid is giving fans a taste of their upcoming new album today, as the band debuts the title track to Top of the World beginning at 10 am PDT on www.slightlystoopid.com as well as the band’s Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. “Top of the World” is indicative of the band’s signature mash-up of eclectic grooves – a track threaded with a hypnotic guitar line, hip-hop beat and undeniable vocal hooks. Their highly-anticipated seventh studio album, which features several high-profile collaborations, will be released on August 14 on their own label Stoopid Records. The group’s previous Stoopid Records releases have combined for sales of nearly one million copies.
The seven-piece band continues to explore a variety of styles on Top of the World, with help from some of their biggest influences and heroes including: reggae legends Barrington Levy and Don Carlos of Black Uhuru; “unofficial 8th member” Karl Denson of Greyboy Allstars; longtime band friend and touring partner G. Love; Fishbone frontman Angelo Moore; ex-Jurassic Five emcee extraordinaire Chali 2na; Dumpstaphunk’s Ian Neville; and hit-making singer/songwriter Angela Hunte.
Since forming in 1995, Slightly Stoopid has toured virtually non-stop, and this summer is no different. Slightly Stoopid has joined forces with 311 for the party of the summer, as the two bands recently launched Unity Tour 2012. This installment of the annual trek is hitting amphitheaters nationwide through September 5.
80,000+ people have descended upon Manchester, TN and the music mecca known as Bonnaroo. Are you still at home, wishing that you were at Bonnaroo? Yeah, we are too… But we’re hooking stuff up for later this summer that will be epic!
Anyway, the good people at Bonnaroo are streaming the festival LIVE here on the BonnarooMusicFest YouTube channel! So far, the videos that I’ve seen have looked pretty good (some much better than others), and the audio has sounded spot on. No, it certainly doesn’t replace the truly awesome feeling of roughing it for an extended weekend, or living like a homeless person in a Shantytown. Nor does it attack your senses like a sea of hippies that have taken a patchouli bath… But it’s pretty damn good.
Go make yourself a drink, or enjoy your favorite party delight and take in the greatness of Bonnaroo from your own home or mobile device!
Self proclaimed “bad girl” MIA just joined the Roc Nation family as a managed artist. The Tracks have always been a huge fan of MIA since we saw her back in 2005 at Lollapalooza (see pic). She’s brought her Sri Lankan fusion style to the scene for years, and the Roc Nation team seems a perfect fit to get MIA’s music to more people.
In 2000, the Sri Lankan born, London bred Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam was encouraged, by electro-clash icon Peaches, to make music on a Roland MC-505 Groovebox. Maya pulled lyrics from journals she had written during a 4 month trip to the Caribbean island of St Vincent. In 2005, she released Arular, selling 130,000 copies in the U.S. and reaching mainstream charts in Europe and the U.K. It was considered as much a political statement as a musical one.
In 2007, Kala was released. Once again, it received unanimous international critical praise. It topped multiple “Best of the Year” lists in publications around the world, which cite its deft mixture of politics, social consciousness, and inimitable genre-blending.
In 2008, the single “Paper Planes” brought Maya worldwide mainstream acclaim and was nominated for a Grammy for Record of the Year in 2009. The song was also featured in the film Slumdog Millionaire, in addition to M.I.A contributing vocals to the Oscar nominated track from the film, “O… Saya.”
2010 saw the release of, /\/\/\Y/\, which received early praise from the media with Rolling Stone commenting, “M.I.A’s latest is as challenging and awesomely out-there as the title of her album /\/\/\Y/\.” /\/\/\Y/\ went Top 10 on the Billboard 200 album chart and #1 on the Dance/Electronic chart. On Dec. 31, 2010, she put out the acclaimed mixtape VICKILEEKX.
Now, as M.I.A. readies her fourth studio album, her new track “Bad Girls” made its debut on Pitchfork.com January 30th and was released worldwide on January 31st. “Bad Girls” was produced by Danja (Timbaland, Diddy, Madonna, Nelly Furtado, Pink). The “Bad Girls” video was directed by Romain Gavras (M.I.A.‘s “Born Free” and JUSTICE’s “Stress”) and premiered on Noisey – VICE’s music channel on YouTube on February 3rd. Expect a full length release from M.I.A this fall!
Named one of the ten defining artists of the 2000’s decade by Rolling Stone and one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine, M.I.A. has been nominated for an Academy Award and two Grammys (“Paper Planes” and “Swagga Like Us”).
From the mind of M. SHAWN CRAHAN, the founder and visionary behind one of the biggest hard rock bands in the world, the multi-platinum, Grammy-winning Slipknot–comes THE APOCALYPTIC NIGHTMARE JOURNEY. Set for release through MTV Books in late June (starting June 19), THE APOCALYPTIC NIGHTMARE JOURNEY is a large-format art book collection of explorations in darkness and light from SHAWN’s experimental photography, his second and equally powerful artistic outlet which he has honed for over a decade. Weird, wired, paranoid, endlessly imaginative and cancerously prolific, he’s created thousands of dangerous representations of reality through eye-gouging Polaroids in numerous artistic styles throughout this hand-picked collection of images.
CRAHAN will participate in a panel at SXSW Music Festival this week. He’ll join Mike IX Williams (Eyehategod/Arson Anthem), Orion Landau (Art director for Relapse Records), and Corey Mitchell (Metal Sucks) on Thursday, March 15 (2:45 PM, Austin Convention Center, Room 11AB) for the “Seeing Red Aesthetics & Visuals of Metal” panel to discuss the progession of art and visual themes in the hard rock and metal genre. Later that evening, CRAHAN will host THE APOCALYPTIC NIGHTMARE JOURNEY book preview, Q&A and SXSW party (7:00 PM, The Jr. formerly Emo’s Jr., 603 Red River St., RSVP below).
Lars Ulrich of Metallica wrote the forward for the THE APOCALYPTIC NIGHTMARE JOURNEY. Below is an excerpt:
“Throw yourself into clown’s world, throw yourself into clown’s book, throw yourself into clown’s images, throw yourself into the whole fucking thing. Let go of the bungee cord, do away with the safety net. Just go for it, and let the journey take you wherever the journey’s going to take you. And as you’re going on that trip through this book, occasionally imagine clown next to you. Imagine hearing his voice in your head talking about what these images and experiences have meant to him and where he was going with it. And you will end up on one fuck of a ride, that I can guarantee you will be unique, spellbinding, and potentially life altering. This book is everything that art should be.”
Visionary and percussionist M. SHAWN CRAHAN has long been the creative and imaginative force behind the renowned Grammy-winning, multi-platinum group’s haunting and grotesque imagery. CRAHAN has art directed and photographed both album artwork and helmed numerous documentaries on the group. CRAHAN co-directed all of Slipknot’s music videos and was the primary director for the band’s acclaimed short film for “Snuff” from their fourth album All Hope Is Gone in 2009. The 6-minute noir video for “Snuff” features legendary actor Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) in the enigmatic clip which has garnered over 14 million views on YouTube. Slipknot now has over 11 Million Facebook fans eagerly waiting to devour their art, music, videos, written word and vision.
Here’s a brief Q&A with SHAWN:
What photographers and visual art inspire you?
The American photographer Joel-Peter Witkin is my biggest influence in life. He is the be-all-end-all of everything I hope to become in photography. I have to study the masters of the realm before I’ll ever get to that level. The Impressionist painters have also made an indelible mark on my work as well as the Surrealist and Post-Impressionist styles. I love Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Cezanne and Gauguin, all the masters of painting. But Joel-Peter Witkin is the end all be all in photography. I would never copy Joel, but I desire the confidence to able to create unheard of visions within my soul and not worry about the risk of society or cultural retaliation. He creates the most horrific, insane, almost heinous at times, sexual, human images of the grotesque. I would never do it for the shock factor only for the exploration of my mind, to somehow make sanity tangible by bordering on the edge. I’m all about making art tangible, taking it from my brain and having you hold it in your hands. And that’s what The Apocalyptic Nightmare Journey is, you’re holding my vision. That is as close to god as I come. It’s the same thing with my band Slipknot, when we’re on stage it’s church. It takes two to make church, but we have nine. It’s my religion.
Describe your muse…
We’re all trying to understand the myth of life. Uncovering the myth is understanding that the truth is always in front of you. Both my peers and mentors that have taught me from music to photography, have all agreed one of my most prominent attributes in art is that I know how to commit. I don’t spend a lot of time trying to wonder if something can be better, I commit and I know right away that if I’m happy with a piece and this is how it’s going to lie forever. The truth is in front of you, and you have a right decision and a wrong decision to make at all times. Being in a Catholic school for 12 years I’ve grappled with my own questions on with mortality and dying. I don’t have a morbid sense of fascination or even think that death is something I should study but it’s in everything I do because “death is more proof than god.” I’m more in touch with my own death clock than I am with god. I’m not religious, but I am spiritual and fairly dark hence the The Apocalyptic Nightmare Journey.
Describe your process as a photographer.
On The Apocalyptic Nightmare Journey, my emphasis is on medium format Polaroids. During our first cycle album in 1998, Rolling Stone sent a photographer to Des Moines, IA for a photo shoot of our masks. Being the arist guy in the band I gathered the masks together and met him. We got along and I became curious, so he let me position the masks so he let me positiion the masks and look through the camera’s eye so I knew how the picture would feel. After seeing what I’d envisioned he became the photographer and snapped the photos. It was a medium format camera with a Polaroid back that he used for tests to make sure everything was perfect then he would switch to a film back. Not lnowing what the film would look like I became fixaed with the instant gratification of the Polaroids. It felt and looked exactly like what I’d seen through the camera’s eye. The Polaroid is something completely original. They’re never perfect, since the pulling process leads to imperfections, so I became obsessed with the idea of creating something original. I convinced myself I wanted to get a master’s degree studying Polaroid. Once you snap the picture and pull the Polaroid, the two rollers squeeze out emollition, the chemicals that develop the film, and I got it down to where I knew every second what happened. I am able to rip the pictures in half, I’m pulling the pictures off, I’m turning it upside-down, pushing it hard, creating a double exposure, sliding it, making the chemicals slide like it’s constantly in movement, I created something completely new and original every time I shot a Polaroid. You can never re-create what just happened, you’d need 10,000 cameras and people with stopwatches and notebooks to study ever movement. Afterwards, even if you had that information you would still have to take in the circumstantial randomness of life; the heat, the sun, where the moon was, etc. and these kinds of things cannot be reproduced.
Tell us about your home life growing up and how you feel this shaped you as an artist.
I’m an only child and not unlike any other child, some complex things were going on at home. As a result, I spent a lot of time by myself and lived in my own imagination. As I isolated myself more and more single pictures and images came in my mind ending with nothingness, the void of color, black… I was young 4, 5, 6 years old, studying the absence of color in my own mind. I began to move towards color. Maybe looking for a little happiness, a little bit more understanding of the reality going on outside and seeing fall, winter, summer and spring colors. Also, I grew up on Dr. Seuss which brought me all the color, and all the words, and all the stories, and all the imagination I could have wished for. In particular there is this book, it’s called The Digging-Est Dog and I felt connected to it because the dog just kept digging for the bone I’ve always been digging for something in my life, dealing with isolation and Dr. Seuss brought me a lot of color and the rhymes and the on-going sentences and sometimes sentences that made no sense which made all the sense in world to me. I credit my mom for recognizing I was interested in visual art, in general. She bought me books on Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Rembrandt. I was fascinated with all the biblical and mythical metaphors between heaven and hell, the duality of good and evil and by the downfall of the human race, where humans get greedy and gluttony takes over. I remember paintings of voluptuous women being pulled down into the cracks of the earth into a fiery hell by goat demon characters, even as a young man it aroused me, in a way, that wasn’t exactly sexual but extremely thrilling. I was so young I just had to try and figure it out. I was affected by the masters and I was able to really look at these things and try to figure them all out myself at such a young age. And as I got older, I began to understand the human connection between what people think and feel and creating it on canvas, paper, poetry, etc. I was obsessed to the point where, my mother was called into my grade school because I was drawing pictures of naked women. I went to a catholic school and they thought it was inappropriate. My mom took one look at the first picture I drew and said to them “This is a picture of me. He’s my son and he’s seen me like this so it’s all he knows. He doesn’t have these ideas on his mind he is just drawing, he’s interested in the human form”. That was it, she went to town for me at my catholic school and really had to make them think differently about what’s was going on in my mind.
And that’s where it all started and it’s taken me from there till 2012. Art is a vision, a bigger picture, I follow my instincts and I go find it. It’s euphoric, like sex.
When did you start shooting and did you have any formal training? What is coming up next in the art world for you?
I started shooting as young kid. Now that I look back, I see that I took at a lot of photos of my Dad and Mom, who are now deceased. I was shooting them with an eye. I only would take a picture of my Dad when he was a certain way. I realize now that I had the eyes then, but I wasn’t aware of being a photographer. In High School I took Photography, but I didn’t have patience for the class, or enjoy the assignments. Once I learned the form and technique of the camera, I moved beyond being taugght since I am spontaneous. It wasn’t until I got on the road with Slipknot around 1998, that others such as the Rolling Stone photographer took note as my vision was developing. He said, “You’ve got the eye man, you’ve got the gift. You know what you want, you’ve just got to learn the camera.” That’s when I knew I had to focus on the craft. I had a mentor who I used to take out on the road, one day and the situation wasn’t his fault, but he just wasn’t getting what I wanted, I asked him if he would hand over the camera. He looked me dead in the eye and said, “Oh no, things are never going to be the same again.” And sure enough, I haven’t stopped shooting seriously since. I give myself goals, I took pictures with the Medium Format Camera for years. Then finally I hid it away in my storage unit and bought a digital camera, to learn it and that’s what I am doing now. The Apocalyptic Nightmare Journey is a reflection on all of my Polaroid work up until this moment. My next book will be of models of beautiful women and the stories that we have of collaborating with each other and creating art.
Which image or overall theme from The Apocalyptic Nightmare Journey is your current favorite?
The photos that people allowed me to take when they were emotional and outside of themselves, in a moment, those are the pictures I’m most proud of. They trusted me enough to take a photograph. They gave their whole being to me without hiding. Overall, it took me 8 years to make this book. I’ve got over 5,000 Polaroids, I could have done all of them, but I held back and pulled the best of the best, which added up to 175, 200 photos in this first book. My goal is to take you through my life, in little portions of it, there’s members of my band with masks, without masks, with other humans that are big stars, or not stars, there’s my family, there’s segments of different areas that I studied, including animals and the goat that’s on Slipknot’s second album cover, Iowa. I held a lot back, but I’d rather give out a few select, profound images, that I love to introduce the world to my work.
What appealed to you about the SXSW panel “Seeing Red Aesthetics and the Visuals of Metal”?
It’s just insanity and an honor to go speak at SXSW again. I love it, I’ve done it before and I’m honored to be asked again. I’ve watched some of my friends do panels and I learned so much. I love that outlet, to be able to shed some of your knowledge and ideas as well as learn something new, all good teachers are good students, and all good students are good teachers. I go there to learn something from someone who is asking me a question that I may not be able to answer, and that might be the epiphany that drives me to the next level of evolution.
MTT has covered a ton of festivals all over the United States, and one festival that has always stuck in our minds as an AWESOME all-around experience is Electric Forest. Originally known as ROTHBURY, the Electric Forest festival in Rothbury, Michigan is one (two) of the best times that we’ve had to date. Madison House Inc. puts on a ridiculously great festival, and you’d be remiss if you don’t make the trek to beautiful Michigan at some point to hit their festival.
From the amazing SHERWOOD FOREST (I cannot emphasize enough how awesome it is. Trippy is a HUGE understatement), to the incredibly cool and comfortable weather and the very accessible stages and amenities (a beach on a lake?!) … Electric Forest is a must hit on your festival bucket list. Here are some details which will be updated as more info becomes available.
New to Electric Forest 2012! ELECTRIC AVENUE TENT CAMPING!
Show up carefree to Electric Forest — Your large weather proof safari-style tent complete with cots will be set up for you before your arrival, with parking available near your tent and staff members on hand to assist with any questions you may have about your tent through out the weekend.
You will also enjoy all the amenities of THE GOOD LIFE VILLAGE
• Accommodations in a large weather proof safari-style tent with windows and a tarp floor
• Tent is prepared for your arrival – NO SET UP NEEDED!
• 2 – 4 Cots per tent
• Parking near your tent
• On-site staff to help with any questions about your tent
• All GOOD LIFE Amenities and Village Amenities included
Check out the Brand New ADD ONS to THE GOOD LIFE VIP Packages for 2012!
Prefer to do Electric Forest in style?
Do you want to golf with your favorite musicians in the Electric Forest Celebrity Invitational?
Or join Kyle Hollingsworth of String Cheese Incident for a beer tasting?
How about the Ultimate Back Stage Experience?
Personalize your VIP Experience by choosing one or all of the ADD ONS!!!
Share Your Videos with Electric Forest
Some great times were shared at Electric Forest 2011- what are your favorite moments? Was it in Sherwood Forest, on the beach at Big Wildcat Lake, or closing out the weekend dancing at Pretty Lights? Share your videos with us on our official YouTube channel. Post them HERE!
Return to the Forest Loyalty Tickets
The Return to the Forest Loyalty Ticket is on sale now. To show our appreciation to all of you who helped make last years Electric Forest an exceptional weekend, we have set aside a limited amount of Loyalty tickets for you. If you purchased a ticket to Electric Forest in 2011, you will have received an email with a private code to purchase a UP TO 2 WEEKEND PASSES at the Loyalty Price ($189 plus fees for a Weekend Ticket, $389 plus fees for a Good Life Village VIP Ticket)!
The Loyalty Ticket is available until 5pm EST Monday, January 30th, or while supplies last. Quantities are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis. Please note this offer is limited to a maximum of 2 WEEKEND PASSES per person and credit card. Thank you for your support of the Electric Forest community and see you in the Forest!
The simply outstanding new single “Scheme”, from STS9′s upcoming summer EP release ‘When the Dust Settles’, is available NOW for FREE download through 1320RECORDS.COM. You’ll also find it on SoundCloud,FaceBook, YouTube and more. The complete EP ‘When the Dust Settles’ will be released in June on 1320 Records and will be available via iTunes and just about everywhere you look digitally.
Tracks: Scheme, When The Dust Settles, Scheme Reprise, The Golden Gate, Winter Sun.
To Listen, CLICK HERE.
To Download for free, CLICK HERE.
STS9 TOUR DATES
Friday- Rebecca Black: The fact that this 13 year old girl is going to make 10 times the $ that I will this year because of that song makes me want to go into a senior home and start sucker-punching all walker-ambulating old women within eyesight. If you haven’t had the privilege of enjoying this gem, check out the video on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD2LRROpph0&hd=1 DO NOT view while holding anything of value (the sheer annoyingness of the girls voice will put you in Break-Mode). Who’s the joker with the rap cameo committing career suicide?!?
Queen T drunken chi: “I mean, have you met a clown that’s NOT on LSD?!”
SO, Odd Future, aka OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All ), the LA hip-hop compilation group of young-bucks Tyler the Creator, Hodgy Beats, Earl Sweatshirt, Dom Genesis, Mike G, Frank Ocean, et al. who were just recently introduced at SXSW by Mr. Dirty Money himself are all of sudden all over the place. I’ve been jammin them a good bit lately. There’s a lot of material to listen through because they pretty much all have solo stuff as well. Here’s where my head’s at: love the production, great flow, great style, lyrically not there yet; BUT they’re all practically adolescents so how deep can you really expect them to be? Assuming these guys don’t burn out over the next few years, they’ll make waves. Muy muy talented. SWAG. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CyMuBi-kH8&hd=1
If you’re east coast livin (anywhere around NYC, Philly, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, etc.) and want to get anyway for a few days without breaking the bank, take a one or two day trip to Washington D.C. I did just that a few days ago and it ended up being quite the grand decision. DC’s a super-clean, super-pimp city with great eats (Jose Andres is the shit!) and a lot of free stuff to do. The subway (“metro”) is approximately 139 times more superior than the one I’ve got here in Philly- bonus points: it doesn’t smell like homeless piss. It’s actually really futuristic looking, straight outta Demolition Man. I didn’t get much of a chance to check out the music scene down there; but I heard this one local cat’s hip-hop over the speakers at Ben’s Chili Bowl and it was legit. (I’m currently in the process of tracking that artist down. I’ll be sure to put him on blast. -Could be the next Wale.)
Queen T drunken chi: “My dog plays me like a fool every day.”
Just finished reading Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Road. Story about a father and son trying to survive in an incredibly dark portrayal of post-apocalyptic America. Phenomenal book; and an easy read (now a movie starring Viggo Mortenson). McCarthy also wrote No Country For Old Men btw. I’d love to know what happened to the planet ‘cause he kinda left me hangin. Anyone have some insight on it for me?
82,148 people applied to be Charlie Sheen’s #TigerBlood intern this summer, and who do you think made it to the second round? Me (Moe), that’s who! $100,000 for two months of work is up for grabs, and I’m gonna take it all.
Why am I a shoe-in? Let me tell you why…
- For one… I’m the Train. The Train equals #WINNING, #TigerBlood, Excelsior and everything in between.
- Team Excelsior. Team Excelsior’s mantra has always been one of DOMINATION. Domination and Excelsior started way before Twitter or hash tags or any of the “new media,” which has transitioned to “social media.” What did Moe Train’s Tracks and Team Excelsior do when social media flashed onto the tech scene? Dominated it. Team Excelsior (King B and I) were also born with Adonis DNA, which is indisputable.
- I have Tigerblood in my veins at all times. Do you know what Sriracha is? I do. I use that shit on everything. I like Frank’s Hot Sauce, but it doesn’t hold a flame to Sriracha.
- If you extracted the blood from either member of Team Excelsior, you’d be high as shit. High because we’re always fucked up? Nah. You’d be high on our brand of WINNING. What I said on the way to Bonnaroo one year still holds true. EXCELSIOR DOESN’T FUCKING LOSE. EVER. Put two and two together.
- Sure, a porn star has reportedly advanced to the next round of selections, but the internship is to run his social presence. Not run a brothel. (She’s not even that hot anyway. Used up? Definitely.) I’ve done a bit of research on who else has advanced to the second round, and most of these people don’t have any online presence at all. MTT has created a massive online presence with 150,000+ listeners world wide, thousands of Twitter followers, and access to tons of musicians throughout the world. (Sorry Billy, asking for a few followers on Twitter since you made the second round won’t get you through to the next one.)
“What they’re not ready for is guys like you and I and Nails and all the other gnarly gnarlingtons in my life, that we are high priests, Vatican Assassin Warlocks. Boom. Print that, people. See where that goes.” - Charlie Sheen
Charlie, I couldn’t agree with you more. I look forward to the day where the high priests finally join forces by combining the fury of the tigerblood with the power and domination of Excelsior.
“Life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them.” - Charlie Sheen
Spoken like a true warlock. Let’s do this.
- Monty “Moe Train” Wiradilaga
If any of you play MLB 2K11 on 360 or PS3 then you’re well aware of the $1,000,000 giveaway that was offered to gamers who could record themselves pitching a perfect game. Apparently pro-wrestler/tech-guru Michael Manna (aka Stevie Richards in ECW, WWE and TNA) has pitched a perfect game and posted it to YouTube. But unlike last year when the contest started on the release date, this $1,000,000 Perfect Pitch competition doesn’t start until April 1st.
For the whole story, check the link at the top of the page…