EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: INSANE CLOWN POSSE on New Album, Charlie Sheen & The Gathering of the Juggalos
I recently caught up with one half of the worlds most hated band Insane Clown Posse, Shaggy 2 Dope to get the lowdown on this year’s Gathering of the Juggalos; Plus, what he expects from host Charlie Sheen and details surrounding their upcoming album ‘The Mighty Death Pop’.
This year’s annual Gathering of the Juggalos plays from August 11th – 14th at Cave-in Rock, Illinois. The music festival is absolutely stacked and not only features every artist from ICP’s music label Psychopathic Records, but other renowned artists including Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes, Xzibit, Tech N9ne, Flavor Flav, MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, Saliva, CKY, Kottonmouth Kings and many, many more.
Perhaps the most mainstream addition to the show will be none other than America’s most famous unemployed actor - Charlie Sheen. We kicked off the interview to talk about Sheen’s inclusion and how Shaggy thinks the Juggalos will react to renowned maniac.
Keven: I know you guys have said previously that you think the Juggalos can relate to Charlie Sheen, but you have to know that the guy’s full blown insane, do you have a backup plan if things fall apart?
Shaggy: There’s no doubt he’s full blown insane but….what is our name? (laughing). It’s a perfect match.
Keven: Is he gonna MC the show or what’s the deal?
Shaggy: Yeah, that might open up doors for a whole new thing that we’re going to be doing so he’s hosting Saturday night. Our people and his people were kinda going back and forth asking ‘what’s he gonna do for an hour?’ And we were like ‘host!’ It just kinda snowballed from there. Now every night on the mainstage we got somebody hosting. It’s pretty cool.
Keven: I recently heard Tila Tequila on Howard Stern and I was wondering what your thoughts are on what she said?
Internet pseudo celeb Tila Tequila took part at last year’s Gathering of the Juggalos and while performing her pop music, angry fans pelted her with rocks, pop and all kinds of horrific things forcing a war of words in which Tequila threatened a lawsuit against the clowns. During her last appearance on Stern, said she would slap both members of ICP if she met them in person.
Shaggy: I didn’t hear it but I heard about it. You know what, f*** her.
Keven: Are you guys past the whole ‘lawsuit’ thing?
Shaggy: There was never no lawsuit, whatsoever (laughing). Her 15 minutes are up you know what I’m saying? Who is she you know? She’s done.
Keven: You guys have some announcements that will be revealed at this year’s Gathering, I know you can’t give too much away but can you tease what some of them may be - maybe stuff in regards to the new album?
The rap duo has been working on the second album in their new series of Joker’s cards ‘The Mighty Death Pop’ with longtime producer Mike E. Clark. The upcoming album will be the follow-up to 2009’s ‘Bang Pow Boom’, which debuted at number four on the Billboard Top 200 chart during its release. To date, ICP has sold nearly seven million albums over the course of their career which is a massive success considering they’ve remained on an independent label for the better part of over two decades.
Shaggy: We’ve been working on it (‘The Mighty Death Pop’) super crazy hard and all I can say is everything we’ve been doing is phenomenal. It’s just mind-blowing the s*** that we’re doing. Like you said, we can’t give away too much but it’s just elevating to a whole new game.
Keven: Was there a certain sound or theme you guys were aiming for on the new record? I heard that the album may be an answer to some of the recent hate that you guys have been getting online.
Shaggy: Nowadays…We’re done hating. We know we’re hated. We address a couple things but there’s no purpose. It’s just pure entertainment, pure wicked s***, pure awesomeness. Every track that we’re pumping out is just devastating.
Keven: Are we going to see the new album drop in 2012?
Shaggy: Yes sir…For sure.
Keven: This album is the second in a new series of Joker’s cards and a return to the dark carnival, will there be an underlying theme and six total cards like last time?
Shaggy: Yes, we’re following the same path, the same everything. It’s the second deck and series and it’s something else man. It’s pure devastation. The s*** we’re doing is blowing our own minds. Everything we’ve ever done is off the chain and awesome but this right here is elevating the entire game. In my opinion there’s not one track you would skip past. Its gung-ho, blazing hot.
Keven: For me personally, being a lifelong fan your music has always been an escape, what do you guys listen to cause I don’t see you bumping your own s*** in the car, or do you?
Shaggy: What are you crazy? (laughing).
Keven: You do? (laughing)
Shaggy: Hellyeah, the whole catalog man. From Dog Beats all the way up man. Everything we’ve ever done in the studio to us, is great. Alotta people are like ‘keep it real’ and we’re like ‘nah man, f*** that – keep it entertaining’. You gotta look out your window and see real s*** every day so why not listen to a record and take yourself out.
Keven: Speaking of unwinding, I know you personally don’t smoke weed anymore and Violent J stopped smoking for the making of the record, did you guys get fully clean for the new album?
Shaggy: Well that’s….up for debate (laughing). When we’re doing vocals - no. But I’ve been known to dabble here and there but when I was a youngster I used to be a weed….head!. But me personally, I don’t like the feeling of being high. I like thinking with a sane mind. For years I was a full-blown alcoholic and I quit drinking, going on three years and I’ve been loving it.
Keven: What was the last record that you guys made while being really messed up?
Shaggy: 'Shangri-la' or 'Hell's Pit'. I think the record is good, but to me…. it just holds bad memories.
Keven: Is there any performer at this year's Gathering that you're personally stoked to see?
Shaggy: Man….It's just such a collaboration of people. We've got Ice Cube coming back once again. Always stoked to see him. Paris – grew up listening to him and he's a big influence. He's supposedly bringing a devastating stage show. Me personally, Busta Rhymes and all the horrorcore, wicked s***, whatever the f*** it's called – the four in the morning under the moonlight – the crème de le crème.
We book people that we like to see but we also take into account, what the Juggalos want to see. Juggalos are like fingerprints, no two are the same. You got Juggalos that love Lady Gaga and Juggalos that love country music you know? It's really hard to pinpoint what everybody will like. Our goal is to try and make everybody happy but that's impossible. We do the absolute best we can.