Insane Clown Posse are back on the road this fall, sharing stages with P.O.D. as part of their Marvelous Missing Link tour. The band is supporting their latest Joker Card record, Marvelous Missing Link, which yielded a two-part release titled Lost and Found.
Loudwire had a chance to chat with Shaggy 2 Dope about their latest musical project, their current tour and also got into the ongoing lawsuit with the FBI over the classification of their Juggalo fanbase as a gang. Check out the chat in full below.
Marvelous Missing Link is one of the more involved projects that you’ve done. Did you have an idea of what you wanted to do going into that? Did the themes present themselves as you went into recording?
Whenever I record one of our Joker Card records, it’s always presented to us. Of course we have control over what we do. But the ideas are pretty much handed to us. Not by just some guy. But it’s really like we don’t have, like right now there is nothing coming to us right now for the next Joker Card. I have no idea what it is going to be, nothing. No name, face, anything, you know. But it will come to us. We’ll be ready to record.
As far as this one goes, you know, cause usually when we record records, we want to do them super duper quality, and kind of like Dre producing. Like everything full and surround. But with The Missing Link, we just wanted to get dirty with it. We lined up doubles up so much. The recording process was a little bit faster because we wanted to be so meticulous with everything. What we did was we recorded the first one and we were like, “This isn’t done, but it’s only one record.” We didn’t want to put out two records, a double record, I mean. So this is what is going to happen. It came to us. We were going to do Lost and then three months later, we were going to release Found.
Basically what Lost is, it’s a more down record. It’s a bring you down record. It’s harder beats. It’s more f–ked up subject matter, you know. And then what Found is, it is more uplifting and it is more lighter s–t. So basically, Lost is what you are doing when you are lost in life. You don’t have no hope. You don’t have no outlook. As whereas Found is now that you have found, everything is gravy. Everything is good.
That’s got to be a fun project to do.
Yeah it worked a lot better. Something similar we did with Shangri La. With that record we did Shangri La first which was great. Our lives were better at that time. As soon as we started recording Hell’s Pit, it’s crazy cause our mindsets just turned dark. Even our personal life during that record, things were getting all f–ked up and s–t. It took a while to bounce back from that. And that was also a record that we are like very intricate and tweaking every high hat. But with this we started out with the Lost record. And it did bring us down but we got back with Found you know.
A favorite song or lyric that stands out to you?
Not to me man. It’s like asking me what my favorite kid is. Everything we do I love. And for everything that we don’t love so much, like our B-side records, we’re just crazy because we come out with those thinking that well you know it’s not because they won’t make it on the record. Then we put out a decent song and people are like, “Oh this song, this song, this song!” Damn, we’ll just listen to it and maybe it could have been a cut on the record. But the records are how they are supposed to be as they are. If they were any different then you know that’s it. It just wasn’t meant to be on there you know.
At this point you’ve been around and have amassed a pretty sizable catalog. When you’re recording do you think, where might this fit in in our live show?
No not really. You know it’s weird because like when we first started out when we very first started out, we kind of used to do that. But when we first started out, we were pretty much banned from the radio and stuff. We would like purposely try to make a song for the radio. Like no cursing, would try to make a more friendly subject matter. But of course we never got radio play. Now, we just record what you’re feeling and some songs get on it. Some songs we listen to and think, this would go over great live and we do it live and it doesn’t. It’s hard to tell with that. As far as when we record it, we don’t get when we record it for doing it live, you know? But some songs turn out where you’re like, holy s–t, this is going to be great live.
The Marvelous Missing Link tour is taking place this fall. Can you talk about what fans can expect? How much of the newer music is driving the show?
We’re doing pretty much a whole new show. This show is a lot different than we usually do. It does have a lot of the classics on there, but it does have more new songs than we usually do. We’ve been on the road only for a week and a half now, but the new songs we’re doing everybody is liking a lot. If there is someone out there that doesn’t like coming to see the new stuff, it’s not all new stuff. There’s still all our classic stuff in there as well. It boils down to this too, a lot of people who aren’t Juggalos who may like ICP a little bit or even a little curious about it. They never want to come to our shows because they think it’s going to be rowdy and f–ked up because there’s Juggalos. I’ll tell you what, man. It’s all love. If you’re in the least apprehensive about coming out, because you’re shook, come out and you’ll see. Not only are you going to get a great show but you’re going to be surrounded by great people as well.
I’m not familiar with the band’s whole touring history, but I know you guys are touring with P.O.D. this fall. Is there any history there with that band?
Nah, I’m not sure how we contacted them but they’re cool guys. We were like, let’s do this s–t. They put on a great show. Their music is great. So yeah, we got them, we got from the Netherlands these guys called Dope D.O.D., then we got our guy Psychopathic Young Wicked. Then we got DJ Paul as well from the Three Six Mafia.
I see your lawsuit with the FBI about the Juggalos having a gang classification has been reversed by the court of appeals.
Yeah, it’s pretty cool man. The thing is, personally, that’s f–king great and we’re hoping for the best and we’re not going to stop fighting no matter what. But we just don’t get our hopes up too much because of what happened last time getting thrown out. Even if it does get thrown out again, we’re going to find a way to keep it going. We’re just hoping for the best. It’ll be so great to get that s–t eradicated.
The first time I heard that story I thought how odd it was that the Juggalos would be on such a list, but I admire your commitment to what you’ve done. Can you talk about some of the more interesting findings when you started investigating how the fanbase was being treated?
It was crazy, man. At first when we heard about it, it was like oh that’s cool, whatever, not thinking long term how it would affect anybody. Oh OK, somehow we’re big gang members, a’ight whatever. Kind of brushed it off. But then we started hearing about all the repercussions, not only for Psychopathic personalities, but Hot Topic doesn’t carry us anymore, merchandise, a lot of stores don’t carry merch. On top of that, kids that are rocking Psychopathic anything with a hatchet man on it, not all over America but cities around America you can get arrested for that. There are guys that have Hatchet Man tattoos who are in the army that are getting kicked out of the army. There are people who are losing custody cases over it. There’s people that because they’re wearing a Psychopathic shirt, and they get pulled over for speeding and they run their s–t and see them wearing a Psychopathic shirt and they’re now in the gang file. That means if they get pinched with even a joint in their pocket, they’re punishment will be 10 times more severe because they’re now considered to be in a gang. It’s crazy.
We go to stores for meet and greets and there’s like, lawyers and doctors coming through. Police who are Juggalos coming through, every walk of life we meet. Two-year old-kids with their parents from a great family and somehow just because they’re wearing a hatchet man shirt and saying they claim to be a Juggalo they’re all of a sudden in a f–king gangs like MS 13 or a Blood or something? That’s insane. We can’t wrap our head around it. We don’t understand how that can be, it’s so crazy to us. I can go on for days how incomprehensible that is for us.
We’re just like, well what can we do? That’s the only thing we can do. We’re not just going to sit back and let that s–t happen. We’re the only ones that can do something about it. We’re not going to sit back and just let kids get punished for rocking our s–t. Kids get punished for listening to our music, for representing I guess a subculture of people. That’s f–king insane. We’re not going to just sit back and take it up the ass like that.
You guys didn’t necessarily have to do anything, but you did. You went to bat for your fans. What are some of the reactions you’ve heard back from the fans since you rallied and came to their defense?
It’s all good. No one has anything bad to say about it, people are happy about it. Whatever we can do to help, we’re doing everything in our power. We’re trying. It’s expensive and it takes a very long time. It’s like f—ing draining all of our bank accounts, but we don’t give a f–k. We have to get off that list, that’s the bottom line.
I wanted to ask what it’s been like to see the Gathering of the Juggalos event grow over the years.
We didn’t know what it was going to turn into when we first did it. We did it and originally we did it at a convention center. You didn’t need a hotel or nothing. We didn’t know what we were doing or what it was supposed to be. We didn’t know where it was going to go or nothing. We were like, “OK we put out a big mega show the whole weekend,” then next we’re like we need to do it again. So we found a hotel and a convention center this time in Toledo and that s–t popped off crazy good, so the next year we’re like, “OK let’s just start moving this around once a year.” Then, eventually, it started getting so big, and, there’s a circuit almost of convention centers. People that run convention centers talk to other convention centers around America. So we got banned from convention centers, just from kids putting stickers on escalators. Nothing big.
We were stuck with what do what do now? We’re like, “How about a campground?” Nelson Ledges was the first campground we went to and we’re like, “Why didn’t we think of this before? This is f–king great.” That first point, we weren’t looking at it like a festival. We were looking at it as a gathering of people. Then over the years it turned into a festival, which it is. We lose our ass every year on that, because we don’t have any corporate sponsors or nothing. So we lose our asse every f–king year. But it’s what we do, [laughs] we lose a lot of money on a lot of s–t we do. But the money what we do make, we put back into the endeavors we f–king lose on.
Such interesting lineups with artists from all different walks. Is there a dream must-get for the Gathering? Someone you’d love to have that hasn’t been on the Gathering yet.
There are a lot but some people are afraid to play it. Some people just straight up hate us and don’t want to play it. My favorite is the “f–k you price” — when you got someone to play it and sends you the most ridiculous number in the world like you’re actually going to pay it. Like a quarter of a million dollars or something to play an hour set, that’s what we call a “f–k you” price. One person I’d really like to have play, me personally is Sir Mix A Lot. The problem is, he doesn’t fly. To get him to drive from Seattle all the way to Ohio for a one off show is not happening. I would love to see Mix A Lot, I think that would be great.
I know you guys have pretty extensive history and a love for wrestling. I’d like to know what wrestlers first inspired you and what made you want to give that a shot?
Just growing up watching it, I don’t think there was one in particular. Everyone has their favorite, but I don’t think there was anyone wrestler. When I was a little kid, I was overtime into it. Even before, I knew Bon and Shea. We met when I was 10 or 11 years old, so when we met, it was crazy. I think we bonded over our love of wrestling I think first and foremost. We used to go to Joe Louis Arena that was downtown Detroit and wait out back for the Wrestlers when I was 11, 12 years old. It snowballed from there. I’ll always be a Hulkamaniac, no question. I know he’s said his s–t, whatever the f–k, but that’s so hard for me to swallow. It sucks he did that, man, I really wish he didn’t. It makes it real hard to be a Hulkamaniac. I’m hoping something happens where he redeems himself. As a matter of fact, yesterday we were in Tampa and we went to his restaurant but it was closed down yesterday. You couldn’t even tell it was a Hulk Hogan restaurant.
Favorite wrestling moment from getting a chance to do that?
Oh from mine? F–k. I don’t know. You caught me on that one, there have been so many. I miss wrestling still, but I don’t know what my favorite moment is. I’ve got so many of them. I miss actually being in the ring. My back’s all f—ed up and I broke my neck a few times. Crazy s–t. I’m still involved, I do commentary and s–t. But what I don’t miss is all the backstage politics and s–t. It gets a little crazy in the locker room. That I don’t miss but I miss being in the actual ring.
Anything on the horizon that you want to promote that we haven’t talked about?
Yeah, we’ve got Psychopathic coming out. Young Wicked is out right now, DJ Paul’s record is coming out. Go get that s–t. Like I was saying, if you’re at least a little curious come and check the f–king show out. You’re not going to regret that you did. Don’t be scared to come. Don’t let reputations proceed what they are. You’re going to be like, “Holy s–t, those boys are off the hook.”
Our thanks to Insane Clown Posse’s Shaggy 2 Dope for the interview. The Marvelous Missing Link: Lost and Found records are both available now. Check Amazon and iTunes here and here. Get your Insane Clown Posse tickets and catch them on tour at these locations.