Q&A: Twiztid's Madrox and Monoxide on Their Insane Clown Posse Mentorship
photo by Nate "Igor" Smith Twiztid's Madrox and Monoxide: "We're like the Padawans to their Jedis."
Twiztid, the Michigan-based horrorcore duo, occupy a peculiar spot in the annals of recorded music. As Insane Clown Posse's younger protégés, they have a hugely loyal fanbase, they've been signed to the same label for 12 years, they still earn revenue from actual records, but outside of Hot Topics and Juggalos, their existence has been so widely ignored, the duo frequently joke about being Psychopathic Records' "red-headed stepchild." That was, until Jamie "Madrox" Spaniolo and Paul "Monoxide" Methric were arrested on tour this past weekend, charged with marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession in Florida, along with fellow Psychopathic rapper Blaze Ya Dead Homie. All the sudden, they were on the frontpage of TMZ.
Tonight, Twiztid opens for Insane Clown Posse at the Hammerstein Ballroom. We spoke with Jamie and Paul before their arrest, about what it's been like to have the "Most Hated Band in the World" as a mentor.
You've joked that you're like the red-headed stepchild to ICP. What's that been like?
Jamie: ICP is our big brothers, so to speak. But in a good way--not like a dick brother who would punch you in the face and give you a wedgie. The kind of brother who would actually take the time to be like, "Look, this is how you guys need to craft what you do. Hone your shit, do this this way." Actually take the time, and the love, to sit there and to let us be the protégés, so to speak. We're like the Padawans to their Jedis, you know what I mean? They've taught us pretty much everything we know. I'm thankful to say we know some shit now because of them.
Paul: We're extremely low-maintenance.
Jamie: We're not the only ones they taught that--or tried to.
Paul: We're the only ones it really stuck with.
Jamie: If there was an elimination show, we would be the contestant winners. So many people were given the beginning stages of the [Psychopathic] "knowledge." And it was like, "No, you can't do this, you gotta leave. You fucked this up, you fucked us." Everybody had their own personal bullshit that kept them from the goal. We were like, "Fuck that. We want this."
Paul: We just shut up for three years and listened and learned. And we got it. And appreciatively got it. To find a band who's band on a record label for 12 years? It's hard to find.
Jamie: Usually, it's like, "Our A&R left and we were out!" Or whatever the case may be. So [Psychopathic Records] really is like a family business. It's like, we're all brothers.
But that was an earned trust. It wasn't just given--it's that they understand that we are here for the long-term. There was always respect [from them], but now it's a greater vibe of respect.
Paul: We could make good music, so they respected that. Now they know we can make good business, so they respect that.
photo by Nate "Igor" Smith Twiztid
Where do you think you'd be without Psychopathic Records?
Paul: If it was eight years ago, we'd be fucked.
Jamie: I'd be cleaning toilets still.
I believe that because of our drive, we would still be doing music. We probably wouldn't be as quote-unquote well off in the situation and the opportunities we have now. People are like, "You got it good, they promote your album!"
We wouldn't be as big as we are. Maybe we would? I don't know. I'd like to think that in a parallel universe we would be just as good too--I like to believe it's us.
Would you still be wearing the facepaint?
Jamie: Before we were part of this, we were in a band called House of Krazees and we used to wear pumpkin masks. So it's always been about--
Paul: Some theatrics. We have a problem with just looking at some dude.
Jamie: Why would you want to hang a poster of some guy you've seen at the post office? We were raised on KISS and Alice Cooper and P-Funk and all this shit where people wore big space boots and laser light shows. That's what it's about--Pink Floyd with the big pig flying across. Theatrics. Give the people something to see.
Paul: Originally? There was no paint. We were bare-faced.
Violent J's memoir Behind the Paint has photos of you without the make-up.
Paul: We didn't want to step on their toes. We felt, that's your thing. We want to show you that we can be ourselves. They were like, "Look, don't be fucking stupid!"
Jamie: "You're part of the family, you're part of this movement."
Paul: "You guys are into theatrics? Work it into your thing. Don't be stupid." We went through so many changes. Mask molds of our actual faces where they actually moved. We wore baby powder. Then one day, we bowed down, and we were like, "Let's try their make-up."
Jamie: They just came up and were like, "That kind of looks fresh." And from then on, it's been some variation of this.
Twiztid open for Insane Clown Posse tonight at the Hammerstein Ballroom with Blaze Ya Dead Homie and Wolfpac. Tickets are $20.