THE EXCLUSIVE ROLLING STONE INTERVIEW WITH R.A. RIEKKI
ROLLING STONE: What is your first musical memory?
R.A. RIEKKI: Wow, great question. This is why everyone should wish they get interviewed by Rolling Stone. Let me think. Umm, maybe me and my cousin and a friend Gus in my parents' basement where my bedroom was and Gus had a recorder, you know, a flute like thing, and we had two cheap guitars, I think an acoustic and an electric with no amp and we were jamming pretending we were playing a song and it was absolutely terribly horrid but we didn't know that. We formed a music group called The Babbbbbbblers and recorded songs with titles like "A Little Nutzho" and "Johnny B. Racist" that made fun of mental patients and people in the KKK. Wow, good question. Have not been asked that one before. And a little embarrassing to admit.
ROLLING STONE: Your dad collects all your press clippings and hangs them on the wall. Your parents' house must look like a shrine.
R.A. RIEKKI: He does? Seriously? Did you guys call and tell him you were Rolling Stone? He must have flipped!
ROLLING STONE: What's the last great rock show you saw?
R.A. RIEKKI: Rock? Hmm, probably easily Alice in Chains. I got to go backstage with Steven Wiig, who's one of the producers interested in turning my novel U.P. into a film. And then after we went to the Chateau Marmont, which is the hotel where John Belushi died, and talk for a couple hours with Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney. That was pretty intensely awesome. I didn't have money to order food so I ate Jerry Cantrell's bread sticks. I told Jerry that I'd plug their CD Black Gives Way to Blue in interviews, so he'll be excited that I'm plugging it in Rolling Stone! But yeah, definitely I'd say Alice in Chains. Good stuff.
ROLLING STONE: I bet you don't feel like a schoolboy too often.
R.A. RIEKKI: What does that mean?
ROLLING STONE: What's wrong with MTV's Video Music Awards? It used to be fun to watch.
R.A. RIEKKI: Yeah, I agree. I dunno. Maybe there's just too many other options. I know when I've watched them recently I tend to flick to other channels during commercials and I'd get caught up with some movie on Showtime or an NBA game and forget that I was watching it and miss half the show. But I'm older now. MTV's for like 18-24 year old girls I heard. Isn't that their demographic?
ROLLING STONE: Right. You're talking about the Polyphonic Spree.
R.A. RIEKKI: Oh really, young girls like them too? I'm a big Polyphonic Spree fan. I like that lead singer. I'd like to go to the Chateau Marmont with him and get drunk and eat bread sticks.
ROLLING STONE: Avril Lavigne told me that you and she hang out. Why?
R.A. RIEKKI: Huh? Avril Lavigne? She was lying. I'd like to hang out with her. But, about the only female celeb that I hang out with is Goldie from Flavor of Love and we just text each other sometimes. Are you mixing up Avril Lavigne with Goldie from VH1's Charm School?
ROLLING STONE: What musician has been the biggest asshole toward you?
R.A. RIEKKI: Wow, good question. Hmmmm. I'm friends with a lot of musicians--Jus Rhyme from The (White) Rapper Show and Alastair Moock and the rapper Matre and Steven Wiig from Jason Newsted's band Papa Wheelie, but who's an a-hole. Hmmm. I've having trouble with this. Hmmm. There was a groupie of DJ SirReal from the Howling Diablos who hated me for no reason, but I can't remember her name and she wasn't in any band herself, but musicians I tend to get along with.
ROLLING STONE: I was at Madison Square Garden when you two kissed and made up a few years ago. What happened after that?
R.A. RIEKKI: Who are you talking about? I've never been to Madison Square Garden? Do you mean Garden City near Detroit? I think me and SirReal got in an argument there just before he was about to DJ the MC battle that they filmed for The (White) Rapper Show. Is that what you're talking about? . . . But yeah, we're cool. He's married now so it's hard to get in touch with him, but yeah he's still DJing in Detroit and I'm doing the writing thing and occasionally we facebook. That's about it.
ROLLING STONE: You said in a recent interview that the "perfect utopia would be for artists to replace politicians and the government." Who should be president?
R.A. RIEKKI: I've done over a hundred interviews for U.P., but I don't remember saying that. Maybe I did. Who knows. It's possible. But artists replace politicians . . . maybe I did say that, come to think of it. I like Obama as president, but Anthony Bourdain would be good. Or Blood Red Shoes. They're a great band. Be cool if they were president. I also like Michael Eric Dyson. Or Cornel West.
ROLLING STONE: What about a secretary of defense?
R.A. RIEKKI: Wait a sec. Let me get my google on. Robert Gates. 2006. So he's a Bush guy I'm guessing. So let's boot him. How about Goldie? She's really nice. I vote for her. Or Henry Louis Gates. I bet Henry Louis Gates would be better than Robert Gates.
ROLLING STONE: When you perform, what essential items do you keep nearby?
R.A. RIEKKI: Perform? You mean like write? I just got asked that by a blogger in England for her So Many Books So Little Time blog and my answer suuuucked. I'm embarrassed it's going to be on her site. It's basically me saying how much I don't like the question. I hope she doesn't hate me now. I forgot the girl's name. I think it was Sophie. She's like a teenager in West Sussex in England and she was really nice. I should have just said how much I love England, because I do. Although I've never been there. I just like their music and writers and TV shows.
ROLLING STONE: C'mon! Cocaine?
R.A. RIEKKI: Is cocaine big in England? What do you mean?
THE EXCLUSIVE SPIN INTERVIEW WITH R.A. RIEKKI
SPIN: You're 32 now, and as you get further away from life on the street, does it get harder to reconcile who you are on record with who you are in real life? On the new album, you still rap about cooking crack and shooting people, but you've been living in a mansion in Connecticut.
R.A. RIEKKI: Ummm, there's no many things incorrect in that last question that I don't even know where to start.
SPIN: That gunshot sound has been going off on your records since well before Get Rich or Die Tryin'.
R.A. RIEKKI: Uhhhhhhhh . . .
SPIN: But everybody thinks you have.
R.A. RIEKKI: Holy crack, Batman. Are you high?
SPIN: Well, you've said so in interviews, both directly and indirectly, and you rap about it all the time.
R.A. RIEKKI: I rap about you being high?
SPIN: That must have been devastating. You made this amazing record [Power of a Dollar] and you're excited to put it out, and then you're in the hospital and the album's shelved.
R.A. RIEKKI: I'm thinking that you're thinking I'm 50 Cent. I don't know how I could look any more different than another human on this planet. If you were going to confuse me with another person, I think that would be the one that would most surprise me . . . other than if you thought I was Oprah.
SPIN: And since you were shot in the mouth, you didn't know if you were gonna be able to rap again.
R.A. RIEKKI: Are you gonna do this the whole interview?
SPIN: Did you have to completely rethink the way you rapped because of the injury? Before, your voice had more eagerness and intensity to it.
R.A. RIEKKI: I don't rap! I'm not 50 Cent! I've never been shot in the mouth! Look! Look at my mouth! Does it look like I was ever shot in the face with a bullet?
SPIN: When you recorded the songs for Power of a Dollar, were you convinced you were going to make it big?
R.A. RIEKKI: This is pointless.
SPIN: It was controversial, but it was also funny. Rappers aren't known for having a good sense of humor about themselves, though. What did you expect would happen?
R.A. RIEKKI: In all honesty, I thought I was going to get asked questions about my novel. But to be honest, you know what, I'm fine. I haven't actually been treated very kindly by the publishing world, so this is just part of that. Fine. Whatever.
SPIN: There were several times on Power of a Dollar when you stepped back and said that you weren't serious.
R.A. RIEKKI: Yes, yes, I wrote whatever the album was you just said. I wrote it. Great question. Are you gonna do this the whole time? Because my collarbone actually hurts right now, so I wouldn't mind just going home and lying down rather than get asked questions about being shot in the mouth.
SPIN: You've said that the new album, Curtis, is partly about you going back and exploring how you felt before you were even known as 50 Cent, when you were a little kid.
R.A. RIEKKI: I’m not 50 goddamn Cent! Can you get that through your frickin’ head! I’m getting sick of it! I drove an hour a half to get here. The joke’s getting old. I’m author R.A. Riekki. I wrote a book that—oh, forget it.
[edited due to graphic content, mostly screaming curse words trying to explain that the R.A. in R.A. Riekki does not stand for Curtis James III and that Riekki sounds nothing like Jackson]
SPIN: Don't you think hip-hop's a target because people think kids look at it as more real than movies, because the artists are seen as living the lifestyle they rap about?
R.A. RIEKKI: Hmmm. I taught a class that dealt with hypermasculinity and race. And it's easy to demonize hip-hop, but . . . I had a table discussion one night with Jus Rhyme and another L.A. rapper that was posted on the Internet and I think Jus Rhyme did a good job about pointing out to me the contradictions in my own novel, U.P., you know, it's hard to write about issues, especially having complex characters and complex themes the way that hip-hop does without it being without controversy. Hip-hop is complex. It's more complex than that question you're posing. That's the beauty of art. I think we look at art like scientists sometimes and you can't. You can't and do it justice. You even used the word "artists" yourself. Treat 2Pac like you would Rembrandt.
SPIN: But so many kids are in broken families these days, and they don't have parental supervision, and it's more of an at-risk situation.
R.A. RIEKKI: Yeah, I agree with that. That's why I feel like you have to assist families the best you can. It takes community effort. And you see that in smaller towns, but when it comes to overwhelming cities, well, the poverty can be so intense, you know, it's the poverty that needs to be addressed more than the music that talks about the poverty.
SPIN: Like Cam'ron saying on 60 Minutes that he wouldn't snitch on a serial killer if he lived next door.
R.A. RIEKKI: Well, I don't know how it happened, but for awhile there I felt like I was doing a real interview, heck, even like I was 50 Cent or something, but I don't know what you're talking about with the Cam'ron thing.
SPIN: I think a lot of these morality police types just want you to sit down and agree that the violent or sexist content on your records is potentially damaging to children, and that you're open to possibly adjusting your lyrics.
R.A. RIEKKI: Uh, when you say lyrics, I'll just treat it like you're saying words and think in terms of my novel, because I'm getting confused. I've done improv before but . . . plus this is, you know, really serious issues. But I'd say this though, aren't you putting a lot more weight on 50 Cent than needs to be? Shouldn't we be focusing on the 21% unemployment rate in the state of Michigan?
SPIN: Because those images play into negative black stereotypes and it's time for rappers to take more responsibility.
R.A. RIEKKI: You know what plays into black stereotypes that are negative? Crushing poverty. That is a vicious negative stereotype creator. And that has to be addressed.
SPIN: Yeah, but what about you?
R.A. RIEKKI: What about me?
SPIN: No, but all those films ended very badly, and you can say that there was a moral of sorts involved because the heroes all died or were ruined.
R.A. RIEKKI: Look, I don't know if you're high, like a homeless man who speaks out loud but you only get fragments so it's hard to get his meaning. But try to focus right now, I want to understand what you're saying. Don't skip important information. What films? What're you talkin' about?
SPIN: What about the MCs -- Chamillionaire, Ghostface Killah, Master P -- who have said that they're not going to curse in their music anymore, in response to the post-Imus outcry?
R.A. RIEKKI: Yeah, right, wait a few years, I have a feeling Ghostface will be using f- words like my old Navy Chief in Rota. See, the problem with curse words is that they rhyme too perfectly. I mean, if you want less cursing in hip-hop, then we should make it so that the most vulgar word in the English language is "orange."
SPIN: Chamillionaire sold more than a million records.
R.A. RIEKKI: Well, that's probably why he's not called Chathousandaire.
SPIN: So what do you really think about those guys who say they're not going to curse anymore?
R.A. RIEKKI: I told you. They probaby will. And in real life, definitely. Look, in my novel I have probably two hundred f-words. Easily. Because that's how those characters speak. There has to be a lot of different forms of art. You can't just have everything G rated, everything as sort of an homage to the state, nothing with any grit. Art has to be able to represent reality. And if we can create a utopia . . . look, I don't wanna go there. Just art has to be able to be art and art only comes through freedom. Even if that freedom is stifling, or upsetting! To some others. The thing is this though, if you hate cursing, don't buy CDs with curses on 'em. That simple. Right?
SPIN: Yeah, it's hard to imagine Ghostface is going to stop cursing, especially considering his last couple of records.
R.A. RIEKKI: His name is Ghostface Killah! If he wants to be a role model for children, I'd start by not having a last name Killah. And it’s not like you’re in line for a Nobel Peace Prize with the first name of Ghostface. That's like if Old Dirty Bastard wanted to become a pastor. I mean, Reverend Bastard. I'd recommend the name change first.
SPIN: But can't he just make a great record, even if it doesn't sell, and we can appreciate it as listeners, as hip-hop fans?
R.A. RIEKKI: Sure, I mean, heck, my publisher, far as I know, has done hardly anything to help me get my books into stores. And just because it's not selling thousands and thousands doesn't mean it's not a good book. As a matter of fact, a lot of my favorite authors are on the cult tip, Dennis Cooper and Iceberg Slim and Clarence Cooper Jr. And a lot of my least favorite books like Gerald's Game is written by the bestselling author of all-time and that book is crap.
SPIN: What if it sells a couple hundred thousand copies, isn't that valid? Or does it have to sell millions for you to take it seriously?
R.A. RIEKKI: No! Selling millions means you sold millions; it doesn't mean it's good. I just want an audience. And a publisher that will work with me to actually have an audience, not work against me. You know, who will communicate with me, have my interests in mind. But communicate especially. I want to keep working as a writer to get to the point where I have an audience and if you're selling a couple hundred thousand, that's fantastic. A couple thousand period in publishing is phenomenal for a small press book.
[the spacing differs here because the new Microsoft Word sucks majorly]
SPIN: But maybe he's trying to make a different kind of record?
R.A. RIEKKI: Who?
SPIN: No, one with incredible, detailed storytelling that's moving and powerful, and isn't dependent on some obvious hook.
R.A. RIEKKI: Yeah, that’s what I try to do with my novels. But if you’re looking for major commercial sales, in screenwriting or fiction, they kind of want that obvious hook.
SPIN: OK, but can you at least acknowledge that a commercial flop, like, say, [Ghostface's] Supreme Clientele, can still be an artistic achievement?
R.A. RIEKKI: Haven’t heard it.
R.A. RIEKKI: I haven’t heard it. I haven’t heard the CD. But yeah, of course a commercial flop might be awesome. I told you. Most of my favorite books—The Childlike Life of the Black Tarantula: Some Lives of Murderesses, Skinhead Farewell, South of No North, The Scene, Revenge of the Lawn—these are not vampire fiction level sellers, but they’re amazing books. You know, there’s no wizards and middle school level sentences in the writing. They’re complex, intriguing works. Not massive sellers.
SPIN: No, and that's a pretty serious charge.
R.A. RIEKKI: It’s not a “charge.” I’m agreeing with you. Major sales don’t mean great writing and poor sales doesn’t mean bad writing. Poor sales just mean poor sales. If I can’t get my novel into Borders, they’ve handcuffed me from their customers. It’s not my fault. It’s more the publisher’s fault.
SPIN: So should kids look up to you?
R.A. RIEKKI: That’s a big leap. Kids should look up to Michael Eric Dyson, Cornel West, Barack Obama, Al Gore, Gandhi, Jesus, the Buddha, Kathy Acker. Not me. I’m just a struggle is what I am. I’m like the epitome of author, which means I drink water only at restaurants and will be amazed if I ever reach the day where I can afford getting something to actually drink other than water. I’ll be amazed if I ever get to have a family. I’ve had too high of a failure rate to look up to me.
SPIN: Would you ever make a record just for yourself, and put it up for free online, just as an artistic statement.
R.A. RIEKKI: Sure. If my friends had a cheap recording studio and wanted to do something like that and I had time. But the reality is probably no. Not at all.
SPIN: So it's not helping the art form if it's not "hot."
R.A. RIEKKI: What’s hot? You lost me.
SPIN: You responded to Oprah's criticism of hip-hop by saying that she was black on the outside but white on the inside.
R.A. RIEKKI: Never said that. I love Oprah. If Oprah’s reading this, you rule!
SPIN: You definitely think that's her goal?
R.A. RIEKKI: To rule? Well, she does, so she’s accomplishing her goal.
SPIN: I'm sure I could find a lot.
R.A. RIEKKI: Of what? Ruling?
SPIN: But isn't the majority of your audience white kids? Aren't you thinking about them when you're making a record?
R.A. RIEKKI: I don’t make records. I used to. Are you talking about Ishkabibble Records in North Carolina? Because they folded. They did one CD of mine years ago, but I’m sure you didn’t even know that. And as far as the white kid thing, maybe, probably, I mean a lot of metalheads love my book and that tends to be white guys, but I don’t know. I hope everyone checks out the novel. It’s good. For anybody. Long as you read English. And even then I’d love to have it translated.
SPIN: Are you worried about the state of the music industry and that hip-hop record sales are down 30 percent from the time of your last record?
R.A. RIEKKI: No, my whole thing is it’s touring now. Get out there and tour. But I don’t worry about hip-hop sales. Not at all. I write novels. No connection. Except there’s hip-hop in the novel. But other than that . . .
SPIN: Violence should be down 30 percent?
R.A. RIEKKI: Violence should be down 100 percent. I tend towards the Gandhi line of thinking. Have to really, really be pushed to get into the violence thing. Learned when I was doing articles for the Forest Park Review and I’d read the police report section—crimes seem to all be associated with drinking, drugs, sex, and anger. Especially violence. Stay away from violence and you stay away from major troubles of your life.
So Journ: A Journal of the Arts Interview with Insane Clown Posse
Question(s): The title of your most recent book of poetry, No Heaven, comes from John Lennon’s “Imagine,” to which you refer in “A Walker in the City”: “Imagine there’s no heaven, and imagine / The people living in a world of peace.” In the section of poems in which “A Walker” is included, you address multiple acts of violence: individual acts of violence against women, Kent State, Auschwitz, Iraq. How does your conception of spirituality fit in with or provide perspective to such events?
Do you believe that there is no heaven, or that we should live as if there is no heaven?
ICP: Insane crazy fun. This year was the 10th annual, so it was easily the biggest and baddest Gathering we’ve had thus far. Juggalos came together from all over the world. Picture a huge typhoon sized mosh pit of thousands and thousands, underneath enormous fireworks in the midnight sky. Now, picture a huge full moon, and giant, lit-up carnival rides way back in the far off distance. That’s what it looked like from the main stage. There were 100’s of bands, groups, comedians, wrestlers, jugglers, motocross, freaks and oddities on many more stages off in the woods, with everything you can fathom, taking place for five days and five nights straight. No police, no bouncers, just Juggalos in private, doing what we do. It was absolutely, positively unforgettable.
Question(s): How does your critical writing influence your teaching of poetry and the writing of poetry?
ICP: The grounds are totally private and magical. Most of the local towns people welcome Juggalos (well, most of them do). Plus, it’s kind of the center point of the United States. And, I do believe that if you look up “middle of nowhere” in the dictionary it says “Cave-In-Rock Illinois”. The farther away from everybody else and everything, the better off we are. We just want to be left alone to be “us” for those special days.
Question(s): In “Elegy before the War,” a poem that took you nearly a year to write, you invoke the presences of Shelley, Blake, Whitman, Ginsberg, Auden, and Shakespeare as you reflect upon your mother’s death. In this poem you do not invoke the women poets about whom you write elsewhere, but you do say, “I feel as if anything I have to say needs to be shaved down. I want my language to be like / The desert.” Does this poem also mourn the absence of literary mothers?
Question(s): What women writers, contemporary or historical, well-known or obscure, do you count among your most important literary influences? And is anxiety of influence a notion that applies equally to women writers?
ICP: Instead of pushing forward and experimenting with new sounds and flavors, this time around we set out to really bring back that classic Dark Carnival tone, which many long time Juggalos first fell in love with. We recorded the album using many of our old school tactics and tricks from back in the day. We even busted out with the same old equipment in some cases, and dusted off the very same records we used to snatch shit from. I honestly feel we did it. We absolutely recaptured that special tone without repeating ourselves. We have all brand new song subjects, stories and topics, all set to that familiar, wicked clown sound.
Question(s): You’ve written before about the uneasy relationship between the practice of poetry and the practice of literary theory. What points of resonance do you find with literary theory, especially as it applies to women’s writing, and what are your biggest points of contention with it?
ICP: Mike E. Clark is the Dr. Frankenstein of our sound. We did the new ‘Bang! Pow! Boom!’ album from absolute scratch with Mike E. Clark at his Fun House Studio, the same way we did our earliest works like: The Ringmaster, The Great Milenko, The Riddle Box and The Amazing Jeckel Brothers. None of that “You make the track and email it to us, and we’ll lace it up and send it back” bullshit. We worked with Mike hands on from point A to point Z. Mike is so fuckin’ incredible that he still blows my mind after 17 years together. He’s the shock master. He’s the best kept secret in the underground. He’s the underground’s best, most powerful weapon. He could put Rick Rubin to sleep while whistling wicked lullabies, and tuck that fool in for good. He could, but instead he is a prodigy of true American underground music. He’s one of the main reasons the Detroit Underground scene is as fuckin’ dope as it is. Working with Mike E. Clark for us always means three main things every time: Number 1 – A Bomb ass, amazing, incredibly original sounding album; Number 2 – His total heart and soul; all his time, effort and attention committed to the project night and day, for however long it takes; and Number 3 – Tons and tons of laughter. Good ole gut busting laughter and nothing feels better than to laugh that long, hard work day in the studio away.
Question(s): Your poetry might be characterized as experiential and often conversational; it’s directly accessible even as it refers to historical moments or art that is less well- known. What are your thoughts about the fit between style/form and content?
ICP: We did a movie about ten years ago called Big Money Hustlas, which was a mobster movie set in New York City. This movie is kind of the prequel to that because we play, basically, the same characters, only its supposed to be their early ancestors. This film is set back in the days of the Wild Wild West. It’s very funny, and features a lot of cameos by some famous faces throughout the film. It took us ten years to do this movie because the first film was shot with some major label help, and we did this one completely on our own. We wanted it to be done right, and bigger and better than the first one. I think we fuckin’ schooled it. We’re very proud of the movie, and it comes out early next year. First ,we’re taking the cast and going out on a big theatre tour with it, just before it gets released on DVD world wide. The whole thing is just hilarious.
Question(s): No Heaven includes a section of poems that are not mere meditations upon works of art and music, but rather enter the spirit of the works directly, so that the reader finds herself or himself in the middle of the art, looking at the work from a different perspective than that offered by the original artist. In “The Kiss of Judas,” for example, you write of Giotto’s painting:
We were never in a church
More comforting than this one.
Imagine if women’s wombs
Had paintings like this one.
All of us would be born
Wise and good, then.
Women’s presence in the arts community has often been a marginalized one, even more than in literature, but in these poems, you place women’s presence directly into spaces of art and music in which women are otherwise rendered invisible. In what other ways does poetry help or have the responsibility to help women claim spaces for themselves?
ICP: We’re just a different type of label here at Psychopathic. It’s not necessary that we be based in New York or LA, because we just don’t use those typical music industry connections and tactics. We basically run our operation grass roots style. We don’t run our stuff down to the radio stations, or video channels begging for support. We’re more the type to stick a flyer under your windshield, or hand you a sampler at the mall. Being based in Detroit is actually more to our advantage. This is the Midwest; this is where the people live. We all were born and bred here in Detroit, and now we’re all raising families of our own here. We’re in the heart of the country, as far as we’re concerned. This is home. Those other cities don’t offer us anything we need, as we have it all right here in the D.
Question(s): In “The Birth of Venus,” you write from the point-of-view of Botticelli’s Venus standing in the shell, noting places in the painting in which “traces of draughtsmanship / Reveal revision, which is a kindness, or an insolence / Or a looseness beyond perfection.” In what ways are your revisions, both of poetry and of biblical stories, kindness, insolence, or looseness beyond perfection?
ICP: Lets see, Twiztid is from the East Side of Detroit, and so is Blaze Ya Dead Homie. Anybody Killa is also from the East Side. DJ Clay and Chop Shop are all from the Southwest Side of Detroit, along with ICP. But Shaggy and I were actually raised all over metro Detroit from Berkley, to Oak Park, to Ferndale, to Cass Corridor. And then you have Motown Rage, who are from the Ann Arbor area. That’s pretty much it. Boondox is from Atlanta, GA, and The Axe Murder Boys are from Denver, CO, and that’s everybody.
Question: Many of your poems are both spiritual and erotic—tell us why you think it is important to link the two?
ICP: The Bang! Pow! Boom! Tour starts in Minneapolis, MN on September 17th. We’re going out with some pretty fuckin’ crazy special guests. We’ve got Hed PE, and Vanilla Ice joining us for 64 big dates, zippin back and fourth across the country a couple times. As for merch, shit, we’ve got pretty much brand new everything ‘cause of the new album. It’s ‘Bang! Pow! Boom!’ everywhere you look. Our guys are riding in three tour buses and two semi trucks. We’re bringing out a full on, giant, brand new stage set like we always do. I believe this one may be our biggest yet. It’s pretty cool to see it all animated and lit up and going. With all the lights, explosions, and theatrics going on, you could pretty much just watch the stage without us even on it and see a damn good show.
Question(s): Although feminist poetry is often said to make the personal into the political, your work also makes the political intensely personal. In “Cambodia,” from The Mother/Child Papers, you write of the birth of your son Gabriel, born a few days after the United States invaded Cambodia. In this prose poem, you address the doctor, “YOU SONOFABITCHING BASTARD, NEXT TIME I’M GOING TO DO THIS RIGHT,” but follow with the thought, “What next time?” and, later, “There will never be a next time.” Finally, you ask, “What does this have to do with Cambodia?” and allow the reader to make the connection. Would you mind giving more of your thoughts about birth and violence?
ICP: That’s the Hallowicked Clown Show! Expect more big names on the bill, and also expect an extra long set with many of our classic Halloween tunes from over the years. You see, each and every year we give away a special, brand new Halloween song on CD to everybody who walks through the door. This year will be no different as we already got the fresh ass song recorded and ready to go! We say The Hallowicked Clown Show is the biggest and best Halloween show in the country! We do it up extra big and scary, Detroit style, the way we been doing it for the last 15 years! Everything’s a little louder, brighter, bigger and badder on Halloween. And, it don’t stop after the Filmore show either, as we keep it moving all night with even more bands, plus JCW Wrestling right down the street at the Majestic Theatre at the official Hallowicked After Party. Yes… the one thing Juggalos can surly expect from ICP each and every Halloween in Detroit is…. the unexpected!
Top 20 List of the Best Music of 2011:
1 -- Phantogram's NIGHTLIFE, tied with The Mummers' MINK HOLLOW ROAD, and Coeur de pirate's BLONDE
2 -- Yu(c)k's YUCK
3 -- Lykke Li's WOUNDED RHYMES
4 -- Paul Simon's SO BEAUTIFUL OR SO WHAT
5 -- tUnE-yArDs' WHOKILL
6 -- St. Vincent's STRANGE MERCY
7 -- M83's HURRY UP, WE'RE DREAMING
8 -- Coldplay's MYLO XYLOTO
9 -- Bjork's BIOPHILIA
10 -- Explosions in the Sky's TAKE CARE, TAKE CARE, TAKE CARE
11 -- Elbow's BUILD A ROCKET BOYS
12 -- Battles' GLOSS DROP
13 -- Keren Ann's 101
14 -- The Civil Wars' BARTON HOLLOW
15 -- Bon Iver's BON IVER
16 -- Adele's 21
17 -- Katy B's ON A MISSION
18 -- Patton Oswalt's FINEST HOUR
19 -- Death Grip's EX-MILITARY
20 -- Abd Al Malik's Chateau Rouge, tied w/Hocus Pocus' 16 Pieces (although technically both are 2010 releases)