Last week, by virtue of some great karmic fortune/the unimaginable largesse of the folks at Psychopathic (!!) Records, I had the once-in-a lifetime opportunity to conduct a phone interview with none other than Violent J of the acclaimed indie-folk band Insane Clown Posse, in advance of the band's appearance tonight and tomorrow at the Oakland Metro Operahouse. I was hungover. He was at a Comfort Inn in Louisville. Fun was had by all. Without further ado:
On how his day was going at the time: "I just got a haircut."
On whether shows feel different depending on location: "The only difference we notice is the accents. Juggalos are the same. It’s the same kind of person."
On what, exactly kind of person a Juggalo is: "Somebody with a big imagination. Somebody who considers themselves some sort of underdog. Maybe feel like they're fucked with a lot, or they're misunderstood. Being a Juggalo is about freedom. It's about not judging each other."
On, I guess, the difference between him and rappers: "A lot of rappers rap about what they have. We rap how much we don't have."
On his haters: "It’s a easy target. A lot of people misunderstand us. But that means we're part of American culture. People expect it to be a joke, but they get [to a show] and it's not a joke. There's never been anything like Juggalos in rock n'roll, and we don't have to explain ourselves to anyone. Those people can line up and suck a fat dick ... We're not here for charity; we're here to rock the mic. This is America."
On Juggalos', ah, violent reputation: "Our music is violent? Look at TV, man, what the fuck? ... There's Juggalos who get into trouble, but there's also Kenny Rogers fans who get into trouble ... I have never seen a fight at one of our shows. [Later:] Watch there be a fight in Oakland."
On his haters, again: "ICP is an acquired taste. You can come if you want. We understand that it's controversial. But fuck, we're not on the radio. We don't cram it down anybody's throat. You don't have to sit through our horrible music while you're waiting for Ben Folds Five."
ICP plays the Oakland Metro Operahouse tonight and tomorrow night, and I really think you should go.
P.S.: Again by some karmic fortune, the Metro is right next door to the Express offices. Here's what the sidewalk outside looks like right now: