Twiztid follows a slow, rising path to success
Most everybody's heard of Insane Clown Posse, whether because of the duo's hyperviolent lyrics or a commitment to keeping Faygo in business by spraying it all over loyal fans at shows. But label mate Twiztid, also a horror-rap act, keeps a slightly lower profile in the mainstream press. The duo will be pulling supporting
act duty at this year's 18th Hallowicked show at the Fillmore, ICP's annual blowout extravaganza for its rabid Juggalo and Juggalette fanbase.
Get past the face paint (Twiztid's is almost all white, while Violent J and 2 Dope of ICP opt for more elaborate designs), the hairdos and the typical horrorcore lyrics, and you'll find a pair of lifelong friends who love what they do and appreciate their success. While not posting anything near major-label numbers (ICP has sold about
7.7 million albums in its career, according to Nielsen SoundScan, Twiztid about 1.1 million), they know that their tour numbers are on an upward trajectory. "We're still progressing after 12 years; it's amazing," says Monoxide, one-half of the twosome. "Our last two tours were our biggest tours that we've done to date.
It's still growing."
We caught up with Monoxide (Paul Methric) and Madrox (Jamie Spaniolo) a few days after their arrest for marijuana possession in Florida last week while on ICP's American Psycho fall tour. They talked about the state of Twiztid, Hallowicked 18 and more.
QUESTION: You spent a little time behind bars last weekend. What happened?
Monoxide: Just some minimal partying. We actually never seen the light of those bars. That was a myth. We were in a meeting room. We were treated with extreme respect once we were inside said room. But it's all in a day. If I knew it was going to happen like that, we probably would have done minimal partying years ago. We learn from our mistakes; we're not dumb. We're dumb sometimes, but we get caught, and then we smarten up.
Madrox: We're dumb, but we're professionals.
Q: Sounds like it didn't delay the tour at all. How has that been going?
Monoxide: Tour's been amazing. For us, it's been a nonstop, exciting, day after day we're busy as (profanity). There's no days off pretty much. Our days off are like driving from Houston to Pittsburgh. Travel days. It keeps us occupied, so it keeps us out of trouble, so to speak. And the oneday we don't have something going on,
lo and behold --
Madrox: Dammit, there goes trouble.
Monoxide: No more days off! But for me and Jamie, we're like secrets to everybody. Everybody knows ICP, but not everybody knows Twiztid. So when we get a chance to go out with them, it's extremely beneficial for us because they bring everybody.
Madrox: Any of the diehard people that have been down since day one -- they're like it's been a long time and I'm getting to see it all over again and this time it's so much better. And then for the newbies, the people who have never really seen or heard of us before, they're like I've heard rumors of you guys but you're (profanity)
awesome. ... For the diehard Juggalos, it's like the best of both worlds. You get your chocolate and your peanut butter.
Q: You usually do a spring tour as well. Is that firmed up yet?
Madrox: Potentially with the Kottonmouth Kings. As of now we can't confirm that.
Monoxide: One way or another, we'll be on the road. Will it be with them? We're not sure. They want to do it; we want to do it. So if the logistics work out and all of the business suits can work it out, it's going to happen.
Q: Wait, guys at Psychopathic wear suits?
Monoxide: We weren't talking about those guys. It's all attorneys and legal jargon and (profanity) like that. We can't do anything anymore.
Madrox: But that's good, though; that means that we've come to a certain point in our career where it's actually starting to be more real than just aspiring. Back in the day, we would handle it ourselves, but now we actually have agents. We're proud of that. We're like kids that have made good.
Q: You guys have your own holiday- related annual show, New Year's Evil. Is that a cue you took from Hallowicked?
Monoxide: ICP would tell us: You guys need to do something. Find your niche, something that you guys can do as well. And that seemed like the best thing without stepping on any toes was to go there. And it's worked. Each year, it's bigger and bigger and bigger. We watch everything that they do, 100%. Every single move that they make, be it a right move or a wrong move. We've done that since we came into this world.
Q: What have you learned from watching ICP put on a big annual event like Hallowicked?
Madrox: Production. Just making sure that you've got a really good lineup and making sure that the show looks good, sounds good.
Monoxide: Making it special. It's not a tour date; it's not something that you're going to even do five times. It's one night only, so you try to make it as big and elaborate as you possibly can.
Q: You're in full control of New Year's Evil. What's it like just being a cog in the machine of Hallowicked?
Monoxide: They give us a lot of leeway. They tell us to do whatever we want to do. They'll tell us how long of a set, but as far as production, we can do what we want. They want us to look good, too. We're a main representation of Psychopathic Records. So the better we look, the better they look.
Q: What's the difference between being a support band in a one-off show like Hallowicked as opposed to a larger tour like American Psycho?
Monoxide: When you don't have 14 shows in 12 days, you can put a lot more into it. You have a lot more focus that you can put into it, if that makes any sense. That's why one-off and special shows -- that stuff is very special. You get to focus a little more; the production is a little more intense. It's just more involvement.
Q: Do you ever wish you could just be a cowboy or a fireman (or Paul or Jamie) for Halloween instead of Monoxide and Madrox?
Madrox: We've actually dressed up several times at Hallowicked, onstage. We do Batman and Robin. Last year, we dressed up as ICP. They loved it; they were floored by it. The look on their faces was priceless. I don't know for this year. I've been trying to talk Monoxide into this double Captain America thing. The Captain Kirk and Mr.
Spock thing was actually kind of dope, but I just don't know if it will go over. That's the thing: So many times, there's a generation gap between what we think is cool and what we grew up on, as opposed to what's cool now.