With over twenty years of controversial and shocking music, a decade long epic tale in the form of Joker’s cards, and two platinum records under their belt, the Insane Clown Posse has solidified their place in the music industry. Often regarded as outcasts, the duo managed to build one of the most loyal and die hard followings in music. Known as Juggalos, the following has turned into its own subculture that includes nearly every walk of life, and gathers once a year for a massive outdoor music fest known as The Gathering Of The Juggalos. Entering its twelfth year, The Gathering seeks to give attendees the biggest spectacle yet with performances from headlining names like Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes, and Tech N9ne. As Psychopathic Records began preparations for The Gathering, we spoke to Violent J of ICP regarding his thoughts on The Gathering 2011, and Tech N9ne’s involvement. Excited about giving fans more than they expect, Violent J spoke very openly about the Juggalos, Tech N9ne, and what he hopes is the best Gathering ever.
How does it feel to know that you’ve taken The Gathering Of The Juggalos this far?
I feel like we haven’t even scratched the surface for what we’re gonna do. The Gathering will way outlive us. I feel like the Gathering is going to be here forever, it’s going to outlive ICP and Psychopathic by far. I think it will keep going after we’re gone. I think Juggalos are one of the most original things to ever happen in rock and roll or music period. There’s never been anything like Juggalos. There’s nothing you can compare Juggalos to. They’re not a fan base, they’re not like Deadheads, they’re not like anything. They’re totally original, it’s never happened in all of music history. I think it’s exciting because people want to know what’s going to happen, if anything is going to happen that’s news worthy. If something does happen, they want to be there. Any kind of surge we’ve got going on, it’s not about anything BUT the Juggalos. All the articles coming out are about the Juggalos.
How do you decide who will perform at The Gathering?
Off the rip, it’s who the Juggalos want to see. Who is popular among the Juggalos…from there, we mostly pick them ourselves. Juggalos are hard to predict, they’re from all walks of life. Some of them are metal heads, some of them are hip hop heads, some of them are punk rockers. They’re not the same kind of person from different areas. They’re very different from each other. We seem to have the best luck, and we fuck up a lot, but we just go for what we know. We’re Juggalos, we think if we like something maybe the Juggalos will too. This line up looks a lot like my CD case. To the best of my knowledge, if the group is like Kottonmouth Kings or Tech N9ne or something like that, where they’re totally original and not following anybody else’s rules, totally trailblazing, they do great.
What is it about Tech N9ne that makes you want to invite him year after year?
Juggalos love him, I mean they love the shit out of him. Who sounds like Tech N9ne? You know, who does Tech N9ne borrow from? Nobody. Tech N9ne is Tech N9ne. He does his thing, it’s not like anybody else. He does it independently, and he does it his own way. He could be number one on the charts, I still think everybody would love him. It’s by his terms, he’s doing it independently, it’s not part of the corporate machine. It’s not being spoon fed to the masses by a major label with a big roundtable full of old men or whatever happens at the major labels. It’s his own deal, it’s underground. Nothing like anything else out there. It doesn’t sound like anything, it doesn’t look like anything . It’s its own flavor, and that’s refreshing in this world. That’s mad refreshing. It’s authentic and it’s organic, that’s why everybody loves him. Juggalos are not a fan base, they’re not an ICP fan base. Other than we’re friends, we have nothing to do with Tech N9ne, but Juggalos love him. That’s why we ask Tech N9ne to come back every year. That’s who the people want to see, and he kills it, he murders it every time. Juggalos feel like he’s theirs. Juggalos love him, he’s very much a part of the Juggalo movement. Juggalos feel like he’s out there fighting for them, I know that. When Tech N9ne makes a move or does something cool, there’s Juggalos that are cheering. Juggalos are behind him, they’re representing him. They feel like every time he does something great, just like us, they feel like it’s another move for the Juggalos.
What can fans expect from ICP’s headlining performance this year?
I think our theme is really cool this year. Every year we try to have some kind of theme, but this year we came up with a theme which is kind of like the way we’re designing the stage and the way the show is designed. I don’t want to reveal it, but I’m really proud of it. It’s a really cool thing we’re doing this year. The show is extra long, we’re doing a couple of songs we’ve never done live. I just really like the theme. I’m really geeked about seeing it all on stage. I’m really proud of us lately.
The 12th Annual Gathering Of The Juggalos in Cave-In-Rock,IL takes place from August 11-14.
This year’s performers include Tech N9ne, Busta Rhymes, Ice Cube, Mystikal, and more! Click here for information and updates.
– Victor Sandoval, Assistant Editor Strange Music
Follow Victor on Twitter: @VicMSandoval