If you have ever seen a Prozak set, you know one thing for certain: you are getting tossed around.
Mosh pits are an inevitability at all of Prozak’s shows and we caught up with him on the road for the Something Else Tour to discuss exactly why they play such a crucial role to him and other artists from his region.
The rapper who just dropped his latest album We All Fall Down also speaks on his personal experiences with mosh pits and hit us with a pretty shocking tale of mosh pit shenanigans that he’s witnessed along the way.
You won’t believe it when you read it.
Why do you put such an emphasis on mosh pits at your shows? Because I’ve been to your shows, I’ve seen what happens when you divide the crowd in half and they just run at each other. What is the importance of this to you?
I would say the importance of it to me is that it’s just a way that some people like to vent their frustration for real and I know it might sound kind of crazy but, for real, I think it brings the crowd closer together. You see all these people moshing, and people whipping each other around the pit, and all this chaos ensues, and as soon as the song ends and we give props to all the people in the mosh pit, then all of a sudden you see motherfuckers giving each other hugs and shit. Rarely is there an idiot that decides to say “I’m gonna go in there and fist fight people” or strictly go in there with the intention on fucking somebody up – that’s not the purpose of moshing, for real.
It’s a good way for people to vent out, it’s just another expression. To me, the music is why people mosh, you know what I’m saying? It’s almost a natural side-effect, if you will, of heavy music. So I guess that’s probably why, it just feels right.
The crazy thing about moshing is that while you’re pushing people around and you’re getting pushed, for some reason you’re smiling the entire time.
I agree with that, that’s real. It brings people closer together too and I think that’s what I like about it. Again, it’s a way of kinda venting out frustrations and getting out some of that anger that we have but in a positive way.
Have you ever seen this clip where there’s certain corporations in either Japan or China where they actually throw a company-wide pillow fight once a year?
I have seen that.
Shit’s hilarious. I saw a clip from a show on the Hostile Takeover where you had people moshing at a NY show. It was insane. When did you get so good at getting people to run into each other.
Well, I don’t know, realistically I just truly believe that people want to do it or they wouldn’t do it. Every night for years, every tour, I’ve been doing that. I think people naturally come to these shows and they’re full of a lot of everything: they’re full of a lot of emotion, they’re full of a lot of anticipation, they’re full of a lot of intoxicance (laughs) – the list goes on. There’s a whole vibe to what’s going on at the show and I think that moshing is a release. No matter how you look at it, it’s a release, that’s the best way to describe it. I think that people are ready to roll and they’re looking to release as much energy as possible at these shows, especially at Strange Music shows.
Do you like to participate in mosh pits yourself?
I do. Actually, I use to go to metal shows all the time. The most brutal pit I’ve ever been in, out of all the shows I’ve been to was a Sepultura pit, back in the days of Harpo’s in Detroit. I’ve been to Slipknot pits, Pantera, Metallica even, way back in the day and a bunch of other indie and metal bands. But Sepultura had some pretty hardcore pits.
It seems to be that a lot of Michigan artists and rappers have a certain affinity for the mosh pit. Do you find this to be true and, if so, why?
Well, I would believe that because Michigan artists, we all seem to be a little bit darker, a little bit heavier, maybe a little more frustration because the surroundings.
They’re at ICP shows, Kid Rock saying you know “get in the pit and try to love someone,” Eminem has a song even called “Mosh” and then obviously they’re at your shows. It’s almost too much to ignore that a lot of it comes from a certain region.
You want to know something interesting about that Kid Rock thing? The label made him change that. You can find the original song I’m sure on YouTube or a billion torrent sites, but he initially says “Get in the pit and try to kill someone!”
The label made him change it because they didn’t want him saying that.
That might have been a good idea. People are a little bit impressionable.
(Laughs) Maybe. Then again, Eminem makes songs about chopping up his wife and all this other bullshit, so it probably wouldn’t have mattered. And that’s Kid Rock, mainstream radio, you know, Bob Seger emulation of the new era and this dude at one point was talking about get in the pit and try to kill someone.
Oh wow, okay. What is it about Detroit and Michigan that brings out kind of frustrations? The economy probably has a lot to do with it.
Yeah, economy has a hell of a lot to do with it. I’ve been on these tours for a decade. I remember when I first really got out of Michigan and started going everywhere like the south, southwest, the west coast, the northwest, so on and so forth and you get far away from the area and you just realize, “Wow, we lived in a fucked up place.”
We look like we had a war not so long ago and bombs were dropped everywhere. Where I lived there are so many abandoned buildings, it’s crazy. Detroit, Saginaw, Flint – abandoned buildings all over the place, and they’re not coming back, period. They were never rebuilt at the time and they just stay vacant. The economy is worse in Michigan than almost any other state, so that’s saying a lot when you think about it. It’s one of the highest for unemployment, it’s got one of the worst economies overall and the income per capita is terrible, so it’s crazy. It’s a lot of frustration.
You know, people say stuff like “money can’t buy happiness” but, essentially, the way the United States operates, money is freedom, because without money you can’t go where you want to, when you want to. You can’t provide for your family the way you want to. Or your income dictates your health and what kind of healthcare you have, and what you can afford to eat, or what kind of food you’re putting into your body. Every facet of our being costs money in this society, so it’s like money is freedom. And when you’re poor, you feel oppressed, it is what it is if I’m making any sense.
You’re making a lot of sense. A lot of people don’t realize that there are skyscrapers in Detroit, just huge buildings, that are completely vacated.
Yeah, there’s tons of those, and the houses are out of control. As a matter of fact, I was just reading something in the news about Michigan. The federal government had given the state X amount of dollars to actually start tearing down all these abandoned houses. So I was thinking about that and I thought, depending on how much the federal government gave Michigan, half of Saginaw, Detroit and Flint are just gonna be gone. There’s going to be some open fields for real because the inner cities are riddled with empty houses. It’s crazy, people are stripping houses for sale for copper, scrap metal, for whatever purposes – drug money or just to survive, it’s almost like some third world type shit right here in America.
Yeah, it is crazy. Back to the main topic, my last question is what is your craziest mosh pit story?
Well I can really sum that up for you quite easily, actually. I was in Worcester, Massachusetts on stage and we had a mosh pit going on for a song called “Go To Hell” and while we were doing it, I’m just kind of looking around the crowd while performing and all of a sudden I see something I think to myself that I could not have just seen what I thought I just saw. So I literally almost fuck up my lyrics, and I look over again and it was a dude fucking his girlfriend right in the mosh pit and without missing a beat, he was rapping the lyrics like it was very normal and acceptable.
I can’t believe I just heard that.
You asked me, so I’m just being real. It was really weird how it was being done too because it was like it was a chick standing up, and she’s rocking out to the show, and that girl has a girl behind her and they’re back to back. So the girl watching the show is kind of leaning forward a little bit and her friend is shoulder blade to shoulder blade and the guy is in front of her. So basically the girl in the front is being the support system and the guy has the other girl’s legs around his waist and they’re just going for it and singing along like it wasn’t shit. I just couldn’t believe it and I couldn’t look over there again because I was like that’s the most fucked up thing I’ve ever seen and I can’t even understand it right now. And at one point I noticed that my hype guy saw it and I could tell it fucked him up a little bit because he was just kinda like “what the fuck?” And after the show he was like, “Did you fucking see that?” And I was like yeah man, welcome to Worcester, they get crazy. What can I say?
Wow, shout outs to Worcester. I guess my real last question is: are you continuing the mosh pit on the Something Else Tour?
I am. Every night when I’m on stage I literally pull out my phone and I get the mosh pit on camera myself and I upload it from the stage. It’s pretty dope, I put it up on Instagram and I put it up on Facebook.
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