In case you missed the news, one of heavy metal’s biggest acts hosts one of heavy metal’s biggest festivals which features a headliner who is…a rapper?
That’s right, Slipknot and Tech N9ne will be sharing the main stage at Knotfest 2014, serving as a historic occasion being that Tech will be the first emcee to take stage at Slipknot’s famed festival. Will Tech pull it off? Given that his music is so three-dimensional and bleeds into just about every genre you can think of (especially rock), you can certainly bet on it.
We talked to Tech to get his feelings on sharing the stage with Slipknot and what an honor it is to be invited to perform at a festival put on by one of his all-time favorite bands.
As I understand it you and Slipknot definitely have a mutual respect for each other. Tell me about your thoughts on the group. I know you had an all time favorite album list and you had their self-titled album on there as one of your all time favorites.
Yeah man. Anybody that’s been knowing Tech N9ne since I started knows that when I was working and doing the Rogue Dog project and we were recording at The Westend, our engineer Richie gave me this CD and he knew about the Nnutthowze, because that’s where I was coming from before the Rogue Dog shit, years before was the Nnuthowze shit. Richie, he was a white guy, like country kind of white guy, but he was our engineer and he gave me this CD, like “Man, I think you’ll love this group,” and it was a burnt CD. I took it home and I heard “People = Shit” and I heard “Wait And Bleed” and all that kind of shit and I was so in love with it.
Then I saw these motherfuckers and the shit that we used to wear in NNUTTHOWZE – we wanted to represent the hard working man so we started out wearing jump suits, you know what I mean? From Ford. One of us would wear like a mailman jumpsuit or something like that and Dickies or whatever and that slowly turned into getting our one and saying “Fuck the Ford ones because they’re blue and grey.” That ain’t our hood so we got red ones made. We went down to Red Cap, me and Brian Dennis, rest his soul, we went down to Red Cap, and this is the early 90s my nigga, mid-90s, because we got off of Perspective. We signed to Perspective Records in 93, we stayed out there the summer of 93, we got released like fall of 95 and started doing NNUTTHOWZE around then.
So going to Red Cap, in downtown Kansas City at the time, was a factory where he sold Red Cap everything, like workman’s gear. We went down there and found red jumpsuits and Brian Dennis put the barcode on the back and the 6688846993. When I saw Slipknot some years later it was the same thing. I was like “Oh my God!” They had a clown in there and I was like “Killer Clown.” It was so many similarities and they only lived a couple hours away from Kansas City man. I was like “My brothers!” They don’t even know me and I don’t even know them so I finally caught them at The Granada in 98 or 99. That was my first show that I saw Slipknot at the Granada. It fucking blew my fucking mind. I’ve been on them ever since.
Richie gave me their CD and I saw their first show in 98, 99 or something like that. I’ve been trying to work with them for years since then, so imagine how I felt when – I think it might have been last year – I finally met Corey Taylor when he came here for Stone Sour. I went to Midland to see them and he knew who I was man! They let me backstage and him and his wife greeted me and I was like “I want to work with you so bad!” and he was like “I’d love to!” I was like “What? This talented motherfucker?” Then I finally met Clown at Mayhem Fest after that at Sandstone and Clown talked to me for awhile backstage. He told me the history of the band and everything. A lot of shit I already knew. So I’ve been connected.
I’ve been trying to get in that circle so just imagine how I felt when Travis calls me and says they called and asked me to be one of the only rappers on Knotfest to perform on that fucking stage that they rap on. Man…and the fucked up thing about it, and it’s so wonderful, it makes me think that my angel is making things happen that never happened in my life, because right when my mom died, she almost got to see me on television. It’s so hard for me to say “La da dadi da da, wanna be on TV just to show out for me Mama” every night on stage because she missed it. I didn’t get to get it done but as soon as she left I was on Jimmy Kimmel and then Knotfest is three days, 24, 25 and 26, why do I play on October 26? My mom’s 59th birthday. So it’s just so fucking spiritual to me man. I could cry right now.
One of my biggest dreams has been to get with this band, to fuck with this band, now I get to share a stage with them. They called and requested me. “Oh my goodness…I’m on their radar.” I’ve always wanted to do a metal crowd to see how they felt about Tech N9ne. This is a step, a big step for me, to actually touch these people that never probably really heard of Tech N9ne. The fans that listen to that music probably don’t even know what the fuck’s about to hit them, but they’re about to see this nigga with a painted face come out there yelling on motherfuckers, you know what I’m saying? This is yet another genre that I’m bleeding into.
It’s so special to me because I could’ve performed on the 24. No they didn’t want me that day. I could’ve performed the next day, the 25. No, for some reason it fell on October 26, my mama’s birthday so fuck yeah. Big ass dream on my mom’s birthday. To be able to share the stage with that rock as well lets you know that I’m bleeding into that motherfucking genre somehow and I’ve always been this guy because my label is inspired by The Doors, for people that don’t know. “Riot Maker” and “Tormented”, all that shit on the first album we put out, “Tormented”, the first song on Anghellic, rock feel. Rock guitars. Its always been there. Everything that I’ve always planned, for me to be three dimensional and all that kind of shit and to be able to be on Tha Carter IV, to be able to be with Serj, to be able to be with all these other types: Mint Condition, the Deftones and everything. It’s like it’s happening like it’s supposed to . Now I get to perform for these motherfuckers that I grew up listening to or that I came up listening to and love it.
Why do you think they picked you?
It’s just the music called them man. You can’t hide it. The music calls you. I’m sure the thing I did with Ross Robinson, the Therapy CD, hit a lot of people to where they heard that I do the rock thing or they might have heard years ago that I did the rock thing. A lot of things that we’re doing and that we’ve been doing over the years is calling them. Then they get to see me on Kimmel and I’m not the norm when it comes to the black dude. I’m not the norm and I’ve never been the norm even in junior high school, even in elementary school, I’ve never been the norm. I’ve always thought to think different and my music has always had a rock edge. My performance has always had a rock edge and that shit. If you keep doing it like we’ve been doing it, and stay Strange and don’t change it, the bigger you get, the more people will become aware. That’s what’s happening, just more people are becoming aware of my strangeness, and it works. We’ll see on that Knotfest stage if it works.
I’ll never stray from what we do, I’ll just augment what we have and make it bigger. Add drums, add guitar, add keys, add all that shit. Take that shit, keep that shit, make that shit hard and perfect and we should do wonderfully.
What do you think about Tech N9ne playing at Knotfest?
Do you want to see a Tech N9ne and Slipknot collaboration?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.