Twiztid strikes out on its own with CD
- Adam Graham
- Detroit News Pop Music Writer
Jamie Madrox, left, and Paul Methric will play the Gathering of the Juggalos festival. (Jason Shaltz)
For Detroit rap duo Twiztid, “A New Nightmare” marks a new beginning.
The group’s latest album, in stores today, marks its first release since leaving its longtime home at Psychopathic Records. The group was signed to the Insane Clown Posse’s label for 16 years and released nine albums through the Farmington Hills-based company, ending with last October’s “Abominationz.” Unhappy with the label’s handling on the album, Twiztid decided to break off and go its own route.
“(‘Abominationz’) was their chance to show us that we do mean something to them, that it does matter,” says Twiztid’s Monoxide, aka Paul Methric. Psychopathic failed to keep up their end of the bargain, says Methric, who says the label’s support of the project was “detrimental” to Twiztid’s growth. His partner, Jamie Madrox (born Jamie Spaniolo), agrees.
“Financially, people-wise, tolerance level, we were done,” Spaniolo says.
For fans, news of the split came as a shock. Twiztid has been synonymous with ICP and Psychopathic Records since it released its first album, “Mostasteless,” in 1997. ICP fans gravitated toward Twiztid, and the group — which shares ICP’s horror-rap style and theatrics (like their mentors, Methric and Spaniolo perform in white face paint) — built a grass-roots following among Juggalos.
Here’s where things get tricky, however. Methric and Spaniolo insist they have no beef with Psychopathic or ICP. They’re even playing next month’s Gathering of the Juggalos festival, ground zero for all things Insane Clown Posse.
“I don’t hate them, they don’t hate us. It just is what it is,” says Methric over lunch at Bastone in Royal Oak earlier this month. “(Fans) don’t believe us. They want a war. They want ‘A New Nightmare’ to come out and be all diss records, but they’re not going to get it.”
Still, Methric says he’s not sure how the Gathering performance will be received. “That‘s (ICP’s) event. Who knows what we’re gonna be walking into, but we’re not going to run from it,” he says. “We’ll face it like men.”
“A New Nightmare” was recorded in the springtime at the Disc in Eastpointe, where Twiztid recorded its earliest material. The return “centered us,” Methric says, after years of recording at Psychopathic’s in-house studio.
But with the weight of leaving Psychopathic off their shoulders — a move they had been contemplating since the release of 2010’s “Heartbroken & Homicidal” — they were given a fresh perspective on writing and recording.
“We totally feel refreshed. We feel like a million bucks,” says Spaniolo.
Methric and Spaniolo have been friends since childhood, when they met at a Boys & Girls Club in Detroit. They began rapping in the group House of Krazees in the early ’90s and later broke off to form Twiztid.
Without radio or video play, Twiztid has steadily built a strong following. In 2009, its album “W.I.C.K.E.D.” hit No. 11 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart; “Abominationz” opened at No. 18.
Methric says they are trying to capitalize on their momentum, and they needed to do things on their own in order to do it. Not just for themselves, but for their fans.
“It’s not about us. Me and (Spaniolo) can deal with it, we’ve been dealing with it for years,” Methric says. “It’s about Twiztid fulfilling our end of the bargain to these kids that have us tattooed on them, that have grown up with us since they were 12, and now they’re 27. It’s such a bigger picture than just us.”
And they insist they’re not switching up their style.
“We’re doing the same (thing) we did back then, it’s just a different address,” Methric says. “We’re paying the bills now, but nothing is going to change.”