Madchild or Shane Bunting Questions and Answers
Madchild sat down with Alexander Gastown from Vancouver Sun and had a Q&A about all kinds of different things. Check out the Q&A below and see what Madchild has to say about health, art and what the critics just don’t get.
Sept. 10 at 10:30 p.m. | Alexander Gastown
Tickets: $15 at ticketweb.ca
Silver Tongue Devil, Madchild’s latest album, debuted at #3 on the Billboard Canadian Albums Chart. It’s the rapper’s third solo record since kicking a well-publicized addiction to painkillers. One-half of Vancouver-based rap duo Swollen Members, Madchild — Shane Bunting to his mom — now lives in West Hollywood. We talked to him about health, art and what the critics just don’t get.
Q: Where are you now?
A: I’m with my friend Evidence, from Dilated Peoples. We’re working on my new album. We’re actually in a wonderful place we eat all the time, a natural and organic sushi spot.
Q: Are you a health nut?
A: I’m not a health nut, but I’d say that I’m interested in becoming one. I’m trying to do more of the cold-pressed juices and brown rice. Getting off the meat is probably going to be the most difficult thing. But I think once I go and watch some of those YouTube videos (on factory farming) that will help.
Q: Do you do yoga or meditation?
A: No. But I do think yoga would be a cool thing to do. Of course, I have 80 shows coming up so I don’t know if I’ll be fitting much yoga in. But I plan to hit the gym at the hotel every day for an hour and do some swimming et cetera. The shows are always a pretty good workout. As I get a little older I think the key is to stay fit and stay thin. Being 39 now isn’t what being what 39 was 40 years ago. We’re a lot younger still at an older age.
One of the things I am doing, and I don’t mean to make a plug, but I’ve started vaping instead of smoking cigarettes. I think it’s amazing. I’ve got so into it I’m coming out with my own e-juice line, with Straight Up Vapors, a B.C.-owned company. It’s launching next week.
Q: You’ve said that you’re going to try to keep some discipline on the road, where the crew can only get drunk twice a month.
A: I didn’t know that was public knowledge! Yeah, I’ve asked the crew. There are going to be a lot of interviews, getting up early in the morning, long drives, not only preparing for the shows, but the VIP meet-and-greets after — they are going to be long days, day after day after day. I just said, it doesn’t matter if they smoke weed, I just asked that everybody sticks to drinking just twice a month so it doesn’t turn into a sloppy tour. I’ve seen that in the past. And in this day and age, all artists know that the only real way to make a good living is touring. So everybody wants to get that slot. You don’t want to give promoters or fans any reason to not have you back.
Q: After losing nearly $4 million on painkillers, you’ve said that you’ve recovered somewhat financially, and now you have money for art. What kind of art?
A: (laughs) I’m a fan of graffiti art, street artists who have become successful. My last piece was by RISK, one of the most famous graffiti artists from Los Angeles. Then I’ve acquired a KOZE piece. I’m not a huge art collector, but I’m dabbling. I’m doing it because I love the art. I’m not a millionaire again or anything. I’m just fortunate enough that I’m doing quite well off of what I love to do. I’m very thankful for that.
Q: Your new album number entered Billboard Canadian Albums Chart at # 3, which isn’t bad.
A: Yeah. This guy Eminem, you might have heard of him. He beat me (with the soundtrack to a movie called Southpaw, executive produced by Eminem). That’s a huge album. And Lamb of God was No. 1 that week. But I was very happy with being number three. But it’s all about numbers. If I’d come out one week earlier, I would have been No. 1 in the country.
Overall, I’m super happy with the album. I put my heart and soul into it. I would compare it to my first album, Dope Sick (2012), where I spent a lot of time making the record. Then, I was having this new success as a solo artist, it was my second chance at a career, things were on fire, and I made an album in 12 days, Lawn Mower Man (2013). That’s a fun album, but not what I would call one of my masterpieces. But it still did very well.
I wanted to make sure that Silver Tongue Devil was going back to that Dope Sick concept, which is my first album, not to confuse the reader, and put in a lot of time, and make sure it had sexual songs, it had humor, it had something that was organically made but could possibly reach a larger fan base. I wanted to make sure it was talking about where my life is now but reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future. That whole album is a listening experience. I feel proud that there’s not a song on there where I’m like, “Oh, I shouldn’t have put that song on the album.”
Q: You seem like a straight shooter, and a cool guy. That doesn’t jibe with what a reviewer in Exclaim! said about the Silver Tongue Devil track SLUT, which he called “horrifically misogynistic, the kind of stuff that rap detractors point to when they call for the genre to be banned.”
A: I am a straight shooter, and that’s exactly why I just used the word “humour.” I have a song called Dickhead. Not only is it my most popular song, it’s my most popular song with my female fan base. What that told me is that everybody has a good sense of humor. Nobody took that song in the wrong way. If you listen to the lyrics in SLUT, it’s simply a humorous take on my experiences when I’m single and living on the road.
A lot of girls are models now, all of a sudden, overnight, because of Instagram and social media, and there are a whole bunch of guys out there who have bought a bunch of cameras, and all of a sudden boom, they’re photographers. There’s a huge over-saturation of these things because that’s a lot of people’s dreams. And there’s nothing wrong with people trying to live their dreams, I think it’s wonderful. But there is some humor to it. I was having fun with that song. I think you’ll find the only people that are going to take that song in the wrong context are critics. Definitely my fans won’t take that song the wrong way.