By MIKE CHAIKEN
Twiztid considers its latest musical endeavor part of the duo’s ongoing evolution.
The assertion is right there in the title, albeit twisted to fit Twiztid’s world view… “The Continuous Evilution Of Life’s ?’s.”
“When we first started (in1997), we had more passion than know how,” said Jamie Madrox, who is teamed up with Monoxide to form Twiztid, when asked about how the new album represents an evolution for the rappers.
However, Jamie said he and Monoxide were adept at observing the process of making music. They like to learn, he said.
“We paid attention and learned a lot,” said Jamie.
The duo of Twiztid wanted to be involved in music all of their lives. To that end, Jamie said, “We always strive to do better.” They want to create better music and sound better in the recording studio. They always want to take new directions.
Jamie said Twiztid isn’t interested in playing it safe.
To that end, on the new album, Twiztid expanded their horizons by recording four tracks that sit squarely in the genre of hard rock rather than their resident genre, rap.
Jamie said the detour into hard rock isn’t unexpected for those who know him and Monoxide.
“I’ve always been a rock guy,” said Jamie. “I grew up on Kiss… They looked cool… they were awesome.” Jamie also was a big Black Sabbath fan.
Monoxide was the rap guy, said Jamie. “I was the rock guy,” he said.
Overtime, he said, they both rubbed off on each other. Jamie clearly learned to love rap and Monoxide, as seen on the new record, now loves rock.
Twiztid’s music has not necessarily been devoid of a rap and rock combo. “Freek Show,” their second effort, included some stabs at it. “It’s always been there,” said Jamie.
But for the new album, they worked with a couple of producers who wanted to bring that hard rock influence to the forefront.
A good portion of the album, “The Continuous Evilution Of Life’s ?’s” was produced by Twiztid’s longtime producer Seven. Working with someone who is familiar with and a friend with the band is always helpful, said Jamie.
“He’s from another planet,” said Jamie of Seven’s talent and skills behind the boards. He knows how to translate Twiztid’s ideas into reality
“He’s amazing. He’s talented.”
Within the past few years, Twiztid has expanded its portfolio by launching its own label, Majik Ninja. Not only is Majik Ninja the home for Twiztid’s new music, but the label is now home to a stable of younger artists.
Jamie said stepping into the business side of music has given the duo a greater perspective of the industry.
“We always want to be young at heart,” said Jamie. However, to launch a label, “We put on our big pants.”
As artists, he said, they watched how the business side works. “We can do this,” they told themselves.
Jamie said it can be difficult to be an artist and run a label, said Jamie. But he’s passionate about the endeavor. “It’s more work but it’s very welcome.”
The opportunity to work with young artists on the label has been just as helpful to Twiztid as it has been to Majik Ninja’s roster. “Working with young guys, it keeps you current and modern,” said Jamie. And as “seasoned veterans,” he said he and Monoxide can provide the necessary lessons to the younger artists to grow and to learn to be appreciative of others.
There’s an overall camaraderie between Twiztid and the artists on Majik Ninja. He referred to the artists they work with as a family. “It’s a magical feeling.”
When Twiztid hits the road this time, they are promising to make a “massive” announcement to fans. However what that announcement is, Jamie said he didn’t want to say just yet. Fans will have to wait till they go to the show to hear the news. The idea behind making announcements like this at a show is that it gives fans the opportunity to be the first to know, said Jamie.
Whatever the announcement is, said Jamie, “It’s going to be great.”
Beyond music, Majik Ninja is exploring an expansion into films. Jamie and Monoxide are working on a few scripts. They also are learning the technical aspects of making a film “We’re trying to broaden our friends” to include the technical creatives needed to make a film happen, said Jamie.
However, only when they’re ready, and they can do it right, however, will Majik Ninja and Twiztid begin to cue up the cameras, said Jamie.
Twiztid’s Psychomania Tour comes to the Webster Theater in Hartford on Friday, May 12. Doors open at 5 p.m. Other artists on the bill are G-Mo Skee, Young Wicked, Gorilla Voltage, Fury, BRILLiant Mindz, Freeze, Body Bag Syndikate, Madecipha, and Problemattik.
For more information, go to Twiztid.com or WebsterTheater.com