Tick's Corner - Ridin' in the Caddy With Daddy

Ridiní in the Caddy with Daddy is a phrase that best describes what my meeting with Mixmaster Mike, on a warm summer evening, was all about. For anyone who has seen Mixmaster Mike perform with the infamous Invisible Scratch Picklez, to his legendary performance with the Beastie Boys, to his own ground breaking solo showsÖall must agree that it is up there with Armstrong landing on the moonÖexcept this man is bringing it to you without a space suit. Mikeís talents are nothing short of amazing and everytime you see him, he is always serviní up something new to the plate. Mike is not about floss; he is about full pressure. He has earned everything he owns, and one of those possessions happens to be a Caddy! Mike bumps crazy beats and his routines in his car while driving!! I have known Mike for some time and had a chance to actually conduct the entire written part of this interview from the Caddy!! Here is my attempt to capture that momentÖ

Tick: I asked Mike what the deal was and how he was liviní. Mike brought up that he has a record ready to be released called Spin Cycle a full hour mixed CDÖthe first time he has ever done this.

Mike: "Usually I release my own produced recordings, but this is like a mix CD of stuff you wouldn't normally ever hearÖunderground independenceÖa full hour of stuff to bump in the caddy! This is something to pop in your car, and test your woofers out!"

Tick: Has anyone popped their woofers so far?

Mike: "I saw on the news that people complain that their woofers are being cracked by certain types of musicÖwell, Iím here to re-crack the drum! You need to bust up the woofers and test out the frequencies!"

Tick: You see, I remember picking up a Mixmaster Mike Mix Tape years back called Neck Thrust One, and it contained many original beats that Mike produced himselfÖI asked Mike if he had any original beats on his new record.

Mike: "As a matter a fact I do! The track is called 'Boardburnerí, and I recorded the track in the Philippines! You see Tick, there is a volcano called Mt. PanatubuÖand there is a little studio right at the bottom of it, and before the volcanic eruption I bailed outÖand that is what I came up with! Lava streamed down the mountain and I escaped in a helicopter with this trackÖminidisk in hand!"

Tick: I remember a time during a tour where Mike and I were bobbiní our heads to beats in the back of a BeetleÖand Mike had his sampler rigged to plug into a lighterÖtaking that raw form, I asked Mike what he looks for in his beats.

Mike: "You can call me a SCRATCH TRAFFIC CONTROLLER!"Ö.I am grabbing things spontaneously and strategically putting them in their place to where itís this driving force of sound! I can grab anything..it could be a Planet of the Apes record, to the Fart God Odyssey! First of all I want to give big thanks to the Boys, {Mike D and the two Adams}, and go out and branch out to that new audience back then, because it allowed me to display my skills, to where people were unaware what the turntable was capable of doing, so it was me giving them a brief lesson on turntable composition!"

Tick: "WOW, some Amadeus type shit!Öyou were composiní and slappiní people!" Mike also says that his crew (Invisible Scratch Pickles), are all doing solo projects right nowÖand Mike is crazy busy! He just finished a track for Bombay the Hard Way called "Hydraulic Carpet Ride", scratches for Ozzy Osburn and Rob Zombie!

Mike: "Itís a universal art...it can be applied to anything just like when we did the Country Mike album. "

Tick: I asked what kind of scratches did he use for that record.

Mike: "I used some scratch fiddles, Nabisco Shredded Wheat scratches. My style is a form of Hip Hop, and now itís turntable music. I grew up as a B-Boy spinnng on my head, and I realized that music captivated me. I moved from break-dancer to scratch DJ. Itís like the Olympics, like the scratch javelin throwsÖDjing is like throwing the discus as far as you can to break that record. There are two types of DJs. There are DJs who play other peoples music, but I feel I am more like a composerÖI love going into the studio and producing my own tracks, there is more gratification for me to be able to have that feeling that it is MY OWN track."

Tick: I asked Mike if he feels like Indiana Jones sometimes like a big ball is chasing him before a show, because he knows he is going to be on before a showÖ

Mike: "You have to remember that whether I break out a hibachi for people and start cooking or break out a fire hose and start hosing people downÖyou never know what you will get from a Mixmaster Mike showÖyou can get drenched or get your head bobbed!" I can open up my dressing room and a bull could come out and start stampeding everybody, like the running of the bull. Anything can happen at my show. You see, you can get stomped on, fed, scratchedÖthe whole nine! I did a show at Cesars Palace and a man dropped in on a hang gliderÖand flew in and dropped off a Test pressing! I happened to use that record at the end of the set, it was an instructional guide to physical fitness, some camping on your roofÖ"

Looking into his past, around í86 Mike was buying records from everywhereÖeven "DCÖthe deep cold mists of Daily City". Mike was in the battle circuit in í86 and í87, and met DJ Q-Bert, who would come to his shows. Mike had garage parties, and Q would come check it saying, do that scratch again Mike". Q then developed his own formula and the two united!

Tick: Taken your past how does the new record compare?

Mike: "In producing Spin Cycle it was tough to condense everything into one hour, but the label made some great tracks licensed. I wanted to pay homage to my boysÖusing BS 2000, BEASTIE BOYS, and a MARIO C remix of a Del track in my CD. The Del track is called ëPositive Contact" which he did the scratches on the fly!"

Tick: Mikeís life is very spontaneous and positive. He just built his own studio that just came togetherÖhe brought in lumber, some nails, and put up some boardsÖput in a window so he can see the pool!

Mike: "I got my carpentry on and laced it. Itís a layer of Snapage! The studio is a garden of supplies; any beat you want, you can stop by like a pit stop, for broken needles, piece of equipment, but you will need special stealth vision to find this place, kind of like that movie the Predator. You may need a machete to get here".

Tick: While driving in the Caddy, Mike says that after just using his feet for many years, he went from Flinstone style to a Caddy! He has a six disc Mini Disc Changer in his CaddyÖhe can roll for days literally in his Caddy, and he has Woofer in his Tires, and a Satellite dish!

Mike: "The car has high end activity going onÖthe car is supped up. I will make an hour beat of myself just going nuts scratching over it and will ride with it in my ride, and I have the Fosgate 18" woofers in my rims. A lot of people are hating, I am giving people something that they have never seen before."

Tick: We were watching Ultimate Fighting Championships in his caddy when Mike said;

Mike: "DJing is like coming off the turnbuckle and elbow shmashing straight to the domeÖapplies to musicÖcoming off the turnbuckle and knock ëem out the box". Like my man Jimmy Superfly Snooka... He was one of the OGs that did not care if he wore a grass skirt."

Tick: Mike likes bumping any artist from Mac Mall, E-40, Noreaga's 1st album, the old Wu, and sometimes he throws in Slayer "South of Heaven, and get Mario Andretti on fools! He can bump Miles Davis' "Autumn Leaves", and Primus, to Beastie Boys, to BS 2000.

Mike: "One Mini Disc can hold 60 songs, so I can drive from LA to the Grand Canyon, and never hear the same beat! Like the Partridge Family I drive the Caddy from show to show at time
s. I even performed stuntsÖI jumped over 4 school busses, successfullyÖand as I approached the ramp I was listening to Peter Frampton, and cleared it! KEEPING IT LIVE LIKE PETER FRAMPTON!"

Tick: Mike recalls recording Anti Theft Device in Vallejo, CA at the end of 1997!

Mike: "It was a 5 by 5 room, super small. It reminded me of that guy on That's Incredible who would get into a small glass box, sometimes with snakes! I was on some Yogi Kuto stuff! I had a sampler, Mackie board and turntables. I called it the Zectar Cell Block, and after that I went on the road for a very long time and now back like a savage throwing knives! Tick, I hit the record button in October and hit stop in DecemberÖ and the result is my new record! You cannot sleep in this businessÖI look at touring and interviews as breaksÖbecause I feels if you chill, someone is bound to catch up to you!"

The album, Spin CycleÖout now!

Tick: PEACE, and thank you to Diane, Mike, Gabriel, and Grand Royal, for the opportunity and blessings to do this!

Source: Tick (GRTICK@aol.com)

Tick's Corner - Ridin' in the Caddy With Daddy