CHICKENHEAD PAST: JURASSIC 5'S CUT CHEMIST
interview by vinnie baggadonuts
photo by insane wayne chinsang

DURING OUR FIRST YEAR, FROM SEPTEMBER 1999 TO AUGUST 2000, WE WERE KNOWN UNDER THE MONIKER CHICKENHEAD. DURING THAT FIRST YEAR, WE INTERVIEWED A LOT OF PEOPLE. NOT ALL OF THEM WERE GREAT INTERVIEWS. YOU CAN TELL THAT WE WERE JUST STARTING TO FIGURE OUT OUR STYLE. BUT WE'VE PICKED TWELVE INTERVIEWS OUT FROM THAT FIRST YEAR THAT EPITOMIZED WHAT WE WERE TRYING TO DO. DURING JUNE, JULY, AND AUGUST WE WILL BE PLACING THESE OLD INTERVIEWS ONLINE FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE. THERE WILL BE FOUR NEW INTERVIEWS EACH MONTH. ENJOY THIS BLAST FROM TASTES LIKE CHICKEN'S PAST!

INTERVIEW: CUT CHEMIST

ORIGINAL PRINT DATE: AUGUST 2000


IN TODAY’S LESSON WE WILL LEARN ABOUT THE SCIENCE OF SOUND. OUR GUEST TODAY IS PROFESSOR CUT CHEMIST, WHO WILL INSTRUCT YOU THROUGH A BARRAGE OF LAB EXPERIMENTS TO ILLUSTRATE THE LIMITLESS POWER OF MUSIC. PROFESSOR CHEMIST AND HIS LAB ASSISTANTS (AKIL, NU-MARK, CHALI 2NA, SOUP, AND MARC 7) HAVE RECENTLY BEEN SCHOOLING STUDENTS OF SOUND WITH THEIR NEWEST ALBUM, QUALITY CONTROL. WHEN COMBINED, THESE ELEMENTS FORM JURASSIC 5. TO PREPARE FOR THIS LESSON, ALL STUDENTS MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH A SHARPENED NO. 2 PENCIL, FULL CONCENTRATION, AND COMPLETE CONTROL OVER THEIR AUDITORY SENSES. SHOULD YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK THE TEACHER'S PET, VINNIE BAGGADONUTS. READY? BEGIN.

Vinnie: What made Jurassic 5 decide to have two DJs?

Cut Chemist: We didn't decide. It just happened that way.

V: Was it when the two groups (Rebels of Rhythm and Unity Committee) merged?

C: Yeah. Well, Nu-Mark wasn't in either group. He was just somebody we met along the way, and it just worked out. He's got cool beats. It's dope.

V: How much vinyl do you take on tour? I've heard you have an enormous collection.

C: You know, I have a pretty big collection. But it's nothing compared to some other people's collections. I don't want to make it seem like I got the biggest record collection in the world. For instance, Shadow came over to my house and he was like, "Wow! I thought you'd have a lot more records lying around!" (laughter) But, uh-- this poor girl.

(Our attention is redirected towards a young, bloodied female concertgoer.)

C: Look at her! Look at this girl! She got beat up! I love it, 'cause the Warped Tour's the only place you can see girls walking away with bloody noses. That's what makes this place great! (laughter) What I bring depends on what I have to do on the road. If I'm doing a tour like this, my set for J5 is only five, six records at the most. That's all I use. But I try to book side gigs, in which case I'll bring a crate; like 80 records.

V: What made you guys decide to do Warped Tour after the Fiona Apple tour?

C: Kevin Layman (Warped Tour ringleader) asked us to do it, and we thought it was a good challenge. I think it is a good challenge. There are a lot of people out here who don't know who we are, and they're coming to see punk bands. So when they see a hip-hop group, it's kinda like, "What's this?" We've been opening people's minds up a little bit, so I think it's a good thing.

V: If you could think of one band from the entire spectrum of music that equals what you guys are doing, which one would it be? Like in attitude, or live show, 'cause your live show is very Motown, in a way.

C: I've heard Nu-Mark say The Temptations a lot, which would go with your Motown theory. I don't know. I don't think there is any group that I can compare us to. I mean, there are so many groups that influenced us, from The Temptations to Freestyle Fellowship to De La Soul to Run DMC and Cold Crush Brothers. I mean, we're like a fusion of all those groups. So, to pick one and say they most represent what we try and do, I don't know.

V: What do you think about the bands you're touring with? Have you found a band you never knew before and now you're totally into 'em?

C: Well, we opened up for Green Day in Holland, and when I saw them after we played I said, "Those guys are like us, but they're punk rock." They would get everybody hyped and be funny and fuck with the crowd a little bit. It was like, "Man, they're like us!" So, I've loved them. I try to check out their show all the time. They're really dope. Long Beach Dub All-Stars, we've really gotten to know them and check out their show. They're good. We're kinda hangin' out a lot. NOFX is actually really good. I like them a lot. I like that song (begins singing), "Fuck the kids! Fuck the kids!" Who else? Mighty Mighty Bosstones are cool. Snapcase, they're really good. And Papa Roach.

V: Do dogs have lips?

C: Well, if they did they could whistle. Couldn't they?

V: So, are you saying yes or no?

C: No. They don't.

V: Thank you.

(Vinnie turns and looks smugly at Insane Wayne, who believes dogs do indeed have lips.)

C: He thinks they do? (pointing at Wayne)

V: We ask everyone, and, like, Bo Diddley thinks they do--

C: --You asked Bo Diddley?

V: Yeah. Everyone we interview, we ask 'em if dogs have lips. So, are you living a rock 'n' roll lifestyle?

C: Well, in the sense that we tour, we put out records, and we sign autographs, yeah, I suppose so. That is the "life of a rock star", I guess. I mean, we don't get drunk every night and have sex with 30 girls. No, we don't do that. We just try to do the music, and that's the most important thing. I really like to stay at home and work on music. You know, I like touring, too; but everything in moderation. More than three weeks of touring and I start to get a little buggy.

V: Is there something you like listening to that's kind of a guilty pleasure?

C: (laughing) Well, I don't feel guilty about it, but I love listening to Latin music. Ozomatli got me into that. So, that's kind of like my own little private Idaho. Sometimes I'm just like, "I need to cool off," so I'll listen to some Latin.

V: Do you read on the road?

C: No. I should, but I'm not a big reader. I did bring a couple of books with me.

V: Anything in particular?

C: Um, I brought Siddhartha. I haven't read that yet. And then I brought this book about Eighties movies. And I brought some abstract algebra.

V: Really? (laughing)

C: (laughing) Hey, man. Stimulate the mind.

V: I don't know. Algebra?

C: This isn't just algebra. This is abstract algebra. A whole new ball of wax. Crazy stuff! (laughing)

V: My last question: Do you have something in your wallet that nobody else in the world would have in their wallet?

C: Yeah. My driver's license. My credit cards.

(And so it ended,.. or so we thought. Cut Chemist stopped in his tracks, turned around, and grabbed the tape recorder out of Vinnie's hands.)

C: Yeah, I just got to shout out to my family in Youngstown, Ohio, alright? 'Cause that's where my family's from. So, Youngstown, I know that's like, what, 30 minutes? No. About an hour to Youngstown, from Cleveland. Please, please, let me represent. Print it. Thank you. (laughs)

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