ON DOWNLOADING AND YOUTUBE
Cage: Most people are just going to take it because art is just…free. I feel like the respect level for artists is not what it used to be. It’s just too easy. It’s not too far back to remember ‘hey this album came out, I really want to listen to it. I have to drive to the store to get it. I have to go into the store. I have to look for it. I have to call around: ‘do you have this in?’ ‘Oh, sorry, we’re all sold out.’ ‘Fuck, I’ve gotta go here to get it.’ And if the music that you were into was really obscure, then you had to go to, like, specialty places. And it seemed like the albums stuck around a little bit longer, as opposed to ‘I downloaded it, I listened to it over the weekend…when’s the new album coming out?’
I wouldn’t even fucking know [if kids were biting me on Youtube] because I don’t pay attention. I don’t pay attention to anybody’s shit. The one thing I learned was just to turn off everybody, and pop music is easy to turn off because it’s not about anything. It’s never changed; it’s a pacifier for dummies. As humans we’re supposed to be evolving, not sucking on the pacifier and hitting the pleasure button every five seconds. And then you wonder why people are stupid.
Cage: It’s about self-preservation. If there’s one thing you learn in this country, it’s that that’s all that matters, yourself. Staying alive. I mean, what does the guy who died saving ten people have versus the guy who made it out first and didn’t save anybody? The guy’s fucking dead, and a bunch of fucking yo-yos are like ‘he was amazing’. Would you rather be alive, or would you rather be dead? I’m not saying ‘hey, I’ll throw my own family into the fire if I can get out alive’, but…you know, I’ll save who I can.
Cage: After you’ve made hundreds of songs, you’re like ‘yo I’ve said that already’. People will give you the lamest ideas. ‘Yo, man, you should go back to this style.’ I’m like ‘that’s the lamest fucking suggestion ever’. Or just the idea of someone who thinks that that’s even cool, to make that suggestion to an artist you like. It’s like, why do you even like the artist?
Mighty Mi: I think at this point in our careers, there’s a little bit of an instinctual process going on. We’re just acting on what we’ve learned from being in it a long time.
Cage: People are like ‘oh, keep doing this’ and I’m like ‘well, fuck them’, and then I go and do something else. It’s just what you do. Some people will make the same song and have for ten years. They’ll put out fucking ten albums of the same exact song over and over and some people like that. People don’t really like change, probably because they don’t have change in their life.
ON MARILYN MANSON
Cage: I was just listening to the new Marilyn Manson last night at his house. I’ve known him for about three years now, and we were laughing about how things that we were saying [on our respective records] were very similar. But then again, we were both, you know, abused Christian boys. [Laughter] We were both young kids learning ‘you’re going to go to hell’, and that part you can’t escape. I’ve been trying my whole life to escape that shit. I can’t get that out of my fucking head, and that’s a part of my art.
ON THEIR EARLIER MUSIC
Cage: It reminds me of the times I hated myself the most. And a lot of it was just some sloppy stuff. Why didn’t I do another take on that? [To Mi:] Remember when we would be doing lyrics and try to do, like, one-take Willie style? That was more important than getting the song to sound great—can I do it in one take? Remember how that was a big deal? ‘Milo, you gotta put on the record that me and Camu recorded the album in a week!’ [Ed. Note: In 2002, Cage and the late Camu Tao released a self-titled album as The Nighthawks.] And Mi was like ‘I don’t know if that’s such a good idea or a selling point’, and we thought about it and realized that everybody might think it sucks and go ‘oh, yeah, we can tell you made it in a week’. But we were really proud of that! We made this album in a week! And then when I sat back and I listened to it and was like ‘…no shit’. Some of the songs I think are amazing, and I love that record, but again sometimes you hear yourself on a song and go ‘ehh, I kind of phoned that in’.
ON WHAT REFERENCES REVEAL ABOUT THE ARTIST
Cage: We used to make songs [and think] ‘hey, I’m not going to say this because I don’t want to date myself’, like a reference to Bush or something. It’s like Nas making a pager reference. Motherfuckers today are like ‘what the fuck is a pager?’ It wasn’t about ‘I don’t want to date it because I want it to feel old’, I just want people to listen to it twenty years from now and get the gist.
Mighty Mi: I feel like there’s a difference between an artist who made art pre-internet and after the internet. Now, even when a rapper’s doing a reference that’s old, you feel like he looked it up on the internet. It’s not like his father taught him that, or something.