Crunk Kids to Crunk Adults
By Olivia V.
I have to preface this interview with frustration that typed up words don’t capture the vibe of a conversation. Without the video (zoom quality was terrible), Brokencyde can be read as full of themselves (if you haven’t read my other write up on them, it might be helpful for some context). But, this confidence on paper they portray doesn’t really show the genuine nature they seemed to have. They come off as chill guys that created heightened personas to gain traction early on. And it turned into an entire career. They love what they do and respect the amplified personality as an art form itself. Performance and building yourself into a character is essential for many (if not all) artists, and even the “lowbrow” or “lesser” forms of art still have heart and passion for creating. Brokencyde knows they’re a guilty pleasure. They just don’t think you should feel guilty about it.
Olivia V: Alright I guess first I was curious about how your fanbase has changed over the years. Do you guys still have the same sort of demographic as it was in 2009?
Mikl: We did a few dates recently and it’s cool to see actually it’s the same fans but they’re all grown up with families but they’re still willing to come out and have that nostalgic feeling so it’s really cool.
O: That’s awesome, with the nostalgia factor, do you think the resurgence of the “rawring 20s” and things being considered less cringe and more acceptable, have you guys noticed there's been a change in attitude with your fanbase as well?
M: I just noticed that everything is trying to be like we’ve been a long time ago. Just being yourself and just live and accepting what is great, you know. Jay?
Phat J: Yea I sort of always thought it was weird that people thought it was cringe to begin with. If you’re gonna be something, be happy with who you are and I think it’s kinda weird to feel shame from something that makes you happy. I agree with Mike, the world is more accepting and what we were sort of shunned for in our time, people are much more accepting of and sort of give it up to the old school which is cool.
O: When you guys were at Warped Tour, you were sort of outsiders in the festival for outsiders. How was that experience?
J: That’s our career. (laughs)
M: We have faced every hurdle but at the same time we’ve smiled through all of it. We just want to put out cool music for the fans. If that’s the sacrifice for other people to be happy and enjoy our music / music in general that's worth it.
J: We’ve always been outsiders.
M: Punk rock lifestyle (laughs).
O: To go off that, the hate you guys used to get back in the day, you guys had this big IDGAF attitude about it. Do you still have the same or similar amount of hate in 2023?
J: I think that you can’t fit in and stick out at the same time. We were always the ones who stuck out and I think it was for the better. It brought more recognition to what we do. There will always be people who hate what’s different but that’s what made us special. We had much more love than hate. What you see online isn’t necessarily what’s happening in the world.
O: And the one’s that are talking online probably wouldn’t say it to your face. M: Or they do and we probably just smoke with and they go ‘oh, you’re actually pretty cool my bad’.
O: Obviously you guys have stage names and all that, how much of it is a persona? I mean you guys seem like normal, chill guys compared to the heightened version you are while performing.
M: It’s kinda like art, you know, but also acting it out on stage. We were real young when we started doing this. We were just trying to do what we enjoyed doing.
J: You gotta put on a good show. Nobody is trying to see someone just chill on stage.
O: (laughs). I guess they just assume you’re always “on” but that’s impossible.
J: I don’t know what youre talking about!
M: I plead the fifth.
O: I was looking up older interviews and came across the mothers against brokencyde?
M: Weird, right?
O: Weird. Some people thought you guys created it for marketing? I don’t know if you guys have heard that theory.
M: We just were making music and that was taking us forward but whoever did that was like crazy. I kinda wish we thought of it. But life was going so fast for us at that point. But now we know marketing and how the entertainment world works.
J: And oftentimes, we play shows and people don’t know where to put us. Screamo or heavy stuff and we’re talking about let’s get freaky over some dance beats so it’s like, the people who are fans of that probably aren’t going to be fans of what we do. I think that’s why we would get some of that pushback. But, mothers? I don’t understand that part.
O: Some people also thought that it was put up by metalheads.
M: Probably, just like what J was saying.
J: Nah, I made it.
O: Damn. I can’t believe I’m the first to leak it!
J: Conspiracy theories.
O: Confirmed. They claimed to have gotten you guys kicked out of Warped Tour.
M: Internet. Easy to type anything you want. Like, if they wanted to take credit but in reality I’m sure that was not why. We always had tours lined up. Luckily we always had a really supportive fanbase. People thought we got kicked out for the last few days of Warped Tour but we actually had to fly to the UK for shows.
O: Oh wow so you guys do international tours? Do you still?
M: We’re working on it. But yea we’ve been across seas many times thankfully.
O: Where besides the states has the biggest brokencyde fanbase? J: I’m gonna say Brazil. That’s the only place where I felt like Justin Timberlake or some shit. People squeezed so hard I couldn’t breathe it was scary.
M: Yea Brazil is such a great country. I miss the UK, I miss the world. It’s just great that we can reach out to that many people with our music.
J: They don’t even know English and somehow they know the songs. So that’s weird.
M: I don’t even know the songs so that’s weirder.
J: Shh.. Mike. Giving away too many secrets.
O: Gonna be a scandalous episode. I need to ask about E40 and how you guys met and what it was like working with him.
M: I mean, he’s a super legend. So that was crazy. I’m pretty sure our label and he heard our stuff and gave us a big thumbs up. There’s a video of him supporting it and it was even hard for us to believe it. We were just some youngin’s from Albuquerque and boom working with a legend. It’s just crazy, anything’s possible.
O: So since there's that nostalgia factor and in retrospect people are sort of giving you guys credit a little late. I’ve seen you guys compared to 100 gecs, do you feel you’ve sort of taken the brunt of the hate and now it’s accepted.
J: What sort of sucks is all those people know us and respect us but we still don’t get what we deserve. It’s really frustrating.
M: But, we know it and the real scenemos and scene kids that were in it with us know the truth, you know? That’s what matters, we don't need validation.
J: I do! I need validation!
O: I’ll make that the title. It’s a little late but recognition would be good.
M: We just want to work with some of these artists. We love making music and we know we can make some magic If and when we do work with these people, we’d be stoked.
O: I wanted to ask what coming up in ABQ was like and how the scene is and if you are performing there.
M: Born and raised, we’re all from here. It’s kinda rough. There’s not a whole lot of opportunity here.
O: Are you guys working on anything now? New music? Touring? M: Yea! We’re touring, we put some new music out. We’ve been putting music out this whole time. Our newest is called "In the Mud" and me and J worked really hard on it and we’re stoked on it. Check out our videos on the brokencydetv youtube. We’re working on many more shows and music.
J: We’re trying to evolve but still stay true to the original Brokencyde sound. Still trying new things and showing we evolved. We’re not the same crunk kids.