Insects Interview by Brother Grether


Three mulit-talented, multi faceted, producers of culture combine together to form one dynamic force. The Insects launched  back in 2007 with “Free the Hard Way” a disk printed and released for free. They attacked mainstream consumer culture with tracks like “No Rules”, “Devils are Scared,” and “Silence is Gold” and pay tribute to everyday people and grassroots activism through tracks like “The People” and the title track, “Free the Hard Way.” Since then they have toured the states and Europe numerous times, released a more experimental double album, “Gone” and are about to release another, “Black Rose.”


Insects Live. photo by J.Carbis

so why insects? where did the name come from?

B: i was recording all this shit at jonas’ house and we were on the back patio…and we were sitting out there smoking and all these insects were crawling all over are legs and shit…we were trying to come up with a name and i was just like how bout the insects…? and then i was just thinking about how they were here first and they’re gonna be here after and then about how they work together…and how from up above we all look like insects…

how is it different from your solo music or drunken immortals?

B: the last solo album i did was drifter and that was like 7 yers ago…and then things change…instead of me getting all the credit as brad b, we wanted to do something that highlights jonas too cause he does all the beats and production and plays a major role in the music and we wanted to do a group name rather than just me.

Whats up with 1090 Records?



J: Well on the business side of thing MATTX and myself have been giving all our attention to building relationships with agents and agencies as well as business people that sponsor creatively driven companies like ours specially since we have or first tour as a company on the horizon almost our whole roster will be touring on the way to SXSW music convention in Austin TX. On the creative side we have so many things in the works right now like we just released The Insects new EP entitled “WILD RIDE” which has remixes from the first single off the up coming “BLACK ROSE” full length studio album and a full live recording done in Switzerland on our 4th European tour. Myself and Brad b have been putting major work in on the new Insects record I have been mixing and mastering Very G’s album called “Saint & Sinner”  produced by Saint Louis and just got the ball back rolling on recording the MURS album “Yumiko – The Curse of The Merch Girl” which is a sound track to a full color graphic novel. 1090 will be releasing a box set of 7” vinyl with the album and a complete audio book version. On top of all that we have been throwing as many events as we can with out burning out our audience to fund all these projects and it has been going okay thus far.

How did you link up with MURS?

J: One day I was going to lunch by my self at cafe Istanbul, I had just parked the car when my cell phone rang, I didn’t recognize the # but I new it was from Cali so I answered it and this dude with kind of a deep sleepy kind of voice was like whats up this is Murs. I looked back at the phone in half disbelief and said “whats up dude” he proceeded to tell me how his then girlfriend lived in PHX and didn’t have Internet access so he had been spending afternoons at a coffee shop down the street called Conspire. He said he was looking around the spot and saw a CD cover done by a comic book artist named Jim Mahfood it was volume 1 of my instrumental series called “M.C. FOOD”. He bought it and gave it a listen and liked the beats so he called the # on the back of the album. He asked me if any of the beats were available and i said “know but I got stacks so I could hook him up with whatever he needed” which was a bold face lie. I asked him if he was in town and he said he would be here in 4 days and wanted to come by the studio so i said cool and hung up shovelled some food in my mouth and ran my ass to the record store and dug for about 4 hours. When he came through we hit it off famously and he proceeded to tell me about the “Merch Girl” project and I proceed to tell him that I wanted to go on the road with him. he already had a DJ for the past 7 yrs. at the time but as luck would have it his DJ got an offer to do some movie stuff on location and had to quit a few months later. since that day we have played over 200 shows together and are halfway done with recording our album which we are very proud of and it is all because of Joey G and Jim Mahfood.

how long have you guys been making music?

Insects Wild Ride EP

Insects Wild Ride EP

B: when i was 16 i met jonas and i had always been into hiphop and classic rock. just had always been a huge fan of music. jonas was killing the drums when he was 16. in jonas moms basement…this is like 8th grade and he had a bass there and i just picked it up and started playing. i would also just write raps in a journal and then kinda just built from there.

what inspires you to do music?

B: too be honest its kind of a trip. it just comes to me. i just constantly think about lines in my head, but thats just me. sometimes i dont even know what im saying it just pops in my head and ill listen to it after and be like damn thats what i was saying. and then just listening to beats. i’m inspired by music. i just try to be more rhythmic and creative in my life.

why did you come and live in phoenix?

B: i came here in 97. I came out here cause my boy Steve Evans moved out here and a few other friends… and my girl was going to asu. i ended up going to the conservatory or recordingh arts and then doing an internship for a year in la for a year. with Jim Wert and it was cool because his best from was a AandR from interscope.
and its cool how we all hooked up over at Sub Society…thats how i met mike (cause) and so many other cool people. looking back its a trip how we got from that point to this…

So you guys have toured europe 5 times what are some of the venues like?

B: man they do things alot differently out there. we only played a few bars most of the venues were squats ran by anarchist / activists. One of my favorite spots was in Zurich Switzerland. they had their shit together. so they were squatting this building, stealing power from power chords plugged into the lampost from the street through the window. they had a screenprint shop in there, a room with a bunch of computers, a dope ass kitchen set up. these cats were freegans so they went and found food people threw away, and cooked us these dope meals. last time we were there they let griffin do a mural in the spot. sick shit.

are you for or against the apocalypse? you know it being 2012 and all…

B: i’m for it because…maybe what all that means is that things are gonna change in a positive way. i like to think that way.

i was bugging out on famine the other day, researching it for this calendar project and was in tears about it…

B: yeah, its fucked up how much money we spend on wars and whatever we spend money on when shit like that is happening…

so you’re still silkcreening by day…how long do you plan on doing that?

B: I would love to just live off of music, but i would still be doing something like this…ideally its just more of our own shit….

what do think about file sharing?

B: im down with it cause thats just the way it is now…as far as people not getting paid or consider it stealing…what are you gonna do, cry about…? if your musics out there, people are sharing it…you go on tour and make money selling it and merch and such…
for instance…if we didnt do “free the hard Way” we woulnd be known nearly as much.  i feel like sharing and giing shit away for free has done nothing but help us.

you got a god concept?

B: no, not really. i just feel people get so caught up in that shit that it just bothers me.

how do you feel about politics and the political climate?

B: these politicians are such a joke to me. i cant stand their smart ass faces when they smile and argue with each other. all of the trillions of dollars spent on war every year when we are so far fucked in debt, all these young men and women coming home with their legs blown off and shit? all for what? i dont mean that to disrespect the people that go risk their lives. i just dont think its right. it trips me out to think about everything in this world happening at the same time. its all fucked up. the immigration laws, the racial profiling, the sheriff and his goons, the religious freaks, paying taxes and shit. i did my taxes lat year, and i ended up owing the state and federal. i was sick to my stomach. were out here living paycheck to paycheck, pay sales tax on everything we buy, and still owe in the end? fuck that.

How do you feel about getting two albums in New Times 100  Arizona albums?

B: It felt good to be recognized. we’ve been out here doing it for a minute. it felt good especially since the new times barely ever gave us props, and they just love to stir up drama in the hip hop community. motherfuckers. yeah but it felt good so peace to whoever wrote that article. speaking of Drifter we had that Drifter show at the tempe tavern a couple weeks back. it was so dope. it brought back alot of memories… going back and re learning those songs. thanx to everyone that came out to the show and made it so live.

what can we expect from the future?

J: The future shows no sign of slowing probably the exact opposite. Hopefully I’ll start being able to pay some of these people that help me on a daily basis to juggle my work load. My plan is to continue to push the people around me as hard as I can even if sometimes the hate me for it and support and help them to create their art and dreams and sustain their lives through it because that is my dream and it always has been.

B: were dropping a new album called black rose on 10 90 records, im really exited about it. then we will tour the us and europe. we also have a new mix tape in the works. you can check out some new cuts at im also gonna be on scarab from living legends new album which I’m super hyped about. we’re hitting the road in a couple weeks for sxsw. we made a little tour around it with the homie Mouse, and Afro Classics. were gonna hit Santa Fe , Albuquerque, a few in Texas and then back in Phx. also. drunken immortals are working on a new ep. much more shit to come this year. so keep an eye out for us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *