Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Q & A with Vinnie Paz of Jedi Mind Tricks

Vinnie Paz, the lyricist behind underground hip hop legends Jedi Mind Tricks, was nice enough to let Intersections interrupt his dinner for a quick chat about his love for Slayer and the lyrical merits of late-night vodka.

Make sure to check out Jedi Mind Tricks at Terrace this Thursday (12/9). According to Vinny, they’re gonna “fucking tear the building down.”

You were just touring in Europe for a month. What’s it like doing a show over there versus in the U.S.?

I think they’re way more appreciative and knowledgeable about the old [Jedi Mind] Tricks stuff. Typically when you say someone is stuck in a “time warp” it’s a bad thing but in that case there, it’s a great thing. It’s kind of like the 90’s there, at least in hip-hop. We had 15 straight sold-out shows.

How did you like releasing your first solo album Season of the Assassin in June, and how does it compare to working with Jedi Mind Tricks?

It was the most fun I’ve ever had making a record. Very liberating. Being in a group is a great thing but there are pros and cons in every aspect of it. I’m very much a control freak and that’s not really conducive to being in a group. Doing a solo record allowed me to be the maniac I really am.

How has your creative process changed as you’ve grown older?

It hasn’t changed really since I was a kid. My creative process is weird—my creative process is a lack of a creative process. The only thing that must have evolved is that for my creative process today it has to be really late at night and vodka has to be involved.

How do you feel about your home city of Philly? What are your three favorite things about it?

I’ve been everywhere around the world so I think I can say better than most people that it’s the best city in the world. And for my three favorite things…my mom is the first thing for sure. Let me see, I guess my mom, the food, and the boxing.

You like Rocky?

[Laughs] Well, I like real boxers too, not just Rocky. Philly’s actually one of the most legendary fight cities in the world and a lot of the most amazing trainers are still here.

Since you started making music in high school and have now made it big…any words of advice for high school kids thinking about making music as a career?

I started before that in terms of writing but I first recorded stuff in ninth grade. I got no advice for them. I’ll tell them to quit – don’t do it. Go to college, get a job, and make legitimate money. You’ve got the same chance of making it in this game as you do of making it to the NFL or NBA. It’s one in millions that you can live off it. If you wanna do it for fun then God bless you, but as far as a career? Keep your head in the books

If you could tour with any artist or group right now, who would it be?

Slayer. They’re my favorite band of all time. I saw them live back in the day on their Rain and Blood Tour when I was 11 with my brother.

Have you ever met them?

I talked to [vocalist and bassist] Tom Araya on the phone once because we were thinking about collaborating. It didn’t work out but hopefully it will someday.

What can we expect from your show at Terrace next week?

High energy, man. From the beginning to the end. We come to fucking tear the building down. Some people stand there and rap but we don’t. We’re bringing that heavy metal shit. We’ll do our best to make sure it’s the best fucking show this college has ever seen.

Interview conducted, edited, and condensed by Sara Wallace ‘12

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