Tech N9ne’s Strangeulation Canadian Tour 2014 kicks off with an all-ages show at Tzeachten Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 10.
The hardcore rapper is in his studio in Kansas City when he picks up the phone for the press interview with The Progress. Tech is running around, preparing to head out on the road, but takes a few minutes to say what’s up.
“I’ve been doing radio drops, rehearsals, and I have to go shopping for new shoes. I’m super busy,” Tech N9ne says.
He’ll be doing four shows in five days after he arrives in B.C. by Wednesday to kick off the tour.
He has his own fleet of diesel tour buses, coupled with a wicked work ethic, doing more than 1000 shows in the past five years.
Tech recently released Strangeulation (Collabos) album, which debuted at #5 on the Billboard Top 200 in the U.S.
He founded Strange Music and gained legions of fans, which he affectionately calls Technicians. Thousands of them have actually tattooed his Strange Music logo, with its snake and bat wings imagery on their bodies to pledge some sort of fleshy allegiance.
Born Aaron Yates, Tech is known for his rapid-fire rhythms and painted face, which he always wears on stage in memory of his late friend Brian Dennis.
“Brian used to paint my face back in the day. He died from a crime of passion so in his honour I wear the paint. He wanted me to bring out the killer clown, so I could kill every body lyrically. It makes me feel like a superhero. It’s me, but it’s a more forceful me.”
His stage persona is all about the ego. He’s a lot more humble off stage.
When asked why he’s making a stop in Chilliwack last year, he noted because “there are Technicians there.”
He has a sense of destiny about his career, and named his label “Strange” because of his fondness for Jim Morrison of The Doors, and his People are Strange.
“I was born to do music,” he says. “It brings me stuff like the movies.”
He thoroughly enjoyed it. Tech will be appearing in the film The Devil’s Carnival 2 where he plays an “angry yet calm librarian in Heaven.”
“I was super nervous, but after a while I got into doing it and it was cool.”
They told him he knocked it out of the park.
“It was a totally different experience and they had me going through my lines using my dictionary and Google. I had to look up some of the words, like whirring.”
He’s not sure how many recordings he has out. It’s either 13 or 14.
“I just write my life,” he says. “My fans keep track of how many and such.”
He figured out somewhere along the way that selling all kinds of tour merchandise, Strange Music and Tech N9ne “merch” would be a big part of monetizing the gig.
Asked why he tours like a mad man, he says: “Technicians are thirsty.”
He recently did the ALS ice bucket challenge, telling everyone on the video his rationale: “If it’s for the greater good, I’m all for it.”
Every year, he plays secret santa, and gets involved in wintertime coat and food drives from his home in Kansas City, Missouri.
“I was hotter than anyone,” he says laughing about how he added a Nestea-plunge backsplash into a kiddie pool for his ice bucket video. His humour shone through.
“So I went ahead and challenged Ice Cube, because that’s just funny. And Louis Farrakhan, and Stevie Wonder, along with Ice T and his wife Coco.”
Asked which artist he enjoys, he names Texas blues artist Gary Clark Junior.
“I love all kinds of music.”
Anyone checking out the videos of his songs, and the comments of some of this listeners will find suggestions that Tech should do a song with Eminem.
What does he think of that idea?
“I always wanted to work with Eminem,” he replies. “I feel he’s an elite emcee, just like I am. It hasn’t happened yet, but I think it will.”
He’s hitting major cities across Canada and wrapping up the tour in Nova Scotia by October. Check out more at http://www.strangemusicinc.com or tickets at http://www.clubzone.com/events/793436/vancouver/tzeachten-centre/tech-n9ne-kaliko-snak-merk or www.strangeVIP.com