bad boys, jah
by Bing Futch
On a recent Tuesday night, all four members of the hip-hop/rock outfit MT MINDS were preparing to enjoy a night out at the House Of Blues located in the mammoth Downtown Disney complex. The crew are no strangers to the music venue, they’ve played there during the WJRR Battle Of The Bands and have done more than a fair amount of partying backstage, as is their collective nature. Tonight, however–John Law would poke his ugly head into the scene.
“It was illegal search-and-seizure, totally–” says guitarist MC Stonehenge (real name: Justin). A beer bottle placed on the ground by bassist MC Cheez (real name: Matt) aroused the suspicions of two law enforcement officials cruising the parking lot. While being cited for littering, the officers also searched their vehicle, turning up some cannabis. The two MC’s and the perpetually stoned DJ Time were arrested and taken to jail while drummer Stevil Kenevil went to summon help, and cash, from the band’s girlfriends.
They bailed out in time to perform to a thin crowd at Volcano , the downtown nightclub that features live music on Wednesday nights.
To the point of getting incarcerated, the MT Minds boys practice what they preach; a doped-up, rocked-out, sex-crazed lifestyle that includes everything from surfing to getting “more ass than a toilet seat” according to their hedonistic hip-rock anthem “Spawn”. Their music is a boisterous mix of Beastie Boys and Chili-Peppers type grunge-funk, but heavy on the rock. MC Stonehenge is a disciple of bands like AC/DC and Motley Crue and his guitar solos are often more classical than funky. Cheez lays it on thick with huge, throbbing torrents of bass guitar and DJ Time breaks it down with percussive scratches and L.A. old school beats on turntables to Kenevil’s wickedly solid beat. Having been on the scene for more than three years, the crew got a personnel change in early 1998 that resulted in the current line-up. With the charismatic dual presence of MC’s Cheez and Stonehenge leading the way, their songs are a call to party along with them in mindless celebration of all that’s carnal and present day.
Some would say that the boys are paving a path to eventual self-destrction, or at the very least–exclusion. “I hate ’em, I hate MT Minds, I’ll never book them again,” says one furious promoter who requested anonymity. They’ve made their share of enemies for sure, showing up trashed for gigs, playing long sets and generally being brazen towards anyone who doesn’t seem willing to party. Stonehenge has found himself entangled in brawls with members of the audience and still bears the scars as proof. The boys make no apologies for their reckless youth, however. In fact, they revel in it. “That’s what MT Minds is all about,” says MC Cheez. “Living it up to the highest point.”
The fact that they’re the real deal mixed with their powerful blend of aggro-rock and funk-inspired grooves has made them the target of some label interest generated by the release of a five-song EP, “MT For Life”. Learning the business end of music has proven to be a challenge, but with a rabid Stonehenge leading the charge, the quartet has secured management and is grooming itself for a record deal. They headed up to the prestigious CMJ schmooze-fest recently and are reportedly waiting to hear about possible tour news. In the meantime, the guys continue to play out, smoke out and ride out the storm that they inevitably cause themeselves. Sure, life could be much easier for them, but it probably wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.
At their Volcano show, the foursome went into a huge jam session that resulted in a lot of statements about their arrest and the sentiments that they felt about the situation. The officer at the door seemed not to notice the “Fuck the police!” rants echoing off of the stage and if he did, there was no indication. Rebels for the cause, doin’ time for the crime, proud of it all. Every town needs a band like this and Orlando’s got a few. None quite so colorful as MT Minds.