Pepper spray and riot batons filled the air outside the Vancouver General Motors Place last Thursday night as fans reacted to the the cancellation of the Guns N' Roses tour opener. At the time, openin
Pepper spray and riot batons filled the air outside the Vancouver General Motors Place last Thursday night as fans reacted to the cancellation of the Guns N' Roses tour opener. At the time, opening act Mixmaster Mike was safe inside the confines of his dressing room watching a basketball game, but he had a pretty good idea that the crowd wouldn't take the cancellation lightly.
"I could imagine a thousand kids waiting outside forever, you know," Mike tells Billboard.com. "Of course, if you were a kid, wouldn't you be p***ed off?" (As previously reported, GNR singer Axl Rose was said to be stranded at Los Angeles International Airport due to inclement weather.)
Despite such an inauspicious beginning on a high-profile tour, Mixmaster Mike (born Michael Schwartz) is happy to be on board with the new version of Guns N' Roses. Interestingly, the invitation to open for GNR, which was made personally by Rose, has been standing for nearly a year since the singer saw a Mixmaster Mike solo set in Los Angeles. In addition to Mike's wife/manager being good friends with Rose, the DJ is close buddies with a few new GNR members, including guitarist Buckethead and drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia.
For Mixmaster Mike, who also doubles as the Beastie Boys' main DJ, the tour is a perfect opportunity to support his latest solo endeavor "Return of the Cyclops" on Asphodel Records.
"It's a mixture of spaced out spunk, psychedelic scratches and banging moon beats," says Mike. "It's a good record to zone out to if you want to get your mind onto something else or some fourth dimensional travel. You put in 'Return of Eye of the Cyclops' and it sort of takes you into that fourth dimensional state."
The biggest question regarding Mixmaster Mike concerns the future of the Beastie Boys, who are currently on a hiatus. Mike says the New York trio is supportive of his solo endeavors and he hopes they can connect sometime next year and "put something together." While it remains to be seen how the hard rock fans of Guns N' Roses will greet the discriminating hip-hop style of Mixmaster Mike, the turntable master is confident his half rock/half rap set -- in which he'll be sampling everything from Led Zeppelin to Public Enemy -- will further expand his fan base.
"Being with the [Beastie] Boys definitely opened up my fan base on a wider scale, most definitely," says Mike. "And I think opening for Guns N' Roses will spread it out even more. So it's like introducing myself to these people who don't know, but I'm pretty sure some people will know. It's a good thing."
Following the Vancouver debacle, the GNR tour kicked off in earnest last Friday in Tacoma, Wash., and visited Nampa, Idaho, last night (Nov. 11). The tour's next scheduled stop comes Thursday in Minneapolis.