Interview with bassist Bear | By Morgan Y. Evans
Victory Records upstarts Neurotic November began blasting out eardrums and brain cells when their new album, Fighting Words, hit the streets September 18. The Miami crew blend demented metalcore with spazzy rap elements and over the top, button-pushing content.
Bassist Bear offers her thoughts on the new record, Juggalo love, and censorship.
You’ve found acceptance with the Juggalo family. It’s trendy to make Juggalo jokes, but what’s the real story? What were some of the standout experiences from the Gathering 2015 and the Twizted tour?
The Juggalos are probably the most underrated, misunderstood music lovers around the world. They kept an open mind when they saw a band setting up and gave us nothing but love. Touring with Twiztid was one of the most humbling experiences. They give back to the “Family”—there are no fans. They appreciate each and every one of the people who come to hang out, and even have a “signature handshake” where they bow to the audience at the end of every show. That’s not something you see every day.
Now, imagine the biggest family reunion you can think of [with] live music, carnival rides, games, food—that’s what being at the Gathering of the Juggalos was like. People brought their tents, dirt bikes, megaphones, water guns, families, and pets to the festival. If someone needed help, you helped them. More than one time, coolers on wagons tipped over and without hesitation, people rushed over to help them pick everything up. “Help the homies out, let’s go.” They feel that sense of family and unity. The humanity was strong. People would offer beverages and goodies to people they have never met before, just because, “We’re family!”
At the Gathering, there are no “rock stars.” No one is too good to go out onto the campgrounds and hang out with everyone. The Juggalos aren’t fangirls. They don’t rush artists. They settle for fist bumps and high fives; they genuinely appreciate the music and the artist. We’re incredibly thankful to Twiztid and their crew for inviting us to play the Gathering this year, and experience firsthand the magic in the air when people come together for a purpose.
What inspired your band name?
The band name came from a previous member who wanted the word “Neurotic” in it. A couple of older members were born in November, so it just stuck. It actually ended up working out well, because the name fits how crazy we get on stage. Sometimes it’s okay to completely lose your mind. Being neurotic isn’t so bad.
Do you feel people need to contextualize some of your more “vulgar” lyrics, or do you try not to be too excessive or offend people?
People will always find a reason to be offended, so we don’t hold back. The age-old saying is: “If you take offense, you’re wrong.” So, you can either be offended or relate to it; it’s a toss-up.