An Interview With Mikey Rotten
Thanks for taking some time to answer some questions for my Zine! We have featured you before in our pilot issues, but can you please introduce yourself to our newer readers?
What up, I’m Mikey Rotten. I was born in the swamps of Louisiana, raised in the south side gutters of Indianapolis, and reside in Koreatown LA these days. I’m a Los Angeles based underground artist. Grew up skateboarding, riding Bmx, writing graffiti art, and just plain fucking shit up.
When I first came across your music you went by Lil Hotspot. I feel like Mikey Rotten definitely suits you better. But I am curious. Why did you change your name?
Well when I came up with the Lil Hotspot alias it was more of a joke than anything serious. I was living out of these basement trap studios on Hollywood blvd and they ended up getting raided and then people just came back to squat again. I moved to a different spot downtown and made a song to kinda make fun of all the goofy homeless rappers off the blvd. At the time I was just a DJ producer and showed a homie who happened to do videos. When he saw it he thought it was so dope he wanted to shoot a vid so I did just on some bullshit. Then I met Lilbigfuck (Big Fuckin Esco) and he talked me into actually rapping. Then things just kept going up so I just stuck with the name till things got serious. Eddy Baker and Xavier Wulf both told me If you want to be a legend you gotta have a legendary name. So I thought back on who I am, what my interests are, what I want to represent and how I grew up then came up with Mikey Rotten.
How long have you been doing the DJ thing and making music? When and where did that start?
I grew up trying to play drums and guitar in the metal / hardcore scene but was into all the pop punk screaming stuff even before that, but I didn’t get serious about music till I started to dj. I originally got tapped into the scene through graffiti art and drugs.
When did you link up with Eddie Baker and Xavier Wulf? How did that come to be?
Well I met Wulf through Eddy, and I met Eddy through this random rapper from Arkansas who was homeless on hollywood blvd. He knew I had the plug on underground venues, and he knew eddy had the fan base so he clicked us up for a show and by the 2nd show me and eddy became partners on the show stuff and started working on music shit as well.
Who else gets bragging rights for helping you get to where you are now? Who are your day ones?
Hmmm, I’d say Eddy, Wulf, and Chris were definitely the ones to give me a lil co-sign in the underground, but big Esco believed in me from day one and basically talked me into rapping for real. Also idontknowjeffery has supported me from the beginning. But on the same note I found direct inspiration to keep doing me and dive more into what I actually like from underground homies like Meat Computer and some of the engineer and producer homies like Al Ross, who I’ve known for years.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year? New releases? Music videos? Events?
Got some singles dropping before the end of the year, just dropped “Lab Rats” mix tape with Shawty Gawd. Seeing that I just sold out my last show in LA and hosted a drift event with Eddy that AlphaMotorSports and Hollowsquad threw at Apple Valley Speedway, I’ll probably hold off till we set up a tour later next year.
Awesome! So what is Mikey Rotten’s dream tour? If you could go on tour with anyone in the world, who would be on the bill with you? And where would the tour go?
Tbh, it would just be to tour the world with the homies I do music with. We are creating our own legacy’s. But if I had to choose somewhere it would be Japan or Russia.
This question may be a little weird for people who haven’t seen you live. But have you broken anything else since I saw you break your nose in the pit during your set here in Arizona? That show was insane, you even broke a bottle over your head. Real punk vibes.
Ummm. I mean I get hurt at almost every show. Deff had some busted lips sense then, and fucked my knee up pretty bad at a LA show. But I keep rocking every time
Your live performance is what turned me from an affiliate into a real fan. Took me back to my punk / hardcore days. Who do you think inspires your sound? What artists did you listen to in abundance that influenced the raw high energy vibe you deliver now?
Well I grew up on stuff all the way from Rancid, to The Acacia Strain, to GG Allin, to underground hip hop like Madvillain. I was just always attracted to darker underground sounding music. It was the raw energy of the shows and the live performances that inspired me to even make music. Once I started performing as a vocalist I started to realize you carry the energy for the audience and they feed off you, so once I step on stage I just let go, zone into the moment, and do whatever I feel like at that time. I think I’m more influenced by life in general for my music more than another musical artist. I like to live things for real. Not just talk about them. Of course every artist pulls musical influence from other artists and sounds before them, but those are just formats of expressing emotions. It’s when you pull pieces of influence from musical ideas from the past that influenced you emotionally and you mix them with your life experiences then mold them into something completely new that you get something truly great. Life is all fractal and everything in this universe is of itself but elaborated and refined over the course of time.
What’s your local scene like? What are the pros? What are the cons? Where is there room for improvement?
I mean the scene is almost non existent because of corona virus, but there’s a lot of dope artists in Southern California and people come here from around the world so it’s very diverse.
As we wrap this up is there anything else you would like to add?
I got a lot in the volt for you guys