Gentleman Monster: Eyedos of JynxINC
Eyedos has been on a killing spree lately. The emcee / producer has been pushing himself these past few years, and his output has been both prolific and ambitious. With the release of the latest JynxINC LP, Devil May Care Too, I wanted to interview the artist about his path — then realized I already did that, earlier this year. So, with apologies to the beast, here is our conversation about underground hip hop and indie hustle.
VTHH: What was your introduction to hip hop?
Eyedos: I was exposed to a plethora of Folk, Hard & Southern Rock very early in my youth. I was then introduced to Hip Hop music at the tender age of 10, started writing at 12-13 but didn't record until 16 with influences like Wu-Tang Clan, Gravediggaz, Cypress Hill, Canibus, Boogie Down Productions, Busta Rhymes, Nas, Rakim, Kool G Rap, Beastie Boys, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Onyx and Insane Clown Posse. The first three albums I ever owned as well as listened to front-to-back, would have to be Wu's "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)", Cypress Hill's "Black Sunday" and Onyx's "Bacdafucup".
VTHH: Your style is so detailed and visual - what is your writing process? Do you need to charge the batteries up or is it always there?
Eyedos: I'm an eclecticist/metaphysicist with a prolific, multi-syllabic, stream-of-consciousness writing style (just wanted to say that because I like how it sounds). In most cases, I'll jot down a whole list of one-liners and test them out on people for reactions, that's how I come up with some of my best punchlines. Anything new or different to me is a divine afflatus, visiting new places sparks inspiration but I also have a symbiotic relationship with my computer so I find the motivation to make music whether I'm exploring a new city or kicking it in the studio. Movies, anime and video games inspire my off-the-wall references and cynosural presence and vocal tone. Smoking tree and freestyling before I write also gets the creative juices flowing.
VTHH: Where do you want JynxINC to be in five years?
Eyedos: I want my band to be able to drop an album annually, go on a regional (3+ state) tour at least once a year, release album themed comics, have a music video for every song (official video or otherwise).
VTHH: What was your process assembling a monumental LP like Guerrilla Bars?
Eyedos: I had a couple songs recorded from a year prior to the album's release and it took me another 10-12 months to finish it up. A few thousand dollars less in my account and a handful of legendary features later, I'd say I was pretty psyched about the outcome. Unlike my next solo project which will have a more predominant selection of my own instrumentals, Guerrilla Bars was built around the influence of other producers, so the production time and beat gathering was the easiest part of the process.
VTHH: Was it difficult corralling an album full of posse cuts for that Minds Eye Tribe LP? Is that something you'd do again?
Eyedos: Rounding up the crew was easy but getting everybody on the same page was another story. Some of the members were going through drastic changes in their lives like a passing relative, a divorce and even a marriage, hence why the album took over a year to complete. The super-group consists of a few emcees I know from southern VT as well as a few I met when I moved to Burlington, with the exception of one artist/producer in Toronto and another out of Colorado.
VTHH: As someone who wears a lot of hats -- promoting, producing, engineering and being a prolific artist yourself -- what would like to outsource the most? Are there aspects of the game you'd prefer to never touch again?
Eyedos: Booking agent, web developer and copywriter. I'll always need help from professionals like these. I've done some booking and am fully capable, it's just so time consuming when trying to juggle that with everything else.
VTHH: You and Krypto Man have been successfully networking outside of Vermont for a long damn time. What advice do you have for younger artists?
Eyedos: Surround yourself with people you look up to, ask them if you can do anything for them, regardless of what it is (show them you are a team player and willing to sacrifice a bit of your ego to help them). Always think about your current Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. What strengths do you have but don’t enjoy doing? Maybe there’s an opportunity to outsource that so you can focus on strengthening a weakness you want to develop or enjoy doing. Being able to identify a threat will also help you avoid possible disastrous events.
VTHH: What advice do you have for local artists who want to reach outside of their scene?
Eyedos: Go to music venues outside of your state and network with as many promoters, producers, DJ's and artists as possible. Some artists you look up to are more approachable than you think so don't be afraid to confront them, pitch ideas, book venues or ask for a feature. Never HESITATE and always NEGOTIATE. People want to see you invest in yourself so take the time to carve your niche, save up money and market your product. Introduce yourself at every event and be humble, nobody likes a swollen ego.