Oh the drama.
So here is the story . . .
For years I have been a vocal critic of Infected Mushroom. I’ve never understood why so many people think they are the bees knees, but I am not one to question. I am one to simply argue on the Internet and talk shit on the radio. This was all normal and routine until the day that I got a special CD in the mail.
Over the years I have been on many promotional mailing lists for various labels and artists. One of these was Infected Mushroom’s old label. They sent me a “Live Mix” that I was supposed to play during a radio broadcast and pretend that they were live and in the studio. The listener’s wouldn’t know because it is radio and they couldn’t see us. This is actually quite common in the radio field and they even do this with interviews. A prerecorded disk of answers that play back while you read questions to empty space. But I digress.
So I was sent this CD and was supposed to pretend that they were on the radio playing a live show. Sure. Why not? But hell, if we’re going to do that, I might as well have some fun with it. I contacted my partner in crime The Bad Pioneer 2000 and we went down to the studio and began the “live” show.
On January 23, 2006, we went on the air and I announced that Infected Mushroom were in the studio and playing a live set (as requested by the label themselves) and I said that we would try to pull one of them away from time to time for an interview. And that’s exactly what happened. The resulting interview, which I am still amazed anyone took seriously and believed, took the world by storm.
The Infected Mushroom forum had pages of people talking about it. They were debating whether it was real or not and fighting over the content. Would their heroes actually say these things? Of course not, but the drama didn’t end there. A gentleman who shall remain nameless of Coast II Coast Entertainment (their booking agency) thought that this was less than funny. He contacted KPSU and threatened to sue them over slanderous defamation of character. My station manager at the time was a major spineless douche bag and took this threat seriously, suspended me from my show and pulled the audio from our archives. I explained to him that there was no way I did anything illegal, that Infected Mushroom are in the public eye and therefore are subject to parody. He was still afraid.
Over the next few days, I tried getting in contact with Infected Mushroom directly. I figured that just because their booking agent was an idiot, this didn’t automatically mean that they themselves were equally as dense. Infected Mushroom had played a few times in Seattle, so I contacted the promoter who had brought them out before and asked if he could put me in contact with them so that I could smooth things out. Dick Toiletta denied me this access because he feared losing his cred.
A week passed and it was time for my next radio show. I still thought the suspension was a joke and that the lawsuit wasn’t going to happen, so on the day of my show I called my station manager and told him that I wasn’t going to accept his suspension and that I was coming in to do my show. Of course he said nothing because as mentioned above, he was spineless and a terrible station manager.
So I went in, did my show and nothing happened. Days turned into weeks and still nothing happened. I had already downloaded the audio before KPSU had removed it from the website, so I uploaded it to my own server and let the people of the world keep enjoying it.
This is also when I got my first and only death threat! Evidently Infected Mushroom’s fans are rather intense and don’t take jokes too well. In theory, if I ever step foot in Israel, I am a dead man. Luckily I don’t take the threat too seriously and also have no immediate plans to travel to Israel; but if I do ever make it there and don’t come back, you know what happened.
Then, because all good stories come full circle, years later in the summer of 2009, Infected Mushroom actually came to Portland for the very first time in support of their new shit album. The local promoters who booked the show asked KPSU to help promote and giveaway tickets. I promptly recycled all of the promotional material and gave away a bunch of pairs of tickets on my show to my friends as part of a massively rigged contest. There was no way I was actually going to promote an artist that tried to sue me and whose fans actually threaten people with death. My posse got together, went down to the show and took in the spectacle that was Infected Mushroom live. One of the worst and most pathetic live electronic shows I’ve seen. They’re third tier Prodigy without the skills, class, or style. If you want to see a bad ass live electronic rock show, go see The Prodigy. Infected Mushroom are nothing but trash and the show had a strange militaristic vibe to it. I was not down with the entire production. Others were having a ball though.
Anyway, that’s the amazing story. The spoof radio show that became legend and took the world by storm. It got me suspended, almost sued, and a death threat.
If you have yet to hear the show that spawned all of this, you may download it here.