Don’t expect to find a rift form within Denver duo Axe Murder Boyz; no diss tracks or fierce hip-hop feuds are in sight. The blood goes too deep.
Brothers James and Mike Garcia don’t even have struggles with sibling rivalry; success for one is success for both with this joint venture.
“People think we are twins, but we are actually a year apart,” James said. “We feed off each other really well. We can definitely read each other, always know where we are going with it on stage. It’s the perfect band scenario. Our band will never break up because we are brothers, you know?” They’ve been perfecting that stage presence and their brotherly connection on it since James was around nine; the hard-core rap duo came after the two played weddings and parties in a classic rock cover band with their other brother and father.
Then Mike discovered hip-hop from artists like Master P (“I have no idea what Mike likes about Master P. No hatin’,” James said, laughing), and an introduction to Insane Clown Posse convinced the two to ditch the rock setup and pick up a mike.
“ICP was just so different, crazy and fun to watch, all the way around,” James said. “We’ve been in love with rap and underground music ever since, and so we came up with the idea for the group when I was like 12. We’ve been in it almost as long as we’ve been listening to it.”
Early material stayed very true to the grim and grueling subject matter the original Juggalos were slinging out. As kids — the two were close to 16 when they started — the pair got a major kick out of the gross-out narratives. The faithful tribute shot Axe Murder Boyz out of the Mile High City with a spot opening for their heroes on tour, then landing on their label Psychopathic Records, and later on its sub-label Hatchet Hose.
Ten years, three children and their own production company later, the content has found a deeper, less violent nature.
“Back in the day, all we ever wanted to rap about was stalking and killing. It was really more about those sort of fantasies when we were younger,” James said. “Now that we are older, we have children, we’ve seen things and been on tour for almost half our lives. There’s more substance and soul to it. There’s more to life than kill, kill, murder, death, kill for us. It’s more than horror stories.”
That progress is seen in the band’s recently released mixtape “Strictly 4 The Scrubs,” and even more so in the soon-to-be released “The Garcia Brothers,” a testament to the pair’s relationship and continued growth, both lyrically and musically.
“There’s more guitar. It’s more musical, not so strictly rap beats. I enjoy the fact that it’s 14 songs, and there’s no filler, at least to me. It’s all killer, no filler ... one banger after another. I’ll usually comb back through our old albums and say we could have done better on a couple of tracks, but I haven’t felt like that yet.”