The Insane Clown Posse is taking the last circus train out of town. According to a statement from the band, founding member Violent J is suffering from a heart condition and, rather than endangering his health or trying to replace him, the band has decided to stage a farewell tour and step away from the stage. The band will continue to record new music, and will perform occasional one-off concerts, but large-scale touring is no longer in the cards after Violent J said that he recently felt "winded" during a 40-yard walk from his to a recording session in his studio.
The announcement came during the Gathering of the Juggalos over the weekend at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio, Violent J said that while Insane Clown Posse will retire from touring, he and Shaggy 2 Dope will still perform at one-off shows each month and will continue to release new music.
"It's very embarrassing and very not cool to have to say you're taking a step backward," Violent J told the crowd. "This doesn't mean I'm going to die or anything like that....[This] means basically we can't do things the way we used to do them."
You can see part of his speech below.
The farewell tour will be what the ICP called a "slow" tour, consisting of only three or four shows a week rather than their usual frantic pace.
"We're gonna do one more tour next year around the world," Violent J said. "We're gonna do the United States, and then we're gonna go to Europe, Canada and Australia."
The ICP is a duo composed of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, and have been making music together since the '80s. Known for their distinctive clown makeup, the pair got out of street and gang life by embracing music, and ultimately became so successful that they helped found a record label populated by other bands with similar gimmicks. Many of ICP's songs revolve around the mythology of the Dark Carnival, a limbo in which the lives of the dead are judged by one of several entities. Elements of The Dark Carnival have also made their way into feature films starring the duo...one of which was a Western (and, yes, they kept the makeup on even in that setting).
In brighter news for the bands' fans -- known as Juggalos and among some of the most active in the music scene -- the band will release a new album on Halloween.