As the frenetic frontman of the pioneering ska band Fishbone, Angelo Moore was often seen climbing atop speakers and stage-diving, all in the name of celebrating a "party at ground zero," as he put it. But as Dr. Madd Vibe, a spoken-word alter ego Moore adopted six years ago, he doesn't need no stinkin' horns to wreak havoc.
"I arm myself with a protective prophylactic coating of consciousness and surround myself with a Plexiglas shield as thick as a brick," he says of his nonmusical solo career. Last year he released both a book and a CD under the Madd Vibe moniker, and though his references to capitalist conspiracies and the impending apocalypse sound like the ramblings of a madman, Moore says it's with good reason.
"I am paranoid," he proclaims. "The sky is falling; you just wanna wait until the sky gets a foot above your head until you turn around and go, 'Oh shit, we need to do something.' By then, it's too late. People need to wake up."
For Moore, who grew up black in a predominantly white neighborhood in Southern California and started Fishbone while he was still in junior high, music and poetry have always served as an outlet. And while the band never sold millions of records -- even when ska exploded in the mid-'90s -- it was part of the same alternative scene that produced the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane's Addiction.
Fishbone is currently trying to wangle its way out of a bad deal with Hollywood Records, so in the meantime, Moore's busy doing the spoken-word thing, noting that his divorce has provided plenty of fodder for recent poems.
"But I'm tired of writing about that," he says in cadence. "I'm tired of writing, 'You lying piece of sack-of-shit bitch.' I'm tired of writing about the engagement ring, the marriage ring, and the suffering. I'm ready to write about something different."