Finances were definitely another issue that were causing rifts amongst us. We had long paid back our initial investments, yet myself and Mike weren't seeing a dime of the money. We brought this up to Derek, who reluctantly agreed to start giving us a cut of the money after each gig. You could see how painful it was for him to give up some chump change, and it was often causing debates amongst us. Mike and I felt like the backbone of the band yet we were in the shadow of the minimally talented frontman. We both started voicing opinions on a lot of matters, and I don't think Derek liked the fact we had opinions. I will be the first to admit that every band needs a control freak to keep the wheels turning in a productive manner, but we were starting to feel like we had no say in anything and it was time for us to change that. Mike and I were voicing our opinions more and we were definitely becoming more cheeky towards Derek. We both felt like he needed to be more of his own man as his girlfriend and her mother had him on a very short leash. I believe they felt like we were a bad influence on Derek as we could sense their bitter feelings towards us.
We were gigging three times a week on average and it was starting to get to us. There was a lot of traveling, not much sleeping, and it was beginning to feel like a thankless job due to the fact we never saw any money. Mike and myself were not grunge fans by any means but we were happy with the songs we had produced to date. I think one of the main issues was the fact we weren't writing any new music and we were starting to grow tired of our current set list. Our only real salvation was our rap group 3 n' Pass, it gave us a creative outlet of our own to break the monotony we were experiencing. As our passions grew in regards to our rap project it was apparent Derek was feeling more threatened by it and he always seemed uncomfortable whenever we mentioned it in passing or played some of our songs for him.
The creative bug had definitely bitten me. Asides from 3 n' Pass, I was still highly addicted to the premier Redman album, which had inspired me to start my own solo rap record. I was still in possession of Derek's four track, so I had began creating songs and writing lyrics for them. I had a vision and a concept. The songs would tell the story of my life in chronological order with lyrical content regarding all of the mischief and riffraff I had gotten into as my youth progressed. I was really stoked with the project, but I kept it all to myself as it was a work in progress. I figured I'd be working on this for awhile and I wanted it to be complete and perfect before sharing it with anyone. Time would only tell exactly how long the project would take, and I was in no rush to finish it as the big picture was miles down the road.
Speaking of big pictures, as winter turned to spring we ended up being interviewed and featured on an episode of "The New Music" on CityTV. The episode in question was all about the relation between marijuana and music. We were interviewed in a head shop on Yonge Street, where the three of us wore lays of hemp leaves. When it aired we were ecstatic, well most of us excluding my mother, who caught the episode. Her only feedback on the entire thing was "I hope none of my friends saw this." She was clearly embarrassed and disappointed to see her baby boy on national television promoting and supporting "the Devil's weed"
Even though there was disorder amongst our band, I still personally felt like things would just keep getting better for us. I suppose I was young and naive, but I honestly felt like we would be millionaires before my 21st birthday which was another 10 months away. Despite the endless gigging for mere dollars, Grasshopper now had a gig lined up that was surely to be our biggest and most important performance to date...