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18 Jul 2018

Hip Hop Interrupted: After a Member Departs, The Bermuda Abandons an Album and Continues on as a Duo

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The Bermuda. The Bermuda.

Not long ago, hip-hop trio The Bermuda was getting ready to release a brand-new album.

After the departure of one of the members, however, that album will almost certainly never be released. Meanwhile, the two remaining members of The Bermuda—Ivy the Giant (Ivan Recendes) and the Madd Hatter (Taylor Bentz), who have been friends since childhood—are going back to the drawing board and continuing The Bermuda as a duo.

During a recent interview in Cathedral City, Madd Hatter and Ivy the Giant talked about what happened.

“We were working on a new album called Loading, and we started getting really frustrated during the whole process,” Ivy the Giant said. “Bunkz started hanging out with a different crew and slowly started distancing himself. He never showed up to rehearse, never wanted to go with us anywhere, and never wanted to meet up. We decided to work on our own thing, but keep the group intact. Our side project was going to be called the Madd Giants. We posted a picture, because we were done slowing down. We needed to pick up our pace and get back up on it. After a while, I gave Bunkz an ultimatum, and he said, ‘Consider me out.’”

Madd Hatter said Bunkz put the group in a difficult spot.

“We’d just finished making this album,” Madd Hatter said. “It was the best work the three of us had done to date. Now, he’s leaving, and it’s like, ‘What are we going to do?’ (Ivy) said, ‘OK, let’s just not drop the album.’ We already figured at that point that it was done. We knew it was coming sooner or later.

“We just disappeared for a couple of months, and we were stuck on whether we keep The Bermuda name … or do we change our name to the Madd Giants? After talking with our fans, they said, ‘No, keep the name going!’”

Bunkz (Giancarlo Stagnaro) explained his side of the story via e-mail.

“The friendship died, and I didn’t want to kick it with them anymore,” Bunkz said. “I wasn’t even planning on leaving the group up until I saw Madd Hatter post up a picture on Instagram of him and Ivy the Giant talking about ‘Cheers to new beginnings!’ So when I saw that, I said, ‘Fuck that, and fuck you guys; I’m out.’”

There was also a major problem with the aforementioned album.

“The reason why that album will never see the light of day is we had a third-party producer work on it, so he owns that album now,” Madd Hatter said. “Some shady things went on between us and him, and now we don’t want to pay for that album. When we announced the album wasn’t coming out, and Bunkz left, (the producer) texted us and said, ‘You still have to pay for this album.’ It was fully understandable, given it was mixed and mastered. Then he hit up Bunkz behind our backs, saying, ‘Hey, I’ll cut you a deal: I’ll cut their parts out, and it’ll be your album.’”

At that point, the two remaining members of The Bermuda decided not to pay for the album. “We didn’t even trust it anymore, and the majority of the beats on the album were done by Bunkz, so it wouldn’t have worked out anyway,” Ivy the Giant said.

Bunkz confirmed the producer did extend that offer to him.

“What happened is that he suggested I remove their verses and drop the album with only my verses on it. And I kindly declined that offer,” he wrote via email.

Despite all the bad, Ivy the Giant said something good has come out of the chaos.

“We were so frustrated when we were recording that album with all the bullshit going on in the studio, and after every studio session, there was something we didn’t like,” he said. “It was back and forth after a session, and now it’s just two minds. We can go back forth, and we don’t have to worry about that third party. I feel like it’s better as it is now. We just wanted to start fresh, and that’s what we’re doing.

“We’re working on a new EP called The Madd Giants Part 1. It’s going to drop in August, so we’re excited for that.”

Both members of The Bermuda expressed optimism about the future.

“It feels good to be doing this music shit again—without any worries, and without any bad thoughts in the back of my mind while we’re performing,” Ivy the Giant said. “Now we know what we’re doing, and it feels good again, so we can continue.”

Bunkz said he’s also found closure.

“My new name is Jon Goat, and I’m dropping my first project called Bunkz Is DEAD soon,” he wrote. “I think I made the best decision of my life. I’m a better solo artist, and everyone agrees. I’m very versatile, and I can rap in Spanish and in English and on any beat—and not to talk shit, but they can’t do that.”

The Bermuda performed at The Hood Bar and Pizza last year with the local metal/hip-hop band Drop Mob. I asked if a rumored recording of the song they performed together exists and will ever come out.

“For a while, we were super-hyped and into the rock/rap thing. Obviously, it’s in the future,” Madd Hatter said. “Drop Mob reminds me of Rage Against the Machine and early Cypress Hill. When I hear them, I hear that sound. We were always like, ‘We have to collaborate with these dudes.’ We did a few shows with them, and then we hit them up and said, ‘Hey, we need to do something together.’ We actually did a demo song together and performed it. It is still in the future, but we haven’t kept in touch with Drop Mob.”

Said Ivy the Giant: “We’re still down to do a rock/rap collaboration. That was different, and we had never heard ourselves in something like that. It’s always cool to do that, and that was a lot of fun. But for right now, we’re focused on getting ourselves back where we need to be.”

For more information on The Bermuda, visit www.facebook.com/therealbermuda.

1 comment

  • Comment Link Jimmy Boegle, Editor Thursday, 19 July 2018 14:36 posted by Jimmy Boegle, Editor

    The record producer, Arthur Seay, has sent in this response:

    So after reading this article I saw the opportunity for a lesson in the "Music Business" and I think some light needs to be shed on this subject and the flip side to that coin.
    First off I am a big fan of "The Bermuda" the Trio version. And was excited about working with these guys after Judging them at the CVWeekly battle of the bands.I talked with the guys about recording an EP (4somgs) which turned in to 16!
    So we embarked on recording their 16 track album.I Produced,Engineered,Mixed and Mastered the entire 16 tracks but when we were finished "Bunkz" choose to leave the group apparently not getting along with the other members, this is when a lot of groups do break up.
    Being in a band or group is a marriage and sometimes divorce happens and sometimes it is ugly apparently.
    FYI new bands you don't have to hang out all the time and be best friends everyday! That would be ideal but its just a format that doesn't always work either. Most "Big" bands and small get together to work on music make a record and go do their own thing mostly.Ill Use SlipKnot as example (I worked for them for 15 years) NON of them hang out,they have 3 to 4 buses, Corey has a bus on his own or with a couple of guys,Sid has his own RV he takes for is own space etc.
    Back to Buisness
    So record is tracked, mixed and mastered and is a great record! I'm very proud of the record we created. So I contact them about final payment then I get news from them that "Bunkz" has left the group and they will not be using the record, that's all fine but money is still owed for services rendered and I explain that to them ,I did inform Bunkz that being he wrote ALL the beats he owns those beats and can re record etc and as example re do the vocals if he choose to that's the Buisness side of a band break up.
    So bands and groups be sure to know what your splits (who wrote what and how it will split )are in the band and come to an agreement of how your Publishing will be split.
    Publishing lesson:
    Publishing is the break up of who owns each part of a song basically and where you make your money if any.
    A composition has two sets of rights Publisher share and Writers Share.
    Music 50%
    Lyrics and Melody 50%
    Publishers Share is 100%
    Writers Share is 100%
    Do your research
    Back to the Story....
    So among their breakup I have still yet to be paid and being as I have not been paid I own this version of those songs.Bunkz who wrote all the beats still owns those songs and could re record said songs, other members own their "lyrics" but the versions we recorded would be my property until outstanding balance is paid.
    And balance has not been paid for the final mix and master which really is sad because in the long run when time has passed it will be regret on their part for not looking past emotions and putting out probably the best product they have done.
    Nothing Shady going on just Buisness, Remember this is the "Music Buisness" and it is brutal.
    Bands and groups pay your bills! Have a plan and communicate before going into a studio to record.Have a game plan and a marketing plan and be open minded to all those involved.
    Keep your drama to yourselves and don't burn bridges it will bite you in the ass!
    As for the "Loading" record it WILL see the light of day as I will release it myself because it's a great record and we all worked really hard on it regardless of their personal drama and breakup etc and people should hear it so stay tuned!
    Remember to support the Scene because you are the Scene!!!

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