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.