Monday, September 26, 2011

Interview With The Mustard Men

 L-R Scott Wolz (guitar, vocals), Matt LaMantia (guitar, vocals), Dan LaMantia (bass, vocals) and Danny Behrens (drums, vocals)
Critical Mass: Thanks for taking the time to talk with Critical Mass guy's. For those who are new to the band, can you give us a little history on how you got started?

Mustard Men: Well we originally started in Feb 2009 as a three piece with Matt our current guitar player on drums. we played a lot of shows and wrote a lot of songs as a three piece but the three of us decided in late summer 2009 we needed Matt to move to guitar and we needed to make Danny Behrens our drummer. Since then the Mustard Men have really flourished. As a band we all write songs and we all sing. We the Mustard Men are a topical band and we write about whatever we want. We write mainly about the suburban lifestyle, its experiences and our passions. Most of our songs are short and sweet because we celebrate the attention deficit. We dont want to hear a 5 minute punk rock serenade so we dont write them.

CM: I know you have a new EP coming out in October. What can we expect from the new EP? Will it be in the same vein and last years self titled album?

MM: This SNUFF EP, which drops October 14th, is similar to our first record in the vein that it sounds like Mustard Men, However its a lot more intense in sound and subject matter. We are very proud of our first release (our self-titled album) and we are equally proud of the SNUFF EP. The SNUFF EP offers a different perspective of our view of the world, music, and humor. It has songs about Oprah, Michael Bay, Aids and even Killer clowns just to name a few. Unlike the first album were giving away a song off the EP called S.K.A.T.E. for FREE on our website. You can also listen to two other tracks off SNUFF EP on our website and even pre-order order yourself a digital or psychical copy.

CM: I hear some surf and hardcore in your sound. In your own words, what are some of the bands musical influences?

MM: Each one our band members have their own unique writing styles and their own influences. We do like similar music, and there is a lot of overlap in our individual influences. Some influences would include : The Cramps, Big Boys, Gray Matter, MinuteMen, Black Flag, Converge, Fugazi, The Bad Plus, and The Germs to name a few.

CM: You guy's have played around for some time now, doing gigs around Chicago and the 'burbs. Are there any plans to play outside of Illinois in the coming months?

MM: In 2012 we defiantly plan on doing some micro-touring of IL's College towns. We are an entirely DIY band, which means we would have to organize everything ourselves and that takes time and money. Were hoping that the SNUFF EP does well so it could potentially fund a small tour or two.

CM: The band has a fast and heavy sound on record. Are your live shows just as energetic as the records sound?

MM: Its funny you ask because we put so much time and dedication into our recordings and releases but people still tell us that we are much better live. We are all very energetic and animated when we play. We love what we do and its definitely conveyed on the stage. We have a lot of fun playing and we love seeing the audiences reaction. Weve played for crowds of people motionlessly staring at us aswell as the entire crowd being immersed in a giant mosh pit, sometimes at the same show haha. Its always fun to play for people and interact with them.

CM: Besides the new EP and last years album, you guy's have also had tracks on a couple comps. With everyone in the band contributing to the songwriting, will we see more comp tracks or singles in the near future?

MM: Yes definitely, We love doing comps. Its a great way to get the name out and to meet more of our fellow bands out there. We usually try to make it special and release something never before released every time we do one. We havent been asked to do one in a while so were hoping that someone decides to throw one together soon.

CM: With 2011 coming to a close shortly, are there any gigs coming up in the last few months of the year?

MM: We have several suburbs shows in October to promote the EP. The Mustard Mens show schedule changes day to day with new shows constantly being added so keep a close eye on our website and catch us the next time we play near you.

CM: Are there any websites that you guy's wanna plug? Where we can get up to date news, upcoming gigs or get some merch?

MM: Why yes, our website, we launched it a few months ago and it has all the stuff you mentioned. Merchandise, show info, news, FREE downloads and all our contact info can all be found on our very own website. You can even leave comments so please stop by and give us a shout out or just tell us what you had for lunch, its up to you. You can order basically anything we sell at our shows; buttons, stickers, shirts and CDs. Sign up there for our mailing list as well and have all our news and info emailed directly to you.

CM: Thanks again for talking with Critical Mass guy's. I'm stoked to hear the new EP and see you guy's live. Thanks again.

MM: Thank you very much. We hope you enjoy SNUFF EP and we hope to see you at a show soon. Yell out your favorite song of ours at the next gig and well play it!

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