MUSHROOMHEAD Drummer On Band's Longevity: 'We Still Don't Know How We're Getting Away With It'
”Bods Mayhem Hour” recently conducted an interview with drummer Steve ”Skinny” Felton and vocalist Jason ”J Mann” Popson of Cleveland, Ohio-based metallers MUSHROOMHEAD about their new ”Volume III” DVD. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether it has gotten more difficult to release DVDs now that the band is on their third:
Skinny: ”You know, here we go with the curse of technology, right? It makes it easier, but it makes it that much more expensive and it makes for much more stuff being recorded than before. The problem isn’t capturing the stuff, it’s sorting through it later and finding what’s good enough. You can take eight hours of footage and turn it into 11 minutes of footage real quick and wonder what happened to those eight hours. Like I said, it’s a little bit of a blessing and curse.”
J Mann: ”It’s definitely more ambitious than the past DVDs.”
Skinny: ”It’s more ambitious. It’s on a larger scale, a larger scope. It’s pretty intense. There’s some things on there that I’m shocked we were able to pull off.”
On what ”catches their eye” while putting together a DVD:
Skinny: ”I think one of the biggest things is we get to do the things that we can’t do on stage because of size or logistics. It’s just a different vision. On the flipside, as far as how it was for me to direct some of these videos, it was a lot of fun. Part of it’s crazy and, like J said, I’m a pain in the ass and I’m asking these guys: ’Come on, let’s go film some stuff on the lake. I know it’s minus 14. Come on. We got a couple of hours of daylight. Let’s get on our costumes and go outside and get some drones flying around.’ Again, very ambitious. We did a lot of stuff that when we look back at it now, I’m really glad we did that when we did it. I’m not really sure how I talked everyone into it, but, at some point, I did. Just coordinating all of it alone. The building of the sets, coordinating the crew, the band, everything. There would be 20 to 22 people on some of these sets.”
On whether they are surprised by MUSHROOMHEAD’s longevity:
Skinny: ”We still don’t know how we’re getting away with it. [Laughs] Absolutely. No, it’s funny because it’s one of those things to where you do it every day, it’s just what it is you’re doing is you don’t really see the scale of it.”
On MUSHROOMHEAD’s musical growth:
Skinny: ”For me, it’s a lot of growth. Every time, every day we come into the studio, I learn something. Whether it’s a piece of gear or how to communicate with an artist a little bit more. Every day I learn something every day. I think it’s evolving into something bigger and better, even more unpredictable. That’s a good thing, really.”
On how MUSHROOMHEAD keeps their studio output fresh and varied:
J Mann: ”I think the biggest thing is not trying to force it. Waiting until the inspiration strikes or waiting for that spark, having the luxury of our own recording studio makes that a lot easier. We don’t have to book time and fit into a certain schedule or anything like that. We pretty much have limitless parameters and we basically wait for magic to happen.”
Skinny: ”I think the tough thing is being able to capture the inspiration when it happens. For the most part, there is no set structure. We kind of get together and really collaborate from talking about movies or having listening to someone else’s album and having inspiration strike off the sound of a snare drum alone or be talking about a movie or a comic book, just start jamming that way. Something will happen. Somebody will be sitting down with a guitar or sitting at a piano: ’Hey, do that again!’ It literally happens that fast. One of the songs or one of the current ideas that’s on the table, it was J Mann, Dr. F. [Ryan Farrell, bass] and we were waiting for the crew to finish packing the bus and it was four in the morning and Ryan was just playing this little loop on the piano and instantly J and I wrote basically a whole song and it took about three minutes. That’s when it’s good to have the recording stuff at your disposal. You can’t ever duplicate that. That’s the hard one. If you try too hard, it’s not going to happen and it’s going to show. Your song is going to sound forced and those are the ones people aren’t going to like. We tend to let them write themselves.”
”Volume III”, the follow-up to the widely acclaimed DVDs ”Volume 1” (2005) and ”Volume 2” (2008), is set to hit retailers on August 17 via Megaforce Records and will feature over 90 minutes of new material — including stunning new music videos, backstage antics, and exclusive never-seen-before content.
MUSHROOMHEAD will headline the inaugural edition of the ”Summer Of Screams Tour” presented by Scream Factory and Dread Central. Joining MUSHROOMHEAD on the tour will be POWERMAN 5000 (on select dates), THE BROWNING, PSYCHOSTICK (on select dates), KISSING CANDICE, UNSAID FATE, VOODOO TERROR TRIBE (on select dates) and EARTH CALLER (on select dates).
The ”Summer Of Screams Tour” will run for 25 shows across North America, beginning on August 17 and running until September 15.
MUSHROOMHEAD’s March 17 concert at Music Lynxx in Mentor-on-the-Lake, Ohio marked the band’s first appearance with new vocalist Steve Rauckhorst (bassist of PITCH BLACK FORECAST) and guitarist Tommy ”Tankx” Shaffner (also of VENTANA).