Quite some time these guys have been around quite some time indeed..... heavy metallers Mushroomhead that is and they are back with nothing but the NEW! Currently held up in the studio writing, recording, putting together what would be their eighth and third release through record label, Megaforce. these guys have taken some time away from the studio to head out on a brief touring trek. Thus drummer Skinny swamped with studio attics and rehearsal timing decided to discuss the new album in the works and touring schedule from here on out!
1. You guys have been a band for 20 years have you had a chance to celebrate or do you plan to do anything?
Skinny: This year on October 23rd will be the 20 year mark anniversary of our first show, so we plan to celebrate with the release of our new album, do a full scale Halloween tour then extend that party further with more touring just doing it all year long celebrating!
2. Slipknot's Corey Taylor had mentioned of doing a tour with you guys, Slipknot, Gwar, and Mudvayne, what do you think of this gruesome set-up?
Skinny: Yeah I saw a clip on YouTube about it, so yeah we'd definitely be interested so it depends with everyone's schedule's really but we would be down to do it.
3. Would you mind telling me who came up with the idea for the whole mask and costume concept? Have the outfits or masks ever changed over the years or has it always been the same? Have you ever considered playing a show without the masks or outfits?
Skinny: Yeah usually with every album cycle there's a new mask and new costume to go with it. A lot of times with band member changes a new mask and outfit is made so it's evolved over the years so now we look forward to it with each new release. Not with Mushroomhead, the intention was to not have anyone know who we were and let the music speak for itself so the show grew on its own from there.
4. How about that evil smiley face who's idea was that?
Skinny: That is called the X Face and trade mark for us. So when you see the X Face you know it's Mushroomhead. That was created by me and this other artist who sat down one day coming up with these different designs until we went with this one. Well I do see the symbol all over it's really cool to see how far it's gotten and the fan base and everything, it's mind blowing sometimes.
5. Can you tell me how the band came to call themselves Mushroomhead? Does the name mean anything?
Skinny: No not a meaning just a collaboration really, with so many members eight of us, having all different styles of music, it just all mushed together.
6. Through the years Mushroomhead has seen its loss of band mates, but do you ever see the original line-up to get back together?
Skinny: No spanning over the 20 years a lot of them have moved away to different places or moved on to different projects, our guitarist passed away a few years back, but sometimes we have the original singer J Mann come back to do certain shows or our old guitarist Bronson come back for some shows where we just played the first two records. So everyone does get together but as the original line-up goes no it's dead and gone.
7. Why did Mushroomhead want to be an eight member band?
Skinny: I don't think we were set to say it would be an eight or ten piece band. So with the writing we would hear different things and developing so we kept thinking of different people to do this or that, so it just kept on growing.
8. So can you talk to me about the new album?
Skinny: It is very energetic, heavy, and dark, just a fresh spin on the same old thing if you will. This is the first record with Church on guitar and Farrell on bass, so having those new writers on board you never know where it's going to go. For the old school fans there's a lot of flavorful elements in it so they will definitely enjoy it.
9. Where are you in the recording process of the new album?
Skinny: We're still working on the vocals, sound, keyboards, all of the other meat and potatoes is done.
Skinny: It was done by me, so it's fun to do both roles of band member and producer, so playing the roles I have to sit down and listen to it, so everything is going well.
11. What label will be releasing the album?
Skinny: This is our third for Megaforce Records.
12. How is the vibe in the studio?
Skinny: Great! We're flying through it quite fast, everyone enjoys working together.
13. This album will be your eighth in the making, how does this make you feel, what are your thoughts?
Skinny: Old. It makes me feel good to have that sense of accomplishment. It's been like a year to 4 months so far, as for this record I will probably buy a copy once it's out then never listen to it again after it's put on the shelf.
14. Are there any surprises on the album?
Skinny: Yes there will be some guest vocal surprises definitely worth it just an old school hint there.
15. When can we expect the new album to be released?
Skinny: If I have my way it will be around sometime in October around there.
16. Would you ever consider doing a double album or an all acoustic album?
Skinny: We have talked about doing some acoustic versions and possibly a remix of this current album after its release perhaps within the year.
17. You have yet to record or shoot any of your live performances for a live album or live DVD when will this happen?
Skinny: Well we have filmed a few live shows but we got picky about certain things so we decided it wasn't the right show for a DVD. Just the two DVDs that have some clips of us live but that's as far as you're going to get. We will release a DVD sometime we just haven't had the right show for it yet.
18. Will you be road testing any of the new material?
Skinny: No not until it comes out.
19. What have you done to prepare yourselves for this tour?
Skinny: We're doing it right now, rehearsing a lot, time in the studio, same style masks but with a new paint job, that's about it really, just focusing on this new album.
20. Do you ever get sick of playing the same old songs?
Skinny: I do actually we try to change up the set list to keep us interested. But there are songs that are the hits that can't be taken off, so every now and again an odd ball in there just for ourselves, so the very first song we ever wrote will be the first song on our set list but I am still very much into it.
21. What is one special effect or stage prop that you would want to use or see during your shows, that you have not used before?
Skinny: I don't know. I would like to pull off something on a large scale like we do with our Halloween shows, take that show and put it on tour, a lot of the shows are smaller scaled, so we only do that once a year and I would like to take what we do then and put it around the world like a whole show I would like to present.
22. You guys have toured a lot over the years but where hasn't Mushroomhead set foot in?
Skinny: I have not seen Japan. We have done like 14 countries in Europe, with the side project that Jeffery does we had gone to Australia that's about it, hopefully we will hit other places eventually.
23. Once the tour in the USA is over what do you have planned afterwards?
Skinny: Back in the studio to mix and finish up the album during the summer.
24. How easy is it to keep the motivation going on a daily basis for Mushroomhead?
Skinny: Most of us are pretty motivated so after 20 years you just get up and go out and try so sometimes you get those good days and bad days and a couple of beers never hurt either.
25. Again with the whole masks and costumes, do you use the same one's every time or is it brand new each time around?
Skinny: Every tour we change it up rather it'd be the mask or the costume it's different every time you see us, whether it'd be you seeing us 6 months ago then 6 months later it's different every time. We use the same approach even if it's a red mask with a white outfit or black light with something else we keep changing it so it doesn't get boring to us or the fans.
26. Do you still own the old masks and costumes or toss it all away?
Skinny: It's either been lost, stolen, or left behind, a lot of stuff we've been through but do enjoy it, we do the work ourselves so it's always fun to make something new.
27. So what can the fans expect to see from you guys for this year?
Skinny: Just touring and the new record that's about it.
28. Thanks for taking the time to do this interview!
Skinny: Sorry for the delay just a little swamped right now.
29. Anything else you'd like to say to the fans?
Skinny: Thanks for the support, come check us out on our website, Facebook, Twitter, all that stuff, just can't thank you all enough for the support!