The Mound Builders Have a Discussion of New Album, Music, and Everything Else on Themselves

Sludge rockers THE MOUND BUILDERS have got a lot to say, when it comes to themselves, their new album and everything else involving their said music style. Find out the discussion from the whole band below!

1. Let's start off with an icebreaker. If you could describe your band in 4 words, what would they be? 

Doom, Stoner, Metal, Punk.

2. What are your names and what do you do in the band?

Ryan Strawsma - Bass, Jason Brookhart - Drums, Brian Boszor - Guitar, Jim Volez - Vocals.

3. You guys are a newer band so many people might know about your history. Would you be able to delve into it a little?

TMB - The band began to form in late 2008 out of an internet add and mutual friends.  We started playing shows locally in early 2009 and solidified the lineup by the end of the year. That early period of the band culminated in 2011’s debut full-length release, Strangers in a Strange Land.  We have since worked on expanding our audience by playing several newer cities across the Midwest as well as dropping a couple splits and EP’s along the way.  One split we released in 2015 is our first vinyl offering with our good buddies The Pale Horseman from Chicago.  We also released our Wabash War Machine four song EP in 2014 with a re-issue plus 2 additional songs in 2018.

4. Who are some of your influences?

TMB - In terms of musical influences, we draw a lot of inspiration from classics like Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Metallica and a number of punk bands. Some contemporary influences would be bands like High on Fire, Corrosion of Conformity, Eyehategod… honestly there are way too many to name. We’ve also been inspired over the years by the bands we have played with at home and on the road.  As for our non-musical influences, we dabble in everything from old adventure flicks, “Ancient Aliens” kind of shows, and just everyday life here in Midwest.

5. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

TMB - Yes, we write all of our own material.  We might pull out a cover of The Butthole Surfers or The Ramones every now and then, but we prefer to write & perform our own songs.  Our song-writing is a collaborative effort between all members. We primarily stick to developing our own parts, but we also like to work with each other through suggestion and feedback. As for the topics of our songs, there’s really no overarching theme, or anything like that… usually, topics can range from sci-fi and fantasy to real world events.

6. What was the recording process like for this new album of yours?

TMB - The recording process this time around was a little different than times before.  When we started writing the songs we had a concept or goal in mind.  We wanted to write a collection of songs that went together, that complimented each other, that flowed together, almost a throwback to albums from the 60’s & 70’s in that sense.  Ultimately finances dictated more than we would like to admit, and we realized the only way to somewhat achieve our goal of a real album was to record it live in the studio.  We embraced that idea and decided to record live, directly to tape, with Matt Talbot (HUM) at Earth Analog Studios.  During Easter weekend (2018) we recorded 8 songs in about 15 hours over two days.  All drum tracks are one continuous take with no edits.  Most guitar and bass tracks are continuous takes with no edits.  We had to overdub a few guitar solo’s and some of the vocal tracks after the recording session but other than that the album is completely live.

7. Would you say that you have a favorite song off this album and which is it and why?

Jason - The opener.  Torchbearer.  I love how that song is broken up into chunks.  You’ve got the almost desert influenced, stoner rock type intro/build-up, then comes the more up-tempo crushing verse riff, followed by the halftime headbanging hook.  Those parts alone are a great song then boom we change course to a punk/hardcore drum intro and away we go.  We spent at least a year working out all the different parts and changes in Torchbearer, getting it exactly the way we wanted it.  I like all the songs but this one sticks out to me for some reason.  I do however feel that Hair of the Dogma has everything we have to offer as a band.  Fast riffs, killer grooves and breakdowns

8. Why should people go forth and check out this album?

TMB - We are very proud of this album.  We think this is the best representation of what we do together musically.  We feel like we have finally found “our sound” if you will.  At least “our sound” is a little more identifiable to us.  We have spent a long time trying to figure out what direction we were taking this band (or the band was taking us) and we think we have finally figured it out, at least for now.

9. How about this next year, what is next for The Mound Builders?

TMB - Well, we are going to support this new record as best we can.  Get some new merch in stock.  We’ve got some Midwest shows (Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio and Kentucky) lined up from January through May and we are already booking the summer/fall.  Hoping to hit a festival or two in late summer/early fall and we are putting the finishing touches on a collection of songs we hope to record during the summer/fall

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