Going Underground With Mushroomhead – Including Interviews w/ St1ch & Gravy

Story & Interviews by Marc Johnson for TheToneKing.com (Full Story below video)

St1ch Interview – TheToneKing.com Exclusive!  Click Play to Start

(Scroll to bottom for Gravy Interview)

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After traveling over sixty miles to get to the Mushroomhead Dead Celebrity Ball, I really wasn’t in the mood to deal with the hassle of trying to get me and my cameraman Chris through security. But, my contact wasn’t picking up his damn cell phone.

“Here’s Marc, screwing up his first interview,” Chris narrated as he waved the camera in my face.

I stuck up my finger at him as I heard my third phone call go to voice mail. Knowing that I had never done an interview in my life, The Tone King had called me up and asked me if I wanted to hang back stage with Mushroomhead and talk to them about gear. Looking forward to putting another occupation on my résumé, as well as getting a few drinks in me, I quickly said “Hell yeah!” Now, I was starting to regret my decision.

Chris had started shooting the first wave of costumed fans who were starting to line up outside of the Logan Square Auditorium. His ADD was starting to kick in. After getting another endless ring, I shrugged my shoulders and started toward the door. It took a little talking but getting through the front door wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.

The Logan Square Auditorium is not a big venue, about the size of a high school gymnasium. And, I was surprised that Mushroomhead would play there. When I was talking to St1ch, he reminded me why they were playing these smaller gigs. “Hell, we’ve been around for years, and we’re still underground.”

They had been around for years; I remember my bass player in high school asking me if I wanted to go to the Mushroomhead show. My disappointment in the venue was only amplified when I went backstage and saw the band putting their makeup on in what resembled an old office with a sink, an empty fridge, and a platter of ham and cheese sandwiches. At least they remembered to give the band Ketchup.

Surprisingly, St1ch and the rest of the band didn’t show any signs that they believed that this place, or the people in it, was beneath them. In fact, St1ch was drinking his beer and talking away with me like we we’ve known each other for years. And who was I? A wet-behind-the-ears interviewer who didn’t even know what the hell he was doing.

After St1ch and I cleared the trash away from the wall, including the empty refrigerator, I started conducting the interviews. Halfway through the St1ch interview, the rest of the band’s nine members burst in through the doors screaming and hurling pizza boxes covered in fake blood (at least I hope it was fake). Showtime was coming and they were getting pumped up for it.

Although one of them would periodically scream out the names of various sexual organs, the rest of them calmed down long enough for me to get a few more words with St1ch on camera. When the interview concluded the band, St1ch included, burst out into roars, obscenities, and screams and shit started flying everywhere.

Barely making it out of the dressing room with all of our body parts still attached, Chris and I made our way out to the floor. I was still amazed how these guys could be so stoked to play a small place like this even after decades of shows. Then I saw the reason.

When the lights dropped and the band took the stage, they were greeted with a roar from the audience that could only be described as apocalyptical in volume. Either end of the stage was filled with oil drums that sprayed red-lit water every time they were hit. St1ch and Skinny flanked the two singers with their drumsticks twirling and flying as they slammed the drums with the pulse of the kick drum. Every so often, Waylon would jump on a riser, pull down a spotlight from the truss, and run it across the audience like a spotlight. The six foot two, Gravy stood tall on a riser slamming his masked head away as he chunked heavily muted chords on his down-tuned guitar.

Regardless of what venue these guys play, they play to devoted fans that have no problem with tattooing the band’s emblem directly into their flesh. And, it was possibly the most amazing thing I have seen in years. There is something about being “underground” that drives bands to play harder, bleeding every night like it might be their last. Watching bands claw their way out of the underground is where you sometimes see their best performances.

Want more Mushroomhead Coverage?  Check out MJ’s Interview with Mushroomhead Gravy :

 Gravy Interview

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Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: Marc published his first novel Becoming in 2010. It’s a kick-ass book with monsters and dreams and stuff, and you should buy it. Since then, he’s written thousands of articles for TheToneKing.com, many of which have been picked up for circulation by manufacturers and other news outlets. His next book, Drugs and Pancakes, should be available early 2014 if his alcoholic editor can find time to work on it in-between destroying his liver and screaming about punctuation. He graduated from Roosevelt University with honors, which means that he’s not as dumb as he looks. He’s been playing guitar for over 25 years, which is almost twice as long as most of his students have been alive.

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