When you're as big as MELVIN is, having big stars call you wanting to be
interviewed is standard fare. That's why it came as no surprise when Mule's Kevin
Something-or-Other woke MELVIN's Matt Scholz to ask him if he were ready
interview him, even though Kevin's label, Touch & Go, had never formally set
up the interview. Matt, always willing to put life and limb on the line for an
insightful scoop, leaped out of bed to cover his nakedness and grab a tape
recorder to conduct the following interview.
It's important to note that MELVIN never had as much time to read Mule's press
release, let alone listen to their latest album before the interview. And after
speaking to Kevin, it's certain that we never will listen to the album. With a
demeanor reminiscent of 90210's Dylan, Kevin is one of those confrontational
industry cool-guys who thinks spouting clichés about the ignorance of the
press makes him sound insightful. He's a renegade, fighting the system and all
who should dare use such common terms as "music scene" and support the
capitalist pigs in the music industry. Good luck, tough guy.
It's important to note that MELVIN never had as much time to read Mule's press release, let alone listen to their latest album before the interview. And after speaking to Kevin, it's certain that we never will listen to the album. With a demeanor reminiscent of 90210's Dylan, Kevin is one of those confrontational industry cool-guys who thinks spouting clichés about the ignorance of the press makes him sound insightful. He's a renegade, fighting the system and all who should dare use such common terms as "music scene" and support the capitalist pigs in the music industry. Good luck, tough guy.
I haven't had much time to check your stuff out yet...
Have you heard the new one?
No, I haven't
Well, that sucks. Your not the right person then probably to do the interview. But we'll make the best of it.
Yeah, well maybe you could begin by telling us a little about what you guys do.
Well, we're musicians for a living, cause we can't do anything else. I mean we don't have any skills, no one's in carpentry or masonry or anything like that. We're hard, we're a hard band and we like hard music.
I was thinking a little more in terms of your sound. How would you describe yourselves?
Well, we're in that underground rock category. You know, rock journalists, most of them won't be journalists for their whole lives. They'll work their way through college into young adults, then they'll just fade off into oblivion eventually.
Yeah. Kind of like rock stars.
Unlike rock musicians, journalists [10 second pause] they don't know how to classify music without comparison...I think that's plagiarism and I think it's just an easy way of getting the assignment done. If you're into the music, words should come to you that don't fall into categories, it's [long pause]
...more from the heart.
Yeah, you don't have to fuck with neo-post-punk alternative jazz influenced funky cowbilly, you know, Neitschian trio with socio-political overtones. The shit is just stupid.
Well, let's get into this then. How do you feel about the way the press has been handling you guys...
I don't care. I'm just making suggestions. All press is good press, I've been told. Fanzines are generally much more interesting to read, because the people who are doing it want to do it, they're not getting paid and it's not for advancement of their careers, it's only for what they like or dislike. It's like talking to your friends, like this band sucks because of this and this or this band sucks now but use to be cool.
If you read a newspaper that circulates around a hundred thousand population type deal, you have to write so all the parents and their factory working friends and professors and everybody reads the shit. It means it's gonna be dull. It's so American. The most popular food is always the blandest. I don't care about that stuff, it's got nothing to do with music.
But you do want to earn money right, since it is your career? And popularity and getting a lot of press is key to that.
Yeah, but I mean money is very evil. I mean, it's part of my life, but it's not what I should be worried about. I should be worried about writing good songs and playing better live. I think good music sells itself eventually, and though it takes longer to make it when you don't have good press...I mean, I remember reading Playboy magazine in the seventies and reading the music reviews about the first Led Zeppelin records. They were like "this stuff sucks." And they would go into what the music was like. And it was so wrong and out of touch, but that's just what happens.
And magazines like Spin have no choice but to cater to major labels and not to music itself. It's all just big business, music industry stuff. I think there should be laws against it. I think labels...I don't think there should be any labels on music or CDs. There shouldn't be. I mean, they have them. I guess it does separate some quality stuff from some stuff that isn't good, but you should let the music speak for itself. They're like flags, you know?
It's so American. The most popular food is always the blandest. I don't care about that stuff, it's got nothing to do with music.
Let's get away from the music industry stuff then. You're from Detroit, right?
Is there much of a music scene up there?
I think there is a music scene, so to speak, up there. I mean, everyone always talks about music scenes in their city, and say their scene is good or bad or whatever. I mean, the Detroit metropolitan area is very huge. Um, I mean, as far as its size around the country, if you were to look at it and its surrounding area, it's a giant market. When you think about what's come out of there, that's a little bit more depressing, at least recently.
Where did you hit on your sound?
Well, we just got together....We wanted to do something honest, I mean, I know that sounds a little preconceived, but it really wasn't as preconceived as it might sound. We're hard, we're a hard band and we like hard music. We can't stare at our shoes and play. It just doesn't work for us. We have to have a certain release from playing live.
So do you think you'll break into the mainstream with your next release?
[Obviously annoyed] People are always talking about are you going to make it, are you going to get a big deal. All these fucking catch phrases...
Well, you just said yourself though that if you play good music you'll eventually make it.
Yeah, I'm referring to, did I say the word "make it"?
Yeah. I've got it on tape.
Yeah. I've got it on tape.
Make it, meaning make good music. Yeah, I should be more careful about the
words I chose as well. I think that kind of shit is always by what standards you make it.
What's the most wild thing that's happened at one of your live
What's the most wild thing that's happened at one of your live shows?
Last night was kind of weird. Monday we we're playing in Lawrence, Kansas, and these chicks were on a lot of drugs, but maybe not, I can't tell. But one of them poured beer on the other one and they got into a fight with each other. These were pretty good looking woman. Someone said they were strippers and that they were actually friends, but they got into each other in some sort of serious cat fight. It turned into a wet tee-shirt contest and they started ripping each other's tops off. They weren't having fun, they were clawing into each other. The cops ended up showing up and dragged them away. Of course, we didn't stop playing, but it was really hard to concentrate.
I just like excitement. Violence can be nasty and can be sickening at times, but it's part of life, it really is. When it gets late, it gets weird. That stuff happens to the best of us. Nobody's immune to it.