First off I just want to say congratulations on making a killer album. We’ve really been digging it here at Metal Delirium. What was the creative process like for Mind Reader?
Thanks dude! It was a pretty long time coming as a whole. Soon after putting out our demo ‘We are the Swine’ we got a somewhat solidified line up so the song writing process started pretty quickly after. My approach has always been writing a few riffs and having the framework of a song ready for everyone to throw their own meat on. As long as I have a strong skeleton–the more meat the heavier the song. Joe’s a big dude so its appropriate for him to play some thick ass outros. Ian likes going to bed with full songs, so when he started writing it was a bit of the opposite approach. I’ll pick at the flesh to expose some bones–really get into the details and break things apart. It’s a really creative juxtaposition of two different styles. Once we got into the studio the process slowed down a little bit. Our buddy Jayson Dezuzio was back and forth from LA to Jersey, and we went through a few artists before we found Eliza Childress who really blew us all away with the artwork. Lyrically I spent a lot of time revisiting old (and new) friends, looking for advice from ancient men, and trying to figure out my relationship with pretty girls and the forms they take.
Tell me a little about how you guys formed. What were the early days of the band like?
Shit, it was just me and some riffs looking around Jersey to find dudes who wanted to play heavy music. Luckily, I’ve known Joe for quite some time, but the two of us must have played with over fifteen different people before Ian rolled in. Even then we’ve played shows with four different bass players, none of which had recorded anything with us. Our first handful of shows are all blurred out. Ian threw his kick drum and hit me in the face. I fell off Joe’s cab and hit my head on his truck. Tons of head trauma. Dirty basements whiskey and beer. Not a lot has changed.
Where does the band name The Sun The Moon The Stars come from?
I can make up some bullshit story to lie to you, and while the name has definitely encompassed more over the past few years it comes directly from Black Sabbath’s NIB.
If you had to name just one band or musician, who would you say is your biggest influence?
Half the band sports face shrubbery. How important are beards to your music?
Now that Bird is playing bass we are up to 3/4′s. We all like smelling the night prior so we can remember what happened.
What song would you recommend from Mind Reader to someone who has never heard your music?
Either “Red Horned Crown” or “Moon Crazy.” Those two both encompass most of our elements in one song. But my favorite to play is “Sand and Stone.” Don’t listen to me though, you tell me which one to tell people to listen to. You have a very particular perception of the way a song sounds or feels when you write them. This is something I’ve always struggled with being a musician–not being able to separate your connection with a song. I guess it’s not really a big deal. Maybe it is? I don’t know.
How does it feel to be signed? Has it changed anything for the band?
I’ve known Dave now for years, and Phil and I used to run into each other at shows all the time growing up. To be working with them has been a lot of fun. It’s just like talking to your buddies about shit. Being the first metal band on the label there is a bit of a learning curve that we get to work on together. These dudes have a real DIY ethic and like to keep things really personal. We have a record out with good distro and a couple of dudes who give a shit about us on personal level which doesn’t just change but means a lot to us.
Is beer critical to the The Sun The Moon The Stars sound? If so, how much and what kind?
I want to say no, but I would be lying. Bird is the beer snob. For him it’s a good craft beer like Dogfish or Stone. Joe just pounds the Bud’s back. Ian’s more of a six of Yuengling. I’ll surf between the snobbery and the shit. The balance in life always seems to work out. The quantity depends on the action.
If each band member were to transform into an animal and could still play their respective instruments what would they be?
Bird would without a doubt be a lion with that red hair and beard. With his long ass arms Ian would have to be an orangutan. Joe is a tough one. I would have said panda bear but I changed my mind and I’ll go with a koala–not really sure if he’s stoned or just digesting food. Imagine those dudes ripping a solo. I’m a little stinky dude, so I guess that makes me a skunk. The idea of pissing on people as defense is really amusing. It looks like we are some terrible Chuck E Cheese act. We get paid in pizza and accept tickets for merch.
Being a New Jersey band how hard is it to escape the massive shadow cast by Bon Jovi?
Dude, only 50 year old women with perms and stone washed jordache jeans still worship the captain kidd. And we’ve started to give away packs of Virginia Slims to break into that market.
Describe your sound in three words.
Dirty Heavy Metal
Any big plans for the the rest of the year? Is touring in the cards?
It took Mind Reader a really long time to come to life. We have a ton of new songs that we want to start demoing and then get back into the studio to record another record. Maybe a split too. A couple shows this summer with Planes Mistaken For Stars. Some regional touring with our buddies in Changes. It would be nice to get out to some of the fests. There are some big plans to work on a comic book with our buddy Josh Longo too.
Well, thank you for spending some time answering my questions. Is there anything you’d like to say in closing across vast wild plains of the internet?
Take the time to laugh and love. Do what makes you happy–play music, make art, do (or don’t) drugs, sleep with pretty (and not so pretty) people, play with magic, stand on your head. Fuck man just enjoy, be present. Everything is perfect.