|Posted on May 31, 2014 at 10:00 PM|
Metal punk rockers Mongrel are at it again with their newest EP release "Evolution" along with getting signed to record label Unable Records. Guitarist Adam Savage discusses this EP and future plans including touring and playing shows here and there.
1. Your name is Mongrel which in other terms is a type of dog - why use a dog as your mascot/icon, what does it represent for you guys?
Adam: Well by definition a "Mongrel" is a mixed-breed, a hybrid if you will, and this band is certainly that with our mix of personalities and influences that make the whole a unique creation. As for the dog as our icon, it gives an embodiment of sorts to this creation and the imagery goes with the strength and aggression in the music. It's not like using Moris the Cat (tm) would be well suited now.
2. How did you guys come to get signed with Unable Records? How has the relationship with them been so far?
Adam: I kind of stumbled into them online not long ago actually and on an impulse (instinct?) I hit them up to find out more about the label as we were exploring distribution options for the new CD"Evolution". They checked out the upcoming CD and really dug it, so Mike (Ransom) from the label and I talked further, hit it off great and it just felt "right" and meant to be, so we continued the conversation and the rest is (recent) history. So far the relationship is great. Mike and his crew at Unable are very supportive, very into the band and the music, and it seems like they have that similar drive and hunger to see how far we can take this just like we do. Couldn't ask for better so far!
3. What's your take on "Evolution" as a whole?
Adam: Personally I think it's the best thing we've ever put out. I think the songs are some of the best we've written. The recordings are the best we've ever done. It just sounds powerful and punchy and really showcases what we're doing. Joey James killed it with the artwork. We're all just all around really proud of this CD. It's also the first recordings with Hoagie (drums) and Blue (bass) which adds a bit of excitement to it for all of us as well. Another really cool aspect of "Evolution" is that the fans are a big part of it and were vital to making it happen through their joining with us via the Kickstarter campaign last summer. It wouldn't have been what it is without them and we're very lucky and grateful for our amazing fans and friends who believe in us so strongly.
4. What's the story behind "Evolution"?
Adam: With our prior album "Reclamation" we felt we fully re-established the band with Jess on vocals, we reclaimed the band and it's identity. With the past now settled, it was time for the band to grow, to move forward, to evolve if you will. We now had Hoagie on drums and Blue on bass and the band finally was a full-out band once again. Everyone had a part in the writing process for these songs, it was a much more true "band" now...the organism of the band had evolved, the growth was evident to all of us, and the incredible artist, Joey James (Otep, Butcher Babies, Type O Negative, Life of Agony, Biohazard) even brought a new and improved revamp to our dog skull logo making it bigger and badder than ever. It truly just felt like the band had changed for the better, and the Evolution process had fully come to be.
5. What's your favorite song on the EP right now?
Adam: It's hard to say, I really like all of them, but I'll go with "Oxygen Mask" as that's going to be the next single from it and we're in the editing stages of the video we'll be putting out with it. We had so much fun filming this video and I think people will have a lot of fun watching it so that will put "Oxygen Mask" over the top at the moment though "Consumed" and "Over & Over" are a very close second.
6. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?
Adam: I think it's more about the story than the "visuals" in the songs. We're not Tool where we have 12 minutes to give a full blow by blow description of the scenery, it's more cutting to the chase of the ideas and story within the song and letting the listener envision it as it makes sense and applies to them. If they connect with what we're saying and talking about, we don't fully need to tell them what it looks like, they probably have a good idea based on their own experiences.
7. What would be the cinematic equivalent of "Evolution"?
Adam: I actually don't watch a ton of movies so this might be a stretch but perhaps something like Pulp Fiction in that it's multiple stories, each that packs a punch, in their own way are connectable, and at the end you want to watch it (listen to it) again and (hopefully) love it and connect with it even more.
8. What was it like working with Jim Foster, Dave Fortman, and Howie Weinberg on this release? What did they bring to the table for you guys?
Adam: It was great. This is the 4th time Jess (Sierra, our singer) and I have recorded with Jim (Foster) so we're really comfortable working with him, he truly "gets" us and knows how to get the best out of us while still having a great time. Blue and Hoagie clicked with him great as well so recording went really well. Dave Fortman has worked with some amazing bands (Slipknot, Otep, Snot, Evanescence) and knows how to bring out a balsy full-on aggressive mix which was perfect for this and he'd worked with Jim before on some stuff for Sully Erna/Godsmack so that transition of the music from Jim to Dave's hands was perfect. Howie's probably worked on nearly 85% of my favorite albums of all time (Metallica, Pantera, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Public Enemy, etc) so getting him to give the tracks that final bit of polishing was just the icing on the cake so to speak. I'm really honored that we got to work with such great people who've helped make some albums I love (besides our new one I mean - lol ).
9. Where is the new material sound-wise headed as far as future releases? Are you guys working on the follow-up or nothing as of yet?
Adam: We've started writing some more stuff that'll be towards the next release...no time tables set at this point but we're a few songs into the process already and it's continuing on the evolutionary path we've been on with more collaboration in the song writing and the tunes are definitely coming out great.
10. Do you guys plan on going on tour or playing shows, what else can we expect to see from you guy for this year?
Adam: For the immediate future we'll be playing a series of CD release parties in the northeastern US that's already started; May 30th at Mad Bobs in Manchester NH; June 7th at R-Bar in NYC, June 21st at The Limelight in Haverhill MA (Dana Farber Cancer Center Benefit), and June 28th at Simon's677 in Providence RI. We're still keeping an eye on the UK and we'll see what opportunities come up with the new CD beyond that. We also have a few videos planned for songs from "Evolution" so it looks like it'll be an exciting year.
11. Is that your final answer?
Adam: Maybe. Well actually this is since it's the last question you asked.
Source: Natalie's World