Mustard Plug (22 septembre 2007)

Entrevue de Julien avec Colin

[JULIEN]: You have a new album called In Black And White which just came out; could you tell us a bit about the musical direction that you took for this album?

[Colin]: When we started back in 1991 we wanted to play ska/punk. Since recording our first tape we’ve always followed the same procedure for planning the next record. When we decide it’s time to get to work we pull out our trusty magic 8 ball that was given to us by Papa Ska himself, Bucket from THE TOASTERS. We then ask it the siColinle question. What we should do for our next record? Every time we ask it that siColinle question it always comes up saying Play Ska. So we do.

[JULIEN]: In Black And White is your sixth album; is it hard to find motivation and inspiration after so many records, or is it something that comes naturally?

[Colin]: Fortunately in that department we’ve been blessed with a continuous rotation of drummers and bass players. Every time we get a new member it’s like starting over from day one! It’s amazing! Maybe that’s why after 15+ years in the band it only seems like I’ve been with it for 3 years. I really do think in a demented sort of way that it does help keep things fresh and exciting as a band.

[JULIEN]: The cover of the new album is amazing, who came up with the idea behind it?

[Colin]: Thanks! We’re really pleased with how it came out too! We basically got some terrific help from a friend of mine who is an amazing photographer and his girlfriend who is an amazing graphic designer. I had originally helped him on a photo shoot about a year ago. He was doing a big moped and scooter shoot and wanted to use my scooter in it. After shooting I asked if he would ever be interested in working with the band on our album and he was totally into it. He does excellent work and had great ideas on what to do with us.

[JULIEN]: Bill Stevenson worked with you in 1997 on Evildoers Beware; why did you choose to work with him again for this album?

[Colin]: Bill is an amazing guy and such a great record engineer/producer. Since we had worked with Bill before and had a great relationship it was really easy for us to walk in and get right to work. It was really comfortable and felt like old times. I think any of us would take any opportunity we could to get to go hang out in Colorado with him and the rest of the crew. Speaking of which, I have to start writing some new tunes right now just so we can go back and visit again!!

[JULIEN]: You produced your last album Yellow Number 5; were you happy with the way it turned out? Were you satisfied?

[Colin]: Yes and no. I think the overall energy of the band is captured well with that record but I think the overall performances and mix is not exactly what we were looking for. Not that they’re bad, just maybe not up to par with the details we get at the Blasting Room. I think there are some really good songs on it; I just wish they’d received the proper recording attention. I guess that’s what happens when you think you know what you’re doing and you don’t! Oh well. Seriously though, it’s a good album and everyone should go buy it now.

[JULIEN]: Did you feel less pressure while working on In Black and White since you didn’t produce it yourself?

[Colin]: Yeah, I think so. We knew we were in good hands at the Blasting Room. We were able to pretty much just play our parts, eat good food, and leave the mixing and stuff to the pros.

[JULIEN]: What do you guys think of the ska scene these days and of all the new bands such as BOMB THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, THE FLAMING TSUNAMIS OR THE FLATLINERS?

[Colin]: I think it’s awesome! We just did our Midwest CD Release shows with THE FLAMING TSUNAMIS and they totally blew me away!! So good! I really like the individuality that all these bands are putting into their ska music. That’s what it’s all about. Mix it up and break it apart. There are no rules in this game. Yeah, it’s a genre but it’s also about individual bands that are doing their own thing.

[JULIEN]: Do you feel the need to come up with new music to keep the ska scene alive ?

[Colin]: Yeah, to some degree, although I’ve never been afraid of the ska scene dying. It’s always been an underground scene (with the exception of that whole brief 90’s thing) and it’s always hung in there. From the first time I heard THE SPECIALS back in 1984 I’ve loved ska music and I know for a fact I’m not the only one. Ska is definitely not dead or capable of dying. There are far too many good ska albums and bands from the past to the present for that to ever happen.

[JULIEN]: You’re coming to visit us in November, what can we expect to see and hear?

[Colin]: We’ve always prided ourselves on putting on the best live show we possibly can. We want it to be as fun for the first time MUSTARD PLUG concertgoer as it is to the person who’s seen us 40+times. We like to play the hits, we like to give you the new stuff, we like to throw in some chaos and we’ll definitely get ya sweatin’ and movin’!

[JULIEN]: Montréal loves Mustard Plug; how would you explain the tight relation between you and the Montréal fans?

[Colin]: I think it’s the fact that we both share an unconditional love of snow, beer, poutine, and slices of pizza. These are the things that keep us motivated and I’m pretty sure it’s what keeps a lot of you Montreal folks going. Well maybe not the snow part but we both have the patience to deal with it.

[JULIEN]: Quick questions:

[JULIEN]: Your favourite album right now ?

[Colin]: INTERPOL – Our Love to Admire

[JULIEN]: The band everybody should know about ?

[Colin]: AC/DC

[JULIEN]: Your favourite song to perform live ?

[Colin]: Time To Wake Up

[JULIEN]: Your favourite country to visit ?

[Colin]: Quebec of course

[JULIEN]: A good reason why everybody should get In Black and White?

[Colin]: Because it’s awesome! Plus it helps fund my beer drinking.

[JULIEN]: In 2005 you put out a greatest hits compilation called Masterpieces : 1991-2002. Why did you decide to put out a greatest hits album while you are still a recording and touring band?

[Colin]: We basically got tired of getting into fist fights amongst ourselves at the merch table when a new Mustard Plug fan would ask which CD they should buy if they didn’t have any yet. To help ease the debate between us as to which was the best we decided to put a little bit from every album on one release. A starter kit for the new recruits if you will.

[JULIEN]: 2007 will be a pretty busy year for you guys; what’s coming up for MUSTARD PLUG in the next few months ?

[Colin]: We just did our big Midwest CD Release shows which were awesome. We’re also doing an East Coast tour with VOODOO GLOW SKULLS which will be sweet. We’re also coming thru Ontario and Quebec in November which is always a blast!

[JULIEN]: Thanks a lot for the interview, it’s a pleasure for us to talk to you.

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