Intervju: Megachurch

Megachurch! Jag har redan skrivit om hur jag av ren slump snubblade över detta fenomenala amerikanska band så vill du läsa historien igen finns den här. Jag tillägger bara att sedan skivan damp ner i min brevlåda har den gått varm på stereon, så till den milda grad att samtliga själar jag delar mitt hushåll med – inklusive katten Xerxes – numera ger mig Onda Ögat när jag försiktigt plockar fram den. Och även om jag kan överdriva när något verkligen slår an en ton hos mig – fråga mig någon gång varför jag tycker King Uszniewicz är briljant och gör dig beredd på att ducka! – så är det faktiskt i detta fallet försvarbart! (Till skillnad från Kungen då. Även om grannarna älskar honom så mycket de hoppar takten i golvet när jag spelar hans alster).

När sedan ovanstående video till låten More Mormon Than Mormon släpptes på nätet, baserad enbart på klipp från Ken Russels udda skräckis The Devils från 1971 är det ju uppenbart killarna förutom förbannat bra musiksmak även har hjärtat på rätta stället! Jag tog återigen kontakt med Brian och lyckades få till en intervju med syfte att än en gång försöka få ut deras namn samt stilla min egen nyfikenhet. Tyvärr via mejl (igen!) men med Atlanten mellan oss får den duga tills de med lite tur tar sig över för en Europaturné så man kan sätta sig ner och komma dom närmre inpå skinnet:

First off, thanks so much for doing this. Shall we start with the name in itself? I think most people outside the US don’t really know what a Megachurch is, so how about a short explanation of the phenomenon and why you chose that name.
A ”megachurch” is basically an Evangelical Christian church that has inflated to the size of an arena. They often resemble a shopping mall, or even an airport terminal in their appearance…gift shops, restaurants, coffee shops, etc all surrounding a huge auditorium where they have worship services that look like a large rock concert. These services are often televised, or recorded for the use of DVD sales. It does seem to be a soley American phenomenon, and in turn often showcases some of the worst misogynistic, homophobic, bigoted views that it’s leaders have to offer.

So yeah, that’s a real long way of saying it’s like if church was like a huge McDonald’s.

So tell me a little about the band? When and how did you guys form? 
We were formed out of pure volcanic rock.

Any previous members before the line-up gelled?
No, only us 3 members. The trinity.

So, did you decide up front not to include a guitar player in the line-up or was it just the way it turned out?
The idea of forming this band was to use only 2 basses and drums and see what happened. The samples came later, but no guitars were really ever considered.

Listening to your record and seeing the live clips available online it’s pretty obvious you’re seasoned musicians. Any previous outfits you’ve played with?
Brian
and Dan were in a band called This Is Exploding. Dan was also the drummer of the band Machine Go Boom with Mikey. Both of these bands called it quits and Megachurch just kind of happened.

Influences? You guys gotta be the first instrumental stoner act I at least heard of. Where do you find your inspiration?
We’re all individually into different styles of music. I think our sound just comes out of those differences. We get compared to bands we’ve never heard of sometimes, which is great because we get turned on to music we didn’t even know existed.

How about older instrumental music? Any of you guys being into Dick Dale, The Ventures, Link Wray etc? Although you sound nothing like them I’d guess at least one of you own a record with Man or Astro Man.
”The first time I saw Man or Astroman play live I thought my head was going to explode, they were so awesome.” – Mikey.

The writing process. Are you just jamming it out in the rehearsal space or do you have one person who writes most of the stuff?
Usually Brian will come up with a good initial riff and we all just run with it from there.

The samples is a pretty important part of the songs (”The Second Coming” comes to mind where the song in itself seems built around the sermon used). Where do you find this stuff? Any of you guys into that whole tape-collecting scene?
We get our samples from YouTube right now, mostly.

So let’s talk about the album! This EP is your first right? Tell me a little about it ‘cause the sleeve just mentions the studio. How long did it take to record? Any fun anecdotes about the sessions? It sound like it was done live.
It was recorded in one weekend at a now defunct studio called Zombie Proof. That place was great and is sorely missed. It was basically a warehouse space in Cleveland, Ohio that a collective of artists and bands used for rehearsals during the week, and was a recording studio on weekends.

The sleeve art in itself is pretty cool. Who made it? Anywhere you can check out their other work?
An artist named John G.  He’s a pretty busy fellow around the Cleveland area. Check out his blog at: http://ninepanelgrid.blogspot.com/ His work is pretty amazing!

Any reactions from the ”stoner scene” considering you’ve got a pretty unique sound compared to the other acts? Or just overall reactions to it. I myself has been raving about it online as well among friends but searching the internet I really didn’t find that much info and/or reviews.
We just keep playing shows. The reaction has been very positive since our first gig. We often end up on eclectic bills. Sometimes with punk/indie-pop/metal. It’s helped us get heard by a lot of different crowds.

I was amazed you didn’t have any record label backing you! Has anyone been in touch with you so far? Have you sent it out to radio and/or labels?
Have not heard from any labels. Even the local ones around here passed on our EP originally. Some might be afraid of copyright infringements.

My fave track off the EP is The Gay Agenda, but it uses some pretty harsh sentiments from some preacher. Is it Jerry Falwell? (En tv-präst som bland annat påstod 9/11 var Guds straff för att USA börjat tillåta homosex och aborter. När han dog avsatte Bill Maher tid i sitt tv-program för ett inslag som hette ”Death Doesn’t Necessarily Have to Be a Bad Thing”).
The Gay Agenda‘s intro is Jimmy Swaggart (a Megachurch sample-favorite). From there on out it’s Pat Robertson. Both equally crazy.

What about the live shows? Looking at both your MySpace and Facebook you seem to be getting quite a lot of shows right now. How many have you played so far?
Too many to count at this point. We played our first show on Friday the 13th of March in 2009. I think we had 4 songs at that show.

What’s the audience reaction like when you play live? Are they into it or do you get drunks complaining ”Hey! There’s NO VOCALS!”
The fact that we have no lead singer seems to have actually helped us more than anything. We’ve reached more people than would have heard us otherwise.

That being said, every show we play we inevitably get some guy afterwards that wants to be our singer. Which is a nice thing and all, but we always have to explain that we’re happy with the way things are already. I remember the first time we did an interview with the local free arts zine out here and the guy asked ”so right now you don’t have a lead singer…do you guys plan on writing real songs in the future?” I just burst out laughing. That was great. 

So what’s in the near future for the band?
Upcoming winter show-hiatus. Effective January 1st, so we can finally record all these new songs we have. Then in spring back to the road, spreading the good news.

Sounds great! Thanks for the interview guys!

Återigen, deras sexlåtars debutskiva kan beställas direkt från bandet via MySpace!

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