Interview with Mindless Self Indulgence
February 25, 2014
We liked the idea of a hostage situation in regard to the kickstarter campaign you ran for your last album, where you threatened to destroy the new album if you didnt meet your goal. How did that come about?
Steve had that idea way before they even invented kickstarter. He’s like “I’ve solved the downloading pirate problem. We dont give them the recored until we get the money. Then kickstarter came along and we were talking about doing it and I was like we gotta do the hostage thing, and we can do it with this platform because its kinda all or nothing with kickstarter. So it was a perfect platform to do it on and we were the perfect band to do it because all the other bands were like “We can’t do it without you” and our image is kinda just being truthful and nasty and in your face, and it worked great for us, and it gave us the 2nd most successful music kickstarter ever for about 6 months.
I hear on your last tour someone handed you a live squid in a bag after the show, what happened to the squid and what adventures did you have with it?
For a while my crazy tour story was a couple of 13 yr olds in vancouver gave me a real world war 2 nazy helmet, they painted it up all pink and colorful and I was like poor nazi guy went to war, and years later some girls listening to crazy techno painted it into this girly rainbow thing.
Then some motherfucker in toronto hands me a god damned squid with a dildo in it. It was a fresh squid. My question is how the fuck did he get it in the venue? It was big, like, the size of a big dildo. And was it alive when he bought it? And he had to have had it for the entire show! Through security, in a mosh pit, dancing around, 3 opening acts, plus MSI. It was definitely super fresh, like he just bought it. It smelled horrible. Ihe one thing i felt bad about though was the dilldo. I was just like oh that poor squid. I pretty much got it and i had the stink on my hand for the next 2 days. I put it on the stoage, I was like im not keeping this fucking thing, it’s gonna biodegrade. I guess the venue cleaned it up, I was a little drink.
Did the squid ever get named before it’s untimely demise?
Nope but people kept asking me why i smelled. i was using vodka to try to get the smell off my hand.
What are the reasons for your hiatus and do have you any plans for your hiatus?
For the hiatus, nobody is breaking up. It’s not a break up. Really just a heads up for people so that they’ll come out and see us mainly because we’re gonna be gone for a while! People are lazy, i go into a town and they show up a day later, they’re like where are you, why didnt you come to florida, and we were just fucking there! We did a hiatus a few years ago and just didnt tell anyone. So, if you wanna see us, you better come see us while you can! we would never break up but we’re definitely taking a hiatus. As for what we’re doing, people are gonna do family stuff, and also I need a little bit of a break , we did the record, kickstarter, touring. I was just completely working nonstop. I wanna do some more side-projects, video game stuff. We’ll do some MSI related releases, its just the touring we’re taking a break from.
Working on any side projects?
I usually take side projects based on what I like. Obviously I like money, but it’s good that I’ve done side projects that I really dug as well. Ive been lucky enough to get side proejcts that are really cool. Like the lollipop chainsaw video game. There’s a soundtrack thats a documentary about dungeons and dragons, and some cartoons. Whether they work out or not, I like having projects that are interesting.
Some people saw you as a joke to start and MSI have outlived a lot of bands that were taken more seriously, what do you feel is the secret to your longevity and what would you like to say to all those people who said MSI was a joke?
First id say to them – where you at motherfucker? Theres a lot of motherfuckers who came and went! Big people and small people, its crazy. And trends! One of the main things is we kinda invented our own sound, and thats what we stuck with, we never really abandoned our own sound. We experimented a little bit, but some other people changed their whole fucking MO, one minute they’re rock, one minute they’re techno, or they stick to their guns and it gets boring, or they just have personal problems. Its great that number 1 we’re all friends, regardless of the band. we don’t have drama. Its kinda a cool art project. It’s annoying that people take it as joke. One of our influences is mad magazine, which is very satirical and truthful, which as well has lasted the test of time. Its still around and still considered a calssic. When we got back from our last hiatus, people are kinda like you “guys have been around forever, you’re a classic band”. Like “Oh i remember you guys!” Which is totally different! But its cool we have been around unprofesionally since 1996 and professionally since 1998 so thats pretty crazy!
People tell you that the music of MSI got them through hard times, is there a particular MSI song that gets mentioned when they tell you that?
People kinda take what they take, i mean theres a lot of MSI material. There’s a thread that goes through the MSI songs, which is basically who gives a fuck, we’re all on a prison planet, we’re all gonna die, so who cares and just do what you’re gonna do. We just never gave a fuck which is a very different thing from all the bull shit with the bullying. It’s almost like a badge now, like everyone says it, “oh I was bullied when i was a kid”. You know what get the fuck over it, every fucking person, there’s always someone above you who treated you like shit, and there alaway someone below you who you will treat like shit. Just roll with the punches. We’re very truthful so we don’t give a fuck. Most of the letters a lot of people are like your shit just makes me think “yeah fuck it all I’m gonna have a good time”
What were the reasons why you got rid of your last manager?
Our manager was a fucking cosksucker, he can suck a fucking dick. I hope he dies with a horse dick in his mouth, that fuck. Not a man dick, you should love man dick, take a horse dick and shove it in his mouth. Fuck him he’s a scumbag. You can kinda do everything on your own now anyway with the internet, and a lot of middle men are getting taken out. Like with the kickstarter, we didn’t need a record label for the kickstarter. You do need a business manager and a tour manager, those guys work for their money and they’re fucking great.
Would you say you’re going more DIY now?
We’ve always been very DIY, the first stuff we released was very DIY. And then we were on elektra, and that was a big bidding war. We were less about the money and more about the control. After that we realized that majors are not the way to go, so we decided to do one-off licensing deals. so we made our own LLC.
How I Learned to Stop Giving a Shit and Love Mindless Self Indulgence was kind of a middle finger up to everyone in a way, you did what you wanted and how you wanted to do it. What effect did this have on your music?
We were always like that from the begining. We’ve been around forever, we’re not going anywhere. it was also a message about us, how we learned to love our jobs, and love our situation. Where it’s like “oh shit im in this cool cult band”. We’ve been through a lot. in the 90s there wasnt spotify, kickstarter, etc. All of a sudden people are having meetings about how can we do business the way MSI does business? They’re trying to figure out how to do live shows like MSI does. Like ripping off our live shows. All the sudden we’re this cool unique thing. I wanted to make this record like a super “MSI” album. They’re very catchy, in your face, and fucked up.
You funded your last album through the kickstarter campaign and then licensed it to Metropolis records, how do the two albums differ and why did you license it to Metropolis?
We did the kickstarter which was its own thing, its own special version of it. Then we went on tour and sold a totaly differently one, slightly different artwork, not as deluxe. I felt the record was done, we got paid, we made all this stuff and sent it to the people. I thought why would a record company want it because everyone already owns it. And instead all the record companies started contacting us which was really bizarre. I was like you know you’re not getting any of the kickstarter money or anything. And they just wanted it to license it and I was like yeah ok. We’ve worked with metropolis in the past so its cool.
I have to ask about the video for Fuck Machine, where did the ideas come from and are we going to see an animated series perhaps?
I’d love to do an animated series but there’s no plans for it right now. I’ve always wanted to do an MSI cartoon, im a big fan of anime. We made a lot of nods and winks to anime series we are big fans of. A lot of the fans got it. Because a lot of the things we’re into are things our fans are into. For example I like rocky horror picture show, our band looks like rocky horror, and fans relate to that. The fans got the references to our favorite anime and it was great. i reached out to an animation committee called ‘MoreFrames’ because I was a fan of their work, and they said they’re big fans of us too. We came up with the characters and gave them sort of an idea of what we want it to look like and what the plot should be. they put it all together and we kept on going back and forth. i was more interested in it being a cartoon then a music video. so i did sound fx over the video after the video was done. the end result was like a minute and a half long but who gives a shit because we loved it