The only original member and the driving force behind the stoner rock band Monster Magnet is front man Dave Wyndorf. The band was formed in 1989 but hasn’t done an American tour in over a decade and HEAR had the privilege to talk to the mastermind behind Monster Magnet to talk about the long awaited return to the States, their new album and his inspirations among other things.
Hear: You are the only original member and the driving force behind Monster Magnet. In your own words, what is Monster Magnet to you?
Dave: Monster Magnet to me has always been a way to try become the music I loved from when I was a kid. My idea of what rock and roll was. A way to step through the dimensional portal and be there. As a teenager all I used to do was buy pot, go to concerts and buy albums. I couldn’t think of doing anything better and I was in bands before but Monster Magnet was the one where I first touched the heart and first love of music and rock. I was aware it was stereotypical but it was a way for me to embrace and become the stereotypes I loved as a kid.
Hear: Your new album Last Patrol was recently released, what’s in store for your fans this times around?
Dave: For me this a real vibey record that you should put on after midnight and hopefully the listener listens to it according to their mood. It demands to be listened to as an album. It’s like a story that starts at song one and ends at song nine.
Hear: Is their any particular song or aspect of the album you’re most proud of?
Dave: I like the song “Stay Tuned” and the other mellow stuff on the album the best. It’s a lot of fun to play and doesn’t take long to record.
Hear: Out of your ten albums, your EP’s and a ton of songs featured on soundtracks for movies, video games and television shows what stands out for you as your greatest or most favorite accomplishment?
Dave: That’s tough to say. To me my greatest accomplishment is to be able to do what I want for like 20 years. To be able to write, produce and play music and get paid for it is a major accomplishment and beats working at a gas station.
Hear: In your music career what have you not accomplished yet that you’d like to?
Dave: I always told people I wanted to make a bunch of albums, we’d hit the charts and then fall off the charts and overdose on drugs and get fat. Now I’ve done all that I’m thinking I need to add a horn section and get bald to make my life complete!
Hear: The upcoming tour is your first in the States in over ten years, why the big break?
Dave: We were touring Europe and Australia exclusively for awhile because the States got lame. For us the live culture in the States took a dive and it seemed like the people didn’t care about anything but themselves. You could tell when you’re at a show and you see people constantly checking their messages on their phones. There seemed to be no particular emphasis on art anymore. I don’t want to have sour grapes about it cus it is what it is. It’s a great time to be a consumer but a bad time to be a creator. I can see how it happened, technology gives us everything at our fingertips and takes away the need and the want from the audience for poetry and fine art. Seemingly the masses are choosing crap and choosing not to be interested. In Europe that’s what I love. They pay attention and come out to represent. I do get the feeling things are changing and people seem to be applying the tech and getting more mobile now so hopefully people will come to the shows and if they like it I’ll stay. I don;t go anywhere I’m not welcome.
Hear: The tour has two Michigan shows, kicking off in Grand Rapids and then in Detroit, any good stories from previous visits here?
Dave: Michigan is a romantic place for Monster Magnet if you can believe it. Some of our favorite bands came from there. It’s like playing on hallowed ground. Absolutely nothing would have to happen for us to be happy to be there. It’s rock central.
Hear: Anything special planned for this tour?
Dave: Actually we were going to bring out a mule and overdosing it on heroin! (laughing) It’s been awhile so we’re going to put on a nice spread of early Monster Magnet stuff plus some new stuff from Last Patrol. I wish I could say we were going to have a 100 foot robot with laser beams shooting out of his eyes!
Hear: What’s next for Monster Magnet after this tour?
Dave: We’re heading to Europe for a five week run then to Australia then to any other place in the goddamn world that will have us then probably back to the states again in the spring. We just book tours, make albums and go anywhere that’s good.
Hear: Any words for your fans and our readers?
Dave: Those of you in Michigan don’t even have to rock, just stand there be from Michigan and I’ll be totally happy! That we start out after ten years in Grand Rapids, I can’t think of a better place!
Be sure to catch Monster Magnet at the Intersection in Grand Rapids on 11/14 and St Andrews in Detroit on 11/15 and they head over to the Bottom Lounge in Chicago on 11/16. For more info go to www.zodiaclung.com or find them on Facebook.