Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Spudmonsters Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
The Spudmonsters are currently inactive since our Guitarist, Scott Roberts sings and plays bass for Biohazard. We just put out our first record in 13 years this past year entitled "Stand Up For What You Beleive" on Fast Break Records.
2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from previous releases?
I'd say this album has much of the same character as our older albums. It definitely has a positive vibe to it and I don't think there's a bad song on the whole album. We're all very proud of it. Scott produced it and did a great job.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release?
 My lyrics are based on self realization and offering an honest, positive outlet for the frustrations of life. The song, "Tolerance" is about developing a tolerance for the onslaughts of this world and keeping a general balance in our consciousness so the weight of the world doesn't control us. "One Family" is a song about seeing all walks of life with an equal vision and seeing all living entities as our own family. "Lessons Learned" is about handling every setback in life in a positive sense and realizing everything we experience is meant to teach us a lesson even if it's a heavy on. "Stand Up For What You Believe" is about living your life and not worrying about others opinions. We should stand for righteousness and not blindly follow all the other sheep. Even in the face of popular vote we should do what's right. These are just a few "nutshell" explanations of some of the songs off the new record.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
 None of us are original members but the guys who started the band (Chris Andrews, Roger Warmuth, Rick Kheil, Alex Struhall and Ian Shipley) actually called the band Joe Gizmo And The Spudmonsters. They were a bunch of beer guzzlin' couch potatoes with a great sense of humor and the name was a slapstick poke at themselves in good fun.
5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
I think The Spudmonsters in our prime was the most explosive, intense live show on earth! Everyone on stage played with a furious passion that connected not only on stage but to the crowd as well. We have had serious Pile-On's, Pit's and crowd participation on stage that is unparallelled. In '96 we did a European Tour that was jokingly called the "Stage Destroyers Tour" but no joke, we destroyed MANY stages on tour! We have photos of guys on stage with flash lights trying to fix big holes in the stage so Pro-Pain (Who we were on tour with at the time) would not fall in the holes.
6. Do you have any touring plans for the future?
As of now we are on hold due to Scott's touring obligations with Biohazard. We have many offers coming in now for European Festivals and promotors wanting us to tour but we need to see Scott's schedule first.
7. Currently, you are signed to Fast Break ! Entertainment, how did you get in contact with this label ans how would you describe the support they have given you so far?
Fast Break Records was founded by my best friend, Tony Red Topp. He wanted to put out the second Foose album and at that time we were writing the Spudmonsters album which was supposed to Come out on I Scream Records. As we demoed I would periodically send songs to my friend Laurens from I Scream and get his feedback. As with many labels we had communication problems where he wouldn't get back to me and when he did we would discuss a lot of great stuff but it was going to slow for me. I like to do things yesterday. make a long story less long I called up Tony (Who ALWAYS takes my calls) and said "How would you like Fast Breaks first release to be the new Spuds?". He and I both thought it was a great idea. Actually before that conversation he was wanting a good name for the label and since I'm 5'9" and can't dunk I suggested "Fast Break". We both loved it and reached out to the other guys who were helping finance and promote the new label (Richie Crutch, Chris Mahmood, Soda and Paul Brown). They loved it as well. Anyway...that's a little history on how it got started but Tony Topps is 95% of the driving force behind this great label.
8. The band was broken up for awhile, what was the cause of the break up and the decision to reform the band?
We broke up in '98 after a European tour. We had been together non stop for over 10 years and just needed a break. Scott moved to New York and played with the Cro-Mags and a side project with Alan from Life O Agony and Will from Agnostic Front. I formed Run Devil Run and Eric and Eric joined Pro-Pain. Steve carried on by running a successful clothing store in Cleveland. After many years of people begging us to do a reunion we did one in 2007. It was a huge success and then people started barraging us with "When you guys gonna do a new record?"
in 2010 we did a second reunion show and that weekend we decided to just start writing a see what would happen. Stand Up For What You Believe is the manifestation of those writing sessions.
9. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of thrash and hardcore?
 We've had UNBELIEVABLE support. The one thing that has separated us from many of the other bands in Hardcore/Thrash/Metal etc.... is that we appeal to all of the genres and people don't label us as "Hardcore" or "Metal". They just tell us that we are what we are, good entertainers with high energy and a positive vibe that connects with the crowd.
10. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
 I highly doubt we will ever go into the studio again but if we do I can tell you for sure it would sound like The Spudmonsters! We aren't going to try re-inventing the Seattle sound or anything like that.
11. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
One of my favorite bands is Know The Score. I've been on an Ignite kick as well. Pennywise, Bad Brains and Justin Beiber too. I also love old posi-straight edge stuff that had a purposeful message and vibe. I'm not a fan of Cookie-Monster Hardcore where the guitarists play drum beat riffs and write songs are about how tough they are etc...... Not a fan of Sausage Core (Shows where it's 98% dudes who are displaying their awesomeness, ear holes and bodacious area code tattooed in a half moon across their stomach.
12. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
 I am Hare Krsna. I love reading my Spiritual Master's (Srila Prabhupada) books, feeding the homeless gourmet vegetarian cuisine, singing bhajans (Indian devotional music with tablas and hand cymbals). I love hanging out with my son Jayananda and playing sports with him and his friends. I'm a Raw Foods chef and a certified Personal Trainer. I coach people on juice fasting and Vegan/Vegetarian nutrition. I like to help people so if anyone wants to get with me I'm on FaceBook and always happy to lend an ear and offer words of encouragement.
13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
First off, thanks for the opportunity to interact with you and your readers! I also want to let people know I have a new project called LIFELINE. It's me and Robert Ehrenbrand from Boy Sets Fire. The new album is out on Fast Break Records entitled "Civil Disobedience". It's more of a Punk project like Pennywise, The Misfits, Ignite, Shelter etc... I love it! Hope you do too. Thanks to all the Spudmonster fans worldwide!!! Hare Krsna, Peace! ~Foose

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