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FlashWounds Interviews Skinny from Mushroomhead

The Righteous & The Butterfly promo shoot @ The Fear Experience Haunted House ~ Photo by blind7 Photography

The Righteous & The Butterfly promo shoot @ The Fear Experience Haunted House ~ Photo by Blind 7 Photography

By FW staff

The times aren’t just a-changin’…they have officially changed.

This undeniable fact is never more evident, some may say tragically so, as in the world of music. Ever-shortening attention spans and evolving electronic media formats have made the impossible dream of making a living in music that much harder. Bands disappear even more quickly than they appear these days and longevity in the business is a feat not easily achieved.

Mushroom albumMushroomhead, however, have indeed accomplished this feat, perhaps a bit under the full-on mainstream radar, but just maybe that is the reason they are still here, still making THEIR music, still touring, and still winning over new fans with each show (read our review of their recent Bloomington, IL show here), each album, and with their refusal to abandon their belief in how things should be done.

The recent release of the band’s 8th studio album, The Righteous and the Butterfly, on Megaforce Records marks their 20th anniversary together…again, no small accomplishment, surviving and even thriving in the climate of the music world.

I had the opportunity to chat with drummer and original/founding member Steve “Skinny” Felton to discuss the band’s upcoming stint on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, the music business through the years, and a bit more personal topic.  Steve’s responses prove what those of us familiar with the band have known for many years; there is a lot more substance to Mushroomhead than the outrageous onstage look by which the…less open-minded…may judge them.

Skinny, photo by

Skinny ~ Photo by Blind 7 Photography

Flashwounds: How was the recording of the new album? And how do you feel about recording in general ~ Do you enjoy it or is it just a means to an end?

Skinny: The recording was great. Self-producing the album gives us a lot of freedom to get the sound and feel that we want. We always look forward to recording. The ideas are always there but to hear them come together in a way we all agree on, to hear the finished product, it makes me proud. 

MayhemFlashwounds: You’re about to head out on the REDMF tour ~ Do you feel more pressure playing for a more intimate crowd of a few hundred or a festival crowd of thousands?

Skinny: Once you get out on tour, out on stage, it’s all organic. It just happens. It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 or 100,000. You feel the music and you just play your heart out for the people there.

Flashwounds: You’re a music industry veteran, and I mean that as a true compliment ~ What are your thoughts on the changes the industry has undergone and the accessibility of music in different streaming formats?

USE SKINNYSkinny: You know, the technology is amazing and has made things much easier for the fans. The digital age, in my opinion, has taken the heart out of music, it just seems to be missing something. Nothing will ever replace the sound of vinyl to me.

As far as the business end goes. What goes unappreciated is the hit the labels have taken. That’s something you never hear. All you hear is how the artists are getting screwed by piracy and the fans are “entitled” to share the music, but the sharing of music has caused the closing of many labels and has made it close to impossible for new labels to make their way.

Flashwounds: You’ve managed to stay relevant for 2 decades and through many labels and line-up changes, but have never really obtained the commercial success of some of your peers. Is commercial success even something you think about, and any regrets about turning down that Roadrunner offer way back when?

Skinny: (Laughs) You know, there’s always second guesses. It wasn’t right for us at the time, who knows if we’d even be here if we had taken it. All I know is we’ve been doing what we do for 20 years now, and although there have been some hard times, I wouldn’t change a thing.

GWARFlashwounds: Mushroomhead hit the ground running, catching a pretty big break early on by opening and touring with GWAR, so there’s a history there.  Are you comfortable speaking about Dave Brockie’s death due to an apparent heroine OD?

Skinny: Wow. Dave was a great guy and committed to the life. It was an amazing opportunity for the band, it was our second show ever and we were playing in front of 2,000 people opening for fucking GWAR! I had the chance to catch up with Dave in Australia at Soundwave this year. We sat and talked. Looking back, I truly appreciate that moment I had with him. He was a great guy and will be missed.

Whether or not you appreciate Mushroomhead’s music, appearance, or overall contributions to the music industry, the band has undeniably been doing something right for the past 20 years to be drawing huge crowds on tours and at festivals, putting out records devoured by their fans, and showing what a devotion to music, not the music industry, can yield…they show no signs of slowing down, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Skinny ~ Photo by Michael Spleet, 2snapsup.com

Skinny ~ Photo by Michael Spleet, 2snapsup.com

Catch them live on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival or on any of their upcoming tour dates and pick up or download (legally) The Righteous and the Butterfly.  Also check out their new video “Qwerty.”

Mushroomhead use

Photo by Blind 7 Photography

 

mushroomhead.com

facebook.com/mushroomheadofficial

 

 

One Comment

  1. I have been listening to Mushroomhead since 1995!You guys are my favorite band& I’ve been to over 500 shows.My 13 yr old son has been to quite a few with me.Keep up the awesome work guys!

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