Interview: Mustard Plug talks 20th anniversary, upcoming album

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with Michigan ska/punk vets Mustard Plug, and with their 20th anniversary behind them and a new album up ahead, we figured it’d be a good time to chat.

Click here to read a DS exclusive interview with trumpeter Brandon Jenison on the status of the band.

Connor (Dying Scene): First off, congratulations on celebrating your 20th anniversary. How does it feel to continue to recruit new fans when you’ve been playing music longer then some of them have been alive?

Brandon (Mustard Plug): Thank you, it’s been a lot of fun for me for these past 16+ years, we had a great time on the East Coast this fall touring with Flatfoot 56 and celebrating the anniversary at home during the holidays. our crowd, fortunately, continues to stay young and fresh and I think it helps keep that spirit alive in the music – it’s always fun and energetic. It’s weird to think sometimes that most of our fans could be my kids. That is, if I had kids when I was in my 20’s.

2. On that note, approximately how much beer is 20 Years Of Beer? Feel free to use scientific notation if needed.

Oh boy, well let’s see… if you added up the number of shows we’ve played, multiplied by the number of drinkers in the band, and figured at any given show each drinker had at least 4 or more beers before/during/or after the show, then I think you may have an approximate number. But there is a lot of give and take in there so I don’t know REALLY.*

3. Dave stated in a recent interview with that 10 or so songs are in the works for an upcoming album some undetermined time in the future. How’s that process coming along?

That was the truth and since then we have another 6 or 8 we’re toying with. Hopefully, we’ll trim that down to the best dozen or so songs we can record. We’d love to do it this summer, we just have to suss out the logistics, i.e. studio, time, money, schedules, life, etc.

4. Obviously the ska scene has rolled back and forth in the last twenty years, what are the differences you might be anticipating in releasing a ska album in 2012 vs. the release of your first album Skapocalypse Now! two decades ago?

Well, I personally wasn’t in the band when that came out, but I remember as a local Grand Rapids skater/punker kid that the band started garnering a following while I was beginning college in 1991. Then, I quit school to join the band in 1995.  In 96′, we recorded “Evildoers Beware” and that was kind of huge for me at that point.  It’s always fun for me going into the studio – you either love or hate it. I’m psyched to make another record with this lineup because “In Black and White” turned out the best recordings of our music together, in my opinion.

5. Also in aforementioned interview you said the only thing you’d take back after 20 years is the matching yellow tuxedo jackets you wore in the 90’s. Have you already destroyed them, or can we find them in a thrift store somewhere and send them to the Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fame?

The coats were hanging or piled in our basement practice space for so long, and had all kinds of mildew and mold on them. I believe they were cleaned, but I can’t remember where they are. It’s probably better that way.

6. Any other future plans in mind? Rock artists seem pretty big on writing musicals these days. Or maybe a death metal album is more your style?

We’ve got some mini tours happening in the next couple months around the Great Lakes and also out west to Colorado and along the south through Texas. Should be lots of fun. Everyone in the band is pretty creative in some manner, shape or form so who knows what we might come up with. Whatever comes out will be pure Plug, though, that I can assure you.

7. Any final words of wisdom/warnings/legal advice?

Early to bed early to rise, brush your teeth and floss and don’t take any wooden nickels. And ROCK n’ ROLL!

Editor’s Note: My computer crashed trying to calculate this equation, so your guess is as good as mine.

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