Monster Magnet probably needs no introduction to anyone who has paid any degree of attention to the alternative rock scene over the last 25 years or more. The band has always been unashamedly and unapologetically rockist in their approach. Largely ignoring scenes such as grunge as they have come and gone, Monster Magnet have managed to pump out album after album of classic heavy rock, and they continue to play to huge audiences. Somehow they have always stood out from the crowd of rock revivalists and “stoner” bands. Whilst the music of many of these retro bands so often feels tired and trite when compared to the 60s or 70s bands they try to copy, they always exuded a special kind of conviction, authenticity and raw power that sets them apart. Maybe this has something to do with (singer, guitar player and only original member) Dave Wyndorf having been born in 1956 and so having actually lived through the 60s and 70s. Either way, the music has always felt just as legitimate and classy as records by Motörhead or Deep Purple.
Monster Magnet has been forced to cancel their current tour dates due to the due to the outbreak and ban on public gatherings, which was to be their “Celebration of Powertrip” tour. Now they have rebooked the dates for 2021. Tickets for all postponed dates will be honored for the newly scheduled shows. Find a complete list of dates below.Continue reading
Long-running rockers Monster Magnet are dropping their new album Mindfucker, tomorrow via Napalm Records. To get you amped up for it, the band has shared their new lyric video for their blistering track ‘I’m God’. Watch the trippy video and have your mind-blown!Continue reading
I don’t think we were ever able to put the finger on Monster Magnet’s sound. Since 1989 Dave Wyndorf (who’s 61 and still doing the damn thing) and his changing roster have dabbled in Stoner Rock, Psychedelia, and even some Sludge. So, what’s the recipe for studio album eleven, Mindfucker (Napalm)? The take here is straightforward Rock music. Continue reading
In our continuing chat with Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet, the never shy front man discusses his beliefs about the state of the music industry, and how the current landscape will shape the not so distant future.
“The business is totally dead. There’s no business model anymore. I saw it coming early which is why I got off the major when I did which was like 10 or 12 years ago, I was just like I’m getting out of here man because they’re going to give everything away. The record companies got all weird about downloaded music and they started raising the price instead of lowering the price and then the pirates took over and there you go, done. There’s not a lot of money in music, because people can get it from wherever they want and some people don’t buy it anymore, I mean I still buy it, but the overall thing is it’s just kinda dead. Contrary to what pirates will say. It’s good if you’re a listener, but if you make it, you’re not getting any recognition from your work or any monetary compensation so now it’s kinda stalled. You would think there would be a huge amount of creativity when something gets democratised like the internet democratised music but I think people just basically come in, play with music for a while and leave because there’s nothing in it. So you’re not getting the best people. Why would you get the best out of an artist or anybody? It’s weird.”
“It’ll change, in the end it’ll just be the people that really really wanna do it and you won’t have a lot of this merch metal and stuff that’s going on. You know the people that can’t sell their music so they make it up by selling t-shirts and stuff? Which is cool, but I think there’s bands around now, that’s all they do. They just write shitty albums and they don’t put their work into their albums and they just work on merch. I call it “merch metal”. Maybe that’s just because now I’m older but I just see things so angled towards merchandise and easy access to fans and all this kind of stuff but I don’t see the records being that cool. It’s like they don’t care that much about the music. If that’s the best they got then I quit. I quit the world. I would think that the world would get cooler with the internet, like maybe the mainstream would be bombarded by so much cool shit that they would have to bend over a little bit and let some of that cool stuff in, but because nobody is getting paid, there is no direction. The mainstream has just gotten more mainstream and anybody who wants to get in their has to fold to that mainstream and that goes for a lot of bands. Bands that they call rock that clearly aren’t rock. So underground has never been more underground than it is today.”
“It’s strange, and it’s probably unpopular to say but as much as I’d like to believe that everyone has a song in their heart and they’re just gonna do their damnedest to get heard whether they get paid or not the fact of the matter is that this world still runs on money and a lot of people just bum out and not do music, or they do a little bit of music. They do one record instead of 3 records because nobody heard their record because nobody really bothered to look, or they weren’t positioned right. It’s a very strange and weird time in the world. Well that’s a horrible thing for me to say! I’m sure it’s going to get better. It can’t get any worse! The one place you go where you can see anything, the mainstream, they got nothing. They got some dance tunes that are fun, but as soon as you get down below a certain level it just becomes a sea of stuff that you can’t tell where the good stuff is. You don’t know what’s good and what’s not because there’s just so much of it.”
WORDS BY K. THULU
Monster Magnet has logged the miles and clocking the sign posts all over the world since releasing Last Patrol in 2013 and more recently, Milking the Stars (both from Napalm Records). Led by the eccentric and mercurial Dave Wyndorf, he is always verbose and never dull. The band has seen it all and done it all in a 25-plus year career in rock that has seen the heights of commercial success and periods of toiling in the underground at times. Ghost Cult’s K. Thulu met up with Wyndorf for a backstage interview recently.
From the very first minute of talking to the mighty Dave Wyndorf, I am put instantly at ease. He is charming, funny and so easy to get along with. After making our introductions, he tells me how he has just fried a laptop by spilling an entire can of soda on it and it blew up like in the movies. When I ask him if he can hear me ok, ya’know checking the sound levels like a good little interviewer, he pulls the “what, whaaaat” skit on me and I totally fell for it. The shame.
Starting off by picking Dave’s brain about the endless touring life of a rocker, he commented about all the shenanigans he gets into still after all these years:
“…Touring is like nothing else, I mean really. It’s like being in the circus. You got a show to do every night, and you set it all up, and you play, and you get the hell out. It’s really cool. It’s like every night is Saturday night.”
“Aw it’s insane, it’s also the kind of thing that creates all kinds of disasters too, drives people insane, people can’t take it, it’s like Spinal Tap. It’s really funny. The stories are unbelievable because you get to do the kind of stuff… I mean, I get to get away with the kind of stuff that I could only dream about when I was 17. You can imagine it’s like the stereotypes are alive and well. It’s crazy, it’s just nuts. Nowhere else could I imagine this kind of stuff going on.”
“I mean, you can only take so much before your mind just gets shot out, but I highly suggest if anyone gets the chance to do anything like it, anything like it… like travel fast from city to city, you should do it, it changes your life.”
Going deep on about travel, Wyndorf chatted about make-up of his roadcrew, and his most treasured places to visit:
“Well, it’s planes, and trains, and automobiles. We take the old plane over there then take a smaller plane somewhere else, then get on a bus and then try to stay on the ground as long as possible ’cause planes will kinda wig you out. So then it’s a bus, and it’s jammed full with altogether around 13 dudes, 5 guys from New Jersey and then the crew will be like 1 guy from Germany, 1 guy from France, 1 guy from the UK, a guy from say Portugal or something like that, a guy from Sweden. It’s like a strange TV show, we stay in the bus which is kind of like a submarine by the way, it’s claustrophobic, it’s not like these super things that you see on TV, but that’s what you do. You just get on the submarine and you just haul ass.”
“It’s weird, because I like it all. I try to not go to the places that suck. There’s different reasons to like every place. Like the UK is great because people, the audiences, they know what they are talking about. They know rock, they have a lot of the same influences. I go out there and I look at the crowd and I can see a lot of people in the crowd, they are the kind of people that I would want to hang out with at the record store. Like I could talk to that guy about Hawkwind or about The Stooges and so England, they know what they’re talking about. Plus, they’re responsible for about 75% of my record collection, so that’s cool. Germany is really good too. They just love to rock. I think they love to rock so much because they don’t make so much of their own rock. So they just want what we got.”
WORDS BY K. THULU
I’ve never been a fan of an artist tweaking with a release, especially after it has been available for fans to pay money for a couple of years. It rarely improves the product and in most cases damages the initial spark that brought it to life in the first place. Perfect example, how many people watched Star Wars and thought “Oh I wish Han didn’t shoot first!! Can we have a shit laser blast to appear from nowhere and make the character a little less bad ass please?” No one? Thought so.
Milking The Stars (or fans’ bank balance) is the new album by veteran space rockers Monster Magnet. The record features re-recordings of five tracks from the bands previous album The Last Patrol (both Napalm) which itself was released the previous year in 2013. Despite this Milking The Stars: A Reimaging Of The Last Patrol ,to give it its full title, reckons it would be a good idea to rerecord them. Oh and by ‘reimagining’ Dave Wyndorf and co basically mean, make it sound like The Doors then add more acid and tie dyed sheets.
The album opens on one of the new songs recorded for the release (five reimaginings, two live tracks and five brand new tracks for the album in total) called ‘Let The Circus Burn’ which can be best described as seven minutes of the band instrumentally pissing around. It might sound good if you were let’s say, smacked out on enough acid to wake Jim Morrison up in the morning, or think it was a good idea to let Ringo sing on a few songs, but to me this is unbearable self-indulgent hokum of the highest order.
The album does have some pretty dirty moments peppered throughout the record when it is not off tripping its face off. The third track ‘No Paradise For Me’ is pretty filthy stuff, not necessarily a return to their stoner roots or their Power Trip (A&M) days, but there is at least something in there.
Overall, Milking The Stars: A Re-imaging Of The Last Patrol is a reinterpretation of more recent material released by the band less than a year ago with more of a psychedelic vibe. I am going to be honest and say I am baffled as to why this “reimagining” exists as the tracks already feature a heavy psychedelic presence , with the re-recording seemingly pushing that into overdrive, damaging the album in the process.
Arguably one of the most prominent bands to fly the good ship Space rock, New Jersey star-gazers Monster Magnet have been around for well over two decades now, releasing several well-received records. Their songs regularly feature in Hollywood films and they’ve even had a Marvel Comics mutant named after one of their songs. There have been downsides however, with frontman Dave Wyndorf’s well-documented struggle with drug addiction threatening to scupper everything. However 2013 sees Wyndorf supposedly back on the straight and narrow and eager to prove the Monster Magnet is still turned on with Last Patrol (Napalm Records).Continue reading