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