Mushroom Giant interview pre-Russian Circles tour this week. FFO: Splendid Prog Post-Rock/Metal. By Mark J.
Mushroom Giant interview pre-Russian Circles tour this week. FFO: Splendid Prog Post-Rock/Metal.
Interview with Craig( bass) from Mushroom Giant.
Thanks Mark. We’re doing well. It’s been a wonderful 12 months for us. Playing with Mono last year, and now Russian Circles, two of our absolute favourites.
The sheer depth of your sound is immense, what motivates and fuels this incredible music you produce so passionately?
Probably the number one thing is the thrill we get is writing songs together. Or more accurately I guess, is ‘finishing’ writing the song. When we play it through for the umpteenth time and we all agree that, “Hey that’s the one.” The other thrill is then getting to play it live, especially on a big stage with a big audience.
Is it a challenge to perform such complex and broad paletted music live? Also kudos on scoring the Russian Circles slot in Melbourne, so damn exciting and a truly stellar lineup on these shows?
The complexity, no not really, but certainly the broad palette is tricky sometimes to pull off live, because apart from different guitar tones, they kind of require a different live mix. It’s something we’ve been working on, and for our Melbourne show we’ll be using a brilliant FOH engineer we’ve worked with for a long time who really knows our stuff, so yes, good question!
Art and music are a perfect intersection, you certainly merge the two flawlessly in your videos and even your psychedelic Instagram shorts/reels, what are your musings on how these mediums merge?
Well for us being instrumental we think it’s important for the live show. We’ve developed some really cool live visuals for the songs from the In A Forest album, but the challenge comes when we decide to play brand new songs because those ones don’t have visuals quite as sorted out as perhaps they will be, say, in a few months time. So that’s something we’ve been working towards with our fifth member, Lok McNish, who’s our live VJ.
As forementioned your music is enthralling, complex and a real journey, how hard is it to compose these epic musical stories?
It’s what we do I guess, and have done (or tried to do) for many years now. Most of that time we’ve failed miserably, but I think we’re beginning to have a better strike rate the older we get. Our improv jams tend to have that sprawling nature about them, plus it’s the kind of music we like to listen to.
Mushroom Giant has been around for quite some time, what were your initial musical influences and how has that changed over the course of four albums?
Yes, 22 years since we first used the ‘Mushroom Giant’ name. But Trent (drummer) and I have been making music together since 1995. Back then it was bands like Soundgarden, Primus, Pantera, Faith No More, Mr Bungle, Fantömas, etc, but then we started mellowing into Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Morphine and Mogwai. I don’t think we really had any real identity on that first album (Rails, 2003), it was a wide spectrum of different musical styles and recording techniques. Very experimental. But I guess set us on the path towards the goal of ‘finding’ our sound.
What’s next for the band, tour-wise, next release stage etc?
Well we’d love to get back touring overseas, because now we are more confident than ever in what we do, especially now we’ve added that heavy-psych element back into our live set. Also, the next album is written, more or less, so we’ll be going into the studio to start that process before long, which will be exciting for us.
Describe your music to a new listener, and what would one gain from a deep dive in your brilliant catalogue?
Soundscape Rock? We never know how to describe our music. It’s instrumental, and we use guitars, bass and drums, some keyboards. We love it epic and lush, like a rainforest, but with barren areas of harsh psychedelic trips.
Final thoughts and messages for your adoring public?
We’d especially like to thank those who’ve been returning to our live shows, and following us online. Hugely appreciated. We think they’ll love our new stuff.
Thanks for you time, Mark from Devil’s Horns Zine
Firstly don't miss the remaining dates on the remaining dates on the glorious current Russian Circles tour and support the sublime Mushroom Giant by buying all their wares, like asap-not a weak record and all worth your time.
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