Thursday, January 15, 2009

Local Q & A: Drug Mountain

Drug Mountain's debut at The Exploding House on Monday night was a startlingly confident performance; a mix of sax blasts, stop-start skronk, busy baritone lines, and very convincing screams tying it all together. In some ways the confidence isn't all that surprising. I want to go ahead and admit that I have met Bryan Mckendry, lead singer of Drug Mountain, on more than one occasion. I've actually met a lot of you many times, but few of you put on the type of show this guy does. I have been a fan of this man's music for the past five years, since before I had actually met him, when I heard his first group, Blank Blank. As far as confrontational front-men go, Mckendry is as unforgettably unpredictable as the best I've ever seen, along with David Yow and Mark E. Smith. Big praise I know, and I also know that Mckendry can be a prickly conversationalist. In fact, he once almost got me arrested after yelling "Fuck you, cop!" at a cop car...with a cop in it...a cop who had happened to have his window rolled down. So I tried to conduct this interview with a tone that I thought he would understand. I mean, he quotes Wolverine. I am not shitting you:


So, there are a lot of saxophones in bands now days. What's the inspiration for that? It seems like it's used more as a weapon or an annoyance. What gives?


I dunno how the sax thing happened. Bobby (Taylor) was supposed to play drums in the band, but he showed up with a sax instead. I got jealous and got one too. I suppose sax is our gimmick.

You've played in other groups like Blank Blank and Ancient Fistory. One is a hardcore/grindcore act and one is a harsh noise project. Drug Mountain is obviously not indie pop. What draws you to these sounds, and what are the origins of your interest in these various types of loud or extreme music?

In high school my favorite bands were Painkiller and Man Is The Bastard. I can get down to some Jimmie Rodgers, but something about ugly music always resonated with me. To be honest I don't have any real talent, otherwise I'd be playing western swing instead of pretending I'm John Zorn.

What separates Drug Mountain's music from the other acts I listed?

Three years and two saxophones.

The band name itself is instantly memorable. How did you come up with it?

A couple years ago I smoked weed one time and I rode a wave of creativity for almost two days. I made a big binder of MacGyver art in ms paint. one image showed MacGyver climbing a mountain with DRUG MOUNTAIN scrawled across the bottom. I thought the phrase was funny ever since. The [Mount] Righteous dudes think the name is a rip on them, but that's just not the case.

There has been a huge resurgence of bands discovering the joys of recording on boom-boxes and barely functioning karaoke machines. The recordings on your page aren't exactly of the same kind of poor fidelity that these machines result in, but there is some definite clipping and distortion. Is it important to you to have the recording process match the nastiness of the music? What are your recording plans at this point? How do you plan on releasing your music, if at all?

We recorded that stuff on a crappy four track with one mic just so we dont forget the songs. Sorry I don't have Cubase. We're going to Electrical Audio in April to record. If all goes according to plan we will put it out on Real Vinyl, it's a label we threw together with Ben Rogers from The Chat Room and Metrognome [Collective]. There should be some other cool acts on that as well.

One of your tracks is entitled "Milk Is Gay." That's pretty offensive. I'm assuming you don't mean "Milk Is Happy." Maybe you're referring to Harvey Milk? Look, I know there is a healthy vegan community in Fort Worth, yet I will stop short of generalizing the scene there. Would you say these lyrics are pro-vegan? Are any of your lyrics? Would you like to maybe share a verse of this track with us?

One of our first songs was vegan. It was called "You're Eating It." We wrote that when we were trying to be a doom metal band. Turns out we don't know shit about doom metal. "milk is gay" isn't all that vegan, I just hate milk. I hate soy milk too Fuck all the milks. I never ate cereal as a kid just to avoid milk. My mom thinks milk is more important than water. Why would you want to consume milk beyond infancy? Especially milk for some critter? Fuck that. Milk is gayer than a catholic priest.

Your live show is generally pretty confrontational and I've seen you push audience members, throw things at your own band, and try to order food mid-song and just leave the rest of your group hanging. Care to enlighten the rest of us as to why you'd behave so rudely to your staunchest supporters and allies? Is it safe to say there's a bit of suburban rage involved there? Is it all an act or are you an angry person in your daily life as well?

Dude, you know I'm moody as all hell. I've got some crummy qualities but I make OK use of 'em on-stage, to quote Wolverine of the X-Men, "I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do isn't very nice." I'm pretty sure getting all pissy on stage helped me be a nicer guy the rest of the time. I'm not the prick I used to be.

I know you have a lot of roots in the Grapevine/Colleyville area and so do the members of Mount Righteous. I see you're playing a show together soon with Fishboy, who I believe is also from the same area. Do you consider these acts to be your peers pushing towards a similar goal, or is it more of a friendly rivalry?

Yeah, we went to school together. I'm still pals with some of the Righteous crowd but thats a whole different mountain. When Joey [Kendall] asked me to play at Rubber Gloves, I was pretty sure he had the wrong number. I like diverse shows, it ought to be fun.

What would you do if a young fan walked up to you after a show and asked, "You got any merch?"

YEAH, RIGHT.

77 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This guy is kind of an asshole. I like him.

4:49 AM  
Anonymous vegan agenda said...

this band represents me and my culture!

5:15 AM  
Anonymous sun bear said...

"This guy is kind of an asshole. I like him."

7:35 AM  
Anonymous boobs said...

"this band represents me and my culture!"

YOU are an asshole just for saying that.

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was probably one of the best interviews ever.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

geez, get off the hype train.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

two saxophones? they should change their name to sax to the max or sax overkill or yea, we have two saxs'.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"and very convincing screams tying it all together."


Ha, ha, ha . . .

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Questions were better than the answers

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahaha grapevine

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Ricardo Montalban's Asshole said...

Fuckity fuck. Theese is thee best musik I ha' eber herd! And in rich Corinthian leather.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous ricardo montalban's ghost said...

you can't escape my wrath!

11:04 AM  
Anonymous daivd corti said...

anyone who went to school in grapevine, colleyville or southlake should drive their parent's hummer off a cliff. it must be rough being a trust fund baby. idiot.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

david corti, you are a fucking moron. so where you go to public school defines your entire life? what are you, 12? where did you go to school, smart-ass?

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where you from daivd corti?

11:47 AM  
Anonymous go figure said...

i live in fort worth and my room mate is from colleyville and he's a drug dealer and one of my friends too is from colleyville and he delivers pizza in denton. guess their parents didnt leave them a trust fund.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where you from daivd corti?

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

white boy music

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

grapevine has a bevy of talented musicians....jay jennings and clay pritchard anyone? insane.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Qs were too winded. Perfect for this site

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha. i remember that "cop" story! li'l DL almost pooped his pants!

1:31 PM  
Anonymous stonedranger said...

Hey Potato, you lame little pussy, I erased your comment because it contained a reference to your myspace page, which is in violation of my new rule that you aren't allowed to post about your shitty music anymore, but I'll repost the rest of your comment just to show you how much you suck:

Oh wait, nevermind. Copy and Paste doesn't work on here. You still suck though.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous B.A. said...

two words Rocket Summer... Suck that cunt fuck lips!

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whooooooo the glass cactus baby! now thats a place where you can find some REAL MUSIC.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow , what a cool music blog, you cant talk about music if its your own. thats fucking radical.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nah you can talk about all the music you want. it's just that people are turned off by spamming. every time you list your own bands web page it's like a little kid incessantly jumping up and down yelling "look at me, look at me, im special too!" and thats called annoying.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous stonedranger said...

I only erase potato's music spam.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Shatner's Flibbity Foo said...

...KHAANNNN!!!

3:28 PM  
Anonymous anonym-ass said...

Ah HA potato!
you suck!

na na-na nuh naaaaah naaaaaah!!!

*points and laughs*

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wasn't Radish from grapevine?

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nah, greenville.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Rick Ardomoltalban said...

Clicking on that Mcguyver link really made me really wish I would have watched that at some point.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

potato is the dude from wu fru de lu vs. space blablabla, or whatever.

that's right, shitface, i outted you!

your constant need for attention is boring the piss out of us.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some people really don't know a damn thing about grapevine

-t. huse

6:18 PM  
Anonymous william d. tate said...

hey david corti, im gonna knock the dicks out of your mouth talking like that

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Jack in the box said...

i want these guys to join my chicken team.

boooooooooooock! booocccckkkkk!!! bock! bock! booooooooock!!!!!

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can't hold anything against a musician who is gigging regularly at lame venues but actually making a living doing it. call it practice. call it not having a lame desktop that you bitch about everyday.

yeah, 11:47. shut the fuck up.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous mount teabag said...

today i went to dallas with my mommy but couldn't convince her to stop at Fuel City. she isn't as receptive to mexican hookers as i initially thought. drug righteous is pussy for supper

11:37 PM  
Anonymous carlsbad said...

fuck hookers

12:19 AM  
Anonymous stonedranger said...

I just want to say that I like how this guy once smoked weed that for some reason lasted for two days and caused him to go on a two day Macgyver art binge. I usually just read a book and pass out early. :-(

1:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

once I smoked a cigarette and woke up in Vegas.

1:26 AM  
Anonymous WSJR lovr said...

I am a huge pussy for posting a comment on this blog.

I love blog.

I love to be a pussy that no one eats.

I whine all the time about how other people tell me what to listen to, but I can't be bothered to promote my own opinion, other than on the comments sections of this blog.

I love to be a bitch, and suck the dick of everyone who tells me what to do, including those in this blog.

I totally heart my something-sucking life.

hearts,
everyone

3:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

drug mountain sucks caues they have no creativity. anybody can just pick up a sax, scream, and act cocky. and i hate this band because they make fun of gays... fuck you you ignorant fuckin redneck hillbilly bucktoothed inbred incest-loving mother fuckers and your 20th century notions. i hope you and your shitty band gets ass=raped by a bunch of gays taking pictures so that everyone on the internet can see you get fucked you pieces of shit. learn to play the sax instead of just randomly playing notes and screaming

5:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gay is a funny word. thats it. one of blank blanks drummers was gay.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay, 3:13, then you do it. Go right on ahead. Go pick up a sax and start screaming.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous rapevine said...

WHERE YOU FROM DAIVD CORTI????????

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Im not potato either said...

wu fru is NOT potato. I have suspected the same. he was confronted. Fiercely. Space Dragon too.

I must admit though, Potato is a fucking misanthropic genius and I applaud stonedranger for adding to the legend. That is a genus tactical move, have you already signed on to be his manager?

I always underestimate your savvy

9:50 AM  
Anonymous dm reps fort worth said...

7:01 has no point. this band dm has been in the works for years on very little material. Blank Blank had the same sort of slack. This music does not promote challenging oneself at anything. I bet some of these guys put more energy into creating tasty vegan dishes and working on their bikes than into anything creative. We Shot Jr probably agrees, it's a novelty act that we hope will use all of their potential one day. and i think that 3:13 is just a jack ass.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous numnuts said...

Point was, 3:13 was a jackass.... like you said. That's all.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous defensive listening said...

There's no novelty involved in being completely fucking awesome. Trust me.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

got 1 out of 2, thats pretty good right?

11:10 AM  
Anonymous 11:47 said...

to 9:28, the difference between you and me is that you consider playing music as work/making a living. id rather have a desk job and consider playing music as playing.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous joe said...

drug mountain knock the shit right out of me, nough said

11:44 AM  
Anonymous joe says said...

ey d. listening, who ya be? i like your style

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

let's have some pizza pie, cuz we're just a pack of goofs...

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good try but we know its you thomas. pull the plug already.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:47, that's not a worthy argument. maybe it's that i consider making music and practicing an all encompassing part of life. not a hobby.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

keep telling yourself that while youre WORKING on your next song.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

boring.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous joe said...

10:21 i like your style!

3:27 PM  
Anonymous ForTheWin said...

great band,
cool kids,
good interview.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous PropaGandhi said...

I wil say that their style lacks a sense of focus that I feel is aggravating and pretentious. People have been giving slacker "noise" musicians too much credit lately. I mean he does openly admit he has little talent which means he is self aware. I give him props for that. He knows what he can do.(and what he can't) So it isnt really a personal attack against him. Just an overall feeling of disdain for noise, droning, squealing, etc. I need more dynamic. Not a bunch of guys who hang out and get stoned and make noise together albeit that they sometimes do it well. I won't completely disregard them until I see them live though. You're on probation drug mountain.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i do wonder what happens to the blog authors when this genre inevitably (again) runs its course. in a year or so, do dl and sr rag on every new noise act pops up?

6:07 PM  
Anonymous mc said...

Many of you know this but for those like a couple of the above folks who don't:

Drug M is not even in the same realm as the tabletop or pedal/synth drone or noise bands you may see in Denton some ... they're more of an improvised noisy free trashy/thrashy rock band like a Notes From Underground only coming from more of a scuzzy punk/Scratch Acid place. With the squealing sax element that adds overtones of some noisy free jazz. Um, this is just based on the MySpace. Can't wait till it's not.

We've not seen anything like this since Notes I don't think.

Milk is gay. I thought it was a Sean Penn reference.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous sean peen said...

i don't appreciate all this; vegans can be gay and love cow milk and still make music.

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

huh?

7:49 AM  
Anonymous doctor sick shorts said...

push your drill bit up against her smurfstopper.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous joe said...

this is goofy... and does need pizza

12:13 PM  
Anonymous 911 amarillo said...

drug mountain drinks promised land milk
or at least they used to.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous 1311 amarillo said...

rather

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is i, 10:21, and i like my style to be liked...

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where you from daivd corti?

10:21 AM  
Anonymous el cid el salvador said...

who wants to play a game?

11:26 AM  
Anonymous skrode said...

this music is fucking horrid. hype bs.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous skrode said...

this music is fucking horrid. hype bs.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous alresay said...

drug mountain is probably the worst band ever. that little tiny mexican kid is a moron. all of this guys bands blow fucking hard.

12:48 PM  
Blogger LeViere said...

Had I been asked earlier, I would have agreed that Drug Mountain was just another gimmicky noise band, but after seeing them live today, I have to give them serious credit. They were genuinely fantastic (assuming you're open minded to that sort of music). They have all the energy and passion in the world, they're well rehearsed, and any personal attack is unfounded, because the entire band was extremely nice to my and my friends.

1:10 AM  

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