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A brief chat with Monster Magnet


New Jersey stoner rock band Monster Magnet has a new record out, Cobras and Fire, a re-imagining of 2010’s Mastermind album, so we spoke to frontman Dave Wyndorf about it.N

Yellow Scene: What made you want to reimagine the Mastermind album?

Dave Wyndorf: Right at the and of making Mastermind, I got this instinct to do things a little differently, meaning kind of cobbled together and not as slick, not to be as exact as I was before. I thought the stuff was coming out just a little bit too right. When I got into this new way of doing this, which is actually really an old way going back to the way I first started, I did Last Patrol that way. I did that stuff and I was really happy with it, and I extended it by doing a re-imagination of Last Patrol. I said, well why not. I’ve got the files right here – why don’t I just try this? It struck me that I could do it in a short time, and also it fit the bill as putting something out there that was closer to where my head was now, and also would provide me with a buffer zone so I could write the next record without people waiting for something to come out.

YS: Did it help that you had Last Patrol in-between, so you had a break from those tracks?

DW: Yeah. The time helps, but at the same time, once I get the notion to do it, it doesn’t matter. It’s like scratching an itch for no other reason than just to scratch it. That’s one of the good things about the modern age of recording and releasing records. These days, I don’t feel any responsibility to do things in any kind of order or to follow up something with something. It’s like, “Here’s the big follow-up.” That’s the old way that things were done. Now it’s kinda like the Wild West – you’ve just gotta throw stuff out there, whatever you wan to do, and hope that it gets gathered by listeners at some time in the future. There’s no opening day – as much as people would like to pretend there’s an opening day for a record, that doesn’t exist anymore. There’s an opening second.

YS: Did this encourage you to go back and revisit some of the older records, and give them the same treatment?

DW: Actually, yeah. I always had a dream of doing Superjudge again. If I do that, this time I won’t go back and open up the old files, I’ll just do it with the new band. I’ll just set it up on the floor and do it as a complete top-to-bottom. The reason I did these two re-imaginings is that they could be done in-between touring. There wasn’t enough time for me to write and record a new record because I was touring so much, but there was enough time to do this. That’s why these things were done that way. The next one will be new stuff.

YS: When you do tour, will you be playing the new versions of the songs, the old, or a mixture?

DW: I have to figure that out. It really depends on what the promotors and the people will put up with. I’d love to go through Europe, hire a keyboardist and do this. I know I could get away with it in Europe. Get a vibe from the crowd and see if they would go for something like this. Over there, there’s no problem. In America, probably not. I’d probably have to do “Space Lord” twice. America’s tough.

YS: Any plans to tour, and come to Colorado?

DW: I would love it. I mean, we play. We played Denver a couple of years ago, America’s different because it’s 21 and up. It’s hard for us to get a decent crowd going, in the middle states. Europe so good because they let everybody in. It’s 18 and up, and it’s a soft 18. It’s a different culture. But I’ll try.

Cobras and Fire is out October 2 through Napalm Records.


Brett Calwood
Brett Callwood is an English journalist, copy writer, editor and author, currently living and working in Los Angeles. He is the music editor with the LA Weekly. He was previously a reporter at the Longmont Times-Call and Daily Camera, the music editor at the Detroit Metro Times and editor-in-chief at Yellow Scene magazine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Callwood

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