In case you missed the big news, THE MONGOLOIDS will be doing 20 European shows with WRONG ANSWER and BROKEN TEETH this June (see the full list of their dates at at this location). It’s a perfect chance to catch up with them to find out what’s up in Mongo camp, how were their last year’s adventures, and what’s their view on the upcoming endeavors. We discussed their brand new album “Mongo Life”, straight edge, European hardcore, and a few more.
Hey guys! So good to have you here! How are you?
Things are well just laying around watching Seinfeld.
Two months before your another European run, this time with WRONG ANSWER. Excited? What are your expectations for the tour?
Super excited for this tour. WRONG ANSWER are our good friends and we always have fun spending time with them. Typically I don’t go into tours with expectations besides to have fun. Oh yea and for European tours to eat lots of my favorite food falafel! I’m obviously hoping we end up at some dance parties to. “Disco pogo dingalingaling!”
I guess it will be a bit different than your last string of shows alongside AGNOSTIC FRONT, huh (smaller venues, etc.)? How do you remember that time?
Our tour last summer with AGNOSTIC FRONT was awesome we got to play a lot of new places and meet a lot of new people. Not to mention getting to see my all time favorite hardcore band AGNOSTIC FRONT play every night. For as many times as we have gotten to tour with AF they always manage to treat us as equals which is beyond words. For that tour they actually invited us to share their bus with them which was a ton of fun. In terms of what I prefer show wise I much rather play a small club where there isn’t such a divide between the bands and people with a barricade or an over serious security team. However playing bigger clubs has its advantages like getting to share your perspectives to a bigger audience.
I can’t miss the standard question about Europe [smiles], so… how do you see and feel our lands and local punk scenes? How do you read the people and the whole aura around us?
The European hardcore and punk community is awesome. From the first time THE MONGOLOIDS ever came and toured Europe I still see a lot of the same faces and people which represents consistency. I feel that shows a definite strength in European hardcore. We are also always treated very well while touring Europe. People bringing us amazing food, giving us places to stay, and treating us with nothing but respect. That means so much to all of us.
Oh, and there’s a little warmup still ahead of you. FOCUSEDxMINDS makes it a really nice trio to see live and forms quite dangerous straight edge army [laughs]. Tell me more about this trek.
Our new record Mongo Life came out on April 2nd so to honor that we are doing two weeks in the states along side WRONG ANSWER and FOCUSEDxMINDS. Super excited for these shows and to play a lot of places we haven’t been in a while. For us as a band being around for nearly 8 years at this point we can’t tour as much as we once did so anytime we can get in the van and take a trip we all look forward to it. Especially this time around having some new music to play.
Festivals are always fun to play and hang out at almost like a hardcore homecoming. Get to see a lot of your friends and people you don’t always get to spend time with and even see bands that don’t always have the opportunity of playing out. However nothing beats a small hardcore show!
Rain Fest is going to be especially cool because THE MONGOLOIDS have only ever played Seattle once and that was years ago. The north west is a beautiful place and I can’t wait to go back!
You played the Resurrection Fest in Spain, Belgium’s Ieperfest a nd Czech Republic’s Brutal Assault festivals last year. I really regret you weren’t on the Fluff Fest’s bill. How did you like those gatherings? Any thoughts on European festivals you’ve seen so far?
All the festivals we had the opportunity of playing last year were great. My favorite was definitely Brutal Assault in the Czech Republic. Something about playing with SIX FEET UNDER had me really fired up. Chris Barnes is still one of my favorite front men. Not to mention we were playing in a castle with flame thrower cannons! In terms of European festivals I think they are beyond amazing however some bands seemed to develop a bit of a chip on their shoulders from playing so many of these giant festivals. Whether you are playing in front of 10 people or 10,000 people if you can’t give off the same amount of energy and heart into your performance then maybe it’s time to reconsider what you are trying to portray.
Do you preach the straight edge while on tour? [smiles] You’d have thousands of poor souls to convert there [laughs].
As a band THE MONGOLOIDS started simply to be a straight edge hardcore band in the silliest fashion. For me I feel we have done that through and through. In terms of preaching I don’t feel as if it’s necessary. I’ll speak my mind when I have something to say but people have the right to make their own decisions on who or what they want to be. I go out with my friends to hang at bars and play the designated driver on a weekly basis. It’s all good just be smart and considerate of the people around you. We aren’t the type of “hardline” band to tell you what to do or what is right for your life we will just tell you what we do and encourage you to do your own thing without letting others mold you. That is THE MONGOLOIDS.
Our most recent shows with LIONHEART and XIBALBA were great! California has always given love to THE MONGOLOIDS so it was great getting to go play some shows out there. XIBALBA helped us a lot on this trip and we can’t thank them enough. They are a band that 100% lives and breathes hardcore! I hope one day to move out to California.
What difference do you observe while touring different parts of the USA? Are the some differences, characteristics and features that are really noticeable?
Touring from city to city in any country is going to be different. We just tend to take it all in and have people from the area show us what the hot spots are from food to fun!
You had a nice exotic trip to Honolulu in July. I really envy you, guys. How was it? Is there a scene?! [smiles]
Our trip to Hawaii was great! We actually just went back for a second time the beginning of last month. The Hawaiian hardcore scene is pretty awesome and the landscape is beyond beautiful! We got to play with two really great bands named ILL STANCE and PHARAOHS. Both are definitely worth your time. Also it seems they are bringing a lot more bands out there to play which is really great and well deserved the kids out there are hungry for the core!
We met Tom and the guys that run Reality Records on our first European tour. Years later we had Reality release the “New Beginnings” EP for us and they did an amazing job doing so it was just natural to have them be part of “Mongo Life”. Tom is a great guy that lives for hardcore and his enthusiasm is a breath of fresh air from a lot of the bullshit that modern day labels try to shove down your throat.
Tohru and Caboose Recordings we were lucky enough to meet when we toured Japan in 2010. He is also very enthusiastic about hardcore and took very good care of us while in Japan so having him be part of this release was also very natural. For us we aren’t looking for much just labels that will stand by us and actually enjoy the music we write rather than just looking to make money off our merch or whatever else.
I’ve run across a few opinions that the new album suffers from poor production, which is unlike anything else being produced in this day and age. I, on the other hand, love its sound and think it’s really appropriate. It has a soul, God damn it! How are the reactions to the new record so far? Any hate mail from angry idealists? [laughs]
In terms of production we wanted to record a record where the sounds you hear are the sounds we recorded. More times than not in 2013 bands will replace the sounds they have created in the studio with something “bigger” or “better”. For us that is some fantasy world crazy stuff. We took our time while recording to find great guitar tones and solid drum sounds in order to make this record the real deal. We are beyond proud of how it came out. Not to mention we got the chance to work with Will Yip someone we all look up to in terms of his recording career. He has worked with such a wide variety of bands (MOTHER OF MERCY, TITLE FIGHT, CIRCA SURVIVE) we felt he would be perfect to have be part of this record.
What do you expect to happen when it is out? How are you feelings about that record at the moment? Or are there some things about it you’d change if you could? Will it outride the new Justin Timberlake LP? [smiles]
I’m very proud of this record I feel it came out exactly how we wanted it to. In terms of writing the music we did exactly what we wanted to with no restraint. If it will stand the test of time is up to the people listening to it though.
You did a nice featuring with BLACKLISTED’s George Hirsch. Were there more people from outside the band involved in the creation process of this sweet new album?
George has been a long time friend of mine and someone I respect a lot so having him on this record meant a lot to me. We had a couple of our friends sing on the record including Brendan Radigan, Bob Wilson, and Zac Eisenstein. Also a childhood friend of mine by the name of Francis Jones helped contribute to the title track “Mongo Life”. For us we typically feature our friends on our records because it just feels right. To me that’s almost like a MONGOLOIDS trademark.
I love the last song on your new album. I believe the “Mongo Life” reveals the real side of your souls and foreshows changes in your repertoire [laughs]. Are you proud of this joint? Any chances to hear more tunes developing this style? [smiles]
From the beginning of this band I’ve always wanted to write a folk song and feature it on a record. This time around it just finally came together. Super siked on it I feel it is a great way to end the record and sort of tells the story of the band to this point. Don’t know if we will ever write more songs that sound this way but I’m glad there is this one!
Honestly, how do you feel you have developed since your early outings?
I feel we developed very naturally from our early days. We just sort of let time take its toll rather than forcing a sound out. Honestly in terms of writing music and progressing I don’t think there is any other way to go about it.
You recently appeared on the newest Deathwish Inc. free sampler due to the fact that Six Feet Under is now a part of Deathwish distribution, right? Would you join their roster if they asked you? How important is it for you guys to stick to the same label family?
Six Feet Under Records stuck by our side when everyone did and when no one did so honestly we could never leave them as a label. Obviously some other labels have done releases for us but our main support is through Dave and Six Feet Under Records. Not many people would do the things he has done for this band so honestly I can’t even begin to imagine where we would be without him.
How have your inspirations changed over the years? How do you develop your sound and work to make it a good foundation for the message?
From the beginning we wanted to do a hardcore band with metal influences one of the main inspirations being BIOHAZARD – S/T. I feel over the years that has remained a big influence of the band. I don’t really see there ever being any specific foundation to be proper for what we are going for we just knew what we wanted sound wise and what we wanted to portray message wise and stuck with it.
Why do some say you have you lost your sense of humour?
I have never heard anyone say that and if I did I would most likely laugh at them. Without humor THE MONGOLOIDS wouldn’t be THE MONGOLOIDS! We always have fun whether it be while we’re playing or just hanging out. Obviously sometimes one of us might have a bad day or something but for the most part we are always enjoying life.
Thanks a million for your time, guys! Hope I didn’t pang you with this set of questions [smiles]. Feel free to add anything you want! All the best from Warsaw!
Be yourself, think for yourself!