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Monster Magnet’s Dave Wyndorf Talks ‘Milking The Stars’

Monster Magnet’s Dave Wyndorf Talks ‘Milking The Stars’: frontman discusses new album and his musings on the music business in our exclusive interview.

Monster Magnet returned to their signature psychedelic sound in a major way with their 2013 album Last Patrol, which eschewed the heavier riffing of recent years and conjured earlier masterpieces like Spine of God and Dopes To Infinity.

Not content to leave things be, Monster Magnet frontman and driving force Dave Wyndorf returned to the studio to create their recent release Milking The Stars A Re-Imagining of Last Patrol, an album that remixes and expands upon its original source material, driving even further into gloriously trippy territory.

I recently chatted with Wyndorf about the concept behind Milking The Stars, and how that experience will shape the band’s future for 2015 and beyond. I also got to hear his colorfully witty and authentic take on the current state of mainstream music and pop culture, why Europe is kinder to rock bands, his reflections upon the upcoming 20th anniversary of Dopes to Infinity and much more in our exclusive Q&A:

SLIS: So when did you first come up with the idea for the Milking The Stars album?

DW: Messing with stuff is always on my mind. I try to do it for the records themselves. But I probably thought in the past that it was me trying to keep some sort of balance of normalcy to keep the record a certain way. This time I just gave in to the idea to just do a whole record like that: I was like what if I just fucked with the whole thing?

This time I just thought I could do whatever it is I wanted to do and experiment….so I started with a couple of songs…because I work so close to home now I can do a lot of this stuff by myself, and not have to explain stuff to people and that’s really why I did it. Just to see how far I could bring my imagination into reality. Like what if this wasn’t me just fucking around at home with a Casio, and I actually did it with a real keyboard and released it.

So after I got about 2 songs done I called up the record company and was like I got a new record do you wanna make a deal? And they were like What is it? I said, well it sounds really old and its got keyboards all over it and its not very heavy and they’re like No! (Laughing)

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They’re like well what it will sound like? and I’m like honestly I don’t know but it’s gonna sound really cool! and they went for it. And I’m really glad I did cause it was fun. I keep trying to step away from Monster Magnets reputation, that we’re a metal band. Which is not the case and has never been…I guess me singing it and still playing loud music is still confusing people. So I’m like you know something? How bout this? Are we still metal guys!? So this is the way it’s going to be from now on with me. That experiment just proved to me that I’ll just do this stuff on a regular record from now on…even if I can’t reproduce it live.

Each record will be its own thing. If it has to be lo-fi on purpose to get the message across? Then it’ll be lo-fi. If it needs to be hi-fi? It’ll be hi-fi. No matter what it takes, it has to be an experience that’s individual from other records…and to stretch my limited ability as a songwriter and express myself in some sort of different way even if it’s just the mood of a keyboard.

 SLIS: From your press release it seems like you feel the remixed Last Patrol tracks are even better than the originals. What makes them feel more definitive for you?

DW: Nah, I like’em both. It’s weird when you put it like this record vs. that record. This is just a compendium. Like a what if kind of thing. They go together like a box set.

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SLIS: I know you stated that the album features your new bassist Chris Kosnik, but was it also the recording début for your guitarist Garrett Sweeney?

DW: Yeah but there’s not a lot of those guys on this because it’s mainly me and (long time Magnet guitarist)Phil Caivano. Except on the live tracks: that’s Chris and Garrett.

But Garrett was on Last Patrol as well. But most of the album on I was reworking existing stuff, and then re-recording bass guitars and keyboards. All the drums are actually from the Last Patrol sessions. It was more like What can I cannibalize from Last Patrol to make something else?

SLIS: How do you feel about your current lineup versus earlier incarnations…is there any definitive difference in the feel or sound of the band?

DW: It’s pretty fucking good. For one thing they’re really funny guys, so we share the same sense of humor. Which goes a long way. And they understand what I’m talking about. Because I tend to explain myself in a kind of unprofessional manner. Meaning I don’t read music so I explain myself in terms like well that’s not cool!

(both laugh)

I’m like, It has to sound more like Hawkwind…not the bad Hawkwind, the good Hawkwind!  That kind of thing. And it’s a lot for people to understand if they don’t know what you’re talking about.

It’d be the same as you talking to your buddy about music that you’ve known for a long time and he knows exactly what you’re trying to say but a stranger would not know what you’re talking about. I’ll speak in terms of color and size: this thing is going to fill it up…its gotta be big, its gotta be hairy…its gotta be blue…like BIG blue and purple and its gotta be shooting laser beams out of its ass!!

(both laugh)

And because it’s not a written down direction, my directions turn into bigger and better things because they’re kind of struggling with it…the struggle’s everything. They’re like going for it and they’ll come up with stuff that’s way better than I what thought it’d be. That goes with Phil too, who’s the guitar player and he played all the bass in Last Patrol and Milking The Stars. That’s the way we worked there. It’s a big struggle. He’s like what do you want? Of course I can’t play it. I’m not talented enough, but I sure can think it up!

So I’m screaming out the way it should go with my voice and he’s manically trying to replicate what I’m saying…and somewhere in the struggle it comes out even cooler.

 SLIS: You’ve been recording in L.A. Is this for the next Monster Magnet album?

DW: I did a re-imagining of Mastermind. That was part of the contract I did for the Last Patrol re-imagining with Milking. And they were like well if you’re going to do one why don’t you do another? And I was like yeah I’ll do ’em both…I just got done. I haven’t mastered it yet but it’s all mixed. And it’s very strange (laughing). Like weird acoustic versions of songs that used to be super heavy. Turning things inside out. Not just like an unplugged situation, but truly odd….I seem to be searching for odd as we go on. Odd is interesting.

SLIS: I know you have a European tour set for February. Do you have any plans to play the U.S. afterwards?

DW: I’ve been trying to play the States but right now they’re just not coming up with the dough. I mean we can’t get arrested in the fucking states. We’ll probably play NYC. And if we can get out to the middle of the country and the West Coast then we’ll play L.A and Chicago. But everywhere else man…it’s like we’re from a different planet or something. And sometimes the only people that do show up are like stuck in the 90’s and go C’mon play Space Lord! And I’m like You’ll get your Space Lord plus you’ll get all this other psychedelic stuff. And it just doesn’t seem to be enough. The States is weird, and getting weirder.

SLIS: I saw your gig last year in Austin…

DW: Austin’s great. I would go to TX again in heartbeat.

SLIS: It was an awesome show. What do you make of how rock bands are getting such better reception in Europe?

DW: I think Europe has always had this way of looking at music, and all art too in fact. As if everything is a possible museum piece to be studied for its different merits. And its not like they don’t have their pop sensations there…they have plenty of  stupid pop singers, over the top ridiculous EDM and DJ’S. But there’s a really big percentage of music goers, and young too, not just a bunch of old hair farmers…like kids 18-30 who look at music the way that the mass public of the US did in the early 70s, all the way through the 80’s and 90s. Like Okay what do you got? It’s not just what’s the next big thing?

And I think that’s kind of like what America’s doing right now: What’s the next big thing? Does it suit me? Is it worth going out for? Is it that important?  Its like the investigative spirit from the live concertgoer in America has gone down the toilet. They’re like I checked this out online. It didn’t look too good for me. I won’t even give half the bands a chance by seeing them live. I watched a couple of YouTube shows. I don’t like the way the guy looks, I saw the video. Its stupid!  Its just like they got it all figured out so they don’t go!

(both laugh)

I mean do I sound crazy here? It used to be in the old days and it’s still true in Europe where people discuss this shit. They’re out their talking about it like they just went to the movies like did you see this band?  They’re into it! Here? I just don’t see that many people into it. I mean I know they’re out there somewhere. Maybe they’re just inside!

Maybe they got it all figured out. They’re like this is not going to be cool, I watched a couple of YouTube shows…I saw their set list online I didn’t like it!

And its like you know something? Fuck you guys; you don’t deserve to get played to!

(both laugh)

I mean the biggest thing in Middle America, the biggest bulk of what used to be touring…people are into either shit kicking greatest hits like Lynyrd Skynrd, or hip-hop hop and shit rock. It’s like the worst thing I’ve ever seen…no sense of humor. Art is like a dirty word out there. And you know the two cool guys in town? You know how like every one of those towns has like those two cool guys? Those two cool guys and that one cool girl are just fucking lonely.

(both laughing…hard)

But you know what they do? They move to Austin, L.A. or New York….somewhere where’s there’s an oasis of intellect. And that’s what I just can’t take about America. I guess I would play if there was just a bunch of dumbasses who would show up and pay the bills but the two don’t go together. At one point it did, but that was in the fat 90’s when the economy was good.

So I gave up…I mean I could go back out there and beat my feet across the states 2 times a year but I have a feeling it isn’t worth it. Not right now. Now like what Europe offers where I can afford to do it there and pay my guys and the crowds are good and all kinds of stuff that doesn’t happen here anymore.

Like in Europe if you want to go see a rock show and you’re 15 years old you get in. Over here its like pulling teeth to do an all ages show. Insurance is more. People don’t make as much as the bar. There’s all kinds of economic reasons why these guys don’t want to do an all ages show, but that leaves bands playing to a much older audience so there just ain’t no growth…but in Europe, we’ve been going there for like 20 years and the shows get bigger…there’s always new people. But here with the exception of say, Austin which is an oasis of culture. Chicago is an oasis of culture…NYC, L.A, San Francisco…all the places you would imagine are cool are still cool. Its getting from one place to the other that’s tough. I mean everywhere else people are just staring at their phone.

Its like what’s up…no its like what could be up. America is just waiting for something to happen for them on the other side of some device like maybe this could be my big break! Something good’s going to happen! No. you’re in something that’s happening now! Pay attention to what’s in front of your face right now!

In Europe it’s not like that. They live in the moment…I would advise anybody that’s into any kind of weird music…meaning not mainstream, which is really not weird, because mainstream, is just a wasteland right now. Anybody who is into anything besides what you hear in America on a daily basis, which is probably the most ungodly crap we’ve ever had…its probably the worst its ever been in mainstream music…I mean you must know right?

 SLIS: God yes. It’s depressing.

DW: There’s no way any intelligent person would be like yay this is great! Anybody who is into any other type of music go to Europe and don’t look back. I mean do you want to live your life playing in some shitty bar where some guy with a bald head and ponytail is looking at you going Do Freebird!!

Or do you want to go play in front of 26-year-old girls with big tits in Finland? That’s where you want to go. And that’s where I go!

(both laughing)

I do want to do as many shows as I can in the States, but without going broke. That’s really the thing because I have to keep the machine alive..

SLIS: You really nail that 21st century dissatisfaction in the lyrics to Stay Tuned (off Last Patrol and Milking The Stars). Do you ever think we’ll have a new musical revolution, or will it just keep getting worse?

DW: Nah. It’s gotta come out…but I don’t think it’ll be in the way that we want it. I was lucky enough to be really young at a time when really cool stuff could make it all the way. Like some weird dimensional change where it was like how could this cool stuff and this attitude of experimentation hit the mainstream? It was in the movies of the early 70’s…of course not all the cool stuff made it really big…I mean The Stooges never made it really big, but they were out there and they were on a major label.

There was always a possibility that lunatics were going to take over the asylum…that it could somehow affect somebody in some way. Which means a lot if you’re a songwriter…and it means a lot if you’re a consumer. It’ll come back but its not going to be that way. It won’t be going to be to the masses because people who sell stuff to the masses have learned through bitter tears and a lot of experimentation that if you keep it simple and dumb you’re gonna get those numbers. And were so about numbers in America that they’ll keep selling that stuff: nice and simple, dumbed down, definitely not political, god forbid.

(both laugh)

Maybe they’ll be like islands…islands of culture where people can get together and have festivals…I mean Austin does it all the time. Like a little fortress…and say we’re gonna bring all the cool shit to our town for like a month and just camp out there. And anybody whose really into it will have to drive and go. But physical door-to-door cool? That ain’t gonna happen cause you can’t afford it. Like I said, the smart people are out there but you don’t see them on the street. They hide! I mean I can’t blame them. Look who Hollywood caters to…it’s Dumb! D.U.M.B.!

(both laugh)

But what’s strange is that comedy is great. Its like the real spirit of rock and roll, which is kind of a cliché…its alive in Adult Swim and stuff like that. TV’s starting to get cool. But that’s all broadcast stuff …it’s not a live experience and that’s where rock bands take the hit. Because rock bands really made their final say and the stuff that really convinced people eye to eye. That’s what created the real excitement.

I wish I could make it better. I wish I was a millionaire. I’d make the biggest most ridiculous rock show in the world and charge nothing. Just to do it! Have a giant bong coming off the stage…UFO’s shooting at people in the audience. Why not? Just to show that live is cool. But for me as a businessman I gotta keep my head down. Cause you can go broke real easy…there’s no money in the music you know? We’re heading for a total Spotify world. And they don’t really pay. They’re the only guys in the whole industry who figured out a way to make total profit and not have to have to spend anything except for startup cost and maintenance. They’ve gathered what everyone else has done and sell it.

And when you try to get paid by them, they’re like Nope!

 SLIS: Are there any new bands that you like?

DW: There’s always cool stuff coming out. The hardest thing is to find it in the big snowstorm for crap. I like Jack White. There’s some 70-revisionist rock that’s cool. I really like Kadaver because they sound like an old band! There’s a lot of great ideas in the states…lots of lo-fi stuff that’s cool. I like Ty Seagal,  Thee Oh Sees, White Fence, all that California stuff, really cool old psych.

I like weirdos. Sweden always has weird personalities. There’s a cool band there called The Knife that came out several years ago that sounds really strange. Sounds like a little girl trapped in a mental ward.

The thing I miss…there’s such a dividing line between mainstream and what you would call outsider music. I miss the days when outsider music all of a sudden plopped into the mainstream and had everybody scratching their heads. As quaint as Pink Floyd sound now there was a time when that was just unheard of that a band with an 18-minute song would be on the charts. It was really cool.

Every once in a while I’ll go into a record store and gets as much new stuff as possible and listen to it. And there’s lot of good ideas, but I don’t hear a lot of songs. Its almost like people are afraid to sing. Like its kind of cool if I sing off-key and low… no its not. You got to sing dude. So there’s a lot of bands that sound cool but the singers not really singing. But that’s like the indie way you know? That’s the way you keep your cred. That’s what keeps all the indie labels going right now. Its like he’s not going for it. He doesn’t care to learn how to sing? Yeah! It’s just really noisy and textural. Yeah, and??  It’s just hard to pick out that one band that really cuts through and go this is it!!

(both laugh)

SLIS: Dopes to Infinity turns 20 next month, so I wondered if you had any plans in store for a deluxe edition, or a Dopes themed tour?


DW: I would love to do a Dopes tour here in the states. But I tried that with the American promoters once and they’re like Talk to us if its Powertrip and maybe we can get it.

And I’m like No! Dopes will be cool, people will like it! Take a chance. So maybe I’ll do that. I can’t believe it’s so old. Seems like just yesterday that I made that thing. Life is weird…time is a strange concept.

 SLIS: When you look back on that album, what are your fondest memories of making it, and how do you think it’s held up over the years?

DW: I think its held up pretty good. It’s one of my favorites. I remember being so into it at the time. I remember I was like this is going to be the most in tune Monster Magnet record ever dude…I was so into making a variety of songs. I was like ‘here’s the Sabbath one, here’s the psychedelic song and the records got to go in all these different places. It was the first time I’d ever played a Mellotron. It was only the second time I’d ever been in a big studio in my life. So I just loved it. I was pretty happy, but the only thing that pissed me off was that I was so anal about it, that I did the vocals so mellow, that I thought at the time it wasn’t emotional enough. But I listen to it now and its pretty cool.

Making those records…making every record is such a trip…its like cooking a big stew…so I’m never real quite sure what’s going on except for what I want. So if I’m say 60% happy with it I’m fine.

 SLIS: You mentioned begrudgingly that the promoters were pushing for a Powertrip themed tour. So is that an album that you don’t feel is representative of your sound?

DW: I like Powertrip. I just wanted it to be the opposite of Dopes. That was it. I just never wanted to do quite the same thing twice.  Powertrip was really fun because it was our first record that was designed to be played live.

It seemed perfectly natural for me to go from being a faceless psychedelic band to putting on leather pants and jumping down people’s throats. It was a dream of mine to do it all. I wanted to be the weird guy behind the mellotron but I also wanted to be the lead singer that was finally getting kinda sexy. I’d wanted to be that when I was 17 but I had to wait ‘til I was 30 to do it. I was like Now’s the time to do it! And I didn’t think it was a sellout at all.

I mean compared to what was out there like Pearl Jam and stuff? It was diametrically musically and philosophically opposed to anything else that was out there. And I thought that I could maybe tell a bunch of snide jokes and if people got like 10% of it? I’d be in. And then I could make all of my comments about America and consumer society and be eventually understood by more than a few people.

It was a big nod and a wink to rap music at the time. I’m like the kids really identity with rap music cause those guys are the only guys that walk around and live it. It’s not the music itself; it’s really just the way they act. At that point it was Nirvana time, Cobain had just killed himself a few years earlier and it was just the height of uncoolness to be actually happy and rocking

And the rap guys were walking around like check it out! Bling bling! So that was like my answer to that: If you put tits and money on a record I bet it’ll sell– and it did! I was shocked by how well it sold. So that was just a really fun phase in the journey you know? But I probably let it go on for a little bit too long, but what’re you gonna do?

 SLIS: I was bummed (the follow-up) God Says No didn’t do well in America. I thought that was a very underrated album.

DW: Thanks dude. What happened with that is more business than anything else. After Space Lord was released as a single off Powertrip A&M got sold. My record company who had been with us for like 3 records got sold and wound up being owned by Interscope. They fired all the people at my record company. And their rock division was building nu-metal as the big craze. I mean they built it and the kids loved it and it was a smart business move. So we definitely got a little shit on and they were like we’re not going to promote this record. It has nothing to do with what’s on the kid’s minds. And the same thing happened to Marilyn Manson, so we weren’t alone. He was on Interscope too and they stopped promoting his stuff.

And without their push you were left to make it on your own and use your own funds if you had any or just kind of weather the storm..It was like Limp Bizkit is here and fuck everybody else! And I was really in a bad position because I had none of the people that had worked with us up until then…so I had to fight to get off the contract.

Because they wanted another record after God Says No, and I remember saying why? Why would you want another record if this one isn’t going to do that well? But it did well enough to make them money; just not  enough to put that kind of massive promotion that you need to put a newer band on the map. Because once you have a hit record you got to have like 2 or 3 hit record afterwards to maintain that kind of thing. I was like we’re going to do another record and there’re a really good chance that it’ll never come out unless it sounds like whatever it is they think will be a hit and I’m not going to go hey lets put some Nu-metal elements into our sound!  So I got spooked and I just tried to get out of the contract and they wouldn’t let me out so I acted like a crazy person for a year.

(both laugh)

And it worked! It was great! It was funny (laughing)  I fired my manager … he was like you need to do something! And I was like no, what we should do is just leave. And move to somewhere like Germany where the times were good and do it on our terms. The Internet’s getting bigger, and broadband is right around the corner so lets just camp out. And he said, Well it doesn’t work that way. And I’m like why can’t it work that way?

So I let him go and I didn’t answer the phone for months. And finally when I did I said why don’t you just drop us? They’re like we really want you to fulfill your contract. I really feel it was just a matter of principle with them to finish a record. So then I just acted like a nut till they finally let me go!

(Both laugh)

And it was the best thing I ever did because I had run up such a bill with those guys…because when you’re on a major label you run up lots of bills and they charge it to your future royalties…they promote you, and they charge you for that promotion out of royalties. You know they’ll reach into their pocket but they’re like we own the recordings and well take what we fronted you off that royalty. 

Now that’s fine if you’re selling 10 million copies, but if you’re selling 800,000 or something like that, you’ll never make the money back that they spent which leads into that same old rock and roll story, which is you guys were really big….why don’t you live in mansions? Because it’s rigged …so I was like I know whatever record I make they’re not going to like. It’s just not in the cards…so let me just get out of the contract and free myself from all that debt and start over with an indie label. And that’s what I’ve done ever since and it’s actually worked out quite well. I mean we don’t get the exposure that we did, we don’t get the $250,000 videos and all of that shit but I don’t think that stuff works for anybody anyway. I don’t think anybody knows what sells records anymore.

SLIS: So is the Internet the worst thing to happen to music? A mixed blessing? Do you like being to connect with your fans directly?

DW: Well for the listener it’s the best thing that ever happened. For the creator it’s the worst thing that ever happened. Meaning that until they can sort out the snowstorm of crud…really in the best way there should have been a finer integration of broadband Internet and digitized music and record companies.

That would have been the best way…lowering the prices of the music to affordable levels rather than charging more. Which they did. I don’t know if you remember but when broadband came in, record companies started charging more for CDs! They went up to like $18 when they should’ve gone down to $9 but they didn’t want to give up their money. It should have been a more seamless transition, not pirates vs. big guys. Because it started right off the bat as this big war between people who were using the modern tools to get what they wanted and big fat record companies who didn’t deserve the profits they made.

But in-between them were the artists. You gotta get paid for what you do right? Or you’re not going to do it. That’s what happens. The good guys don’t always win you know? I wish I could say that when the smoke cleared it was a better world. It’s not, because it’s not that much of a different world. Just because pirates got a leg up doesn’t mean there’s gonna be better art. I’m talking about commercial, not real art, because real art will always exist untouched by almost anything.

But rock n roll is a commercial art. Bands were always in it to make some money in order to survive and that’s part of why it was so great. Like if you want some real pristine art well buy somebody’s paining. You’re not going to get that from rock…part of the whole magic of it was there was a shot for bands to actually do what they want to do and live how they want to live making a steady output of creative material to pay the bills.

When you take that away from it the whole thing collapses. What happens is you open the doors to every guy’s bedroom project. So you got a world of laptop people and graphic design people setting up bands that don’t really exist or can barely play live. Its like it sounds kind of cool I like the texture…but if this was one of the only four bands on earth you would go out of your mind. It would be horrible!

(Both laugh)

Now you put a little money behind that and you give a band a chance to actually make some money off records that are challenging…you’d see a lot more bands trying harder to make cooler shit that would go directly into people’s heads then this kind of look at me in my room shit you know? The Internet democracy has horribly failed creativity as far as music is concerned. There’s no editing…there’s long run-on shit that doesn’t make any sense, half-finished projects put out into the world…easy access to artists, its all that’s wrong with making good music. Its like it’s not done yet why would you let anybody in? Where’s the big reveal? Everybody’s like come on in and look at me suck! But then watch me get better!

(both laugh)

But they don’t realize that nobody really cares that much. Its like the whole Facebook phenomenon where everybody plays this game with each other thinking that everybody really cares…its like yeah we care but not that much (laughing). I mean hey, if pressing like means I care? Okay I’ll press like if that makes me a better person. But it’s a game.

There are a lot of songwriters out there, and its not really their fault, but I think they know deep down inside that they don’t have a chance of subverting any mainstream culture which always used to be the most fun about being in a rock and roll band…that chance that you could subvert the mainstream. 

Now they kind of passively give up like oh no I live in the Internet its cool! Nah, it’s not that cool. I mean it’s nice to have people say good words about you but it doesn’t replace the $5 in your pocket  and asses in the seats. That’s when you know you’re really doing well. It’s not a matter of being greedy either it’s just a matter of feeding the beast enough to have it grow and get bigger for the people who want to see it get bigger. That’s the main problem now…with touring I don’t know what people are going to do about that or if it’ll come back in the States the way it was. It’s too expensive. Because there are not enough people so they keep charging more for tickets. And that takes the fun out of it. I mean music is not something you should have to pay $50 for. That’s crazy. I’m going to see my favorite rock band! How much was it? $300!  Are you fucking kidding me?

Its supposed to be popularly priced…the price of a movie; the price of a concert, the price of a sporting event should always be the same price.

Another reason I do Europe so much is because they have enough people there that they don’t have to have those high prices there. You go see All Tomorrow’s Parties in Europe? It cost you $100 for 3 days. You go to a giant festival there with diverse bands …You can go see like Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Muse, Stone Cadaver, a bunch of ungodly Swedish death metal, plus I got to throw an odd thing in like someone old like Sheryl Crow, (laughing), the Chemical Brothers, Skrillex. (Laughing) the luckiest guy in the world that Skrilex!

(both laugh)

And the whole thing will cost you $75. It’s amazing and everybody gets paid. That’s what I mean. The audience gets a good deal; the bands get paid really well, because there are so many people.

I wish I could say we lived in a world where money doesn’t matter but it matters more than ever. Being cool is expensive! The club owners across the states gave up being cool a long time ago. They don’t update their PA systems. I’m like damn man what are you guys doing? I could go home and watch my 100-inch screen and watch Guardians of the Galaxy and it would blow my fucking head off and I come out to a rock show and it sucks. Get with it man!

(both laughing)

 SLIS: You mentioned Guardians Of The Galaxy, which perfectly leads me to my last question. Comic book culture has exploded in the past decade with movie adaptations. I know you’ve always been into Jack Kirby and the early Marvel stuff. Have you ever thought about doing your own line of comics? Has that ever appealed to you?

DW: You know I thought about it a couple of times. But I love comics so much that I don’t think I could do it justice. And I think if I got into it too hard it might just jade me to the whole thing. Right now comic books are kind of a mysterious world. Artists are like wizards to me. They sit there with a pencil and from nothing comes all this stuff. There’s almost no technology involved which is really cool you know. That and really good music, it’s magical.

I don’t want to fuck with that too much. But I’m available for a consultation!

SLIS: So what do you think of the whole comic book movie phenomenon? Do you like them, or do you think it’s over saturated by this point?

DW: Well comic books are in reality just strange and odd. And these are very Hollywood versions of it you know…but I like all the special effects. I mean the best comic book movie to me would be all the best battle scenes from all the movies in one big loop!

(Laughs)

Some of them are better then others but they don’t have the flavor of the original comics. But they’re better than nothing. I hope the Doctor Strange movie will be really good. I liked the Watchmen. That was really good and weird. It really had the vibe of the source material.

But they’re two different mediums you know? Comic books are static sequential storytelling and the artist has to crate the emotion and the placement of images and you as the viewer follow that. Soon as you add motion…its not a comic book anymore.

Not to say that the stories aren’t worth doing in a different medium but the superhero stuff…its like superheroes are hard enough to believe in a comic book. but they’re really hard to believe when its a guy standing around in a dumb suit. Its like I’m Thor!!! Really dude? No you’re not. The explosions look cool. But when you actually see the guy? Agh! But that’s why I liked superheroes as a kid…because you can let that stuff go by. But the old ones still work for me in a way because it’s probably the only way that I’d ever believe that anybody can wear those kind of clothes without looking like they’re from the West Village in 1978.

(both laugh)

But hey people love it. Those movies are huge. I do wish they would really do at least one movie that was really loyal to the designs of some of the masters like Jack Kirby. Like if they’re going to do a Thor movie make it like a Kirby Thor movie. But I think that might be too much for people to take…. it would be too garish and blocky and violent. Cause for all that goes on in those movies, they’re not very violent or threatening. It’s like the modern Disney. It’s no mistake that they bought Marvel. That’s like the new mythology that they’re trying build up.

A big thanks to Dave Wyndorf for taking time out for this interview. You can order Milking The Stars on Amazon and iTunes via the links below:

About SLIS

Middle Aged Gen-Exer obsessed with Alternative rock, metal, cult movies, comic books and cable TV.

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8 Responses to Monster Magnet’s Dave Wyndorf Talks ‘Milking The Stars’

  1. me January 24, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

    wyndorf: a good guy with a good head on his shoulders. long may he wave

    • SLIS January 25, 2015 at 1:54 am #

      Totally. I’ve been wanting up talk to him for ages. He did not disappoint! Love his views.

  2. Chris February 1, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

    Thanks for the great interview.

    I’ve followed these guys for a long time. I first saw them on the Dope’s tour and thought they were incredible. Wyndorf has tremendous stage presence.

    On the surface they can seem like meathead stoner rock but underneath there is a real sardonic sensibility and pretty clever lyrics. I think he is underselling himself as a songwriter.

    They have a real ability to build songs that feel like they belong with the lyrics. QOTSA comes to mind as another band that is good at this.

    • SLIS February 1, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words! And I absolutely agree on his talents as a songwriter. Wyndorf is a very clever dude. One of my all time favorite lyricists. It’s so over the top but there’s great nuggets of wisdom amidst the comic book hyperbole.
      QOTSA are also one of my favorite bands. I’d love to interview Homme some day. He’s on my list.

  3. Matt Hutchison February 2, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

    Great interview, I loved this and totally agree. Se of the best hard music is coming out of Scandinavia cause that’s where the audience and music gets the most exposure from what I’ve observed.

  4. Milk K February 6, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

    We need more Dave Wyndorf in our life. Great piece, thanks Sadness

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