The Metal Mongrel Metal Mongrel gets the Skinny from MushroomHead . . . It's Tuesday, July 17, 2001, and I call into the MushroomHead camp. The band is at their studio this night and Skinny, the drummer/driving force for the Cleveland band is obviously in a good mood. We spend the first 5 minutes talking freely about PCs and the differences between Macs and PCs, kids and raising them. Getting down to business, I ask a selfish question first, "When are you coming to Iowa?" Skinny gives me an answer but I cannot publish it here because the deal is not finalized. By the time you read this, though, the band's tour plans will probably be public knowledge. will have all the details. I mention that I had read about how the band originally came together as a bunch of members of other bands hanging out late at night and then how the side project became a focus. Talk about how MushroomHead became the focus. Skinny replies, "The singer and I were in a band Hatrix that had a record out on Massacre Records in Germany and we had this idea for these other songs. So we just started tracking them. And then we thought we need to do this stuff live and put a band together. There's been some members come and go over the years, but essentially it's the same group. The song "43" was the first song we wrote as MushroomHead." What about playing at the Cleveland World Series of Metal, how has that been playing in front of the hometown fans? "That's been really great. We have a core of fans that are really into the sound and follow us. We played a couple of shows in Illinois this last weekend and had people come out to see us." And what about having major label acts open for you? "That's really something messed up. I mean, bands like Slipknot went from opening for people to having Slayer open for them. I don't know about that, I'd be like, 'are you sure you don't want us to play first?' but really, we go out on stage and just play our show. Our discussion turns to my favorite track on "Never Let it Go." How did that song come together? "That song was a vibe song. No one ever said, "okay you start here, you stop there" or any kind of planning for that. We just had a good vibe on it." I mention I like the song because it starts in a ? time feel, gets a mosh pit groove and then collapses into the ? time feel again. "Yeah, that's a great vibe when we play that." So, I say, when you make it out to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, you'll play it for me? "Definitely!" Skinny laughs. "We do everything from XX and a couple of other songs as well." Next is some shoptalk. What kind of drums and cymbals are you using? "I'm an old-school Zildjian man. I don't like the old China Boys and use those. For drums, I use Yamaha Rockstars. They're big-sized drums with a couple of 18x24 bass drums." Next, I ask about something I've always wondered about bands like Slipknot, GWAR and KISS, that no one ever talks about that with visual bands. Skinny replies, "Well, I think if you took away the costumes and we recorded, the record would sound pretty close the same, except maybe a bit faster." I joke and ask if they're going to do an "Unmasked" CD where they take off their costumes. Skinny replies, "Not that I can see. We're not about hiding who we really are. I mean, you can find pictures of us and we all do side projects where we don't have the costumes. So it's just something we do for this band." Where do you see metal going next? These bands like Godsmack, Disturbed, Linkin Park, Staind all are doing well commercially. "Yes, they're what I call 'safe metal' meaning labels can put money into them and they'll probably make some money from them. I don't call ourselves a metal band; I call ourselves a heavy band. We have some metal in our sound, but there's more to us than that." And what about the future, besides the secret plans that can't be revealed in this interview? When are you planning to record the follow-up to XX? Have there been songs written for it? "We're actually working on it now. There's some song ideas, but some aren't done. We've written a lot of stuff and we're working on it."

12 questions asked to skinny
chocolate or vanilla?

cd or vinyl?

Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath?
Black Sabbath

Spiderman or Batman?

Faith No More or Mr. Bungle?
Mr. Bungle

tattoos or piercings?
Can I say neither?

Coke or Pepsi?

Ginger or Mary Anne?
Mrs. Howell 'cause she has all the money.

book or movie?

cat or dog?

cake or pie?

boxers or briefs?

12 questions asked to skinny

Nirvana or Soundgarden?

Bugs Bunny or Tazmanian Devil?
Bugs Bunny

Jackass or The Osbournes?

David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?
David Lee Roth

horror movies or action movies?
horror movies

Heather Locklear or Heather Graham?
Heather Graham

McDonald's, Wendy's or Burger King?

Judas Priest or Iron Maiden?
Judas Priest

Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars

pool or ocean?

boots or sneakers?

pancakes or cereal?