So Jeff, I know you have been doing the Mumpsy thing for a few years now. How long has Mumpsy existed? How is it different now from what it was when you started it?
Mumpsy was formed back in 2004 when I taught myself music theory. I had never written songs before, and I wanted to challenge myself. I recorded every instrument on it and distributed the album around to friends. Chris Rae helped me produce it, because I had just recently started to play with him in the Heathens. It's different now because I have more fun playing music live, I don't have to worry about what everything sounds like except singing and playing guitar, and we release music all the time. The songwriting has always been all over the place, though.
You guys have your 7" release on Friday at Backbooth. What do you think is one thing people who are familiar with Mumpsy songs will notice as being different on "Posturing" versus "Cat and Canary" or "Three People," for example?
For one, there is more swear words. I think that naturally came as a result of touring over time, and having fun with your bandmates. I didn't even want to record these songs. I thought they were too offenseive. But Rae told me otherwise and the other guys liked them, too. But yeah. More of the cursing, and a lot better recording quality. That's about it. I still like writing pop songs.
You're releasing this on vinyl. What are the plans/ details of the release, and your motivation behind the vinyl release?
We just finally wanted to appease the fans on the road who want to know if we have vinyl. And we all wanted a record like that, too. If we do decide to put in the web, it'll be mp3 only. We wanted this release to be secretive, on the best quality format we can get, and then move on. We want to record more songs, goddamnit.
Did you approach writing this album differently from how you have in the past? If so, why do you think that is?
We recorded this one in Gainesville, FL with Rob McGregor because I couldn't track more than two tracks in my home studio. And we wanted to focus on our sounds, amps, and drinking. And if I had recorded it, it wouldn't have been like that at all.
What is your personal favorite Mumpsy song? Why?
I love "Don't Let Your Big Boots Drag You Down" because it rules and only has three chords. And it's country, and it can make the crowd move. (editor's note: I happen to agree. That, and "You Glued My Broken Heart.")
What sort of things does Mumpsy have planned for the near future? Anything in particular, or are you just taking it as it comes?
Touring a bunch and releasing more music. Nothing special as far as record labels or anything. Although we just recently got someone who wants to help with our touring strategies. But nothing big.
You played drums in The Heathens, before doing the singer/songwriter thing in Mumpsy. What do you prefer?
I prefer only playing drums and not writing. But what can you do?
How long have you been playing music? What other bands have you been in in the past?
I've been playing drums since I was 9 years old. I have been in the Heathens, Dodger, Basements of Florida, and various other projects.
At what point did you decide you wanted to play guitar and sing? How bad did you suck when you first tried it out?
When I learned music theory from a website, and decided I wanted to try it. I was terrible. But then again, I've always been bad at things the first times I try them. That's part of the process of human error.
Where did you learn to write songs? Was there a certain band you were in that really taught you a lot about writing songs, or various bands you have been a fan of over the years that have strongly influenced your song writing?
I learned to write songs mainly from hearing chord progressions from artists I admired and figuring out the music theory behind them. I then tried to remember everything I heard so that I could emulate some of my favorite artists. I learned the most from the Mama's and the Papa's and the Kinks, I'd say.
What is the most important thing you learned about song writing?
That nothing is going to be absolutely original. Nothing.
In addition to writing your own music, you also produce albums for other bands. Who are some of the bands you've worked with recently?
I oversaw the recording and mixing of the XOXO release, I mastered the Oh Fortuna album coming out on Post*Records in a couple months, and I like to work freelance out of Brighton Conservatory, my home studio.
What's that like, working on someone else's songs? Do you approach it much differently from recording and producing your own music?
Yeah, well, I try not to produce the songs too much when I didn't write them. Often times, I just record them and offer input. One time, a local band wanted me to produce every aspect (arrangement, what instruments, et cetera), and I had to politely tell them I wasn't interested in doing their project. When I get too much freedom on a project, I tend to not want to do it. If I have a specific job, I love doing it.
Any new bands (local or otherwise) that you have discovered recently you think people should give a try?
So Help Me Rifle, Flowers Forever, Oh Fortuna (Gainesville), Slippery Slopes, Mike Dunn, Thomas Wynn & the Believers, Vanda, Brimstone Howl, the Dealers, and Gringo Star.
If you had to start a new band tomorrow, and automatically have whatever members you needed to start it, what kind of music would you make?
A heavily layered dance project. With auto-tuned vocals. And synthesizers.
You've got a Zeus tattoo, right? Tell me about your thing with Greek Mythology. I think you should make an entire album dedicated to it.
Loves songs for Athena, and shit. What do you think?
I write songs about my Greek gods and goddesses all the time. Athena is a remarkable deity. I love it. Nereus is a great one, too. He was the "Old Man of the Sea," and was trustworthy, and never spoke a lie. Triton was the master of the waves, and of course, Poseidon was 1/3 of the Holders of the Universe.
If you had a chance to party with Zeus for a night, where would you take him? What kind of beer do you think Zeus would drink?
Zeus eats ambrosia and drinks nectar. Anywhere that serves that type of food and drink would be great. Dionysus would have to be there, too. He'd tear the shit out of some wine and the whores as well.
Actually, to take the question from earlier about starting a band and twist it, if you had to start a band of Greek Gods and Goddesses tomorrow, and you could only pick five, which five would you pick and what would you have them play?
Hermes (my favorite God) is the god of thieves, liars, travellers, and persuasion. So he would be the singer. Hephaestus, the carpenter of the gods, is handicapped, so he would be sitting in his wheelchair playing synthesizers. Zeus, supplying the lightning bolts, is on drums. Artemus is the goddess of the hunt, banging the tasty riffs out on bass (cause women bassists are super hot); naturally, her twin brother Apollo would be a ba-ba-ba-badass on the guitar. I would manage them and take their money.
Download their new single here.