I noticed you are playing the second night of South By So What?! and it’s funny, because you are the veterans in the middle of heavy acts like Bring Me The Horizon—who you’ve toured with—and billed above some of the bigger Christian metalcore bands.
It feels absurd for you to be playing this, but really, it’s still business as usual for Mindless.
I don’t book [the gigs], I just play them. [Laughs.] I mean, I love being in between wacky shit. It’s really good. It’s just so much fun. You can piss somebody off. If somebody’s Christian, look out. They’re just too easy.
Fish in a barrel. I was wondering if there was a bum-out factor, how people would just totally become offended. Is it at the point now where you can’t offend an audience?
Oh, no: I can offend people very easily. It’s funny; I end up offending people a lot. It doesn’t seem to be a group; it seems to be that everybody’s up for everything as a whole. I might offend one or two people in this audience; I might offend a bunch of people in that audience. I mean, I definitely do a great job of singling people out or coming up with witty shit and stuff like that, but there’s always going to be something off the cuff, where it’s the right time, right place. As much as I could have planned it, I couldn’t have planned it better. Someone will say something, and I’ll say something, they’ll yell something, and I’ll nail them. I can always tell when I get it good if I look over and Lyn-Z has an “Oh my God,” face, while she is cracking up, or Kitty does a spit take. Those are the best, because the whole point of me talking is really just to give everybody in the band a break for five seconds, and Kitty will usually be having some water. If I look back and she’s spitting it up, it’s like, ”All right, I had a good one.”
It’s good you four are still enjoying that camaraderie this far in. So let’s talk about the elephant in the room. You taunted your fans on Facebook saying this might be the last time they could see your band. What’s going on?
Well first off, in no way have we broken up. That’s the No. 1 thing: We’re not breaking up. It’s literally just a hiatus from touring. It has nothing to do with any future releases or anything else. I want to work on some side-project stuff, and people want to do some family stuff. Last time we took a hiatus, we weren’t exactly sure what was going on, only because everyone was getting pregnant at once and having kids. So does that mean if you’re a mom or a dad you can’t be in Mindless Self Indulgence? We didn’t know, so we were kind of a little bit like, “Let’s just go have babies and we wont tell anybody anything. We will just sort of, like, relax and enjoy ourselves and see if we want to do this in the future.” Everybody was happy to get back and have fun on the road and stuff. We were gone for, like, two-and-a-half years, something like that.
We definitely have the luxury of putting down our own schedule. We don’t have a manager. We don’t have a label; we call our own shots, so if I’ve got something to say in 2009, when we released If and then I have nothing to say until 2013 when How I Learned To Stop Giving A Shit comes out, then that’s good. A lot of bands just, that’s their strategy: Go on the road for a year, get off the road and get in the fucking studio and write the same fucking rap and go back out on the road. We just follow what we’re in the mood for, so as far as a hiatus is concerned, we are going to take some time off. I don’t know how long that time is going to be, and the main reason we are saying you better fucking come see a show is, I might get hit by a fucking car. Who the fuck knows what’s going to happen? If you don’t see it now, maybe I’ll go on a vacation to Panama and never come back. Who the fuck knows?
We’re going to keep releasing things and having fun. I want to do other things, like some side projects like I’ve been doing for the past couple of years, like more video games, soundtracks and weird stuff. Everyone’s got to do family stuff, and maybe there will be some more babies, who knows? I don’t know how frisky everybody is; we’ll see where we are in a couple years. But I can’t guarantee you’re going to see us relatively soon, so I don’t want anybody to miss out if they are like, “Oh they will be back again next year.” They better fucking do it.
The announcement is also because I don’t know what it is with this day and age, but you have all the social media and all the stuff and literally we will go into a town play the town, go to the next town and someone will be like “Why don’t you play my town?” and I’d be like, “I just fucking played your town!” And they’ll say it on Twitter! Like, you don’t fucking look at my Twitter? You’re telling me on Twitter, “Hey, why don’t you come to London?” when I just played London? It’s on you, like, look at your fucking stuff! We’ve got all this shit; I didn’t invent Twitter or Facebook, but just look at it—it will tell you when I’m coming to town. I don’t know whether people are stupider lazier or are like, “Oh, I didn’t know,” you know? There is definitely a black hole between the Internet and the sort of downsizing of press. There’s become a very weird black hole. Like, it doesn’t matter how many posters you put up of shit, or how many billboards you buy, or how many articles you get written about you, or how much online presence you have, there’s a fucking lot of people who have no clue what you’re doing until after you’ve done it, which has become this really odd thing.
What was the best outfit that somebody showed up in on the last tour? I know you’re big on having people dress up.
Well, on the U.K./Euro tour we just did… there was a Pikachu at one, but that’s par for the course. Nobody got naked, which I’m a little bummed about. Usually there’s some sort of naked guy who gets onstage at some point. I don’t think they dressed up as much in the U.K. and Europe. Over here, we get full mascot outfits and shit. In America, it’s a lot more specifically for our show. You’re not going to go dressed as Monsters, Inc. to a to a country show. I didn’t see anything that really stood out more so than America. America’s great: You get a fireman, and there’s a guy from Monsters, Inc., There’s Pokemon, or Sailor Moon stuff or whatever. I didn’t see any Doctor Who [at the U.K. tour], so I was kind of pissed about that. But then Doctor Who dresses like an English person, so maybe they were all dressed like Doctor Who.
Given how the members of MSI conduct themselves and the relationships they have with each other, do you think Mindless Self Indulgence would ever come to an end?
I don’t know. We love each other, and that’s very different in a band. Most bands meet later in life, and they don’t really know each other. They haven’t really grown up with each other; they’re not friends. They’re just like, “I needed a guitarist. I met this guy, and he plays wicked guitar, and then we wrote the greatest song ever, “Welcome To The Jungle,’ and now we fucking can’t stand each other.” That’s usually how it goes, and it makes perfect sense, because you don’t know who this fucking guy is, you know? He could be the greatest guitarist in the world, but he could also be the greatest fucking heroin addict in the world or the most bipolar guy in the world.
With this band being an art project, it was really like, “I want to make an art project with my friends,” and that’s how it started. We were all friends to begin with and then made the art on top of the friendship. That’s brought us closer, and we have always modeled the band and how we work on the road around being comfortable. So we’ll never come to an end based on any personal relationship.
The only thing I could tell you is that how long… I mean, I look fucking fantastic for my age, I’m not going to lie about that. I look like I might be 30, but I’m actually 44. But I don’t know if I can—or really want to see—Little Jimmy Urine jumping around onstage when he is in his 50s, you know? Again, I might be completely wrong. I might be 50 and [say], “This is the greatest, I love it,” but I might also be like, “Ouch, this fucking hurts.” I’ve gotten, like, cartoon-hit in the face with basses, bottles and everything and still bounce right back and never had a problem. The last European tour, I actually felt something, because some kid got onstage in Germany, got behind me—I didn’t even see him—and when I turned around, he was there, and he pushed me off the stage. I flew backwards and landed on the floor on my back, and oh man, that killed. For the next couple of shows I was actually like, “Oh, this is what it feels like when you really have an injury and you have to play a show,” like jumping off of drumkits and landing and feeling the impact in my back. Oh my God, it felt like every time I hit the ground, somebody was knifing me in the back. Steve did full tours with a broken back. Lyn-Z did shit after having a busted lung. I don’t know how the fuck they did that shit. I don’t know if I want to do that in my late 50s-early 60s, but unfortunately for me, I didn’t make a band called Pink Floyd, where I can stand there and sing these songs. I made a band that’s all about the action, jumping around and going crazy. alt
Will Jimmy go to Panama and never return? Better safe than sorry. See MSI live now:
Mar. 12 – Tempe, AZ – The Marquee
Mar. 14 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
Mar. 15 – Grand Prairie – QuikTrip Park (South By So What? Festival)
Mar. 17 – Atlanta, GA – Heaven @ The Masquerade
Mar. 18 – Norfolk, VA – NorVa
Mar. 20 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live
Mar. 21 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
Mar. 22 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
Mar. 23 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of the Living Arts
Mar. 25 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
Mar. 26 – Clifton Park, NY – Upstate Concert Hall
Mar. 27 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
Mar. 28 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
Mar. 29 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
Mar. 30 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
Apr. 1 – Toronto, ON – Phoenix Concert Theatre
Apr. 2 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall
Apr. 3 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
Apr. 4 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave Eagles Club
Apr. 5 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
Apr. 6 – Lawrence, KS – The Granada Theater
Apr. 7 – Sauget, IL – Pop’s
Apr. 9 – Denver, CO – The Bluebird Theater
Apr. 11 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon
Apr. 12 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
Apr. 13 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
Apr. 15 – West Hollywood, CA – House of Blues