Life During Wartime interviews: WIIIIIILD MOHICANS!!
Hey, it’s been a while so we’re stoked to bring you another Life During Wartime interview! Our comrades-in-arms at the Life During Wartime radio show in Portland, OR, talk to bands who perform live in the studio, send us the transcript and bada-bing—entertainment! This time Colin and Ian interview Portland’s WILD MOHICANS, who appeared on the show on February 27, 2013. The band’s on-air performance and interview can be heard here, or here:
Colin: What is your name, what do you play in the band and where is your favorite sandwich in Portland?
Sean: I’m Sean, I play drums and my favorite sandwich… I’ll go with East Side Deli cause you can get big old sandwiches for super cheap.
Jason: My name is Jason, I play bass. My favorite sandwich is probably New Seasons cause I can get them on food stamps.
Adam: I’m Adam, I play guitar. My favorite sandwich in town, I’d have to say, and I’ve never had it before I moved to town is Jimmy John’s. And it’s pretty sad when that’s the best sandwich your town has to offer.
Matty: My name’s Matty. I sing and my favorite sandwich is also Jimmy John’s, but I like Taste Tickler because it has a hilarious and slightly ribald name.
Ian: Why did you guys start? Why are you a band?
Adam: Matty and I did a cover band a few years ago covering songs by a band called the Pist. It turned out Matty was a good singer, who would have thought? I knew Matty from back in the day in Boston and I saw his bands play there, and I didn’t really expect much but low and behold. We decided to start a band, recruited our friend Sean and went from there.
Ian: How’d you end up in the band, Jason?
Jason: They were looking for a new bass player a few months and I think I talked to Sean, just kinda went from there.
Sean: We kept having drunk talk, running into each other at bars and finally we had band practice and it just worked out.
Colin: We know why you got together, but why the name Wild Mohicans?
Matty: Lack of imagination.
Sean: Matty came up with it.
Colin: Why that one as opposed to all the other unimaginative ones out there?
Matty: Well once upon a time we originally thought we were gonna sound like Troops of Tomorrow-era Exploited and being a fan of the band Chaotic Dischord, they had written a song called “Wild Mohicans (for Wattie)” about the Exploited. But it kind of turned into a different thing cause of the way I sing and our influences, more of an American hardcore influence, but yeah, that’s the story behind the nom de plume Wild Mohicans.
Colin: So you do have the red dread hawk?
Matty: Yes, I do. At this exact moment I do.
Ian: You go by Wild Mohicans but everyone knows its really WIIIILD MOHICANS!
Matty: Yes, that is the name our band is often referred to.
Ian: Whats that again?
Matty: The name to which you refer?
Matty: It’s uh…. [long pause] WIIIILD MOHICANS! Ugh that was a shitty one…. WIIIIIIIIIIILD MOHICANS.
Ian: And where does that come from? How did that happen? The shouty-ness?
Adam: We get down to the practice space whenever we’re practicing. There’s a good five minutes or so of us tuning up and getting ready to play and whatever. And while we’re doing that Matty is just flying off the walls jumping around, screaming nonsense into the microphone at full volume just to annoy us. And those are one of those things that he screams. There’s a couple of other things some of you might have heard, like the gurgle throat.
Matty: Ya, the bad chicken [**pukes on microphone**]
Adam: Imagine tuning your guitar over that.
Colin: Now you guys are all outlanders. None of you were born in our dear Portland, Oregon. Yet you all come from different cities, if I’m correct. Is that an accurate statement?
Colin: Do you guys feel you have a different perspective, or a unique sentiment than a typical Portland band?
Adam: Yeah, I dunno… maybe. Being here for five years I feel like I haven’t seen too many bands that were 100% born and raised in Portland, or Oregon for that matter.
Colin: It’s a rare thing.
Adam: Me and Matty knew each other from Boston, we both lived there and we met along time ago.
Ian: Where are you guys from?
Sean: I’m from the Bay Area.
Jason: Originally from San Diego. I’ve lived here for about 11 years or so.
Adam: It seems like bands only last for a little bit here, and everyone is from all over the place anyway. It’s rare that you get a band like that unless they were kids that met here growing up, have known each other forever and have been playing music together since. There are a few of those bands here but few and far between.
Matty: I think Portland is unique to cultivate a deep and un-abiding hatred for humanity. I mean, just walking Alberta St I have enough fuel for my rage and alienation and can write at least a couple dozen songs. I used to live on a street where a guy would ride by on a unicycle everyday and I just wanted to run out with a big stick and jam it in his spokes, that usually keeps me going for a little bit.
Ian: Why didn’t you?
Matty: Why didn’t I… fear and cowardice.
Ian: Now there’s rumor going around that, to be in the band, you gotta get the Wild Mohicans tattoo?
Matty: Yes that is true. Every member of the band has to get a Wild Mohicans tattoo on their wrist or behind their ear. And if you are to leave the band, or the band breaks up, you have to take a hot knife and obliterate it. When this band ends, so ends the tattoo.
Ian: And does everyone have the tattoo?
Jason: I don’t have one yet.
Sean: Matty’s dad has the tattoo.
Matty: That is true to make up for Jason’s. But if anyone wants to get the tattoo, they get into our next show for free and you get 1000 Mohicans Fun Bucks, which are not redeemable for any merchandise or any other shows, they’re only redeemable for a dinner with your favorite Mohican, or lawn work, or we will go to any place that you are, at any given time, and fight the person of your choice provided they are smaller and weaker than us. Wild Mohicans believe in overwhelming force. We don’t believe in fair fights.
Ian: But you also believe in fashion, apparently, Matty is the new king of fashion. How do you feel about your recent bout with fame in the Wilamette Week sporting a leather jacket, which is apparently a cool thing to wear these days.
Matty: I’m in the paper, those indictments are still sealed. You can read the article if you want to learn more, I just want to say I can’t say much about it, but I’m innocent of all charges. Next question.
Colin: You go by another name Matty, is that true?
Matty: No, that is not true.
Colin: I have heard alleged…
Matty: Colin Sanders, Funk You.
Colin: I do love funk. I am overpowered by funk, as the Clash put it.
Ian: Another question for Matty. When the band started, you certainly were not sober. And at this point you are, and how do you feel that has affected the lyrical content of the band as well as your live performance?
Matty: Well, in terms of the live performance it makes it a lot easier to be mentally present. I used to have a lot of problems with drugs and alcohol and a lot of the songs we wrote, in all seriousness, are about that and the feelings of alienation that come along with that. The song “Drunk Alone” is about the need to numb yourself with drugs and alcohol, the idea that you feel you have to shut everything down in order to function, otherwise you wont be able to handle the pressure of the world around you. I dunno, I don’t tell anybody how to live but, for me, I had a problem and I fixed the problem.
Ian: So, positive thing for you and for the band?
Matty: I think so.
Colin: So who would each of you say is the Wildest Mohican in history?
Matty: The wildest Mohican in history?
Colin: This could be anybody, of all time. This doesn’t have to be someone from 3000 years BC. This could be a modern person. Whatever era you feel comfortable answering.
Matty: Sean you were talking about this just the other day, why don’t you go first.
Sean: I was not talking about this, ever. I’ve never talked about the craziest Mohican. I can’t think of one.
Colin: This is someone with a mohawk, or someone of the Mohican tribe.
Sean: Right, I get the question. I just don’t have an answer.
Colin: Can you name any Mohicans, wild or just tame. Like that guy’s a real tame Mohican but I will give him the Mohican tag?
Ian: So what do you guys have for releases, whats out?
Matty: We’ve got one self-titled EP.
Adam: One 7”, self-titled, self-released. Get in touch if you want it. We’re planning a tour for the end of March down the West Coast, we’ll hopefully have some new songs recorded on a tape for that tour. And we have a song on the new PDX Blackwater compilation with Bi-Marks and some other bands out of Portland.
Ian: Any plans for future releases?
Adam: Like I said, we have a handful of new songs, some of them we’ll put on a tape we’re recording ourselves, to sell on the road. When we get back we’re gonna hopefully write a few more, go into the studio and get an LP together by springtime or summertime.
Colin: Next question, who would you say is the funniest person in Portland?
Matty: It’s no one in this room.
Sean: Tony Barteck is pretty funny.
Ian: He also made Colin Sander’s top ten. Number 3, right?
Colin: Right, number 3. The guy’s a comedy wizard. He’s like the Billy Crystal of Portland.
Adam: I dunno, I mean it’s kind of trumped by people I’ve known in the past in other cities whose hobbies were stand-up comedy between bands at shows.
Ian: Are you talking about Tight Pants Pat?
Ian: He’s the funniest guy I know, but he’s not in Portland.
Adam: Yeah, I know. When I think of funny people, especially funny people from the punk scene, there’s a bunch of people that pop into my head, unfortunately none of them live in here.
Matty: I don’t for comedy.
Adam: Matty’s pretty funny guy. He’s got my vote.
Sean: Yeah, I’ll vouch for him.
Ian: Anything else you guys would like to add?
Colin: You have literary ones of listeners out there.
Ian: And literally three minutes to talk about it.
Erin: You mentioned people contacting you if they want your record, where would they do that?
Adam: Come see us play if you’re in Portland, if not: email@example.com
Ian: Any upcoming shows?
Adam: Not that I know of, we might try to do a show before we leave maybe around the week of March 22nd.
Matty: This interview is over.
Life During Wartime can be heard on Portland, OR’s KBOO 90.7 FM Wednesday nights from 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can send them records at PO Box 1113, Portland OR 97207-1113. Get their podcast here.