I have a hard time adequately describing mewithoutYou's music... imagine if King Missile and early Butthole Surfers collaborated. Even then you'd be missing a lot of the nuances and brilliance. I caught up with drummer Richard Mazzotta to see what I could learn about the amazing percussionist in 30 seconds.
Seriously, he's now tied with Budgie as my favorite drummer. Cat is flipping sweet.
Rocks Off: What is worst song in the world?
Richard Mazzotta: It would be too easy to pick on Nickelback or Staind, so I am gonna go curve ball here, well, it's not that hard of a curve but "Celebrate" by Kool and the Gang. It is just too easy to be manufacturing this type of sentiment.
I understand it is helped get many parties and weddings started, but it does nothing for me. I would have to be at the most slamming block party, engaged in various types of unsavory activity, to really enjoy this, essentially not myself.
RO: What is the best lyric in the world?
RM: Impossible question. I ingest so much music, the idea of picking one favorite lyric is killing me right now. I am going to go super standard and easy on this because if I think about it too much, I won't be able to get it done.
If you want to talk about life motto's then "YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU OWN" from "Merchandise" by Fugazi. If you want my sappy lovey side, another favorite lyric would be, "and the horns that you will blow into the air, I can't recall though somehow never sound the same to me, I'd love to hear them coming from your mouth directly, but you never want to blow them just for me." It is by a band called Mazarin in a song called "Louise."
RO: Someone throws a beer bottle at you onstage. What do you do?
RM: I have had this happen before; it is not an enjoyable experience to say the least. Being the drummer, I get to see the whole stage and crowd, so spotting all types of activity is easy be it fighting, dope smoking, pure rockage, or couples breaking up, I see it all.
If I get hit with something, I would generally stop after the song, stand up, say that it wasn't cool to do that, and if the hate keeps flowing, just get one of those big old security guards to throw the dude out. I say dude because dudes usually engage in this type of activity, and in no way was I intentionally being gender specific.
We were in England opening for Coheed and Cambria, and this guy with a blue Mohawk kept yelling and spitting and throwing things. I got hit more than once; I just pointed him out, got him tossed, felt no remorse that he was going to miss his favorite band. Don't mess with our flow!
RO: Without worrying about space, time, or the laws of physics, what would be the ultimate gig to play?
RM: The ultimate gig, this is such a tough question because I feel like I have played some of my ultimate gigs but it could be cool to play with Fugazi, anywhere, anytime. I suspect however that you would prefer something a little more outlandish.
So, maybe somewhere like on a rock out in the ocean in Big Sur with fish and mermaids as the crowd or my drums perched atop a high tree in the Redwood National Forrest in Northern California. Or even better, we could be shrunken down to specks like the movie Inner Space and injected into "fans" bodies for a nominal fee, re-sizing us might be tough, but hey, if we get to keep on performing, I don't care where it is.
RO: What would you buy with a million dollars?
RM: First and foremost, I would buy my mother a house in Ocean City, New Jersey. Not on the beach block or anything like that but a modest bungalow right on the bay, two bedrooms, one bathroom, garage and a deck. That would have to be the No. 1 thing I would do.
Then, I would get myself a 2002 Volvo Cross Country, nothing too fancy, get it inspected, maybe go up to Vermont to visit friends for a few weeks, come home, place some sports bets, go golfing, pay off all my debts and then count my leftovers which by my estimation would be a few hundred thousand dollars.
I would invest and hope to pay off a small house for myself, build a studio in the basement and most likely barbecue every day while closing out my evenings doing a crossword in a hammock. Why did you make me think about this? Now I am jealous of a life I won't ever have.
RO: What would you buy with your last dollar?
RM: Burn it and piss the ashes out.
RO: If you could canonize another musician who would it be and of what would they be the patron saint?
RM: My canonized musician would be Billy Corgan. He could be the patron saint of Guitar Bending, better known for his face-melting solos. His body of work spanning from Gish to Machina would be his most recognized contributions to the world.
"Saint Corgan" has helped and aided many kids in the nineties find an outlet for their emotions while fueling ambitions to make it as rock musicians. Billy changed my life one snowy night in '93, "Cherub Rock" to "Luna", altered the course of who I was, and ultimately would become.
RO: What will be written on the plaque beneath the giant statue future generations erect in your honor?
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RM: Here lies Richard Anthony Mazzotta, he tried his best, failed often but loved his friends and family so much, sometimes he didn't know what to do with it. Nothing really matters, life is a hoax and he knew it all along. 1981-2013.
mewithoutYou plays with Kevin Devine and Buried Beds Saturday at Warehouse Live.