Regardless of being filled with songs written on the daybreak of heavy steel, Monster Magnet’s new album sounds related at present, and the band’s chief, Dave Wyndorf, explains why.
When Dave Wyndorf joins the Zoom name, he’s illuminated by purple gentle and curtained by shadows, as if he’s broadcasting from the psychedelic dimension described within the opening observe of A Higher Dystopia, the brand new covers album from his band, Monster Magnet. Via the thundering silence of your vacuum-kept secret / Hiding out on the pulsating fringe of your bubbly, fudge thoughts / Deep, into the sanctuary of the ruby-lipped lizard. However, Dave shouldn’t be Facetiming from the cave of the good blue-winged bat. He’s chatting from his house in New Jersey.
It’s becoming. A Higher Dystopia represents a kind of homecoming for Dave and Monster Magnet. Recorded in 2020 in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dystopia has the band cowl songs by pro-metal and psychedelic teams like Hawkwind, POOBAH, Jerusalem, and Josefus. The opening observe, “The Diamond Mine,” recreates a monologue from Dave Diamond, a radio DJ who helped unfold the gospel of psychedelia and acid rock in his applications. These songs laid the muse for heavy steel as a style – and for Monster Magnet as a band. “I simply went again into my deep, deepest childhood reminiscences and tried to give you one thing that may be fascinating — which means songs not lots of people had heard earlier than. And it could keep throughout the band’s wheelhouses of music. That is stuff that impressed me to create Monster Magnet.”
A Higher Dystopia, Dave tells HollywoodLife, began as a “filler concept.” That they had simply completed the European leg of their Powertrip tour once they arrived in North America in February 2020. However, COVID hit, leaving the band – like each different group – caught with nothing to do. “It wasn’t a matter of like being profitable,” mentioned Dave. “It was extra simply to do the proper factor by us. Like, we’ve bought numerous power we’re in the course of a tour. We needed to play and the prospect of me sitting in entrance of my tv whereas the entire world’s in lockdown, and everybody’s crying the blues 24 hours a day whereas the federal government is being run by a mad man? I’m not going to sit down there and watch that,” he says with fun. “So, okay. Let’s do a report.”
“As quickly as I considered doing it,” says Dave, “the ramifications of a foul cowl album hit me virtually instantly.” It’s an all-true concern for any established rock band. The quilt album may be brutal for a fan, with some information coming off as disjointed messes. The quilt album can be perceived as a sign of a bunch’s inventive drought, a low-water mark that has, previously, preceded a band’s breakup — see Weapons N’ Roses “The Spaghetti Incident?” or Rage Towards The Machine’s Renegades. But, A Higher Dystopia defies these fears. Monster Magnet has created a vivid sonic expertise, cohesive from begin to end. It’s the soundtrack of an in a single day highway journey by way of the New Mexico desert. It’s the music greeting you if you enter a dimly lit dive bar, inviting you in with the odor of leather-based and chilly beer.
Maybe the best accomplishment of A Higher Dystopia is how related it sounds in 2021. Although psychedelic music is related to the Peace and Love Technology, the music was additionally the soundtrack for a time of social unrest, corrupt political administrations, and world anxiousness. A Higher Dystopia “ties in an fascinating [observation] that I had,” says Dave, “in that, in my life now, I’ve been by way of two actual, media-approved dystopia instances – one being the final 4 years of loopy authorities, loopy fights, civil wars, post-truth insanity, plus COVID. And the opposite time after I was actually younger, I keep in mind being 12 years outdated in 1969 and America was on hearth again then.”
“It was worse than it was now,” he provides. “We had riots each single summer season, and so they have been drafting folks to go to the Vietnam conflict. It was mirrored instantly, particularly in music. The instances felt loopy, and the music sounded loopy. There was all this music popping out – and it wasn’t even getting on the radio. It was filling up the report shops and going out to folks. And it actually was mirrored within the sounds of the music, the lyrics — the ambiguous, unusual lyrics — simply normal madness. It was nice. It was actually cool. It was there. It was on the road. Popping out of the report retailer, you truly felt like these information have been made within the time you lived in.”
There might by no means be a equally uniformly seismic shift within the musical panorama once more. Trendy listeners aren’t reliant on a single supply for music anymore, so shifting developments and reflective attitudes in particular scenes is perhaps extra refined to select up. “There’s a much bigger wealth of music” at present, says Dave, earlier than noting how the “the cultural expertise was very singularly distinctive” when the songs that make up A Higher Dystopia first got here out.
Although A Higher Dystopia displays the instances of 2021, it was additionally a approach for Dave to have fun a pivotal time in his life. “I began Monster Magnet after I was 28. So, it was late. I used to be in different bands,” he says, referencing his punk/power-pop group, Shrapnel. “I began Monster Magnet due to my love for that stuff that I first bought into.”
“Once I went again to those songs to do the quilt report, I used to be like, ‘yeah, , folks ought to know.’ If there’s any approach I might share the love and switch the folks onto [these songs] in a method or one other — undoubtedly. However, actually was the primary motive actually was to go to Monster Magnet followers and say, ‘if there are any doubts on the place the origins of this band got here from, let there be little doubt. That is the stuff that turned me on. It’s form of like a roots report.”
After taking a visit to the previous, what does the longer term maintain? “I’m so able to go,” he says. “We’ll in all probability begin enjoying round Christmas time within the states. A way or one other. I do know we’re going to do some anniversary exhibits for our first album, Backbone of God. It’s like 30 years outdated now. And, in fact, I wish to tour A Higher Dystopia like hell as a result of the songs are f-cking nice. They’re going to work nice stay.”
“If I might begin a set with ‘Mr. Destroyer,’ I assure you, get in a room filled with a few hundred folks, a thousand folks on the proper second, when you elevate your hand to go—” That is the place, within the chat, he shouts, conjuring up the purple power from his New Jersey dimension to bellow the title to “Mr. Destroyer,” a preview of what followers can anticipate when the band returns to performing stay. After delivering the road, he smiles. “Individuals are going to respect that. You’re going to go, ‘Sure. I would like Mr. Destroyer.’”
Maybe one of the best factor about A Higher Dystopia is that Monster Magnet exhibits how, as Dave notes on the finish of the decision, that rock may be “humorous and wonderful and imply all on the identical time — typically throughout the identical track. It might have sarcasm, it might chuckle at itself, and it might be actually highly effective. It doesn’t all the time need to be utterly severe or testosterone-fueled to the purpose the place there’s no emotion. That’s why I really like these things as a result of — that is what all these [rock] stereotypes have been constructed on. So it seems like I actually go to the properly and says, ‘oh, , that is actual stuff.’ That is like, ‘I simply discovered an actual dinosaur bone,’ however that is actual, man. , these items actually did exist.” And due to Monster Magnet’s phenomenal new album, it exists once more.
A Higher Dystopia is out now.