Saturday, May 02, 2009

Manson Family Picnic: An Interview

There are artists who leave an undefinable mark and feeling on you when you listen to their work. When you feel compelled to smile or get cheered up, even move your feet in a little dance but at the same time the lyrics are provoking or just plain fun. And through it all a certain feel of madness is in the air, of unpredictability. Yeah, that's my impression of Manson Family Picnic, whom I've posted about before. I couldn't just leave them like that though. Here's an interview.

Q. Manson Family picnic is composed of 5 unique members. Can you tell me a little about the group and its inner workings?

A. Definitely unique members, everyone of us is a little crazy in our own way, and we are from a bunch of different music backgrounds like noise, metal, r&b, and classical. We formed up in a wood shop in Bushwick, Brooklyn and we decided to play only acoustic instruments. Devlin use to bang on all sorts of spare machinery before we had anything that resembled drums. Some of us are trained musicians, some are not. Jeff (violin) likes to make strange sounds and noises at parties. Andrew (bass) seems to be a good driver. We all really like to cook food for each other. Arthur and I write the songs, and then we all collaborate on the arrangements, so I definitely feel that it is the intense collaboration that turns whatever we bring to the table into something that could only be expressed by the 5 individuals in this band.

Q. What inspires you to create and make music?

A. By playing and making music together we are celebrating and uplifting each others spirits. Touring has been fun and inspiring. I definitely think we are interested in the big questions... life, death and such.... suburban trauma.

Q. Is there a story behind the band's name?

A. We were playing the song "the mistakes" and we were just really getting to know each other. We started to think that we sounded kind of like a cult, like a Manson Family Picnic...ding ding ding! And it stuck. Also, I grew up in Chatsworth, Ca and used to hang around the Manson caves and play when I was a kid. Pretty weird place, Chatsworth, Ca. They use to shoot westerns a lot in the hills near the house where I grew up. Inspiring landscape! Now they make a lot of porn there.

Q. Starting out as an indie band in a world filled with bands can be very hard (but also a lot fun, if you're with the right people). What's your approach? Any funny/interesting anecdotes?

A. Well, it's know, scenes and all. They can be pretty narrow minded. But we have been able to play a lot of different kinds of scenes, and while not fitting in, I think we have been accepted. We once got kicked out of a venue because we played in the house's kitchen while the show was happening in the garage. I guess they were worried about the cops, but we only come with acoustic jingle jangle so WTF? Also, that night I think our bassist at the time was kind of a butt to the Vivian Girls. We apologize for that.

Q. What do you think of the music industry? How does the indie artist relate to it?

A. The music industry? I don't get it. But, I hope that if we keep making music that comes out of a true raw kind of collaborative effort, maybe folks will catch on.

Check out Manson Family Picnic on their website, MySpace and Facebook for streamable tracks and gig updates. Get their debut EP on CDBaby.

Manson Family Picnic - Kentucky Waltz {MP3} (from Manson Family Picnic)

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