Mushroomhead drummer Skinny interviewed, Talks new album The Righteous & Butterfly, Mayhem Fest, Dave Brockie & more


Mushroomhead, will release its eighth studio album “The Righteous & The Butterfly” May 13th via Megaforce Records.

Mushroomhead is drummers Skinny, Robert Diablo and Stitch, Vocalists J Mann, Jeffery Nothing & Waylon, guitarist Church, Keyboardist Schmotz, and bassist Dr. F.

Check out the interview below

Dante: The Righteous and the Butterfly how did you come up with the name?

Skinny: It is dedicated to our original guitar player John Sekula (J.J. Righteous) and the other dedication is for my ex-wife Vanessa Solowlow. Vanessa means butterfly. Vanessa did all the layout and design for Mushroomhead. The Superbuick cover. She did the layout for XX and XIII. She was also our onsite photographer. A real good example of how it was when John John and Vanessa was with us is, if you listen to XX, She is the female voice speaking Russian in the beginning of Bwomp and he wrote and played all the guitar. It was the least we could do to acknowledge some people who were very dear to us.

Dante: Why did you decide to cover Adele’s Rumor Has It?

Skinny: We ended up doing four or five different covers for this album. Dr. F and I were pouring molds for masks one day. That takes a while, we do a lot of our stuff. And I didn’t have much music on my phone so did the internet radio thing and that song came on. I was like “if you chug that part right there it would kind of be like Metallica. Then we started to dissect the song a little bite. Saying things like “wow that whole break down in the middle would be cool if we slowed it down, creeped it out and doomed it up a little bite”. Four hours later we finished pouring molds and came back to the studio and started working on it. In about three hours the whole thing came to life. We were laughing, drinking beer the whole time and just having fun recording.

Dante: What other covers did you guys work on?

Skinny: Some other songs we did were, Epic from Faith No More. That was kind of cool. Tommy Church twisted it up a bite and the rest of us just played it as is so it was not twisted enough. Another one was The Cult’s Love Removal Machine. It’s amazing how much Jeffrey Nothing sounds like Ian Astbury. We did a very slow version of When The Doves Cry from Prince. So slow in fact that it would probably end up being a six minute song. So we tracked up to the first chorus and didn’t finish it. And we did Search And Destroy from The Stooges. That turned out really cool with all three singers. It was upbeat and really punk sounding. But we had the most fun with Adele. So we finished it and put it on the album. When we cover something and want to have fun with it. We want to put a twist to it and try to make it our own. So some of the songs we tried were turning out to be nothing more than just covers.

Dante: How long did it take to make The Righteous and the Butterfly?

Skinny: We worked on and off for about 18 months because we have to tour. We would work on three or four songs and do a month or two of touring and come home four about a month or two and work on more songs. We did pre production on and off and we ended up with about seventeen ideas and we sat down and hooked up the mics on to the drum kits. And we had to decide which snare drums to use and which symbols to use and what EQ’s and compressors to use. Some of use are nerds when it comes to engineering. And we did all that on our own. I think we spent about 2 weeks on drums alone. Once we had all the pre production finished it didn’t take long. It only took about six to eight weeks of just hardcore recording. But it took about a year and a half for the writing. To get to the final recording process took awhile.


Dante: J Mann’s return? How did that come about?

Skinny: J Mann and I have a Hip-Hop project called 10,000 Cadillac’s and we were finishing that up. And I was telling him that I started on the Shroom record. And he asked “how it was going” and I told him about the three or four rough pieces we had at the time and I let him check them out. And he said “I have a part for that” and the next thing you know he is on four or five different pieces. And I told him he might as well do the whole thing with us. Let’s do the tour and let’s make some music together like we used to. And here we are.

Dante: It’s cool that he is back as well Waylon staying.

Skinny: Yeah, definitely. That was my biggest thing as a producer, it was making space for all three of them to sing and have it make sense. We didn’t want it to be one guy sing a verse and another sing a verse and another do a chorus. That’s a boring formula. We wanted it to be more exciting than that. We wanted all three singing on a chorus or trading off on a verse or harmonizing. It was challenging but at the same time it was really cool to experiment with all three of them and see where it was going to go. Obviously all three of them are friends but it was really cool putting Waylon and J Mann together and adding Jeff on top of that.

Dante: Looking back, I wanted your thoughts on last years 20th Anniversary Tour?

Skinny: It was really cool because it was the first time we brought J Mann back out on the road. We did forty two shows inside of seven weeks. J had not been out in a while. It was like riding a bike with J. It just felt good getting back out there with him and everyone else. It was just solid. And it was a huge morale booster to come home and finish this new album.

Dante: I know you are going to Russia soon. What are your thoughts on that?

Skinny: I am looking forward to Moscow. This will be our first time there. We had to hire set designers and builders to make our water drums and staging because it would cost too much to have it shipped there and back. Then we have to rent a storage spot and hopefully go back a few times to pay for it. We fly over on the 1st of May and we play on the 2ed and we are staying a few days after to check out Moscow. Then we will be home by the 5th. Then the American run starts on the 9th.




Dante: I have to ask about The Mayhem Festival. This will be your first time on that.

Skinny: Yeah that’s gonna be really cool. We are playing the Coldcock stage. I think we go on 3erd. We are playing pretty early. We just did Soundwave in Australia. We were the second band on at 11:30 A.M. Amon Amarth came on at 11. We were 11:30 and Five Finger Death Punch came on at noon. The gate opened at 10 A.M. and by 11 A.M. there was about 10 to 15,000 people there. It was great. I am not worried about going on early at Mayhem because I believe the festival crowd goes to see the whole event. I think its all happening at the right time. We have a brand new album coming out, we have never played Mayhem before and we have a big underground following so I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Dante: Considering Mushroomhead has played with GWAR, I wanted to ask you about Dave Brockie?

Skinny: Dave gave us our first national show and our first national tour. Gwar was the first band we ever open for. It tore us up. The world was definitely a better place with him in it. He put a smile on a lot of people’s faces. He was funny, witty, intelligent and talented. Anyone that knew him would tell you he made the world a better place. We are all lucky to have had him here with us for as long was we did.

Dante: Is there anything you want to say to your fans before we wrap this up?

Skinny: Thank you for all of the support through the years. If you are just getting into us now check out some of our back catalog. I hope you like the new record. And just stay tuned because we are going to be everywhere.





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