November 20th, 2009
The Southern Dissonance Tour-The Haven
Welcome back! Eric here, with another edition of the Banderview! I was at The Southern Dissonance Tour, and let me tell you, some amazing bands played this night. I’ve ranted about how great THEM was in the Fields of Glass interview, and anyone who hasn’t heard of My Evil Side, Familiar Sin, or Death By Asphyxiation needs to A. Punch yourself in the face and B. Go check them out NOW!
But this night was all about a little band from Ohio, Mobile Deathcamp. Now, you MAY not have heard of Mobile Deathcamp just yet, which is a travesty, but you HAVE, guaranteed, heard of the lead singer and guitarist before. His name is Todd, but you know him as BEEFCAKE THE MIGHTY of GWAR! However, we are not going to talk about GWAR. We are going to talk about the band that you now need to know about, Mobile Deathcamp.
Bring forth a ferocity in a style that many may have thought was dead, pure thrash metal is back, folks. Mobile Deathcamp is heavy without breakdowns and brees. They play fast, they play hard, and they will make you mosh your balls off. The aggression and intensity of the music punches you in the face and pulls you into a frenzy of energy that is downright contagious, worse than ANY swine flu epidemic.
And yet, on stage, they are HILARIOUS. It’s not GWAR humor, though. The front man just knows how to work the crowd, and he does so in a fashion that is funny and fresh. He doesn’t just call for you to pit. He wants you to laugh.
And then pit.
Speaking with Mobile Deathcamp was a pleasure as well, as the man I spoke with(Todd, aka BEEFCAKE THE MIGHTY! Did I mention that?) was not a rockstar, but a humble, funny, interesting individual.
Eric: Eric Mann here with OrlandoBands.com at The Haven and the Southern Dissonance Tour, speaking with none other than Todd from Mobile Deathcamp! He is the lead singer and guitarist of Mobile Deathcamp. How you doing tonight Todd?
Todd: I’m doing good man. How’s your thing going?
Eric: It’s going fantastic. How did Mobile Deathcamp get started?
Todd: Well, we were all working in a cheese factory together…that’s not really true. The last year that I was touring with GWAR, I had been a guitar player originally, so, when GWAR asked me to play bass, of course I said yes, as I had been a big fan and had dug that s**t for a long time, but I had been working on this speed metal stuff, and I had been playing with thrash/punk bands, playing guitar primarily for 24 years, and only played bass when they asked me…ANYWAY, the last year and a half touring with GWAR, I had been working in the back on a demo, and when all my tour obligations for Beyond Hell were done, I just decided to bow out gracefully, so I just backed out, jumped back on guitar, and pursued this with everything. We haven’t been a band for 2 years yet, and we’ve been around the country 3 times and around the eastern half of the country twice, all under 2 years, with no support, just doing it on our own. We’ve been out since March, it’s now November 20th, and we’ve been home maybe a total of 5 weeks. The last time we left was November 5th, we’ll be home December 1st. We leave again the 3rd, and then we’ll be home for Christmas, and then we leave again January 1st for a few months, and the cycle just continues.
Eric: Now, do you feel that being in GWAR has helped you get shows, or do people not even really notice? Is GWAR the great promo tool it may seem to be?
Todd: It’s definitely a huge help, and people ask all the time “is it cool that I write former Beefcake or Beefcake from GWAR”, and I say “you can write that I was on the f***in Simpsons if you want”. Whatever is good for promo.
In my last band, the band I was in before GWAR, it was deemed a GWAR side project, which it wasn’t, it was the band I got hired out of from GWAR. Now that I’m with this, it still has the stigma that, you know, GWAR is the big scary show, like, Halloween every night, and they started booking us originally with whatever local band did, like, stupid s**t. The local band that throws around blood or crawls out of the casket or whatever. I book a lot of the stuff, and there’s another guy who books it, and I told him “Tell them we’re just a metal band, we don’t want to play with your local version of GWAR or your local version of Green Jelly”, and, you know, I love GWAR and Green Jelly, but put thrash bands and speed punk bands on with us.
We played with plenty of those meathead metal bands to, like, you know, the breakdowns. I’m not really wild about that new metal, the mallcore stuff. Unfortunately, there is a lot of that around, and it’s big.
Eric: They play. They’ll take a show at a moments notice.
Todd: But there’s plenty of thrash metal bands around too. There’s a big resurgence, and I’ve been playing it my whole life, and I see these young dudes like 19 and 20 wearing the battle vests with the patches and I’m like “Yes!” It puts a bloody tear in my eye. I get all warm inside, cuz I made my first battle vest in 84. I’m an old man. I turned 45 last Fall
Still got the battle vest. Not the same one obviously, it’d be about 4 sizes too small, but I have one none the less.
Eric: That brings me to a question that I always ask, and some people find it hard to answer, but fans of what should come see Mobile Deathcamp?
Todd: Fans of 18 inch extra large pizzas, because the 16 inches won’t feed three guys properly. You need the 18 inch. They call it extra large, some people call it large.
And get extra sauce, long as its not too greasy.
What was the question?
Eric: *laughs* What does your music sound like?
Todd: Oh. Of course. We’re for fans of like, Slayer, Slayer’s a huge influence. We’re speed metal, an 80s speed metal band. So if you dig Slayer, Possessed, Venom, Exodues, DRI, Suicidal, Kreator, Death, or maybe some SOD, you know, it’s just speed metal. It’s not new stuff, it’s old type stuff, but it’s got kind of a new twist on it. It’s pretty lovely actually.
Eric: It’s heavy without the breakdowns and brees.
Todd: Yeah, I mean, there are some parts, we used to call them mosh parts back in the day, where it speeds long dununununu and then it stops and goes dun dundun dun, which isn’t really a breakdown in this type of music, but technically, it could be a breakdown.
I think I’m having a breakdown. I’d really like a pizza.
Eric: What has brought you to Florida? Were you already on a big tour or-
Todd: No man, we’re totally DIY. We were on tour with Green Jelly in July of 08 and August of 08, and we’ve done some spot dates with GWAR, like, 8-10 shows, but we haven’t been on a real ‘tour’ yet. We’re trying, and we’re talking to some people, and there’s some s**t on the fence right now, but, yeah, we’re just out on our own.
At this size, you know, this is our third show in Florida this year, and we could come back to Florida again before the years out, and people aren’t going to be sick of us by then. You know, like if a big band, like Machine Head came through last month, and then came again this month, people would go, but if they came again the next month, they’d be like “ah f**k, Machine Head is here again”. I mean, Machine Head is f***ing awesome, I love Machine Head, their friends of mine too. Hi Rob.
But, yeah, we just try to keep going man. We get home, and in January, we go west and do, like, St. Louis and the west coast, and then the southwest, and then we come back, and we’re hoping to hop on a big tour, there’s a couple of big tours and labels talking to us. The label is another thing. We got f****ed by a label last summer, and…I don’t even want to mention them.
You know, it happens, that’s the business, and they’re a couple of cool indy labels that are nosing around, and we got some deals on the table, we’re looking at some stuff, and I hope it takes off. Hope it takes off soon because we’re gonna need a new van soon.
Eric: You’ve been in Florida a few times, and you know the area a little bit. Now, you are from Toledo, Ohio?
Todd: The band is based in Toledo. I’m from Michigan. Toledo is right on the border of Ohio and Michigan, and for people who don’t care about anything outside of Florida, I’m about three miles North of Toledo, just inside the Great Lake State, the great state of Michigan.
Eric: Okay, well, when you look at Florida and the Florida music scene in general, how does it stack up to the Michigan music scene or the Ohio music scene?
Todd: You know, it just varies with the bands. Like, if the band is heard of, like a real tour, like say, Municipal Waste is coming through here with Goatwhore, like, I’m sure that did great. Do you measure it by that, cuz I’m sure that was packed and awesome. Then we come in, and it’s an okay show, but it’s not balls out. We played last Tuesday in Sarasota, and it was a kick a** show, you know. We are going to Tampa tomorrow with My Evil Side, and we played with them in July at the Crowbar in Tampa, and it was cool. It was a weekday, also, I think it was a Thursday or a Sunday. I like Florida, though, Florida has been good for us. Florida seems to dig us, and that’s a good thing.
The more you play, the more you get around, the more people hear your name. Just by touring around, even if they don’t see you, they go “Oh, I know I’ve seen that name. I’ve seen that name on a flyer”. We get to clubs and there’s not a flyer on the door or there is a marquee outside and your name is not on it. Maybe it’s a date you had to pickup or it’s a Tuesday or a Wednesday or something so you do a door deal, so they don’t put up flyers, cuz it doesn’t matter to them, and, it’s kinda sh***y, but, when people see the name and people just know the name, and then people in the industry, like booking agents, labels, and management companies, they know who is out there beating the road.
We aren’t by any means anything special as far as that goes, but we’re working as hard as any band right now because of the fact that we are touring non stop, which is what bands should do, and we’re doing it on our own with no support or label or booking agent, management. I can honestly say, with full confidence, that we are working as hard as any band right now. But, yeah, we’re not by any means exclusive in this work ethic. There’s a lot of bands working really hard out there, and a lot of bands who can’t play the G card to get paid.
Eric: Well, let’s go to a fun question. If Mobile Deathcamp could be sponsored by ANYTHING, what would you want it to be?
Todd: Subway. Eat Fresh.
Eric: So, if you are from Subway, and you happen to read this, pick up Mobile Deathcamp.
Todd: Give us that gold card. We’ll put sticks on the van…here it is. You can WRAP our van…BUY us a van and wrap it with the Subway logo, and we’re touring all over the country with it.
Eric: And when people pass the Mobile Deathcamp van, they’ll think “Hey, I could really go for some Subway!”
Todd: And they’ll yell out “Hey! Subway!” and I’ll go “EAT FRESH!” Wish I knew somebody corporate in Subway. Cuz, the thing is, all the different sandwiches they got, you don’t get bored on Subway. I could eat tuna for a couple of days and then go to roast beef and then go to steak, and…this sounds like a commercial.
Eric: Is there one sandwich that you find yourself gravitating towards?
Todd: Lately it’s been the tuna, but I always find myself going towards the BMT, Bologni…something something…and then like, the Subway melt, and you can’t go wrong with Turkey, Steak and Cheese.
Eric: Now, if your music could portray any particular message, what would it be?
Todd: I try to convey a message of, kind of a Yin Yang kind of think, without the risk of going too deep, our music being real vicious, there’s your Yin and your Yang, you know, you got your violent and vicious, and you’ve got your mellow and relaxed, and it’s the balance between both. Our music, it’s violent and vicious, but in between, I try to offset that with a comedic relief kind of thing, tell a couple of stores, and I try to throw underlying messages that we’re all people, basically, and it doesn’t matter if you’re the most demon, wicked guitar player or you’re the most kicka** doctor, or you live in a ditch, everyone’s a human being.
And, you know, when I was in GWAR, people would come up and be like “Hey man! You wanna smoke a joint” or “Hey, you wanna take a shot?” I would just go, no, I don’t party, I don’t do that. You wanna…take some vitamins and lift some weights?
And they’d be like “What do you mean you don’t party” and I’d sit down and talk with them, and they’d be so stoked, and it was weird, because by no means do I think I’m anyone, and they’d just be like “I can’t believe you’re just standing out here talking to us.” I would be like “Yeah, I hang out. I also piss in a toilet too and I watch football, and I burp and fart. I’m just a dude.” It makes people smile, and I like to make people smile. If they like our music, they dig our s**t, and it makes them smile, that’s a good thing.
Eric: Final words?
Todd: Thank you, man, for taking the time to get our name out here. I would say, my final words would be, live it up man. Live life to the fullest. Take your risks, learn by doing, and live by commitment. Understand life is change, and even failure brings you closer to the truth.
Eric: This has been Eric’s Banderview, I’m here with Todd from Mobile Deathcamp, and if they come to a city near you, check them out. Old school thrash metal that you can’t help but dance to. Until next time, Eric Mann with OrlandoBands.com signing off! Peace!