DM: Sometimes that's what it is. Sometimes it comes down to onion rings and your fingers and you know…survival. Survival with you heart and your fingers‚ that kind of shit you know? (laughter) I guess that's what I've been up to. I made a record.
MM: You did. Good.
DM: That was good. That was sitting in front of the computer a lot. I started my new corporation called Kitchen Table Recording Corporation of America. (laughter) I'm going to franchise out like KFC and spread it across the land. I'll help you set up your own mobile recording studio for a franchise cut. There's money in that. Big Money. I'm going to produce an album and we are going to set up the control room in the kitchen. It's coming out in April for a band called Big Frank and the Bargain Bingers. You know like this Bakersfield‚ California kind of‚ you know‚ low-swung‚ Buck Owens‚ Don Rich and Merle Haggard kind of band.
MM: Nice.
DM: Yeah‚ should be pretty fun. We've got some great songs like "Backwoods Love Slave Fry Cook" and shit like that. (laughter) It's going to be a marathon weekend session based on some herb and a couple cases of Utica Club. It's going to be awesome. Totally sick.
MM: Let's talk about your record. I remember a couple of years ago having a conversation with you about your song "Unmarked Trunk‚" which appears on Truck Stop Love Ballads. You mentioned that you were really young when you wrote that‚ back in the early days of the Ominous Seapods‚ and when you started playing the song again ten years later‚ you finally realized what the song was about.
DM: Yeah‚ it's definitely an interesting situation when that happens. I've been writing stuff recently that is like that. Actually‚ the line you asked me about the other day in "Bullet Proof Alibi"…
MM: Right‚ the line "My addictions‚ obsessions‚ acclimatizing progressions / Always lead to a fool's lucky day."
DM: Yeah. I had never thought about it. The words just seemed to work together. When I had to think about it I was like‚ "This is kind of what it feels like." It's more like how it feels when you hear the words‚ at least for me anyway. Like‚ what does that feeling make me feel like? It's like you're doing everything wrong that you could possibly do to make things blow up‚ but it all works out. (laughter)
MM: Somehow it keeps…
DM: Somehow it stays on track even though you've leaned over and unscrewed the wheels on the car. Or maybe when you're driving in a beater car and you should take it to the repair shop‚ but you just keep driving it. (laughter) That's kind of how it is sometimes-on the fringe. When you're living on the fringe world‚ which I think a lot of us musicians do at times. We tend to do things where most people would be like‚ "What the fuck are you doing‚ man? Why are you so fucked up?" But somehow you know it's going to work out. It's going to work out one way or the other-good‚ bad or indifferent-and you'll just pick up the pieces.
MM: Sure. Well‚ that's what it feels like a lot of the songs are about‚ kind of reconciling those pieces. I know where you come from and how much time you spent on the road‚ living that life. But a lot the ideas you're writing about are universal things. You said that line in "Bullet Proof Alibi" is about finding peace in those dangerous and desperate things that we do.
DM: Dangerous and destructive behavior and some kind of psychological flimflam. (laughter) It's about pride and reconciliation with your dangerous and destructive behavior. I read a quote when I was in high school‚ and I think it was attributed to Robert Hunter‚ but I'm not 100 percent sure. It was something like the eleventh commandment of rock 'n' roll. The idea was that something destroys you physically and mentally and then insists that all true brothers do the same as a sign of unity. It kind of stuck with me in that partying mode of "let's just go as hard as possible and see what happens." I guess that ties into it‚ too. (laughter) I don't really remember what it was‚ but it kind of leads into that whole self-destructive thing. I can't speak for everyone in the music world‚ but it definitely played into my personality. Sometimes things are better when you're blowing things up or wrecking things.
MM: Yeah‚ but it seems like a lot of these songs you've been developing over the years‚ they seem to come to grips with the blow-up happening. And looking back‚ you're like‚ "Wow‚ what happened?" (laughter)
DM: Yeah‚ exactly. Exactly.
MM: And here I am today. What do I have to say about it? The first track‚ "Self-Destruct Button‚" is a good example of that.
DM: Yeah‚ that's pretty much the whole story.
MM: Good way to start the album.
DM: That opens it up. That's exactly what it was about. I think at the end of the Seapods I was so gone‚ partying and just mentally insane‚ that it was like‚ "All right‚ this is pretty much how I feel." Everything was trying to shut down. Well‚ not like everything is trying to shut down‚ but there is a world that is going on outside of your own little shell. I think I was living in some kind of pressurized sphere‚ and I was the only one pressurizing it. I have family and friends that are trying to depressurize it‚ but I'm like‚ "Come on‚ more pressure! Let's see how fast we can fly this thing before it cracks." (laughter) It's more like‚ let's see how many shots of whiskey I can do and see the sun come up. Something along those lines. But that tells the story. I think‚ too‚ it's the reconciliation with living that nonstop life and pretty much all of a sudden not living that life at all. But it's like physics-an object in motion remains in motion. There's that whole thing about it. There's dealing with that concept. It's like you're sitting on the seat of your car and your car crashes and you keep going. (laughter) Maybe not quite as harsh. Maybe that's what it was about‚ though‚ up until now. Now it's putting all of the pieces back together. I think that's what the album was. It's like everything was destroyed at a hundred miles an hour‚ and then I had to make this album to put the pieces back together.