MS: Always being together, that could work both ways, but it's working out for you guys. But do you ever worry about overexposure to each other?
RM: It's pretty extreme, you know? I think we all want to kill each other at some point during every day. I think we've got a special group of guys here. We just learn more and more what makes each other tick, and we try to give each other as much room as we can. And in the grand scheme of things, it's not been that long. It's been a pretty intense last four years or so, just all of us in the band, and everybody's so onboard. It's the biggest thing in all of our lives. We're just lucky to have a group of guys who see it that way, and we all just keep chugging because of it, keep trying to help each other out.
MS: It was cool watching you the other night downstairs, right before the set, seeing how meticulous you guys still are, working out the vocals before you go on. I was so impressed by watching you get that down like that.
RM: Yeah, thanks, man. We're starting to do that more and more, and we sort of learned that by watching bands like Assembly of Dust and bands that have been at it longer, who just kind of know that you got to get the shit down before you get onstage. We used to never do that, and now it's by watching bands like that really interact together. It really helps them out, so we're starting to do that more and more, just start to all get together before the show, at least get into our space and go over what we need to go over. It helps so much. So, yeah, we're sort of growing into that, I hope.
MS: We talked about songs like "American Skin" or even "How Many Times." Like you said, they're not political but certainly have a message. And you talked about doing these shows coming up to benefit Headcount and Rock the Earth , so it begs asking: do you consider yourself a political artist?
RM: I wouldn't label myself as a political artist. I'm not as informed as maybe I should be if I was going to be really outspoken politically. But I think Michael Franti had it right. I heard him in an interview say something along the lines of, the responsibility of the artist is to make great art, and I think in great art, it's going to reflect the truth of what's going on in the world, at least your truth. And if you're not reflecting on that at all, on the state of anything politically or anything that's really going on in the world, then you're just kind of ignoring it; you're not really holding up your responsibility as making great art. And that's kind of generalizing. I don't think every single person should be outspoken politically, but I have a voice. I have a microphone in front of me most nights. I have a crowd, and I have a responsibility to just be responsible with whatever message I'm getting across. I want to say something while entertaining people. My number-one priority, my number-one job, is to entertain people, and if I can inform them, too, while doing that, then great.