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Q & A With Spud (Mr. Lightweight)

DPIK – Mr. Lightweight Email Interview 2009-01-10

Spud

Spud

What with him stuck in Tralee and DPIK in Dublin and not being able to buy phone credit, due to the country being the grips of a recession, DPIK had to settle for an email interview with bassist Spud from punk rockers ‘Mr. Lightweight’…

When did ye form? How did that come about?

Spud: Mr Lightweight’s founding members Des and Pat met on a Russian Space station in 1991 when they were test tube baby clone experiment things. After many years trying to build their instruments from toothpicks they played their first show in January 2008. In December ’07, they recruited Spud who had just freed himself from the grips of the all female planet ‘Va-JayJay_1nM3’ where it was believed a war was tearing the world apart which began when over 10,000 women started fighting over the right to Spud’s penis. At their first show they met the adorable Kristian who is love child of Macaulay Culkin and a bottle of conditioner. Kristian took up the reigns of the second guitar and vocals.

Over the rest of the year the band had some wild adventures all over the country, most of which involved nudity, toast, more nudity, moderate drinking, breaking things, uncontrollable drinking, public urination on hotel walls and lots of crazy 14-year-olds in the back of a van. We also managed to get to Neal Calderwood in July ’08 and almost burn his studio down while recording 4 new tracks. Then there was a brief trip to the famous Grouse Lodge Studios where we found Micheal Jackson’s nose in Pat’s bed..then we found the rest of Micheal in Kristian’s bed. 150 yards and one law suit later Des decided to return to his planet of Vaginatron (he left the band)

Fair enough. What EPs have ye released so far?

Spud: We haven’t really released them. We usually don’t have any money to buy the fancy production CDs to give out ,so it’s over to Lidl to buy a shitload of blank cds and throw them out at gigs but over the year we had the six track “If Anyone’s Listening… EP”, then after another session in the recording studio we had enough songs to make an album called “Clock and Bottle”.

And was that the one recorded in Manor Park Studios?

Spud: Yeah, both the EP & album “Clock and Bottle” were recorded at Manor Park. The first part of the album started as the EP “If Anyone’s Listening…” which had six tracks including ‘Sun Bed’, ‘Debs Song’ and others on. And after nearly a year we went back and recorded four more songs.

And your time in Grouse Lodge for the planned single?…

Spud: We only had enough money for about three days there. We spent three days in Studio 1 in October (08). We knew the assistant engineer so we got a sweet deal and took it. It’s all from cha ching out of our pockets. We’re not little rich kids but two of us are in school and working part time. But, we did get some help from our parents or ‘money gods’, but after the first recording we saved hard and worked harder. It took us nearly a year to get back in the studio. The price of recording is so expensive and we wanted an awesome sounding EP so it was worth saving the extra to get back to Manor Park.

How did you find Grouse Lodge?

Spud: Grouse Lodge is awesome. It’s one of the coolest place’s I’ve ever been to. Your in the middle of nowhere and it has everything; pool table, bar, cinema complex, swimming pool and the recording studio is amazing. Everything is open for you 24 hours a day. It’s pretty cool looking through the bar log with bands like Snow Patrol and Muse clocking up on the pints. Recording the single there was tough. We worked pretty much 24 hours straight at one point trying to get it finished. Things just weren’t going right for us at all and in the end the recording isn’t exactly good enough to be a single.

So, whats been happening since?

Spud: We’re not too sure yet. It’s been hard to get things rolling again since Christmas, cause I’m in Tralee, Pat’s in Maynooth and Kristian’s in Wexford. Our biggest set back, which I’m not sure is official yet but sure I suppose this is an exclusive to ye, is that Des has left the band. On good terms, obviously. It’s a shock to us cause he played such a big part in the band but we wish him all the best. And since then we have been tryin out new singers and guitarists and I think we’re really happy with one, so keep an eye on the Bebo and Myspace pages for updates. This is our main priority at the moment, then once we’re back on our feet we’ll get this ‘Demon’ single recorded.

What set Mr. Lightweight apart from all the other similar bands in the scene?

Spud: Em, I guess our sound is a little bit different than most. It’s probably not as main stream with all the guitar solos over the pop punk structures but its something different.. I hope. I think the key to the band is our drummer Pat. He’s such a power house of a drummer and some of the drums on certain tracks will blow ya away…he bangs my drum all night long. (laughs)

So the band isn’t based in Dublin?

Spud: Nope. Myself and Pat live in Borris in Carlow. Kristian’s orginally from South Africa, but lives in Wexford and I guess we could have a Kilkenny based member soon.

Considering the type of music ye play and what with the scene for punk alive and well in Dublin, what was the thinking behind not basing yourselves in Dublin?

Spud: We have a big Dublin fan base, but there’s so many good bands in Dublin at the moment, its hard to get the bill. And at the moment we don’t have the equipment or the cash to put on our own gigs, so we just ring around till we get support slots and stuff.

Any major touring planned for 09?

Spud: (Laughs) Em Blink 182 asked us to support them on their reunion tour (laughs) but we’re way too busy ya know (laughs) Ah no, nothing yet. Maybe something in the summer but at the moment the most important thing for us to do is try get the band on its feet again.

Any labels, such as Blast or anyone floating overhead?

Spud: Nope. We think we’re better off. There’s always so many catches with record labels, it’s never straight forward its always three album stuff and at the moment with the globe money crisis a lot of labels aren’t signing anybody. Virgin haven’t signed an artist in nine months. If you can afford to produce and record an album that your happy with do it then get a good manager and look for a publishing deal, a publishing deal is gold in this business.

Do you sometimes feel your not giving the proper chance by people considering the type of music you play?

Spud: Em, no. I think is something unique. This type of music won’t win the popular vote or reach #1 in the charts, but the group of people that love this music are what makes it special. It’s hard enough for the band and promoters of this music in Ireland to put on gigs and advertisement these days, but the people who turn up to these gigs make it worthwhile, because it’s not a huge community. Everyone knows each other and it’s easier to rock out with friends or to make new buddies at these gigs. And anyone that says other wise we’ll just turn the music up louder

Tell us something no one else would know…

Spud: My penis is an inny (laughs).

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