Monster Magnet (Dave Wyndorf)
Autobiographical fragments and pure classic rock wearing a sensational sci-fi dress, in Dave Wyndorf's crazy musical vision.
Article by Riccardo Coppola - Publish on: 19/11/14

Hi Dave, it's a great pleasure having some words with you. I'd like to ask you how did you come to the idea of "Milking The Stars". Is this metamorphosis something that has come to your mind after the publication of "Last Patrol" or have you had it in mind already in the first registrations?


I've had in mind when I was working on "Last Patrol", 'cause I wrote a lot of stuff. I thought these songs could go a different way. So I always want to full mess around with stuff. I had the idea of doing it before "Last Patrol", but it would have taken too long: so we had to just make up our mind on what would have gone on the album or not. And after it was done I thought "I'm still not done with this material. What would happen if I just go in and mess around with one song in the studio?" So I went back in between tours, after "Last Patrol" was released. In between tours I went back and messed around a little bit. I like this, I like putting keyboards and everything. And that's how it happened.

So what's the precise sound and feeling that you wanted to recreate in this new reinterpretation? Is there some band of the sixties that had a particular influence on "Last Patrol"?


Yes, definitely sixties stuff. I wanted to work with keyboards, because I love keyboards, and I love the keyboard sounds of Sixties more than anything else, and that kind of lead the way for the guitars as well. It just seem that the materials in the last tour has shown that I love this kind of sound anyway. So it was not hard for me to make that precisely go that way. And honestly the material just kind of told me what to do: it sounded more sixties than anything else.



You've been in the world of music for twenty years. What has been the most beautiful moment you've lived since you are a musician and the most significative one for your band?


Ah, there's so many. It's been a long time, it's a pretty tough question. I think the one point when I looked back and realised that I had made more than one or two albums, and I realised that I was really doing this forever. It made me really really feel good about being a musician, and choosing this. I kinda feel like an author, when you're an author you just feel the shelf of your books, and you just keep writing.


And what are in your opinion, the bad things of being a rockstar? Have you ever thought about what would have you been if you hadn't been a rockstar?


Oh yeah, sure, everybody does. I probably would have just had a normal job, so I could have worked so I could get enough money to buy music: music would have been out of question. I don't know what else I would have done. I did want to be a reporter one time... I just would have wanted a regular job and just done it that way, not even thought of putting my love into what I did.


Your lyrics have always contained inspirations from the world of comics. Is there something that has influenced you in particular for "Last Patrol", or something that you would like to use in the future?


I get inspired by the imagination of the creators of comic books, but often I put references of the comic books I like. Comic books inspire me to create more, that's pretty much the biggest inspiration with comics on me. And also the visual aspect: when I'm writing lyrics and stuff I speak visually, like it is in a comic book, that is static images, beautiful panels and stuff like that. That's not the stories, it's much more the authors, the creators themselves.


How much of your lyrics is autobiographic and how much is fantasy? Do you use sci-fi themes in order to be more abstract or is it the most natural and effective way you have to express yourself?


The second way, really I mean. Almost all my songs are autobiographical. What I do is... I use the language of sci-fi, of comic books and fantasy to explain myself, to give way to the meaning. Since what I talk about is really normal stuff, that's kind of boring, so what I do is kind of exchange words, use metaphores, double meanings. If I'm writing a song about having a broken heart, well, I explain that as a planet is exploding, because it sounds bigger, it sounds better, it fits the music more. That's most all the times, sometimes the meaning of the songs is more tied to the real words meaning and sometimes not. It's kind of a strange, weird form of poetry for me. To answer the first question: most of my lyrics are autobiographical but only to a closer inspection.



What is the difference, if there is any, between today's Monster Magnet and the ones of Spine Of God era, and what's the link between them?


I guess the link would be obviously me, 'cause I'm the only guy from the original formation. I would say we've kind of gone on full circle from being a kind of "do it yourself - home studio" type of band, and then we went into this kind of bigger rock band, big studios, big record companies, and now I'm back, trying to do stuff as homegrown as I can: "Last Patrol" is an album that was made all in my hometown, much the way I used to do it all those years ago. So it's kind of having the same guy, the same writer to spin through high budget stuff and now it's trying to get back to simpler methods of recording.


In all those years, the iconography of rock world has surely changed a lot, but you're still tied to sort of a classic imagery, like leather jackets or sexy women in your videos. I'd like to ask you what's the best and what's the worst of today's rock imagery.


Well, I'm not really sure if there is any one kind of rock imagery today, 'cause everything is so spread out all over the place. Rock and roll has been around for a long time, man, I'm not big enough to invent any new way to look. I don't pay attention to the imagery. I would say that today big rock bands, or popular rock bands... these guys look like boy bands: they play rock music, they have their special little tattoos, and their really nicely grown hair, that look a bit silly to me. I like when rock guys have long hair. But I would say that image is not as important to me as it used to be.


Gene Simmons has recently said that rock has definitely died. How would you comment that sentence?


I've been saying that for years. The music hasn't dead, but the whole system is dead, and it has been for a while, I've been saying that from ten years now. I agree with the idea, with most of what he said. It's a though, it's a terrible world to build a rock band now, to build any band. There's internet, digital sales, it's hard to set up any kind of business infrastructure to make it happen. But the music itself isn't dead, it's just the old way of selling it that is dead.


The tour you had last year was the first in North America in ten years, while you have been intensively touring in Europe. Why did you take so much time to play again an entire tour in your home continent?


You know, it goes with what we talked about earlier, the Gene Simmons thing. The States is not the place it used to be for live music, for bands like mine. It's hard to tour the whole country and do well enough to really afford the tour. There's a bunch of reasons why people don't come to shows, but I think it's mainly technology, it's this new culture which is entertainment on demand. People have to make an appointment for "oh what do you mean, I have to buy a ticket and be at the rock show, at this time?". Less people go out, because they just don't want to do that. I think it's just horrible, I couldn't believe this was happening. But that's mainly happening in the States, in the States audience for live music is going down. Europe, on the other side, and much of the rest of the world, is still really really tied to this kind of live music. So I just go where the people love it.




Since you've touched the topic of the new means of delivering music, what's your opinion about the new free music streaming like Spotify?


It's really interesting, I can probably see why people would use that, it's anatural evolution in selling music. It's a really good thing, but not for total music lovers, it's more for just music "users" I think. I mean, a truly music lover I don't think is going to rely on a streaming service, I think he would want to have it. Plus, Spotify doesn't include everything. So, for the masses is like what radio used to be. I never used Spotify like I used to use Pandora, it's useful to find band you've never heard before but I could do that anyway. So yeah, I think Spotify is for the normal people, and buying music, collecting music is for music lovers.


Have you already started to imagine a new album? Are you thinking about something particular since it's the tenth of your career?


Yeah, I figure that we'll get to work on the new album after actually finishing touring for "Last Patrol" and "Milking The Stars". We got one or two more tours to do, and we will do that in 2015. But in the meantime, right now, I'm working in between tours, I'm working on reimagining some stuff from "Mastermind", which is the record before that, plus new songs. I don't know exactly what the next record could be yet, because I'm so busy working on all that stuff, but it's always a surprise getting in the studio, so we'll have to wait to see what it is.


Dave, would you please close the interview leaving a message to your fans or to our readers?


Thank you so much for being with Monster Magnet for so long. We've taken a lot of turns musically, it's an adventure for me. And it makes me so happy that people are on board with us for that adventure. So, thanks a lot.

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