This coming Thursday, crazy sludge doom deliciousness is coming to our very own Greenville. Rat Babies out of Athens, Georgia will be here spinning their dirty bass and drums driven sounds into your willing and waiting ears. This is an especially exciting show because not only will Hecatgons! be there, but Din of Theives will be playing their last show here at home – get ready to dance!
Coming all the way from Athens, Rat Babies has a really unique sound. I was lucky enough to get the chance to interview their bassist, Mux, and find out all about the band’s intense passion, hard driving sounds, and of course, their school bus.
Karen G: How did y’all get started playing music? And how did you come to have the sound you have today?
MB: Throughout most of my life, for as long as I can remember in fact, I’ve been interested in Art, of all kinds. So much so that I feel like not only is my life my art, but everything I am/do is my art, and I use everything I have to express that… I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t create or be creative in some way. Music is just a part of that for me, alas my main form of expression, but I also do a hundred other forms of art too. In fact every release we’ve put out features artwork and design handmade by me. I started playing music when I was young but didn’t have a band until I was it my late 20′s. I’ve been in a few short lived projects before starting Rat Babies about 6-7 yrs ago. When I look back I can see that I was headed in the direction my music takes now, but I never expected to end up sounding like we do, that just happened naturally as the songs were written then practiced for years… But I think mostly, our sound comes from the musical connection that Chodd (drummer) and I developed from the beginning… The way we sound just happened, the sounds are what feel good to me, the words come from poetry rantings and journals, and when it all came together it just ended up sounding like it does!
KG: How do you feel about playing this kind of music down in the South? Is it ever hard or do you get a lot of resistance?
MB: I don’t put much stock into what anyone else says or thinks about what I do… I’m happy with what I do and with how I choose to express my feeling… I like what I do, so I keep doing it with the hopes that I will find other people who like what I do too.
But with that said, being a musician is HARD! It’s a full time job: writing, practicing, recording, promoting, booking, touring, creating artwork and making merch to give out or sell, and so much more goes into doing what we do… But it’s something I love doing, it comes from within; I don’t have a choice… This is what I HAVE to do!
KG: What has been your favorite stop when touring?
MB: The easy answer is: all of them! I love seeing new places, meeting new people, even seeing some of the same places and people we met for the first time last time we were somewhere new. Touring is heaven for me… In fact I’ve been working for some time now at making touring full-time one of my main priorities. I ended up buying and living in a school bus which has been handy for touring but I’ve only had it for about two years now and the money it takes (cost of travel, gas) is getting outrageous! Gas has gone up to $4.20 in some places we’ve toured this time, so that kills us and makes it hard to keep at it.
KG: I have been jamming out to “I Know” for so long, can you talk a little bit about what pushed you to write that song and what it is about.
MB: Awesome. That’s one of our more popular songs for some reason. At times I think it’s that that song is our fastest, and people tend to gravitate towards it more than our other slow stuff. The song itself was first inspired by a hypothetical character I thought up… someone with some sort of mental retardation who when being picked on yells “I’m not stupid”, but then I ended up putting more of my own experiences into the story of that character and in the end it ended up being a song about the progression of life. The first verse is from a young person’s point of view getting bullied in school, something that happened to me as a kid (beat up by bullies, abused and neglected as a kid, and just feeling alone)… The second verse is more from an adult’s point of view, searching for love and only finding heartbreak… The final verse goes further into my own future, about growing old an becoming useless… Through it all though I have this sense that I can overcome the things holding me back because I know what I want, what I need, and even though we use our experiences in our own lives to help us understand one another we still fall short with really knowing and understanding people sometimes.
KG: What is your favorite song to perform and why?
MB: My favorite songs tend to be my newest ones, once a song is done and we know it… I write from personal experience so old songs are things I’ve already worked through, new songs are more about what’s going on in my life right now, so the newest song are the ones I am most connected to, so I tend to enjoy performing those the most. Currently I’ve been working on a few new songs but they aren’t ready for public performance yet because we’re still working things out…. But my newest and favoritest song right now is one I’m working on called “Somewhere Out There I Die” and it’s about living on the road, looking for someone who wants to go with me, and some of the experiences I’ve had while living pretty much homelessly in a school bus living without most of the comforts of everyday life yet finding peace and happiness in my minimalistic lifestyle.
Everyone should come on down to The Radio Room for the show this Thursday, April 19th. The show features Hectgons!, Din of Thieves, and Rat Babies. Plus, it’s only three dollars!