NXNE Press Conference with Mudhoney and X - June 19th, 2010
At the Hyatt Regency
Written by: Vickie Young
Photo by: Greg Young
After witnessing both of these acts on the Thursday night of NXNE, I wanted to take the opportunity to hear their back-to-back live interviews. They proved equally entertaining and shared some intimate insight with fans. Here are a few of the topics discussed.
An hour was spent interviewing two of the pioneers of punk rock - John Doe and Exene Cervenka. It’s very evident these two have endless chemistry since discovering one another at poetry class. You can easily sense the rebellious nature and refusal to conform to society’s mandate. Exene’s so convicted on this notion that even now refuses to purchase her attire from corporate clothing companies. All of her outfits are thrift and always have been.
Although the interviewer pointed out the difficulty this would entail with E-Bay, she was quick to correct him by stating “time” was the only hindrance. This deviate behaviour only enhances the charm and genuineness of X. John and Exene both agree that longevity is key. It’s not the money you’ve made but the length of continuing to do what you love. X also spent some time reflecting on the stepping stones of music, recalling the 50’s, the rock invasion, and the recycling of music done by today’s youth. X also left us with some humour describing concepts of how bands were built in early days. The strong biker guy became your roadie, a friend was your PR agent, and a tour was travelling LA to NY with no stops in between. A quick sarcasm was added that this journey would typically take 5 days straight, or a week and a half with the use of drugs. I found this duo to be truly dynamic both on and off the stage.
Mark Arm and Steve Turner, the notorious Seattle grunge boys, were next in line. A total recollection on the career of Mudhoney was noted including the first stepping stones as “Mr Epp and the Calculators”. This name was inspired by a math teacher. Although Mark considered this a fake band it certainly ignited the fire. This inspired the next question on how they came up with the name Mudhoney. It turns out they adopted the name from a flick by Russ Meyers. I expected an explanation that was more elaborate but this band doesn’t represent anything elaborate. They’re all about the music, working by their own terms, and forsaking all the frills and labels.
Mudhoney was created with no intention for greatness and don’t seem to take themselves seriously. I marvelled at their humbleness as the crowd’s reaction the night before contradicted that perception. Mudhoney only travels 2-3 weeks per year while Steve and Mark maintain careers back home. Mark is a warehouse manager for Sub Pop, although he jokes he’s the only one to manage. Steve owns a stall/slot on E-Bay selling records. He puts up auction items weekly and teases that the treasures only come out when funds are low. My hope for this band is that one of their vinyls will render the “treasured” collection one day.