I have to imagine that Jason Rule is the only aerospace inspector in Connecticut driving around with a seven-foot-tall glowing cow-printed lightning bolt in the back of his van, at the very least he has to be the only one in his company bowling league with such a structure. That lightning bolt graces the cover of his band Queen Moo’s fourth album The Electric Trooth, and Jason has been lugging it to the band’s recent live shows as a cheeky joke for loyal fans and to give newcomers a visual cue that the band gracing the stage will be a little different than the ones before and after. Queen Moo have been staples of the Connecticut indie scene since their 2015 self-titled debut made tidal waves that reverberated through the greater DIY rock community. While that album might best be remembered for the gargantuanly massive vocal highs Jason reaches, it was filled with the band’s token jazzy non-linear song structure that has continued through every one of the band’s albums. Queen Moo songs never end where they start and rarely repeat themselves with any sort of chorus or refrain, but the journey always makes perfect sense once you get there in the end. The buzz around the self-titled led to a short-lived partnership with Topshelf Records for their second record, 2017’s Mean Well. While that record at times reaches the soaring highs the self-titled did, Rule admits in retrospect the band was trying a little too hard to impress the label, on some tracks being a little crazy for being crazy’s sake. That led to Queen Moo brining 2019’s Faint Sounds of Us Hanging Out back in house, quite literally. The band had been living together at a punk house CT DIY heads may affectionately remember as Cape Town, where several members of Queen Moo lived for over five years. The group hosted everything from free jazz shows to 150 person punk ragers in their home over the years, and Faint Sounds has the feel of an album recorded and mixed by friends at home on the couch in between gigs. The album was the start of Queen Moo using restraint as powerfully as they do massive soaring vocals, as some of the album’s quietest songs hit the hardest. The record is filled with some of the band’s boldest choices, Rule described album opener “Gooey Functions” as a piano ballad that descends into a nightmare clown funeral, but the album being a genuine labor of love between friends who want nothing more than to make music together reverberates stronger than anything else.
That leads us to the present day. Queen Moo have seen many a band they’ve played with start up and burn out in the time they’ve been playing together. While they are yet to find the universal acclaim that every group seeks, several things continue to make the music dream worth chasing for the group. For starters, they’re friends first and band members second. Decisions are made democratically with full group approval in mind, something Queen Moo doesn’t take for granted. Second is the community they’ve helped foster in Connecticut. They still have good fun shows to play and still feel inspired by the bands playing music around them. Believe it or not, after a half a decade of inviting bands into their home they’ve made a couple friends in the scene. Finally, and maybe most importantly, the band feels they’re doing their best work now, and seem to be having as much fun making music as they ever had. Before their most recent album dropped, Queen Moo decided to test the waters with the I am The Sun EP, a goofy three song EP about the trials and tribulations of quite literally being the star in the middle of our galaxy. In the music video for the EP’s titular track, Jason is overall clad with his face painted like the sun, singing his regrets about burning the human race down in 2093. It might be the band’s catchiest song ever, and I dare you to find another band ten years in or better yet another aerospace inspector having even half as much fun.
The band’s newest record, The Electric Trooth, hits some of the massive highs that Queen Moo reached on their first two albums, but with the subtle and well applied restraint the band hinted at on Faint Sounds. Jason’s favorite song on the record is “Dreams Shared” where Queen Moo starts with a jazzy whisper of a bounce, like Jason is trying to sing to someone without waking up someone else napping on the couch. Drummer Nick Charlton invites the band to kick it up a notch with a well timed high hat as Jason sings about how he is trying to be, “Careful not to fuck it up,” quickly building to a colossal emotional close. The song is ostensibly about trying not to fuck up a romantic relationship, but Jason agreed the song could just as easily apply to him and his band mates continuing to chase their music dream a decade in. He called the track a statement song, saying they have been opening live sets with it because it has a bit of everything that makes Queen Moo great wrapped into one track. “Dreams Shared” starts with the quiet restraint that made their last album Faint Sounds so alluring, before closing with a massive close that’ll leave long term fans satisfied, all while showing they’ve got some new tricks up their sleeves in between.
More than anything, Jason Rule had a sense of gratitude radiating when he talks about Queen Moo. The group feels lucky to still be good friends with one another, still making music they’re proud of and excited about, still driving down 95 to play shows whenever they can find the time. You get the sense there is literally nothing else any of them would rather be doing with their lives than making albums together and playing them to whoever will listen. Jason said that the band cut a second massive lightning bolt which will grace the cover of The Electric Trooth II, whenever it may come out. While many a band from Queen Moo’s generation may already be looking back at their glory days, Jason and his old punk house rapscallions seem confident their best work is still yet to come.
I had the chance to talk with Queen Moo’s lead singer Jason Rule about the Connecticut music scene, how important a local resource CT Verses is, and the process of putting together their phenomenal new album The Electric Trooth. The interview was slightly edited and condensed for clarity.
GSC: What is your name? How do you identify? What do you do in the band Queen Moo?
QM: I’m Jason Rule, I identify as a male, and I am the guitar player and singer of Queen Moo.
GSC: What are your earliest music memories? Who’s playing music around the house? What were they playing?
QM: I have two core ones. My parents were split, so I spent weekends with my Dad and he would always put me on to new music. The first record that I remember sticking with me is Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin. I’ve been listening to it a lot recently, I’m in a nostalgic space right now. The other one is my Mom. She’s never been a professional singer, but she’s sang in bars and stuff, and she’s got an amazing voice. I have lots of memories of her singing the badass women of country kind of songs like Shania Twain and whatnot. My first memories are Led Zeppelin and Shania Twain. That’s a good ying and yang. Still two of my favorites.
GSC: When did you know you wanted to play music yourself? When did you know you wanted to write music?
QM: I knew I wanted to play when I was like 12. I’d always had an interest just listening to it. When I started going to middle school there was a guy down the street from me having a tag sale. He was selling a bass and an amplifier for $60. You can’t beat that deal. So I gave it a shot, starting off trying to learn the stuff that I liked, Black Sabbath and the normal stuff kids grow up wanting to rock out to. As far as writing music, my first band was a Blink 182 rip off band that I played drums in when I was 15. Some of the first songs that I remember writing were with those guys. I started writing songs that I sing probably around the same time, 16 Maybe 17.
GSC: This is a personal aside. Do you know my cousin Harrison Woods? He plays in a band called Blige Rat, and different hardcore bands in Connecticut.
QM: Harrison Woods hmm..
GSC: He goes by Harry too.
QM: Oh, yeah, I know Harry Woods! Yeah, I know Harry very well. Me and him played a System of a Down cover set together a couple Halloweens ago. (I asked Harry and he said this was an Avenged Sevenfold cover set and tbh I think its funnier if I don’t get to the bottom of this one)
GSC: I love those kinds of Halloween shows. You and Kevin O’Donnell, who plays bass and Queen Moo, have been recording music together for longer than just Queen Moo. How did you two first meet? How did you to start making music together? How have you grown both as musical collaborators and friends over the years?
QM: We first met in music theory class at an arts high school in Hartford, The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. He’s a year younger than me but we had the same theory class. We sat next to each other and we’d just kind of shoot the shit a little bit here and there. We bonded over having similar musical tastes, the first big one that I remember was Modest Mouse. At that point in time, I was the “Here’s Wonderwall!” douchebag that was always carrying around an acoustic guitar. This will sound like I made it up, but it’s not made up. One time when we were walking together shortly after we met and I was playing, “I Think We’re Going to Be Friends” by The White Stripes, and we sang that together. Doesn’t that touch your heart?
GSC: That’s so sweet!!! That’s beautiful.
QM: I think we started writing music together casually right around when we met. I was already doing a band called Two Humans, we had a different bass player at the time. Eventually, Kevin joined that band, so we continue to write together. We also moved in together when he started college, when I was like 19. We lived together for five or six years, and we did everything together. We went to shows together, played shows together, cooked meals side by side, you know, everything you can imagine. The joke amongst all our significant others has always been that we’re gonna marry each other before we marry anybody else. But as the years have gone by it’s taken a different shape for sure. We have big boy jobs, we can’t just screw around and have fun all the time. I think the true pillar of our longstanding friendship is that we do continue feel motivated to work on things together. We still have fresh ideas and we still trust each other’s opinions on all the things we work on. But we don’t think about it like, that’s the guy I’m in a band with. We’re friends. This is all a byproduct of us being friends. It happens to have lasted over 10 years, but we’re friends first band members second, which is an important distinction. I feel like if you don’t make that distinction, you can really fuck up your friendships. Everything in the band is very democratic. We’re very like, let’s make sure everybody’s needs are met, and it’s always been that way. And I recognize that not all bands are like that, it’s something I have a lot of gratitude for.
GSC: Were you guys ever in Philly? Or are you always in Connecticut?
QM: We’re always in Connecticut. We’ve bopped down there a lot over the years for shows.
GSC: I was reading the old Noisy, “They quit emo to get drunk” article about you from 2015, what a time warp that was. The way that they wrote it made it seem like you lived in Philly.
QM: We were in Philly when we decided that Sorority Noise was not going to be the band we move forward with, so I think that’s what he was trying to frame, but I know what you’re saying.
GSC: Let’s go back to that early time in in the band’s tenure. You’re leaving Sorority Noise, you to decide that you’re going to go stake it on your own as Queen Moo. What were your thoughts? What was kind of the vision for the self-titled? And how’s it sound to you all these years later?
QM: When we were working in Sorority Noise, it was a ton of fun to play shows, but we didn’t have that connection to the songs that we felt when we were doing Two Humans where we were the lead vocalists. It just wasn’t what we saw for ourselves. In hindsight, I see it differently now. It was anxiety about something new that I didn’t have control over that was getting popular so fast. It was something I don’t think any of us were really prepared for, I at least wasn’t ready. A lot of the self-titled is filled with that energy of not being ready to do something. It’s funny because in a way that was what we wanted. I wanted to be in a band that people really liked where people sang along and I think if I saw things with more simplicity I would have maybe acted differently. But I have no regrets about the decision. I think we’ve made some pretty wild music since then. All these years later I still listen to the self-titled and there’s a lot of stuff in there that I can’t believe I came up with. The album still blows my mind sometimes. There are certain things on there that are really tricky and hard for me to play now, and I’m a better player now than I was back then.
GSC: Some absolutely massive tracks, you get so damn loud. I can’t imagine how it is singing those.
QM: I mean, a lot of them I can’t sing these days. There are only maybe four songs from that record we keep in rotation now because my voice has changed a lot since then. That’s the one thing I don’t really like about that record is my voice. I think it was going through a transitional period.
GSC: Are there any songs on that record that still stick with you? “Cactus Romantic” is still among your biggest songs.
QM: Yes, it is probably our biggest song. Some songs stick with me for good reasons and some of them stick with me for bad reasons. We just started doing “Hook Socks” again, we haven’t done it for years because I’ve had a hard time finding an arrangement I liked. The fun thing about our band currently is we try to just be the best Queen Moo cover band who can be, because we don’t do the old stuff the same way. It’s all different, it’s always a fresh reinterpretation. Certain songs on the self-titled are better for reinterpretation than others. The ones we still do are commonly are “Hook Socks” “Don’t Think I Do” “Cactus Romantic” and “Three Humans” but beyond that a lot of them I don’t know if I even remember the words. Doing a slow like a slow number like “Leach” was a bold choice for us, but I think it came out good. I remember feeling like that song came out good, but I don’t know if I would want to play it again. A lot of the content of that record doesn’t apply to me anymore. A lot of that is about getting drunk and fucking up. I haven’t had a drink in three years and I try pretty hard to not fuck up anymore, as much as I can. I definitely try not to romanticize fucking up as much as I used to, so a lot of it doesn’t apply. I try to sing things that feel at least some semblance of “true” still if I can. But you can’t always! Sometimes we want to play the song because the audience likes that song. If the people ask us enough times you just play it because that’s what it’s about. It’s about making them happy. It’s not necessarily about me and my ego and my grievances and stuff.
GSC: Your album artwork is consistently stellar. I the self-titled art but I could certainly see people taking it or leaving it because it’s certainly unforgettable.
QM: Oh yeah, that was the idea.
GSC: Your second record, Mean Well, you put out on Topshelf Records. It has gorgeous painting of the four of you as the cover. What was your life like when Mean Well was coming out? What do you think back on with that record?
QM: Well, first of all, thank you for saying that about the artwork, because I feel very strongly about every cover we’ve done. I think they’re all awesome. Angela Godoy is the artist on Mean Well and Faint Sounds. She did an awesome job on both. As far as what was going on at that time, I remember just feeling very motivated to make a strong impression on Topshelf, I think we wanted to really convince them that we’re awesome. I think subconsciously that stuff seeps into the music a little bit. When we try to impress people we get a little chest puffed out, and a lot of the songs on that album feel that way to me now. Some of them feel like we’re going a little too crazy for the sake of being crazy. There’s certain stuff that I still like about it. At that time we were practicing a lot. We were playing two or three times a week together, having one structured rehearsal that was just working on the songs, and then one unstructured hangout rehearsal where we do a lot of improvising together. I think a lot of those compositions are cool and complex in the same way that self-titled was, but I think our style started to change there. We started to go less Pile and more classic rock. I started to lean on the stuff that I liked. Whereas self-titled I was trying to capture things that I had just heard at that time, like the Dripping album by Pile and Slow Dance in The Cosmos by Porches. I go back and try and play some of those songs and I’m like, “What the fuck man? Why did we do this, it’s so hard!” So we only reinterpret a select number of those as well.
GSC: What are the songs that stick from that record?
QM: We still do “Gone” “Come Through” and “It’s Become Clear” sometimes. That album was a good indicator of where we’re going. “Fixture” is the first one that comes to mind with our very lyrical, long winded all over the place journey of a song feeling.
GSC: Your third record, Faint Sounds of Us Hanging Out, again, has a killer cover. It feels like you are a lot more dynamic as a vocalist on this album. It also feels like a record that was for you guys, Queen Moo making songs for Queen Moo. What sticks in your mind with that record? Can you believe it’s already been three years?
QM: I mean, I can. What sticks out is we had the opposite feeling that we had when we were doing Mean Well. Because Mean Well, we wanted to make like a record label record. Then once we had the contract, we’re like, oh, now we can just make whatever. Not that we didn’t care, but we thought could be weird and somebody will still get behind it. That is how we thought it would pan out, but it didn’t end up panning out that way. For example, “Gooey Functions” is this piano ballad that descends into a nightmare clown funeral. I think it’s awesome, but for the average listener it’s probably a bold choice. There were things where we said let’s do it exactly how we want to do it, not compromising the weird stuff, because that’s the most fun part about making music to us. That was when me and Kevin were not working, and we just wanted to make an album. We spent a year writing it then started to track it. During that same tenure me, Kevin and Oscar, the second guitarist, were all living together, so we were all working on it all the time. And we did everything in house, including the mixing. The title of the album is very apt for how it sounds. We’re all just hanging out in the living room, working, playing together, having fun. The dynamics of the album are an interesting move for us. For how loud things had been prior there’s some cool quiet moments on that album, you can really hear the room. You can hear the walking, the creaking of the floor. The atmosphere is my favorite part of that record still.
GSC: You lived together with the guys in your band at a house slash DIY venue called Cape Town. My understanding is that you all have since moved out. What was it like running that venue while living with your friends there? How would you eulogize it?
QM: This may be a little embarrassing as somebody who’s nearly 30 years old, but I’m almost still not over it, how much fun it was. It still hits me in a good place, I can’t stop smiling already. We had so much fun, we laughed so hard. Everything after in my life has been less fun. We had so many cool shows. We had some of our lowest lows there but also some of the highest highs of our lives. We made a lot of the stuff that people still hang on to Queen Moo today for, they were around when we were making that stuff in that house. We made so much music in that house that it’s it’ll never not been important place in our hearts.
GSC: Do you have like the number one best set you guys played or group that you had that you were hyped about that sticks out?
QM: There were these bands from Amherst, Massachusetts that we grew up loving, Chalk Talk and Black Churches, they were big in Amherst and vis a vis had a solid New England following. There was a show we put together at our house with those two bands where Two Humans played. We’d always loved those two bands and we never got to play with them because they were just a couple years older than us. At the time too they had basically gone into retirement, at that point in time they were not really playing that much. So they came out of the woodwork to do the show. It was no exaggeration, 150 people. We took five bucks a head at the door, I think we had 120 paid and I know there’s a shitload of people that came in who did not pay. It was a 1200 sq ft cave house not suited for 150 people. It was nuts, and some of the most fun I’ve had in my life. But inversely, we had an amazing free jazz show. Not a lot of people come to the free jazz gig, as you can imagine. But that was one of my most fun shows, because the music was so adventurous and so expressive, and people felt so free. Another time the drummer from the band Cerce, he’s a mastermind of the drums, he sent in a pre-recorded performance of him playing the drums. Everybody at the show sat in our living room and we put it on the TV. It was just it was so eccentric and so fun. So it was cool to go from the big massive shows to the little eclectic ones.
GSC: You always get compared to jazz bands so that makes sense.
QM: Things have always been a little loose and improvisational with us. It’s not the hard-edge kind of improv that can be grating. We do musical theater side of jazz that’s kind of like upbeat and fun because I think that works better with the with the rock thing.
GSC: To that point the I am The Sun EP that came out right before this record and was particularly fun and loosey. What were your thoughts with putting out the EP right before the LP?
QM: We hadn’t done anything since Faint Sounds and we wanted to test the waters. Things have been so weird for music and bands the past couple years, obviously. We had barely done anything in three years, we played a couple shows after Faint Sounds and then went dark. The idea was we’ll put a couple of singles out, see how people respond, and let them know we’re still here. Then we’ll put an album out. We wanted to keep it pretty light and fun, and songs about being the sun made for some light fun.
GSC: Thatcove r felt like a teaser for the The Electric Trooth cover, which you guys said was a seven-foot tall structure that you built yourselves. What was the process of putting that together? How’d you get the carpentry together? Where is the thing sitting now?
QM: Right now? It’s in the back of my van. I’m just driving around with it right now. It’s pretty huge. We brought it to the release show last Friday, and it’s just been living in there ever since. The lightning bolt was my idea. I’ve been playing with that imagery for a while. There’s something about The Electric Trooth that is such a corny name for an album, using a giant lightning bolt as the main imagery for it was the hardest way I could sell it. Like, listen, I know, it’s corny, but we made something huge that’s hilarious to look at to go along with it. As far as what it means, there’s the real world truth, and then there’s the electric truth. There’s the thing you sing when you plug the guitar in and then there’s the thing that you go live outside of that. They can be two very different things and they are for me sometimes, but they don’t have to be. That’s what I wanted the album to be about. The carpentry for it was, again, an in-house product from Queen Moo Incorporated. Kevin is much better with numbers than I am so he did all these measurements and stuff. We figured out how to take two giant sheets of plywood and make it so we were cutting perfect duplicates of them. We actually have a second one that isn’t complete, but when we do the second Electric Trooth album it will feature the second lightning bolt on the cover to conveniently denote to the listener that this is the sequel. To be frank, we probably made them too big, but I don’t regret it.
GSC: Oh, hell yeah. That’s rock and roll. Better to be big than too small.
QM: Exactly. It’s some Spinal Tap shit. You want everybody in the back of the room to see that you got something big on the stage. We’ve consciously stayed away from using the cow print for years because it seemed too obvious. Now we’re finally leaning into it, and it feels it feels good.
GSC: I didn’t think about the cow print Queen Moo thing till you pointed it out. This record, and the first song in particular, have a lot of references to your older work. How is this record in conversation with your other records?
QM: The intro “If Thou Dost Love”, was supposed to be a high energy reintroduction to the band. We wanted it to be a fast pace song that gave you everything that you like about Queen Moo, we give you all the jazzy stuff from the get go with solid references to our old songs. We mentioned “Heartstrings”, “Cactus Romantic”, ect, while showing what we’ve been up to since those songs. There’s a line about a take it breezy stick and poke, and that’s something that I have on my shoulder which is something you would only know if you knew me, probably. There are little things to let you know we are still intensely personal. As far as the rest of the record, being in conversation with our other alums… I wanted it to be its own stand-alone thing to be honest. You could definitely trace it back musically to certain records if you think about hard enough, but I wasn’t really thinking about that stuff that much.
GSC: One of my favorite songs in the record is “Dream Shared”. You hit those massive highs that you do on the first two albums but it starts off so quiet and contemplative. How did that song come about?
QM: That is my favorite song too. It’s a fun one to play live, we’ve been opening with it a lot because it immediately tells people that we are different than the band you just saw. I think it’s a statement song. The whole album is about various falling ins and falling outs of romance. “Dream Shared” is about being like, hey, I’m trying really hard not to fuck this up, because I really do care about you. There is a lustful side to the song, not unlike like the track before it, but ultimately it’s in search of a committed, monogamous thing, a dream shared forever. That is the end goal. Even if it is a little sloppy, it’s a little messy, as love can be. The end goal isa lifelong bond.
GSC: I thought it could have been about your run as a band, too, chasing the dream together for 10 years.
QM: I think that might be more touching than what I said. Print that and pretend I said it instead. I mean, that that stuff was definitely also on our mind. Many Queen Moo songs are about being friends in a band over the course of ten years, still hacking it for ourselves without reaching fame and fortune, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that that energy is injected into it.
GSC: “Jesus Take My Call” is another favorite that hits me every time. Are you talking about the literal Jesus of Nazareth picking up his cell phone?
QM: Yeah. It’s my reaching out for help. My trying to find face moment. Like, Hey, man? You there? The narrator at the end of that song is questioning how much do I really believe in this thing? And how much has it been drilled into my head where I can’t escape it? And how much of it is genuine belief? How much of it is just nurture? I don’t feel like I could say it’s about anything super deep, spiritually. It’s more so just like, hey man, I need some help. And I don’t get the help. And then I get frustrated. In life, I think everybody needs a guidepost. I don’t think it has to be Christ or even religion or anything like that. But I think everybody needs some kind of guidepost. Right now, music is the guideposts for me and I just follow that. It’s my way of looking at God and trying to interpret it, I guess. I think a good musician is never satisfied, because we’re always trying to create and explore and think of new questions within us and answering those questions honestly and my faith journey, as one calls it, is using music to find the interconnectedness in my life, in my friends, in music, in everything.
GSC: This is a kick ass record. It sounds like you guys are very excited about it and have some enthusiasm going into The Electric Trooth 2. What are your thoughts on this record and thoughts going into the next?
QM: It is important to us that we continue to make a strong body of work, we want to be proud of what we put out. We were tweaking this album, I shit you not, days before it came out. One close friend said we Kanye’d ourselves. We put a release date on it before it was done because we were like, we need to finish it. If we add a date on it, we’ll finish it. We could have sat in record making turmoil with this thing for ages. Our original intent was to put it all out at once as one 22 song project. Ultimately, I thought that would be too much emptying our pockets out. It’s good for us to have a little something to work on the backburner, even if it’s not something we’re always chasing. I really wanted this record to have high energy to say we’re still here, we’re still trying new things and still trying to be ourselves at the same time. A lot of bands that we know did not make it through the pandemic and as much as this record is very meaningful personally, I also wanted to just let people know we’re still here with it. We’ve settled on the fact that we are what we are, we’re pretty niche. We want to be one of those bands where when you can go back and hear the progression in our records, that’s what’s most interesting to us. That’s what we like in music we listen to so that’s all we want to exude. We are getting better as musicians, we are still chasing something. But I hope it’s also a nice reminder to anybody that might be thinking about quitting music that you don’t have to be touring 300 days a year to be doing it. We are doing seven shows over this month, and all of them are weekends, because that’s all we could swing. Every week we go down to a different city, we’ve driven down 95 so many fucking times, and every show has been a joy. You got to make it work for you. The Electric Trooth is a reframing for me. I’m not 22 living in a punk house and being a schmuck. I have other responsibilities now, but I still think this thing is really important and worth chasing.
GSC: Amen brother, I feel the same way running this blog. I haven’t made a dollar off GSC but every time I have a conversation like this I know it is worth it. I have a few off the beaten path questions to close out the interview. What are some passions or things that bring you joy outside of music that might surprise some people?
QM: I mean I fucking love bowling.
GSC: Bowling ass bowling or candlepin?
QM: Bowling ass bowling. I missed it this week, but I’m going to try to be more of a prominent fixture of my friends’ casual bowling week. They call it Shrek League, it’s pretty awesome. I did a bowling league with my company for a couple of years and I really enjoy it. I had bowled fun a couple of times with my co-workers and they were like you know we do a league where you play for a $50 Dunkin gift card, so I was like Hell yeah. It’s like golf, you need to sink your time to get good at it, and I don’t have a ton of free time. It’s a hard thing for me to stay consistent with it, but with the album out I want to bowl a lot more this summer.
GSC: A potentially controversial question, is Connecticut in New England? What are people missing about the state when they just drive through?
QM: Okay, well, first of all, yeah, it’s 100% New England.
GSC: Even Fairfield County?
QM: Yeah, I mean, Fairfield County can still go fuck itself but it’s part of New England. What are people missing? There’s a lot of pockets of natural beauty and a lot of pockets of supportive artistic communities. Around here everything’s a drive. It’s a small state, but there’s a lot of strong small communities that’re tucked away. You have to be at peace with some of the bad stuff. We have the largest wealth disparity in the country between Greenwich and Bridgeport, it’s just astronomical, but we have people doing awesome stuff in between. Real Art Ways in Hartford is amazing. There’s also a lot of really good food in New Haven people would be fucking up by missing that.
GSC: The pizza alone.
QM: People always talking about the pizza but there’s tons of stuff. There is Thai food, there’s ramen, there’s everything you could think of down there and it’s good. You can get a lot of the stuff that people go looking for in in a Philly or a New York.
GSC: Who are a couple CT bands on the rise you’re excited about we should be checking out?
QM: I really love this band called Fat Randy who admittedly are very close friends of mine. A group called Stadia they’re also really cool. Mesmer is another band that rocks and they’re gonna put out an awesome album. There’s a great band Hylda that put out a new record on July 1. If you like aggressive music it will blow your fucking lid. It is awesome.
GSC: I’m gonna be checking all them out.
QM: There’s a there’s a blog which was one of the most special things to have in Connecticut that I may now be defunct called CT Verses. They’ve put together probably the most comprehensive archive of Connecticut music that’s ever existed. The dude behind the blog made a million really good playlists full of so many bands. That is, I would say, without a shadow of a doubt the absolute best resource to find Connecticut music.
GSC: Did they end?
QM: I don’t know this guy super well, personally, I’ve only met him a couple times. If you just put your best foot forward and are doing something out of the goodness of your heart, people don’t realize that sometimes. They think that there’s some angle for you to do it and get cynical. I think what happened with CT Verses is as he continued to do the blog it became a huge time sink, and people were getting really really nasty about how things are being represented, or that he was missing certain things. You know, you make a post on the day that there’s a tragedy, people find it insensitive and jump down your throat. There’s a lot of stuff that, I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but I imagine it was just not worth it to him at a certain point. If it’s just a casual thing that you’re doing for fun, because you feel strongly about Connecticut music, it’s really hard to put up with people screaming at you online and feel like it’s worth it! You’re not getting anything out of it other than accolades from the people that you’re advocating for it, which is nice. But there’s only so much advocating one person can do with their free time while also having time to live their own life. That’s my guess. He hasn’t posted in months, and he hasn’t made any announcement of any kind. This is the second time I’ve seen him go dark for an extended period. I’m willing to assume it was little too much for right now.
GSC: And hopefully him taking the time off makes everyone yelling realize what a useful resource he is.
QM: Absolutely. He’s kept all this stuff online, the webpage is still active. I think it’s not done forever. It’s just if you’re doing that for fun, you have to take some time and space. It’s something he’s doing for fun that has helped grow the CT music community as much as anything. He doesn’t deserve to be harassed in the comments. He’s already done an immense service to the Connecticut community and does not owe anybody anything. He does not owe us return. He doesn’t owe anyone anymore playlists. No, nothing he doesn’t owe us a single thing. I’d of course love to see him return but he’s done enough, nobody can say they’ve come close to doing as much writing on Connecticut bands.
GSC: Finally, can you talk about the time you were offered a record deal from Capitol Records but had it fall through because you demanded a boat that runs on souls?
QM: Absolutely. We wanted a big boat and we wanted to put a big drill on the front of it so we could burrow to the center of the earth and play the all-time best show ever. But unfortunately, the only boat we could find with such a drill ran on souls. We made this pitch to Capitol Records to buy the boat to promote our record. It ultimately led to years of legal turmoil, you can imagine the shit they can bury using maritime law in a music contract context, and worst of all we never got the boat. They didn’t want to cough up for a boat that only ran on souls, they said it was a bad investment.
GSC: That’s so annoying, like you’re a record company we know you got the souls lying around.
QM: They steal souls for a living! You’d think they’d have them in a closet somewhere, evidently not enough to power a boat or giant drill. It was supposed to be for a concert for the Mole People if I remember correctly.
GSC: An underserved demographic.
QM: I agree! I think we need to reach further than the surface of the earth to really make changes on this planet.
GSC: Have you ever performed on a boat of any kind?
QM: No, unfortunately strictly on land.
GSC: Capitol Records if you’re reading, it’s not too late to redeem yourselves.
QM: With the price of gas these days the souls might be cheaper.