Interview: Brick Mower

New Jersery’s “living room punk” three-piece, Brick Mower, are about to release Teenage Graceland on the 25th of March (see Artist to Watch profile). Before their record release show this Friday at The Acheron, we talked touring, baking, burritos and more.

Job Advert: Brick Mower are on the lookout for a touring drummer. If interested, please contact the band.

MSL: Teenage Graceland is your third album, and your second on Don Giovanni records, what was the recording process like? Did you try anything new or do you know what you want before entering the studio?

Brick Mower: The recording process for this record was definitely a different experience. In the past it’s been so rushed and stripped, which was what we wanted at the time. But this record is, while for sure unpolished, a bit more nuanced and a little more time was taken. We also just had more ideas for this record as opposed to being completely 100% song oriented. Also, I feel like this record is a good representation of us as a band, and what we wanted to do when we first originated.

Don Giovanni have a really exciting artist roster right now, what’s it like working with them and who are your favourites on the label?

It’s beyond great being a part of Don Giovanni. We’re super lucky and thankful, and Joe and Zach have been super supportive. We’ve had the good fortune of playing with a a bunch of bands on the label who are all excellent people as well as superb bands. I don’t know, it’s just a label of mostly super cool sweethearts. We have definitely played the most shows with our superbuds, the fabulous Black Wine. We are planning on going out on a tour with them in the summer as well.

It seems like a lot of bands stay within the confines of New York, or their local scene, like they’re waiting for some kind of internet audience to build first, but Brick Mower have put some serious miles on the clock in the last few years. How important is it for you to get out on the road?

Getting out on the road is usually a top priority. Right now without being able to secure a touring drummer and just get out there, I feel like I’m not even in a band! I always feel as though there’s something out there to be done, and it’s frustrating not being able to do it. But we all know we are in fact still in a band, and what the priority is for us, and hope to get back out there soon. It’s also important just to travel, and take in everything even if for nothing else, personal reasons. We’ve met so many great people on the road, and a few incredibly strange people as well. And, of course, it’s always a fun game figuring out if you’ve been to a truck stop in Illinois before or not. Some bands don’t need or want to tour, and that’s totally cool and if it works out, that’s awesome. But personally I get to feeling lazy when we’re not on the hustle.

There can’t be many bands who have played in every state but you’ve done a good chunk! Which ones are you missing?

Oh I feel super inadequate not having played every state-it’s on our list of things to do! We haven’t had the airfare or boats to get to Hawaii or Alaska as of yet! Also, we’ve driven through some of these states but so far haven’t played Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, and West Virginia. Although we have had two shows canceled in West Virginia, which is kind of disappointing as we would love to play the home state of the infamous Mothman.

Your next show in New York is at The Acheron on the 21st of March, any particular favourite places to play here?

Brooklyn’s usually a fun place to play and The Acheron is one of the best. We also really like playing Lulu’s and Death by Audio. Also, we haven’t played the new location as of yet, but Silent Barn is a super sweet place.

Steve is going to the Institute of Culinary Education to become a baker/pastry chef and missing your tour in April. How many cakes and loaves of bread does he have to bake to make up for it?

Wow you just gave me a great idea. We should have assigned some biscotti baking this entire time. Shame on us…

Sticking with food, your 2013 tour was called, “Bring Your Own Burrito”. Is a burrito the ultimate tour food item and do you have any food-related anecdotes from the road?

Burritos are certainly an ultimate tour food as well as real life food item. However, touring makes you realize that all burritos are not created equal, and some are rather terrible. One time I got a crummy burrito from this place all the locals had suggested, and it ruined my day. In fact, this was two years ago and here I am talking about it. I do basically tour for the opportunity to eat at different restaurants. If I were to ever strike it rich, I would probably lose all of my money trying out different eateries for every meal.

With the imminent release of Teenage Graceland it might be too soon to ask, but what does the future hold for the band?

As far as our future, we’re just planning on getting back to touring with regularity starting late spring/early summer. With all of our time off we have like, half of the new record already written. We’re just looking forward to putting in some work again, and hopefully new places to new people. It’s really the only formula we understand.

Stream Shitty Parade from new album, Teenage Graceland, out on the 25th of March. Pre-order from Don Giovanni.

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