Interview by Natalie K.
October 15, 2009
Estrella: Can you please state your name and what you do in the band?
Jay: Jay Vilardi, guitar and backup vocals.
Dusty: Dusty Redmon, I play guitar and party the hardest.
Jay: I know for a fact you don’t party.
Alex: Alex Aponte and I play bass.
Joe: I’m Joe Edward Musten and I play the drums.
Estrella: Right now, you are touring with The Used, how did that come about?
Dusty: We were in the studio recording trying to think of our fall touring schedule and we had a few tour offers and the one that definitely stuck out the most was this The Used offer. It came up quick, kind of popped up and we were like heck yeah.
Jay: Right away we were like, “Yes, for sure we did not have to hesitate.”
Estrella: What were some offers you thought about?
Dusty: The AP tour with The Academy Is…
Jay: We really like those guys but I think it just made more sense for us to do this tour.
Estrella: What are your touring plans for when The Used tour ends?
Jay: We don’t have a long lead time in our year so for 2010, all we have booked so far is an Australian thing, maybe a South African thing. We keep talking to Relient K, we wanted to make this time a tour time with them but it did not work out, so maybe do something with them and Anberlin.
Dusty: All Time Low.
Jay: All Time Low maybe, yeah Bayside too. We have been talking to Bayside and they are coming to the show just to hang.
Estrella: Really? I think they are playing in Chicago soon.
Jay: Yeah, they are here tonight somewhere. So yeah, we will work it out.
Estrella: What was the recording process like for Monster Monster, because weren’t you all more involved?
Dusty: Yeah, we were totally involved. Aaron did the whole first record himself and then this go around from the get-go we were all writing and we all recorded. It was really fun and cohesive.
Estrella: So who all has songs on the album?
Dusty: I mean all of us do and it is not like one person is, oh this is my song, we all would be like, oh I have this idea, and then we would hammer it out in pre-production.
Estrella: So why the title Monster Monster?
Dusty: Yeah, well there is about four titles on the album with the word Monster in it. That was kind of Aaron’s idea, he had the idea to call it Monster Monster and had a few ideas in the preliminary stages and kind of wrote the album around the idea of everyone having their own inner monster and inner things that they work out.
Estrella: Your EP pre-order Monster Monster just came out, how did that idea come about because it is different than others.
Dusty: Yeah it is pretty crazy, we wanted to do something cool and that came up in the meeting.
Jay: Yeah, we had a big few hour meeting while we were in the studio. Randy, our manager came down and had been brainstorming with Virgin and Capital about how we were going to release it, how we were going to fit it in to their schedule for radio this year. We jotted out a bunch of cool ideas with ways to do something new and cool with the release and that was brought up and we thought, is this even possible, could this even happen. It is kind of cool and it is kind of a first thing, it will be cool to see if other bands will do it.
Estrella: Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever really seen this done.
Jay: Yeah, so maybe we are breaking ground here, or maybe we are just being idiots.
Estrella: How did you guys decide what songs were going to be on the EP?
(Alex motions for the recorder to go towards him and the boys all laugh)
Jay: Okay Alex.
Alex: Well we have two singles and that was a collaborative choice I think as far as those songs.
Dusty: Then there are some that are, oh we have these left that are not on the album like a few extra.
Alex: We kind of went with what was best, we definitely heeded, I don’t know if that’s the word, the call. We kind of just listened to our manager. Heeded the call that doesn’t make any sense. He made some suggestions and we just went with it because there was so much going on around this set. We enjoyed all the tracks on the album, we all have a personal attachment to them. He made some suggestions and we stepped in faith, that is all it really was. That was what I meant to say before I…
Jay: (starts singing) There comes a time when you heed a certain call when the world must come together as one, she is probably wondering when is he going to stop singing. There are people dyinggggg. (Jay stops singing) We were confused, we didn’t know what’s up so we asked for advice
and went with it basically you know what I’m saying.
Dusty: We picked the songs first that were going to go on the real album and then were like, oh we have a few extra so we are going to put the two singles on the EP and maybe another one so we are going to do five songs on the EP thing. So what two are we going to pick from the extra songs we recorded and then a couple extra maybe.
Jay: I don’t want people to feel like they are crap songs that we just threw on (everyone laughs) because honestly I was kind of pissed personally. Honestly, I have never explained this to anyone but I was real pissed to find out that certain songs weren’t going on the record because we really did like those songs. It was the only way to get all of the songs into everyone’s hands so we released the EP as a limited thing and they are really good songs too. It’s not like the leftover crap.
Estrella: I know you just announced the cooking contest how did that come about?
Jay: Yeah stoked about that, I don’t know it’s just a great idea and then we asked Joe and Joe said…(Joe just blankly stare at recorder and everyone laughs).
Dusty: Joe has no idea about the cooking contest.
Joe: I think it’s a good idea.
Dusty: Yeah, I am really trying to put one of my moms recipes in there so I can win and cook with Aaron. No, but we were at the capital building last weekend and Aaron cooked for everybody and he is on this big cooking kick right now so he did that. I don’t know maybe I’ll do a coloring contest or something like that.
Jay: I’ll do an inventive cursing contest with Jay. (everyone laughs).
Estrella: Are all of you guys going to judge it?
Jay: Oh, Alex is the only judge in here. (laughs) Alex is the most judgy person in here (laughs). Are we judging it? I don’t know maybe you don’t want me judging it, because Aaron will lose. Is it a cooking competition?
Estrella: Wait do you guys even know what it is?
Dusty: They send in a recipe right?
Estrella: No, they send in a video of them cooking something and you all judge who wins.
Jay: No, we probably will but nobody tells us anything, we just work here. We are too busy inventively cursing, coloring, and judging.
Dusty: We have our own agendas.
Jay: Okay, so we are supposed to do it and pick one.
Estrella: Yeah, wait it is not you guys cooking.
Jay: I would hope not because if we cook than no one else would be eating.
Dusty: I thought they get to come and cook with Aaron though.
Matthew: They get flown out to L.A and get to cook with him.
Jay: Well he is cooking, I’m not cooking.
Dusty: Aaron and the other guys.
Jay: Ohhh, I hope we win, wait we’re not winning.
Dusty: I think we win no matter what because we get to eat. We are definitely getting fed.
Jay: Okay, we are for it.
Estrella: What is something you have always wanted to do but have not done?
(Alex mumbles something)
Estrella: What did you say?
Alex: Nothing, nothing, nothing.
Jay: I think for me I have always wanted to play Saturday Night Live. I just want to go to a taping, I don’t even have to play it. Playing it would just be the icing on the cake. What about you Joe, what would you like to do?
Joe: Um, I think I would like too….
Dusty: Speak up!
Joe: I think I would like to go to um…
Jay: Joe Musten everybody.
Joe: This is Joe Musten. (everyone laughs) Joe Edward Musten. I would like to open, um.
Jay: And tape..click.
Joe: I would like to open for The Beatles or something cool like that.
Dusty: The tape player does not go over there anymore.
Alex: We are going to Australia and it’s really cool because I have always wanted to do that. We have been trying to go over there for the last year or two. We are going to Australia in February and that has us all super stoked.
Dusty: I want to indoor skydive. You are in a big basic pringles can that has fans on the bottom and you cannot touch the fans so you cannot die.
Estrella: Oh! I know what you are talking about.
Dusty: It shoots you straight up and it is skydiving for those that are too chicken to really skydive but I can still tell people that I went skydiving. What do you want to do Joe?
Joe: I want to swim with great white sharks.
Dusty: Joe wants to go shark swimming.
Dusty: In Australia? Don’t they jump there or is that South Africa? South Africa is where they jump out of the water. They jump like twenty feet in the air. That’s apocalyptic.
Joe: That’s what I want to do is get in a cage and swim with them.
Dusty: Shark sugar, you heard about shark sugar right? Did you see Fantasy Factory where he went swimming with sharks and he was calling it shark sugar because they love it when you poop in the ocean. They call the turd shark sugar because the sharks love it so much, so don’t be letting out any shark sugar.
Joe: I probably would if I did it.
Estrella: What is a song you never get sick of hearing?
Jay: “Bohemian Rhapsody” I could listen to that song all day.
Dusty: A lot of R Kelly songs, just something new every time I hear it.
Jay: (starts singing) In the closet, in the closet.
Dusty: Yeah, about pee peeing on people.
Jay: Little pee pee boy. He is from here isn’t he?
Estrella: Yeah he is.
Dusty: Yikes. I don’t know, there are probably a lot of Beatles songs I grew up listening too that I still get excited about every time I hear them that I will probably like until I die. Joe what about you man? What’s that song that you love when it comes on. That’s not Madball or H2O?
Joe: Social Distortion “I Was Wrong”.
Dusty: Oh Social Distortion, I could listen to them a bunch too.
Estrella: Alex, do you have a song?
Alex: I really don’t, I can’t think of one.
Dusty: He is fickle.
Estrella: What is one of your favorite lines in one of your songs?
Dusty: Aaron has a line that says, “I am so messed up” and I agree with him.
Jay: Aaron, get ready for this.
Dusty: Aaron’s getting ready for this.
Jay: All of his lyrics sound like a twitter tweet.
Dusty: The whole album is one big tweet.
Jay: Aaron gearing up for the weekend. No, I’m just kidding his lyrics are really good.
Dusty: A lot of them on the new record are pretty good.
Jay: Yeah they are all good, I’d back it. He goes off about, he basically says something about, well I don’t know it’s not really my favorite lyric per-say like I would get it tattooed but it’s more about what he’s saying. It’s like, “Hey, I’m just like everyone else.” He is probably really honest too, I guess more than just a line, I like his entire message, that I think is more important.
Dusty: True that.
Estrella: If you could see any band or artist perform any song live what would it be and why?
Jay: Honestly, I would go with “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin.
Dusty: I think I would like to see Hank Williams play something, he could just play a song on the jukebox and I wouldn’t care. I would be pretty stoked just to see that. What did you say Joe?
Joe: “Howl at the Moon” by Ozzy.
Dusty: It’s “Bark at the Moon” (laughs), Howl at the Sun. Alex what about you? “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon?
Jay: Happy Birthday by Judge Joe Brown.
Alex: How did you know? But seriously it would probably be something by The Four Tops or the Temptations. I am sure they are not all alive.
Dusty: They are playing state fairs and stuff.
Alex: Yeah they are, they are still playing old, gray haired but still killing it. So yeah something by them. Like “My Girl” I think is the best pop song every written, personally, in history.
Dusty: Johnny Cash or something, it would probably be cool to see Johnny Cash.
Alex: Yeah, because he is not alive anymore.
Dusty: YouTube is about all I got.
Estrella: Is there a band out there right now that you are into and people may not know about yet?
Jay: I like a band called Advent, they are heavy but they are really really good.
Joe: One of the heaviest bands in existence.
Jay: They are the heaviest band in existence. When I think of Advent I think of the color brown because there are brown notes all over that record. (everyone laughs) That’s Joe’s other band. They are really good and on Tooth and Nail they are freaking awful.
Dusty: Joe is a brutal screamer.
Estrella: Are you really?
Jay: Yeah, he plays drums in this band, but he is the front-man in the other band Advent.
Dusty: Soon to be Dadvent because they are getting old.
Jay: And Joe has a kid on the way. Check Advent out they are really cool.
Dusty: There is this band from Florida called Gasoline Heart that I think we all really like.
Jay: Love them.
Dusty: They are American rock and roll like Tom Petty or something like that. They are really, really good.
Alex: I don’t really have any but there is some music back at my church; there’s a couple of bands writing and it sounds really, really, cool but they don’t have band names.
Jay: But be on the lookout. Oh Alex. Uh, he was told there would be no math.
Alex: It’s at a church called The Rock Church in Salt Lake City and one of the bands I think is called Kingston but there’s a few out there. It’s different styles of music and just really great music, just good Christian music that is not your typical batch of Christian cookies, and what did I say that for. (everyone laughs).
Dusty: Rewind, (makes a tape rewinding noise).
Joe: A band called Knife The Puppets on myspace.
Dusty: Yeah, myspace.com/knifethepuppets, brutal.
Estrella: Any final comments?
Alex: Monster Monster.
Dusty: Our album comes out next month so buy it.
Alex: We are on tour with The Used until November 13th, so come check us out and our album comes out in stores everywhere November 3rd.
Dusty: And Alex likes to party.