Mushroomhead's Jeffrey Nothing Talks Slipknot Tour, New Band Members and More
With the recent news of a possible tour with Slipknot, an album ("Beautiful Stories For Ugly Children"), several tours, and four years since my last interview with my friends in Mushroomhead, I felt it was high time that I reach out to Jeffrey Nothing for an interview and get an update regarding the bands current status since our last conversation, and what we may have to look forward to in the future. Due to proximity and schedule conflicts, Jeffrey agreed to do the interview via email. The following is a Metal Underground.com exclusive.
Blindgreed1: As this tour with Slipknot continues to become more of a reality, the question has arisen regarding who started this idea? Was it fans? Management? Whose idea was this?
Jeffrey Nothing: It was a fan named Nick Smith. We met in Sacramento California, outside a club called Ace of Spades, prior to the hed2 Head 2 show on April 17, 2011. What’s crazy is that show was a year to the day of the coming show in Cleveland OH, with Sid Wilson #0 of Slipknot. It's really crazy how things workout. I have been saying in interviews when people ask: "What band living or dead, past or present would you want to tour with?" and my instant answer is always: Slipknot! I say, let's end the feud and give the fans what they truly want and so I take some pics with Nick outside the tour bus and we play the show and kind of go our separate ways. About a month ago I start following his group. The day I really watched there was about 153 members. I throw my support behind it and together with Nick and Ian and Evan and a few other admins we have this "Thing" pushing 17K as I type this... The wheels are turning.
Blindgreed1: You stated recently that Paul and JJ would have wanted this to happen. Do you think the recent losses by each band has had something to do with this or is this something that would have happened regardless?
Jeffrey Nothing: I remember back in the day we almost played Iowa very early on and for whatever reason the show got cancelled. I heard Paul came out and wanted to meet us and later through a friend, I heard he was interested in working together. It seemed if there was going to be a peace reached between the 2 bands Paul was going to be the envoy, brokering such a peace. I always heard he was very cool. JJ was a troubled, amazing soul, I remember when I first met him he was 14 and I never saw him without a guitar strapped on, that was all he wanted to do, ever. Later in life battles with controlled substances took their toll and later had a hand in 2 great musicians leaving us way too soon. I believe deep down they would have both wanted this with all my heart. We reached out to Slipknot and gave our condolences and I think we both, as bands realized: Life really is too short and I feel we need to do this as a celebration to what those two, founding members helped create and share our gifts with thousands of crazy metal heads from both sides. For the first time ever, as ONE!
Blindgreed1: Additionally, Corey stated recently that he’s never had a problem with Mushroomhead (the band) but rather their issue was with Mushroomhead fans. Do you have anything you’d like to add from the Mushroomhead camp?
Jeffrey Nothing: Just that we come from a city, who’s music scene for whatever reason, was always very “us and them.” A friend of mine from a band considered Cleveland metal royalty told me at a later meeting that their management told them straight up: “don't be friends with any of the other bands.” I kind of thought that was insane but that was the culture here. It's the Rust Belt, industry leaves by the day. So I mean it was a pretty intense battle for the limelight and it was very much every band for themselves. Now days it is a lot better, we put out comps of friends and a lot of bands do work together for the cause. Our fans are basically a reflection of us. They saw a band from Cleveland going somewhere and they took pride in it just like we did. They kind of took it as a sucker punch a little because the two seemed so similar. I have no issues with Slipknot and the feud is over and we need to move forward as whole and make this happen and it's not about the almighty dollar; it's about giving the fans a “True Big 4” that will crush the first one. I mean If Metallica and Megadeth can share a stage, Anything is possible!
Blindgreed1: You now have over 17,000 likes for the “Make The Mushroomhead/Slipknot tour happen” page in a very short amount of time. Has management from Slipknot committed to a number of how many you need to make the tour a reality?
Jeffrey Nothing: No they haven't and it's crossed the 17,000 threshold at this point. I am waiting as I can imagine for any other members from Mushroomhead or Slipkot or Gwar or Mudvayne for that matter to also get behind the effort. Jason Popson aka J Mann added his support last night and I need others to join in. I spoke with Oderus thru facebook messages and they are on board so I'm waiting on word to become official from all camps that we are in this together for the same Amazing cause. We just need to keep adding Members and not hollow numbers, but true fans that want this. I am happy people love and support the band they love most and build cross alliances to help make this vision a reality. Just think of the Monster festival this can create. A day in each city, around the world… a huge spectacle… A true metal show with the visual meaning just as much as the sound. Ozzfest is down to a few select cities and some of the other fests are getting a little predictable and frankly “safe.” It's time to make something that will turn heads or pretty much twist them off. It's time to destroy all monsters and do a Spring through Fall super-fest all over the planet! And together shake the mother fucker to it's core!
Blindgreed1: Recently a video was posted of a Mushroomhead show from last Friday. There were some noticeable differences in this show. Let’s start with your stage persona. This is the first time we’ve seen you in face paint in a couple of years. Are you going back to the “old school Jeffrey Nothing” look, or was this a one off type of thing?
Jeffrey Nothing: We are in a transition right now, we have parted ways with a couple of members and we have been, for years now, doing shows with very different personal masks. The show last Saturday was booked prior to the changes being made so we had to think of something to make the transition as seamless and painless as possible. I was going to still wear my latest Christoper Lee head cast pull sadomasochist butcher look when "House" makeup artist/mask maker David Greathouse suggested we go with the black and white x face paint and I said fine, but I want the rest of me a bloody stump. I can imagine our look for the immediate future will be a mix of old and new until the two new personalities are thought up and defined. I love this period of wonder prior to the new finished product, new stage personas, new names, new directions of creativity and drive. Good luck to Gravy and Pig in whatever they decide to do. Mushroomhead is a work in progress and constant evolution. Art without change hangs in a Museum. We still have too much to say.
Blindgreed1: I believe you stated publicly that for legal reasons, you cannot discuss the basis or reasoning behind the recent departure of Pig Benis and Gravy. Out of professional respect for Pig, Gravy and Mushroomhead as a whole we’ll not get into that discussion. However, enquiring minds want to know who the new guys that appeared in the video are and are these two permanent replacements?
Jeffrey Nothing: They are at this time, for lack of a better stage name, with all apologies to Dr Seuss: Thing 1 aka Tommy Church (The Autumn Offering/ Scelestus/ Tenafly Viper) on guitar and: Thing 2 aka Ryan Farrell (Nothing/ Foose/ Proon) on Bass Guitar. They are both exceptionally Gifted and not only will we not miss a beat. I feel our best work is ahead of us. I can only imagine where the next Mushroomhead releases will go and that is a wonderful thing. Plans at this point are to focus on an EP of new material and besides this Tour we are working toward, there are insane things brewing inside the Filthy Hands Compound for 2013...
Blindgreed1: In a recent press release posted here at Metal Underground.com, it was announced that Nothing (your side project) will perform for the first time in North America along with Tenafly Viper (Waylon’s side project), #0 Sid Wilson (of Slipknot) DJ set and St1tch (also from Mushroomhead) DJ set. First, how has Nothing been received here and abroad? Second, the willingness of Sid to book a show with numerous members of Mushroomhead speaks volumes regarding the possibilities of everyone putting their differences aside and moving in the right direction. Have you spoken with Sid personally and can you give us any insight to how he feels about this?
Jeffrey Nothing: No sorry no conversations with Sid yet I did see him chatting on the stairs of Peoples Court in Des Moines with St1tch before the hed2Head2 show but we have yet to speak. Nothing was received amazingly in Australia direct support to hedPE! It was only 4 shows but for our first gigs ever we couldn't have picked a better place. Strangely enough we almost didn't play "Psychodalia" live that trip in favor of a "Sun Doesn't Rise" cover. But luckily we chose our own song because it got the loudest applause and almost all the half female crowds each night danced to it so that was different in a good way. It will be amazing to debut the band in North America here at home. Peabody's feels like all your favorite rock clubs anywhere and we nearly booked a March date at a different venue. But I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason so here we are. Playing with Sid will hopefully catapult us to exactly where we want to be: 2 Bands historically separate, fighting together for 1 cause. To me it's a beautiful "Thing" that has to happen.
Blindgreed1: While I’m sure the main focus right now is on this tour, can you give us any insight as to when we can expect the next Mushroomhead album?
Jeffrey Nothing: There is talk of an EP as I said but we are presently free agents having fulfilled our obligation to Megaforce Records. It's hard to say what will happen next but there may be a countdown started any day now to a very special (in Mushroomhead terms) date with an unbelievable outcome. I want this tour really bad but by no means will 2013 or 2012 for that matter disappoint.
Blindgreed1: Currently, the bill is proposed to be Mushroomhead, Slipknot, GWAR and Mudvayne. Have any other bands shown interest in signing on?
Jeffrey Nothing: No and we are just in a wish mode right now that all big 4 proposed are down. Plus to make this real would Mudvayne agree to bring back the classic Mudvayne look for these shows? I feel adding some other visual acts even if not for the complete run is essential to the idea succeeding. ICP, and Dimmu Borgir Have come to mind and there's a score of other visual acts, that would be great to approach when the time is right. Right now it is and needs to be the Slipknot/Mushroomhead/Gwar/Mudvayne idea being pushed and for sure the first three, though I hope it's all four. As for the Filthy Maggots Group, please keep other band suggestions strictly in the doc section. We appreciate your enthusiasm but we need to concentrate on the prize and not worry about the support artists at this time those will be decided once we have this "Thing" as a reality. Add as many friend/fans of all for bands, but don't add people who would have no interest in any of it. I am scheduled to do a couple “phoners” with radio stations that like this idea. As for the rest of the metal/rock world: What are you waiting for? This is going be huge and then your going to leap for a bandwagon that may have already passed you by. Wake up!
Blindgreed1: Recently Jason Popson (J-Mann) commented on Facebook stating “if this happens who knows what else can happen?”. I know there have been a few “Old School” shows with guest appearances featuring J-mann recently, but if this tour happens is it a possibility to see you, J-mann and Waylon fronting the band?
Jeffrey Nothing: Yeah, that's the beauty of actually owning the crystal ball in this case. Never say never, as I said earlier after tragic events, you find out how short life can be. You appreciate friends you almost lost by being stubborn or maybe even stupid. J is hanging around working on 10,000 Cadillacs and it's good to see my brutha way more often. During his time in Mushroomhead we worked together but didn't really hang. We are much closer now and I for one am open to anything in the future. Thanxx for asking great questions and see you all very soon on: "hed2 Head3" with our SubNoize Bruthas and the return of American Head Charge, Corvus and Tenafly Viper! It's going to be Intense to say the least... Remember to join: firstname.lastname@example.org and help make a difference. So we can all feel the Earth Tremble... Together, As One! Peace JN…
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