Monday, August 13, 2012

Five Questions with... Russell Quan

Okay... Actually four questions.

It's not an easy task getting Russell Quan to open up. He's rock and roll royalty, being in one of the coolest bands to ever take the stage, and he acts like I've wasted my time pursuing an interview with him. If I didn't know better I'd think that he thought of his band, The Mummies as a parody act. Not one to be taken seriously. The only thing wrong with that idea is the fact that The Mummies are stuff of legend.

The Mummies (Photo courtesy of their website)

Formed in San Mateo, California in 1988, The Mummies immediately began to make their mark as one of the premier garage bands on the west coast. The original band consisted of Trent Ruane (organ, vocals), Maz Kattuah (bass), Larry Winther (guitar) and Russell Quan (drums). They introduced the genre "Budget Rock" and tour and play exclusively with outdated and worn equipment. They tour in a hearse; also outdated, emblazened with THE MUMMIES (spray painted) on the side. They dress in  tattered mummy outfits. They kick serious ass.

Their music is as primitive as the equipment they use. It's crunchy and raw, and indelibly catchy. It's on that rare shoreline where surf meets bubblegum. It's garage rock in it's purest form, the kind that invaribly gets the cops called. It's beautiful and dangerous, and without a doubt groovier than anything you are currently listening to.

When you click onto their website, you are met with this greeting:

The Mummies were a stupid band.

This is their stupid website.

You cared about them enough to get this far.

Now you are stupid too.

That's the Mummies' curse.

I emailed Russell Quan in February asking him for an interview. His response was short and to the point:

"you forget im nobody remember? ha ha!"

Then he added his own question:  hows troy?."

I wrote him back and explained to him that I was doing fine, and assuming that he was flashing me the green light, proceded to send him some questions. Several weeks later, he wrote me back.

"ha ha thanks mr Troy! we stil screwing around playing 'music' har de har."

My questions went unanswered. So I sent them again. And this time, I got a response to four of them.

Over a span of about 8 weeks.

Russell Quan doesn't mince words. In fact he rarely uses them. Still though, that's what makes this interview so great. I challenge you to find one anywhere else.


What is the official status of The Mummies?


What is your all time favorite memory of touring with the Mummies?

When I missed out on the tour with Headcoats and Bruce Brand shit his trousers.

Who designed the costumes, and how did they stay on?

Eddie Bauer, and Elmer's glue.

What do you think of the "other" group who stole your concept, Here Comes The Mummies?

I feel sorry for anyone who might get those two mixed up! Ha ha ha!

Budget Rock... A genre all it's own.


Pertinent links:

The Mummies Official

The Mummies Facebook

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