In the basement of Double Door, I had the chance to sit down and ask The members of The Mutts a few questions twenty minutes before they went on stage...
So, The Mutts...
Mike: I have never really explained the band name before, this is an inaugural explanation... combination of liking dogs and making a living walking dogs.
First question... Most important, is, why?
Mike: Because it’s out there
Favorite/least favorite cheese? (for the cheese-enthusiast)
Bob: Well, I am a vegan... so least favorite might be the cheese that smells kind of like feet.
Robots or Dinosaurs?
Strangest venue or gig you’ve ever played?
All: The Mutiny... not that it was strange... more cool than strange
How did you begin your career and who were your influences?
Chris: I was in a few bands before the Mutts (i.e. The Hush Sound) and we all just sort of met up and rocked out.
What is the most memorable concert you’ve ever attended?
Chris: The Roots at Depaul, outdoors in the pouring rain.
Mike: New Kids on the Block, my sister dragged me there when I was 8, my first concert I ever attended.
Bob: My first concert was Filter. Also Cornelius.
What are you listening to now?
Old records/music that influenced you?
Bob: The first record I remember digging on as a kid was Weather Report's Birdland. I was kind of obsessed with Jaco Pastorius' bass in the title track. I also really liked Joe Venuti and John Barnes live at the Concord Music Festival for some reason. I was 5 or 6. Who knows? Haha.
What is the worst advice you’ve ever been given?
Chris: When someone handed me some peanut butter and said “Eat this, you’re not allergic.”
If you were to communicate using one word, what would it be?
Chris: Aghhh (with some silent J’s)
How do you make those wicked guitar riffs, is it a gift or did you learn from some venerable teacher?
Mike: My piano teacher from age 7 to 13 was a 6'7", 300+ pound Hungarian man named Janus Zemzars. He had a booming voice and had to duck to get through the practice room doors at the Arts Center back in Ashtabula, OH. It was terrifying to imagine going to a lesson unprepared. But he was really a nice guy, who just happened to make a grand piano look like a toy (like a real-life Shroeder from Peanuts). I loved learning gypsy Tarantellas, Muzio Clementi sonatas, and heavy Tchaikovsky compositions. I accidentally lift riffs from that stuff on occasion.
Mike: Yes - either Sigur Ros or Dream Theater. Or both!
From their album The Tells of Parallels