Interview: Dave Wyndorf, Monster Magnet


Monster Magnet made their mark with Spine of God but it's their new release Superjudge, overloaded on psychopathic psychedelia, that sees the band truly come into their own. Many comparisons have been made between Magnet and such luminaries as Black Sabbath. Hawkwind are, in my eyes, far more relevant. Superjudge compounds this by injecting a colossal rendition of Brainstorm.

"When I was little, I was a huge Hawkwind fan. I think the first time I smoked pot was to Space Ritual," affirms guitarist, vocalist Dave Wyndorf.

Like Hawkwind before them Monster Magnet cocoon themselves in the drug subculture.

"We come from a place where things haven't changed much since the early '70s. The whole culture grew up and became the mainstream. It's the bong mentality."

As Wyndorf wrote and produced Superjudge, how much of a band are Magnet?

"Yeah, we're a band. I just tend to chomp at the bit more often with an acoustic guitar, or I just scream at it and then the band play it the only way they know how."

Why self produce? Are you totally anti outside influence?

"No, not really, I actually didn't give it another thought. If we ever gave a thought to selling millions of records we'd get scared. It didn't seem necessary to get someone to help us."

But isn't the final say down to Wyndorf?

"The way the record was done was in a hurry which is how it should be. I've always been the one who really cared about the stuff to hang around for the entire process."

The music on offer may be a crazed, screwed-up soundtrack, but where are the lyrics coming from?

"They all mean something to me," smiles Dave. "They're written in a way that I can understand, but others can't, but who wants to write literally? If I want to do that I'll write for a newspaper. This stuff just sludges out of me, and it's far more fun. There's no message. They're pretty much psychotic episodes that happen within."

If you check out the band at one of their many Euro dates, don't expect an exact reproduction of the album.

"The music changes a lot when it's live. It always falls apart but that's exactly how it should be."

It's the magic of the moment I guess. Wyndorf is also more complimentary on European audiences.

"People are more open here. They listen with their ears rather than their eyes."

The state of the Americas is, admits Wyndorf, "very disturbing, but I don't watch TV and hardly listen to anything new. We're a bunch of mutants. Just every now and again we poke our heads out of our hole."

Joe Mackett
Riff Raff
July 1993

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