We’ve seen a resurgence in rock and roll lately, and it’s something that I’ve been lucky enough to write about extensively. That being said, there are some bands that are really making this new rock and roll revolution work. We live in a world where far too many people are just here for the hootenanny and not for the music, the spirit of it all if you will. If we want to be able to transcend the common darkness of our times then we are going to need grooves, riffs, and a genuine attitude of rebellion to drive this whole thing forward. I have come to believe that not only are Mothership one of the best bands on the scene right now – they are also spearheading the revolution.
What Mothership understand, perhaps more than any other band out there, is that rock and roll isn’t just music – it’s a lifestyle. When I talk to the band they emphasize that they want to be as real as possible. The trio, fronted by brothers Kelley and Kyle Juett on guitar and bass respectively, and Judge Smith on skins, likes to talk about wearing their influences on their sleeve – something readily apparent in their wonderfully diverse records. Kyle perhaps said it best in a recent interview, “The goal of playing any sort of music is to fill your own void.” Mothership understand what makes them special, and by extension why rock and roll matters – which means that they matter. People need an outlet, and Mothership provide it, never alienating, but still loud, powerful and ready to get your booty shaking, or as Kelley likes to say, “We’re just spreading the love brother!”
Last night at the Gramercy Theater I was impressed at the aura around the band. I’ve mentioned in the past that groupie culture is slowly starting to find its way back and in its purest, unadulterated form too. The guys all have exclusive relationships with their girlfriends back home, but that doesn’t take away from their earth shaking charisma and sexuality. Like the groupies of old, the women around Mothership aren’t sex symbols, rather they are there to help out the band. They see the movement and want to help grow it, they, like all Mothership fans want to be a part of what can only be called a Happening.
Perhaps that’s why their always seems to be girls in their dressing room and dudes shaking their hands in admiration. The guys understand what it means to be in a rock band and the bravado it entails. Rather than holing themselves up in some shitty backstage like so many groups on their level do, they go out amongst the people – partying the loudest and the hardest. When Mothership play a show, you fucking know who they are, that’s simply how they roll.
That being said, the band has never been anything less than professional. In the words of Kyle Juett, “There’s something to be said for a band who are regularly an hour and a half early. It shows we’re not here to fuck around.” And they’re not. The band is proud to be self managed and have managed to win spots playing in front of thousands of people and opening for massive bands like Corrosion of Conformity. Mothership do this full time – they’re here for better or for worse. Sure it doesn’t really fund itself yet, but they don’t give a fuck, they go home and immediately start tending bar. There’s a whole lot more to this band than I think that anyone realizes.
Mothership, more than anything else, represent a movement in a way that very few of their peers ever could. The only two that come to mind might be Satan’s Satyrs and Truckfighters, but both of those are on a totally different plane of existence. Not superior or inferior, just different. Mothership, in their uniquely rock n roll reveling have been able to establish themselves as veritable kings of their genre. Why? Because they are the band for their time and place. Not only do they understand the importance of technology (Something many peers eschew in a desire to be ‘legitimate’) but they seem wholly comfortable in their place in 2015.
Far too many bands in the scene claim that they wish they had come up in the 60s or 70s, creating a weird glut of time displaced rock and rollers. This is not the case with Mothership, the rare rock band that’s glad that it’s 2015. Their whole goal is to create powerful music and have a good time, their generation doesn’t matter, they were born to rock. It doesn’t matter if they’re the best or the most inspired, what matters is the vibe. There is nothing particularly iconoclastic about Mothership either – in fact, I get the impression that they would much rather have other folks jump on board, they don’t want to be among the only ones out there doing this.
Of course it would be absolutely remiss to say that they are the only band out there doing this. Asides from the previously mentioned groups, there’s a whole wave of bands out there trying to make this dream a reality, from the mighty Electric Citizen from Cincinnati to the crazed Philadelphians in Ruby The Hatchet. The buzz has gotten so big that the rock and roll revolution might already be here. Kyle Juett said in an interview, “A lot of people try to deny it and say rock and roll is dead, but you can’t deny it when you have a… ton of killer bands who put on a great show and have killer albums. You can’t contain that man. It’s only a matter of time before they’re going to have to yield to the power. Most of these bands tour on their own too, they’re taking initiative. When you have this perfect storm it’s like a freight train.”
And that’s the thing – articulate, exciting, and wonderfully dedicated to their craft, Mothership aren’t fucking around, they are here to create rock and roll music that resonates. They don’t want to go down like so many of their peers in a wave of decadence, they want to prove that rock and roll is here to stay. Full of well deserved swagger, as a pure music fan it’s hard not to be in love with what Mothership are doing. There’s something weirdly noble about a band who get what it means to want to be a badass motherfucker and to throw your life away in the name of chasing that dream.
Perhaps the magic of Mothership was best summed up in a simple interview question back at the bands Psycho California appearance in May of this year:
“Do you feel like rock and roll is your destiny?”
“Definitely. Growing up you I loved performing, being in front of people and listening to music. It took us a while for the universe to put instruments in our hands and get us on the road, but once that happened it was like a lightning strike. We’ve been together forever, even before we played music. It’s good to know that our previous relationship built towards this.
It’s cosmic and universal. It’s good to know that with something like this you’ve got that behind you. It’s the same whether you’re a doctor, a record store owner or in a rock and roll band, you know deep down inside when something’s right and you don’t have to fake it or put on a front. You are that, you are living it.
That’s something we stand for, being real, hanging out with people and giving people there moneys’ worth. That to us, is what rock and roll is.”
So hop on board motherfuckers, it’s time to take a trip on the ship.