|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Plugging the musical mustard
By Dan Yurman
When the SnowJam tour comes to Call the Office this weekend, it will have added flavour as Grand Rapids, Michigan's own Mustard Plug will be spicing up the stage with its ska sound. Riding the coat-tails of the brand new CD, Evildoers Beware, the band promises to add hardcore energy to the annual event and cover the stage with style.
Formed in 1991, this sextet, made up of David Kirchgessner (vocals), Colin Clive (guitar and vocals), Craig DeYoung (bass), Nick Varano (drums), Jim Hofer (trombone) and Brandon Jenison (trumpet), saw the ska sound as "something that was just starting to get going and something that was energetic and danceable." When Kirchgessner graduated from college he felt it was time to throw his hat in the musical ring by "getting together [his] friends and playing bars, parties and any other places we could get some practice."
Influenced by such bands as The Toasters, Fishbone and The Descendants, the group began to write music and do what they loved to do most perform.
By the time band members were secured and had chosen their sound, they were only missing one key ingredient: a spicy name. "We couldn't really think of a name," said Kirchgessner. "But we knew we wanted something kind of dumb. We were sitting around one day trying to think of one and while Nick was making a balony sandwich the mustard was plugged up. He recommended the name and we liked it."
Although their name is quite different, their attitude towards performing is not. "We love not having a real job," said Kirchgessner. "We love having really strange hours and no real boss to report to." In fact, every member of the band holds an authoritative position, as they all collectively write the music. "It's a very collective thing," said Kirchgessner.
Throughout their career, the band memebers have had some very interesting experiences, such as performing with Weird Al Yankovic, Digable Planets and playing an intimate show with '60s guru Timothy Leary sitting front row centre. "That was a really cool night," said Kirchgessner. "He came up to us after we played and said 'Wow, you guys rocked! I love you guys!'"
If the sales of their first CD are any indication, selling well over 15,000 copies, Mustard Plug should have no problem hot-dogging their way into the hearts and minds of Canadian ska fans.