Volume 92, Issue 2
Friday, May 22, 1998
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Success no mystery for this machine
BY CHRISTINA VARDANIS
For the members of Vancouver's Mystery Machine, forming a band in their adolescent years was not a decision based on achieving fame, money or fortune, but was rather just a cure for boredom. According to the band's lead guitarist, Bean, jamming was "something to do besides wrecking cars on the weekend. We did that too, but sometimes we needed a change."
Change, as Mystery Machine has found out, is a good thing. With their newest release, Headfirst Into Everything, the band has taken a turn down the winding road of lyricism and produced an album that speaks of personal experience, rather than the trademark, surreal stories of frontman Luke Rogalsky.
Still, Bean insists that this switch to the more personal side of Mystery Machine does not change the band's focus on "hard core" performance.
"We play our music just to play, we've never been a 'message' band," Bean explains. "We do what we do to bring something out in people and not necessarily enjoyment. Even if it's a gaping face, like they're looking at a car accident we've reached them."
Despite his refusal to admit conscious lyrical impressionism, the new album reflects a maturity and courage that had not been fully developed in their previous two releases, Glazed and Ten Speed. Headfirst Into Everything reflects a paradox in creativity, which makes the overall tone hard to classify. "We wanted to make a record that was consistent from beginning to end but that's also scattered and covers a billion topics."
This complexity and cohesiveness was a result of the many years Bean, Rogalsky, bassist Shane Ward and drummer Jordan Pratt have spent together, experiencing each others different styles and developing a trust, which between bandmates is essential for success.
While on tour, Mystery Machine never tires of doing what they do best performing live. Their next roadstop is tonight at Call the Office, where the pure enjoyment each member takes from executing a tune that rocks from beginning to end should be obvious.
"We practice more than any other band I know," claims Bean. "But it's just for us, with no one else around. Then when we get up in from of a crowd it's like, 'Holy crap, people want to listen!'"
Achieving this balance between giving out to the audience and satisfying their own needs as a band is tricky business and one that the members of this four-piece want to leave alone.
"Finding that point is something that's not spoken of," says Bean. "It's like when a goalie is a period away from a shut-out. You don't go up to him and say that he's on his way to a shut-out."
While changing sounds will always keep Mystery Machine propelling forward, their destination still remains a mystery.
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