interview by Shannon Sauter
photos by Susana Meza
DJ Shannon scheduled in some time in her diary to hang out with her favorite band, Mason Proper. Band members Jonathan Visger (vocals/guitar/keys), Matt Thomson (noise/vocals), Brian Konicek (guitars), Zac Fineberg (bass/vocals), and Garrett Jones (drums) discussed life ambitions and goals (not really) outside and inside a freight elevator (honestly).
Shannon: What’s the music scene like in Michigan, and why aren’t you in a bigger city?
Jon: Hmmmmmm… I’d describe the music scene in Michigan these days as small but friendly. All the good bands between the different cities all manage to become friends with each other and trade shows and things and sort of take pride in bands from Michigan on the whole, not just their one city. As far as why we aren’t in a bigger city… it’s probably foolish of us not to be, but it’s home, and the cost of living is a lot lower, so we get to spend a lot more time playing music versus struggling to survive. In theory.
Shannon: What bands are you listening to right now?
Matt Thomson: Caribou’s the new album [Andorra]. The direction it’s in right now is perfect.
John Visger: The Good, the Bad and the Queen. I still like it more than anything else this year.
Garrett Jones (deadpan): I don’t listen to music.
Shannon: During your live performance Cheryl mentioned someone at Engine Studios had referred to Matt’s suitcase of miscellaneous musical gadgets as “Musical Goo.” How has the “Musical Goo” evolved?
Matt: Evolved is a good word, there used to be more parts but they died off because they weren’t good hunters and gatherers. It started off much more bulky, and completely inappropriate to have on stage.
Jon: It was like one of those huge old computers that take up an entire room.
Matt: Yes. It started out big and bulky like a dinosaur, but eventually it got smaller and more efficient and now it can fly a million miles per hour, like a bird.
Jon: To be fair, we may be misinformed about the ability level of birds. There are no birds in Michigan.
Shannon: What are you plans for CMJ?
Jon: Oh, you know. We’re driving there, playing some songs a few times. Sleeping on a rooftop if it’s nice out. Watching lots of good bands for free. I bet that’s pretty similar to your CMJ plans, now that I think of it.