Two very loud and very kick ass bands from Boston recently teamed up for an ambitious split album project. The album is titled, simply, Wolfmen of Mars vs The Mangled Dead.
The album was released on vinyl on July 18th and is also available via the digital highway, if you fancy the new-age way to rock out.
Wolfmen of Mars describe their music as “a soundtrack for late night driving or space travel” while The Mangled Dead devote their days to “dirty, beer soaked cemetery punk”. So, basically, the men behind the music are just as insane as the incredible artwork that is crammed all over the front, back and inside of this double-LP. And that’s a very good thing for music fans.
I recently had the chance to speak with all four cogs of this awesome machine, from both bands to the two artists responsible for the artwork, Devon Whitehead and Kevin Spencer. Beginning with Wolfmen of Mars, I will feature all four contributors in separate pieces over the next few days.
MANGLED MATTERS: How long has the band been jamming together?
WOLFMEN OF MARS: The whole “Wolfmen of Mars” thing started up around 2010. We’d known each other from previous projects and this seemed like something different, that could stick around for a few albums without us getting sick of it. Depending on who’s available, the lineup for every album changes up a bit.
MM: John Carpenter is clearly a major influence on you guys. Have the Wolfmen done any indie horror soundtrack work?
WOM: We’ve recorded a couple of tracks for things that have never panned out. I heard we’ve got a song in a small horror anthology flick coming out, but I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with that right now. We’re definitely down for some cool soundtrack work if it ever comes up. I think we could put something good together for an 80s sex comedy type of thing too. I’ve got a great synth sound that I’ve been waiting to use and it would go great with someone throwing up or falling out of a moving car. Who knows…
MM: If you could pick one musician or band to collaborate with next, who would it be and why?
WOM: I wouldn’t want to put any particular band on the spot and scare them off.
MM: Why go the vinyl route? Obviously, having something tangible to hold and collect is a big selling point for collectors, but what inspired you guys to go the old school route?
WOM: To hold that artwork in your hand and pop this crazy record on, seemed like something people would have a really good time with. Also, putting a record together for a vinyl release seemed like it would be a good experience and it ended up being a great time.
MM: The artwork is incredible for this LP. How did you guys get Devon Whitehead and Kevin Spencer involved? Have you worked with either artist before?
WOM: I knew about Devon from his cover art on the Night of the Demons LP. He has a style that reminds me of old videocassette covers and those WWF PPV promo posters. He went so far beyond what I could’ve expected for this album. It’s insanity.
We met Kevin because he did logo art for a podcast, The Screamcast, that also uses a tune of ours for their intro music. Networking! We contacted him to do the record label art. He did such a killer job that we had him do the back of the jacket as well. He was a perfect fit for this. Both of their styles combined, made this jacket something pretty special.
MM: What is your favorite The Mangled Dead track from the album?
WOM: “Ladies of the Night” is a song that stands out in my brain, but I really like their entire batch of songs as a whole. I could totally imagine these songs on a soundtrack.
MM: What was it like collaborating with another band on a joint project? Is it something you guys would like to do again?
WOM: We’ve been big fans of those guys for a while now. They’re one of a handful of bands that gets me psyched when I hear that they’re releasing new music. Every album these guys put together sounds pretty different in either style or overall sound. Putting the album together with them was a blast. If a good idea came up for another collaboration with them or someone else, we’d be all for it.
MM: Any updates on the LP release Gamisu? (editor’s note: Gamisu is Wolfmen of Mars’ last full length album that came out digitally in May)
WOM: The record label, Poisoned Mind Records. is putting some cool ideas together for the vinyl release. It got delayed a few times because the pressing plants were backed up, but it’s definitely on its way in September. The cover on the LP is printed on that old hologram trading card material. It looks really fucking cool.
MM: What are you guys currently working on?
WOM: We’re always writing new stuff, so hopefully there will be a new batch of songs sometime next year.