In the mood for beachy pop-punk on a Monday night? The Vera Project has you covered. San Diego’s Mrs. Magician will be headlining on September 19, featuring opening sets from two Seattle locals, Violent Human System (V.H.S.) and Texas Medicine. Mrs. Magician has a sound that borders Wavves-esque beach punk to full-fledged pop, all with a sarcastic cynicism that bites. To get to know our friends from down the coast a little better, I got to do a quick Q&A with frontman Jacob Turnbloom about their upcoming day in Seattle.
AK: What’s the story behind the name of Mrs. Magician?
MM: I don’t really have an interesting story for this, people ask me this question a lot and I make up answers all the time to keep it interesting, But the truth is, it’s named after Bess Houdini, Harry Houdini’s wife. On the center label of our first 7” is a blown out, blurry, black and white photograph of Harry Houdini, Bess Houdini & his mother Cecilia Weisz. If you don’t know what it is it just looks like a black and white blob, but now that you know what it is maybe you’ll see it? It’s like an ink blot test, I wonder if anyone saw their father.
AK: Does pop-punk adequately describe your sound, in your own words? I feel like there’s a missing element when it’s just described as pop-punk…
MM: I guess it’s just up to the individual, that term would perfectly define us if we came out say in 1989, but in 2016 it puts us into a category of bands that I don’t really identify with or think we sound anything like, that’s not to say it’s wrong but I don’t think that term adequately defines our band. Our band is very straightforward and slightly abrasive, so without sounding like I’m talking down about our band, we are somewhat of a generic rock/pop outfit. But I love using generic, formulaic rock structures in an ironic fashion, simply because I’m a fan of it. It’s intentional with us because I can explore with the lyrics in ways many mainstream bands don’t try to, or at the time of their releases couldn’t, and in my opinion kind of create a whole new thing that doesn’t seem disingenuous. Where we are stylistically is a good place in my opinion, we can open for groups like The Zombies & Cults, but then play with Negative Approach & Metz, the crowds generally respond the same, some move around more than others, but we can hop on bills with hard edged bands and soft poppy bands and it still seems to make sense for us and the audience.
AK: Do you pick your openers for each show? (I noticed lots of local bands on each stop of the tour.)
MM: Our drummer Cory books the tours now, and he usually decides who we play with if we don’t have friends in certain cities. I used to try and stay on top of that, but it’s too much work for me.
AK: What are you looking forward to most for your show in Seattle?
MM: The last time we played Seattle was like 3 years ago with our friends Big Eyes, I’m a huge fan of that band, now I’m excited to see Chris’s new band V.H.S.–should be a blast. The first time we played Seattle was in 2012 on tour with Cults, I had my homie TJ (King Dude) come up on stage during our set and sing “There Is No God” with us, I’m hoping something fun and spontaneous like that happens again. I’m also hoping Marco Collins shows up, haven’t seen that dude in forever.
AK: Are you trying to do anything in the city of Seattle specifically if you have time?
MM: I went to EMP back in 2004, it’d be interesting to see it again. If we have time I’ll try and convince the guys to do some touristy shit, like check out the space needle or sit on that bench in front of Kurt Cobain’s house, but we’ll probably just get coffee and sit around a parking lot wasting our lives. It’d be fun to go to Sub Pop and bother them with stupid questions about records that don’t exist anymore, I did that to Merge when we toured through North Carolina.
With two records and one full length release of B-sides, I’m super stoked to hear what they’re going to choose to perform. Their latest release, Bermuda, leans the heaviest on pop, so be ready to dance…and also mosh when they go back to their heavier pop-punk material from Strange Heaven. Be sure to get there early to check out Texas Medicine (one of the many monikers of Carter Prince- ex-SU student/current Cornish student/frontman of The Rainy Day Splish Splosh Band), and Violent Human System. Buy tickets here for the best Monday night of your life.
This show will take place on Monday, September 19 at The Vera Project at 8 p.m.
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