by J.D. Reager
As the Flyer previously reported, Muck Sticky will hit the road this summer backed by “the greatest animatronic rock band of all time,” the Rock-afire Explosion. Formerly known as the house band at the Showbiz Pizza chain, the group will join Mucky Sticky on a nationwide tour known as “the L.I.F.E. Tour.” Muck Sticky spoke to the Memphis Flyer this week via email about this development and more.
The Memphis Flyer: First off, can you tell us what you've been up to since $5 Cover?
Muck Sticky: I spent the winter hibernating and preparing the elements of the L.I.F.E. Tour as well as writing and recording a bunch of new music. I am very blessed to have had my music and message heard by a new audience because of my role on $5 Cover.
Flyer: How did the whole Rock-afire Explosion partnership come together?
Muck Sticky: They were a major inspiration because they sparked a new area of imagination in my life. The fact that there was a place where these giant animals sang, talked, and were friendly was amazing to me. When I first began Muck Sticky, I had floor lamps that had wigs and sunglasses, and each one had an instrument. I used to dream of one day having the Rock-afire Explosion as my band, and the floor lamps were a way of improvising.
In 2009, I was fortunately introduced to Aaron Fechter (the creator of the Rock-afire Explosion) by Andrew VanWyngarden of MGMT. I'd seen the Rock-afire Explosion in the “Electric Feel” video and asked Andrew to connect us. He was kind enough to do so, and the rest is becoming music history.
Flyer: Logistically, what sort of challenges does touring with an animatronic backing band pose?
Muck Sticky: The cost of production is certainly higher than an average band. The good thing is it opens up more bunks on the tour bus. We are fortunate to have a good crew to operate everything, led by Fechter. He is also the founder of Creative Engineering Inc.
Flyer: Thematically, how does this partnership fit in with what you do? Will you make any changes to your show/material to accommodate working with the Rock-afire Explosion?
Muck Sticky: As far as material goes, we intend to remain steadfast in our message of positivity and nonviolence. Our show is PG-13. A few of the things I say might be considered by some to be controversial since I talk about marijuana and sex. But today's average preteen has seen over 13,000 real or simulated murders on TV. And we all know that what we watch and think about are what conditions our brains. Many kids are allowed to sit in front of a screen for hours pretending they are shooting people and blowing things up! And then people wonder why we have such a violent society. HELLO? Plus, you know as well as I do that every teenager already knows all about drugs and sex.
Our message is about love and respect towards life, as well as some of the things in it that bring us joy. L.I.F.E. = Love Is Free Everyday. And if we can teach young people to share that philosophy, we will be doing our part to make the world a better place.
Flyer: So, will the Rock-afire Explosion really be advocating the use of marijuana?
Muck Sticky: I suppose people will need to attend the show to find out :)
Flyer: Tell us about the concept of the show.
Muck Sticky: This is a show that is based around my music, Rock-afire's originals, and covers of "feel-good" classics. Between songs we will have skits and comedy that are all "life message" based. The production level will be an over-the-top multimedia experience.
Flyer: Beyond the L.I.F.E. tour, what else do you have in the works?
Muck Sticky: This week we are releasing three compilation albums which you can find on mucksticky.com and a brand new album that will be out about the same time as the tour.