Over 25 years into their career, Cleveland’s own Mushroomhead has done a great job of remaining one of metal’s most reliable bands around. Led by drummer Steve “Skinny” Felton, the eight-member juggernaut of a group has reinvented themselves time and time again, while always maintaining the core set of principles and work ethic that made them rock legends. Returning after a 6-year absence, Mushroomhead’s new album, A Wonderful Life (out now via Napalm Records) gives fans one hell of a sonic pummeling, with heavy guitars, electronic nuances and anthemic tunes that are sure to please their most diehard fans.
We thought it’d be fun to chat with Skinny about the album and what keeps the band rocking after 25 years. Give it a read below the apocalyptic video for “The Heresy”.
Dread Central: Over 25 years into your career, the band is still swinging harder than most newer bands are. What has been the key to remaining as lasting as you have?
Skinny: I think a lot of it has to do with the dedication to the craft itself. Personally, I’m addicted to creating art in many forms. From music to painting to directing and editing videos. I’ve tried to keep up with the times and take advantage of technology.
DC: A Wonderful Life is massive in its sound and the new members really bring a lot into the dynamic of the band. Was there a specific mission for recording this album?
S: The main goal and focus on this record was to make space in the music for the sounds to be big and huge. Leaving plenty of space for the vocals. I wanted the end result to feel like the singer was sitting in your lap or right next to you.
DC: Did the newer members and what they brought to the fold really help give the band a breath of fresh air and a new approach?
S: Absolutely 100%. There were so many things that we were able to experiment with this time around. Things like harmonies and stacking octaves of multiple voices. Things we just were not able to do with the limited abilities we had in the past.
DC: Never sticking to one particular sound has always been such a huge part of Mushroomhead, one of the many things that has always stood out about the band. With A Wonderful Life, that still rings true; the record is all over the place, in the best of ways. Walking into your first album is quite some time, was it important to show that there is still a diverse part of the band, in a time when a lot bands tend to play it safe?
S: I feel it’s always been important for this band to show its diversity. Staying out of our comfort zone is part of the Mushroomhead formula. I’ve always compared to really bad dreams or nightmares while creating. Always familiar yet uncomfortable and thought-provoking.
DC: The music videos for the album are impressive as hell. What inspired such thematically rich videos?
S: Personally for me, inspiration is everywhere. A lot of our looks and videos are inspired by our love of dark and creepy things. A little horror movie, a bit of sci-fi, and a hint of video games. Blending pop culture with our horrific style.
DC: Again, you’ve been doing this for a good while and the new record really shows that you’re not only still here but stronger than ever. At this point, where do you see Mushroomhead and the future?
S: Personally I plan on doing this as long as I’m alive. And if things go according to plan, Mushroomhead will continue long after I’m gone!