Meanest Man Contest discuss re-recording “Throwing Away Broken Electronics”

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Addressing the sophomore slump and breaking old TVs with bikini-clad school teachers.

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Blake Gillespie | October 17, 2013

Meanest Man Contest

The disapproval stamp of sophomore slump is generally applied to the lackluster follow-up to the debut. In the case of Meanest Man Contest, their sophomore slump comes from taking a decade to record a second full length. Later this month the Bay Area duo will break the slump and release Everything Worth Mentioning on Gold Robot (home to Monster Rally and RUMTUM).

It's not that Meanest Man Contest have done nothing in a decade. The group released a litter of singles, EPs, music videos, side projects like Not The 1s, and remixes on a plethora of labels. For Everything Worth Mentioning, MMC collected some of those loosies, re-recorded them, and organized the pieces into a record. I traded correspondence with Eriksolo, the MC of MMC, to get the scoop on the hiatus of sorts, re-recording tracks for the record, and the fun times had making the video for “Throwing Away Broken Electronics”. Below is a debut of the re-recorded version of “Throwing Away Broken Electronics”.

Given the title, Everything Worth Mentioning, and the record largely being comprised of singles over the past six years (at least), do you see the record as a re-introduction?

That sounds about right. We've made dozens and dozens of songs over the last ten or so years. No real plan for any of it, mostly we just recorded them because it's fun to do and we wondered if anyone would find them if we kinda quietly put them online. It's mostly just been a hobby for two old pals who like to make things together. We took a look at all the stuff we'd recorded and thrown out into the wild, and we realized that we'd kinda been working towards an album that whole time. All those little pieces were the demos, and if we pulled the right ones together and made them spiffy, we'd have something to show people.

Is Everything Worth Mentioning a precursor to gather up the pieces in order to make sense of where you've been and offer new arrivals to MMC a footing for an upcoming record?

Hope so. We've been thinking about maybe going back to doing something more beat-oriented, like the first album. Going back to the crates and messing with loops. Because when it comes down to it, that's just the best, most enjoyable music in the world, isn't it? Just someone finding a super earcandy-ish little blip and repeating it for two minutes with ridiculous drums on top. But then again we've also got, like, a dozen 3/4-completed sad pop songs, so maybe that'll be the move.

Many of the songs on EWM are remastered – what sort of changes were made and what changes in MMC's music compelled you to remaster them?

We re-recorded parts that were too rough, I re-did some of the vocals, and we completely remade a few of the tracks altogether. Upgraded every little individual piece so that it would sit right. Took it from internet demo to real deal. Yeah, then we mixed everything with lots of TLC and got the tracks re-mastered by someone who actually knows what he's doing.

It's been a decade since the last full length. What was the situation(s) that steered MMC away from making another record?

No real reason. We're slow. Or maybe we're just lazy?

Who came up with the concept for the “Broken Electronics” video?

The director, Gregory Tuzin. Nicest guy. He and his friends had just made some crazy giant float for an event and it had been a big hit, and so they were feeling super inspired to go big, big, huge with the video. We filmed it in the warehouse where they shot Mythbusters. The women in the video were friends of Greg's, elementary school teachers who were super fun and funny.

I imagine this ranked high as one of the most fun experiences of all-time considering the TV-girls and getting to break shit in the name of making art. But, was anyone hurt or was it a mostly safe day? Take us into your experience of asking girls in heels to kick the shit out of archaic electronics.

It was too fun. I have a lamely ironic, bemused look on my face throughout the video, which is my default mode when I feel like I'm doing something way more fun than I deserve to be a part of. All of our friends came to hang out and watch and it was a big party. At one point, I just started laughing at how awesomely crazy everything going on around us was, and then I went outside to get some air, and there was a random dude in the parking lot doing insane wheelies and stunts on a motorcycle, while his friend in a 4×4 with the American flag painted on the hood followed him around. It was like every wonderful dream I've ever had all smashed together.

Pre-order Meanest Man Contest's Everything Worth Mentioning at Gold Robot.

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