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The Mystery Behind The Mystery Men

Local band performs as masked men — luchador style — and tears up local stages such as McIntyre's

The Mystery Behind The Mystery Men

Bands, with enough practice, may be able to achieve musical precision, harmonic unity, and all around rocking-ness, but how many can claim intergalatic travel and elaborate masks?

Probably, only The Mystery Men. The luchador-mask-wearing band is crashing its rocketship into in Toms River on Thursday May 24 for The Great American Mystery Bash. But we managed to intercept a transmission and get this interview with the band in between their body slams and improv jams.

Their show Thursday is part of the Original Music Showcase at McIntyre's Pub, and besides The Mystery Men, there's also The Red Desert, MIXXTAPE, dub proof, White Rabbit, Joe Harvard performing. It's 21 and up, but no cover.

Band member Manny Gonzalez answered our questions and sent us some photos of this mysterious band of men. Check out our interview below and see you ring-side at McIntyre's May 24.

Give us some straight-up About You type stuff. A brief history of your band.

A few years ago, we became disillusioned with the traditional “Jam Band” scene where dozens of bands would play shows with a homogenized sound, combined awful lyrics & scripted “jams” that were really just slick, well rehearsed, well organized, planned-out segments designed to fool the audience that what was happening on stage was actually improvised.

We said “Enough is Enough and It's Time For A Change.” We decided that we could be just as good as them, if not wayyyyy better at “improvising" if we just got up on stage and winged it. No setlist, no discussion, just get on stage & do it. Combined with our love for the Art, Style, Culture & Theatrics of Lucha Libre gave us something we could use in our unique presentation to set us apart from a lot of, (wait…All) other bands in the area.

Q: What is the current line-up of your band and when did you form?

Our current lineup is a constant rotation of characters that all share the same exploratory ethos of improvisational expression. They all share Positive Energy. They are all Fearless Warriors. Most importantly, they are all Excellent Musicians. We have done shows as large as 6 players. We have done shows as small as 1 player. It is part of the Mystique that goes along with this band. Every Show is A Snowflake. No two shows are ever the same.

Q: What genre would you describe your music as/what bands have you been compared to? 

There is no band or music on the planet Earth that sounds like us. No One. Seriously. Lots of people say that about their bands, but we actually mean it. We call it “Homeless Music” because it literally has no home. We’ve heard some people say that we play a “rock/dance/jamband/reggae/surfrock/blues/hip hop/jazzy/funk/Persian anthem trance kind of thing but not really.” 

Q: What is your favorite place to perform at on the Jersey Shore and why?

We’ve been lucky enough to grace the stage at numerous venues throughout the great state of NJ, from Bar A in Belmar to the Brighton Bar in Long Branch to The Saint in Asbury Park among others.  Our real home though will always be McIntyre’s Pub in Toms River. Brandon Hans does a great job with his Thursday night Original Music Showcase and those shows are just about as Raw & Real as it gets.  We always have lots of fun there.

Q: Any recent news from the group--new music, big shows, upcoming tours?

We will be releasing our first full-length album called “Card Subject To Change” this summer & should be hitting the road to support it. There is talk of some partnerships & a tour of Festivals & Club dates in the North East USA. Nothing specific I can talk about till its locked up, but you can find all the latest updates if you follow @themysterymen on Twitter. 

Q: What can we expect from a live show?

You can expect the unexpected. Expect to see a Great Show. Expect to see musical magic, made on the fly, in front of your face. Expect to see nothing like it anywhere else.

Q: What are some of your biggest musical influences?

Charles Mingus, Stephen Perkins, Jimi Hendrix, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Dave Mustane, D.E.L., Chopin, Dr. Famous & Moongoose McQueen.

Q: What does your upcoming show calendar look like? Where can we hear your music?

We have lots of offers to play throughout the state that we are currently weighing, from the north, south, east & west.  It all depends on where our rocket ship crashes in proximity to the venue.  

You can hear our music online at http://www.soundcloud.com/themysterymen

And watch clips from our past live concerts here: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheMysteryMen1

Q: How do we find out more about you?

You can ask us questions directly via “Teh Internetz”: http://www.twitter.com/themysterymen and http://www.facebook.com/themysterymen

Q: Anything else to add?

Because our brand of art is so unique, there is a lot of Fear & Misunderstanding from promoters, other bands & random concertgoers. People get confused when they see us & say stuff like “I don’t get it”. 

That to me says that people are so conditioned to see the same old things at concerts, and expect the same routine they see at shows, so when they see us it's like their whole world has been turned upside down.  Band gets on stage, band plays music, band plugs their merchandise, or new CD or whatever, rinse, repeat. Bore-Ring! It is our job as artists to challenge that ideology & push creative barriers to the fullest.

Not everyone wants to see the same old things they have seen & heard 100 times already. It’s those people that share that same yearning for something new, exciting & dangerous in music that will enjoy what we do to the fullest.  

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