St. Louis, Missouri’s quintet MU330 is playing Apple Stomp on June 1st at Irving Plaza in New York City. AWESOME!!! Am I alone when I say I’ve never had the privilege of checking them out live before? Though primary songwriter and lyricist Dan Potthast has remained very active in the independent music scene, MU330’s absence from full-time touring is missed by many, and sought out by all who loved them.
As one of only 2 scheduled dates in 2013 (the other being Pouzza Fest in Montreal,) here is your chance to see some Ska legends take the stage in the greatest city on Earth! I got in touch with singer/guitarist Dan Potthast to talk about Apple Stomp, what we can expect at the show, and if we can expect any more performances from MU330 in the future. Let’s hope!
G- Hi there and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five! Allow me to say it’ll be great to finally get to see MU330 perform at Apple Stomp!
If you could, please introduce the members in the group for our readers who may not be familiar with the band… Who is everyone, what do they play, and where does everyone come from?
D- Hey. No problem. This is Dan P. I play guitar and sing. Ted Moll plays the drums and sings, Robert Bell on Trombone, Gerry Lundquist on trombone, and Chris Diebold on Bass. All of us are from St. Louis, except for Gerry, who is originally from Grand Island, Nebraska, but now lives in St. Louis. I (Dan P.) live in Santa Cruz, CA, but grew up in St. Louis.
G- So, MU330 met in a music class, which is also the impetus behind your name. Can you tell us about when you all met and what those first practices and shows were like so long ago?
D- Yeah, I guess 25 years qualifies as long ago when your talking about rock n’ roll years! We were mostly all freshmen in high school in 1988, and met in band class. We had no idea what we were doing or if we would ever tour or anything like that… We were just kids just learning to play our instruments by making noise for hours on end in our drummer’s grandma’s basement. We were hopped up on Mountain Dew and Kit Kats supplied by Ted’s angel of a grandmother, which is a big part of why our early stuff especially is so fast and full of energy… Mostly due to crazy sugar rushes.
We couldn’t drive yet, so I would walk to practice with my guitar and my 1×12 Gorilla amp. I remember loving weekend band practice because we didn’t have school and could start at 10:30 in the morning and play for 8 hours straight, just pounding sodas and eating candy bars and chips. Seriously… Eight hours of house shaking noise that would make Ted’s grandma’s porcelain figurines dance inside her china cabinet. She was a saint.
Our first shows were block parties and basement shows, and grade school dances. (There were) some battle of the bands thrown in there too, as well as birthday parties and pool parties. We would play anywhere we could, and as often as we could. Anyplace that would tolerate noise.
G- So, you’re one of the highly anticipated acts performing at this years first edition of Apple Stomp at Irving Plaza in NYC! How excited are you to be playing the show on June 1st, and which acts are you most interested in checking out before/after your performance?
D- I’m super excited. It’s been way too long since we’ve been to the East Coast. It’s a pretty insane lineup. I’m excited to see all the bands really. I love the Slackers and The Suicide Machines and the Pilfers and Murphy’s Law… It’s going to be CRAZY to see Thumper again… Can’t wait!
G- It may be a long shot to expect, but do you currently have, or are you working on, any releases or tentative tour plans right now? If so, when will you be heading back to the studio or on the road? Anything currently in the works?
D- No touring plans. The festival in Montreal and The Apple Stomp is it… Our big 25th anniversary tour as a band.
We are currently working on a new record that has been in the works for about 13 years… No joke! Don’t expect it to come out any time soon. We all have loads of other stuff going on, and work on it at our own pace for our own amusement. It’s also turning out to be a lot different than all other MU330 releases. It should be out by 2023 at the latest.
G- A large gap between releases is fine, as long as you don’t make us wait all this time for another Chinese Democracy.
So let’s talk about raging for a minute. Are you guys a party band, or generally pretty mellow? What kind of beers and booze do you want people bringing up to you onstage this time around?
D- I would not describe our band as mellow, or as a party band. In the past, have we sometimes been guilty of abusing our bodies to a harmful, sad extent?
Maybe, but almost never on stage. I wouldn’t bother bringing any booze to the stage during an MU330 show, as we rarely pause more than three seconds between songs. It’s either going to get kicked over, or just make the show worse.
G- Fair enough. So in your catalogue, would you say you have a favorite song you have ever written? If you could only give 1 song to someone who’d never heard of you before, to try and make a new fan, what song would you give them and why?
D- It’s so hard to pick a favorite! I think of them all as children and feel like it’s bad parenting to favor one over the other. At this point, between MU330, and my solo stuff, and other bands I play in, (The Stitch Up, Dan P. and the Bricks) I’ve released about 15 albums, so if I had to try and make a new fan, I’d maybe be able to narrow it down to an album, and that would either be MU330’s Ultra Panic, or Watch Where You Walk by The Bricks. But I think the 2nd Stitch Up record, Set Your Alarm, is totally underrated, and some of my best songwriting happened on that record.
G- Count ’em, folks… 15 albums. That’s incredible!
So, in the event you were to drop everything and go back out on tour extensively, are there any bands or artists that you hope to share a bill with in the future? If you could curate your own feasible 3-band dream lineup for MU330 to be a part of, who would you select and why?
D- I’m going to drop the word “feasible” from your question, and just make a dream lineup, and not limit it to three bands, ‘cause that’s too hard.
G- I SAID 3!!! But then again, sometimes, you just gotta break all the rules. 🙂
So out of all of your collective performing experiences, what would you say is the craziest or most memorable show that you have played to date? Where was it and what was it like?
D- Also difficult to choose… One of my favorite shows of all time happened just the weekend before last in the Santa Cruz mountains at a festival called D.I.O. Fest (Do It Ourselves Fest.) It was with The Bricks and we played this beautiful outdoor stage with an old school bus for the backdrop. We were outside surrounded by redwood trees and up on a giant hill overlooking the valleys, and the moon came up through the trees about two thirds of the way through our set. There were about 300 people there all dancing and stirring up dirt, and we played non-stop for an hour and a half, and it felt like we could have played another couple hours. Everyone camped out afterwards and stayed up super late having campfire jams till the wee hours. Epic.
G- Awesome! And to finish up today, for all of the kids out there that want to start bands and go on the road, what advice can you give to those who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional musician?
D- Be nice, have fun, and make awesome music that is a reflection of your soul.
If you find yourself not “Making it in music” or as a “professional” musician, make sure you are doing the three things above. If you have those covered, you ARE making it. You have arrived.