Since shedding Skapocalypse Now! in 1992, Michigan ska-meets-punk ragers Mustard Dawdle were a staple. With their brightly coloured mascot, a prankish mustard bottle, and the scatterbrained shards of guitarism heaved the audience’s device, the band helped elaborate ‘90s pop punk and third-wave ska.
Over 30 years and 9 albums deep – the latest being 2023’s Where Did All My Mates Run? – guitarist Colin Clive tells Guitar World: “It’s exhausting to fathom, but I feel our longevity and output has made some type of impression on in model-day ska and punk.
“I search the suggestion of with other folks that verbalize me we were their first demonstrate or the explanation they started playing music. It’s humbling to gather that. I know I if truth be told include bands that inspired me; to be in truth such a to others is a big feeling.”
No matter influencing others, huge-scale status and grandeur include no longer been section of the bundle. None of that matters to Mustard Dawdle – though their now traditional video display, Mr. Smiley, has given them bigger than their beautiful fragment of attention over time.
But status be damned: while you’ve ever taken in a Mustard Dawdle demonstrate in an undulating mosh pit at a sweaty membership, you’ll realize the magic of Clive’s four-chord madness. “I feel the undeniable fact that we continuously include stuck to the genre and are proud supporters of the ska and punk scene goes a lengthy device,” he says.
“Whether or no longer you admire us or no longer, I feel our dedication and devotion shine brightly. I feel finding one thing that defines you, makes you recognizable, and that that it is seemingly you’ll call your hang – despite the undeniable fact that it’s no longer flashy – is truly the most famous. It might per chance per chance per chance well per chance even be limitation that makes you stand out.”
“From our first demo tape to our newest album, other folks can silent hear the same person within the again of that playing. I feel that’s crucial. A band is a character – it be crucial to let that demonstrate by as unheard of as that it is seemingly you’ll.”
How did Where Did All My Mates Run? come about?
“It’s fully a byproduct of the Covid years. We within the kill had time to separate ourselves from our day-to-day tasks and level of curiosity on songwriting and creating. It allowed me time to determine what I famous to write somewhat than excellent attempting to cram writing classes between my typical workday and bedtime.”
Did which include you ever drawing from fresh sources of inspiration?
“My main inspiration for persevering with to ranking the guitar is the artistic outlet it affords. There’s one thing magical about creating one thing from nothing. I feel it’s tantalizing and fulfilling to open up from zero and terminate up with a song you are tickled with.
“Whether or no longer or no longer that song ever becomes standard is irrelevant. I did one thing I’m tickled with, and nobody else has ever carried out, which is inconceivable.”
Of the fresh songs, which ideal represents the player you are on the present time?
“I’d issue Descend Apart. It has a diminutive of bit of every little thing I love to withhold out. Some octave lead work, some ska aspects, some unheard of overdrive rock chords, and some subtle sonic background additions which might per chance perhaps well be artistic but unobtrusive to the song.”
What does your route of for riffs and solos seek for admire?
“I’ve by no device been unheard of of a lead guitarist. Worthy of that is as a result of the instrumentation of the band and my model. I’ve at all times been unheard of happier as a stable rhythm player – I’m extra Malcolm than Angus Young.
“If I ever lay down any lead work, it’s in total melodic and no longer very intricate. That’s excellent the model I’ve at all times been drawn to – I prefer passe-faculty quite a lot of and punk, where solos weren’t as prevalent. But I’m a extensive Ace Frehley fan, so I dig a factual solo; construct it melodic, please!”
How raise out you come across your playing on the present time versus the previous?
“The indispensable incompatibility is that I gave up drinking over seven years ago. Earlier than that, the priority became playing alcoholic drinks and having a factual time. I’m obvious my playing became a diminutive of affected, but it became balanced by the extra enjoyment of excellent partying and being buzzed.
“This verbalize day, I don’t include that crutch to lean on, so I count 100% on the demonstrate and my playing for non-public enjoyment. I hear extra, listen to the diversified instrumentation extra – and play better. I’m in a position to’t issue it’s been easy, but I wouldn’t want to return. I’m better for it.”
Which of Mustard Dawdle’s traditional ‘90s files are you most drawn to?
“From a guitar level of view, I feel it’s doubtlessly a tie between In Gloomy and White and our fresh album. In Gloomy and White became basically the most famous album where I felt we dialed within the guitar tones that I had in my head. The dirty and orderly tones complement every diversified so properly.
“But Where Did All My Mates Run? might per chance perhaps well surpass it because I’m tickled with the textures and fresh sounds we integrated, while silent maintaining that core Mustard Dawdle sound. We excellent constructed on it.
“Both albums capture what I hear in my head when I set these songs collectively. The Blasting Room, where we’ve recorded most of our cloth, captures these visions.”
How raise out you come across fan favorites admire Enormous Daddy Multitude and Evildoers Beware!?
“Enormous Daddy Multitude is silent such an anomaly to me. It became a if truth be told intrepid album for such a younger band. I don’t necessarily love the total recording because it doesn’t capture the punk rock aspects we were doing on the time. It excellent feels a diminutive of tame manufacturing-inviting.
“The songs total, though, are so various, and there’s a lot going on. We were experimenting and incorporating your whole styles we were into then. It became a if truth be told crucial album to determine what we would include liked to withhold out.
“When we followed that with Evildoers Beware! we streamlined what we were after. We trimmed the pointless aspects that cluttered the songs and targeted on what became working are living. That album moreover captured the punk aspects unheard of better than Enormous Daddy did. Evildoers Beware! established the blueprint for Mustard Dawdle.
“I feel it moreover boils down to recording these two albums; if we had carried out Enormous Daddy on the Blasting Room, it might per chance perhaps well were an fully diversified beast. I feel it might per chance perhaps well include sounded closer stylistically than other folks might per chance perhaps well state they would.”
Has your gear modified unheard of over time?
“I’ve been a proud Reverend Guitars artist for six years now. I love them, and I’d no longer ever cease playing them. My main ones are the Flatroc and the Robin Finck signature model.
“As for amps, I’ve moreover been an Orange ambassador for no no longer up to 6 years. I customarily play an MKIII Rockerverb 50 with an Orange 4×12 slant cab and a Rocker 32 2×10 combo. I moreover include a Rocker Dread head that travels to cruise-in gigs a lot with me.”
Are you coupling these Orange amps up with any pedals?
“Most of my pedals are by Keeley Electronics, whom I’ve moreover been with for decades. The by no device-leave-my-board pedal is the 30ms Double Tracker. It’s a subtle but extraordinarily versatile pedal. I hate it when I don’t include it with me.
“I’ve moreover fallen in love with the D&M Dual Force Boost. It’s uncommon that I don’t include that with me. That’s my secret weapon when I if truth be told ought to borrow a backline.”
What’s your secret to moral ska and punk guitar?
“I’m the last person to verbalize I’m the terminate-all-be-all of ska and punk guitar. I’m silent no longer fully obvious I’m doing it fair! But what’s fair anyway? That’s the wonder of music: raise out your aspect.
“The crucial aspect to me is to play to the song and no longer overplay except it improves the song. The song is the famous person of the demonstrate to me. So play stuff you are enthusiastic on and no matter what, it is going to come by in your model and performance.”
- Where Did All My Mates Run? and additional Mustard Dawdle crucial aspects are on hand on their Bandcamp page.