I want to start this one off paying respects to legendary guitarist Andy Gill of the band Gang Of Four who recently passed. I interviewed Andy in this space a few years ago when Gang Of Four was touring behind the album, What Happens Next, and he couldn’t have been sweeter. I was a little apprehensive going in between me not being the most knowledgeable Gang Of Four dude on the planet and him being this underground legend in a politically charged post-punk band, but it went great. We were supposed to talk for 15 minutes and ended up chatting over an hour on a Saturday morning. Rest In Power Andy — you will live forever in song.
Gang Of Four were known for pushing the barriers of sound through Gill’s innovative guitar chops. In this spirit of finding new sounds, I’m going to move on to a new band called The Moodrunners. Longtime readers of this space will remember our valued correspondent, Stimbot. As a quick backstory, Stimbot played a crucial role in the second act of the Midnight Creeps, had an underrated garage band called the White Devils (who had one hell of jam in “Monday Night Girl”), and dove deep to explore the depths of the inner soul of hair metal as the singer for TEAZER. Stimbot is in a new power pop band, The Moodrunners, that are steeped in the tradition of Cheap Trick meets Exploding Hearts while holding hands at the funeral of the bass player for The Knack. I sat down with Stimbot and amidst the constant haze from his rips off a mint flavored JUUL pod, we talked about his new band, what brands of hard seltzer inspired them, who the band is supporting for president, and his favorite place to get a burrito. You can catch The Moodrunners live and ask Stimbot equally important questions this Friday, February 7, at Dusk in Providence.
Marc Clarkin (Motif): How did The Moodrunners start?
Stimbot (Moodrunners): Chase hit me up last summer saying he had a band he wanted me to try out for on vocals or whatever (they already had the band name in mind). I got back to him mostly out of curiosity when TEAZER fizzled out a month later. He sent me some songs by some newish bands I had never heard of. We’d later run through them when trying me out. The songs were right in my goddamn wheelhouse, so I agreed to do it. I didn’t know these guys at all, so I was nervous when showing up at their space that first night. We ran those covers and then we tried some of the original song ideas they had. The melodies for those songs instantly came to me and after that we like, went down a rabbit hole of drunkenly playing everything from the MTV Buzz Bin circa 1996. I was sold at that point and now they’re stuck with me.
MC: If you had to pick the three influences to your sound, what would they be?
Stimbot: (After a long hit off his JUUL which he blows four perfect symmetrical rings of dank vapor) I dunno. I would say our sound is mostly influenced by White Claw, Bon & Viv, and that third kind of seltzer that isn’t as good. We did get some feedback from people after our first show as far as what bands we reminded them of, and you know, they were probably accurate, but I don’t want to name band names or anything like that. Let y’all decide.
MC: Who is your least favorite local band?
Stimbot: Hahaha! An old fashioned local band feud would add a bit of spice to life and I’m tempted, but yeah, we’re only about to play our second show. It’s probably too soon to start writing diss tracks and whatnot. Hopefully it’ll happen organically!
MC: What horse are The Moodrunners backing in the presidential primary?
Stimbot: Michael fucking Bloomberg, baby! You may as well call us the Bloomrunners! Don’t debate. Just throw money at everything. I dunno. We just can’t fuck this up in November. Hopefully 3 Doors Down has played their last inauguration.
MC: After a career in metal with TEAZER and career in punk with the Midnight Creeps, what made you turn to power pop?
Stimbot: It’s all rock n’ roll. It’s all good stuff. I keep lucking into situations where I end up with super talented bandmates. I really like what we’re doing. We’re keeping it kind of simple and fun, and we’re churning out new songs all over the place. I think we’d fit in fine playing on bills with punk bands, garage rock bands, electro-pop stuff, roots rock stuff, Amy Winehouse tributes, and whatever. Good songs are good songs regardless of genre, and I dunno, I guess I’m glad I don’t have to sing any W.A.S.P songs anymore. That shit was hard.
MC: Favorite place for tacos/burritos?
Stimbot: La Lupita has always been my spot for tacos around here though I can’t deny that the Garden Grille has my favorite burrito. I probably average about 30 to 40 of those things a year.
The Moodrunners will rock Dusk on a stacked bill that includes The Viennagram, Triangle Forest and Sweet Dreams on February 7.
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