Crawford of the Vitamins chatted with the cats that make up Fissure Mystic about this, that and this. These two local bands represent some of the great Denver music we’re all so proud of.
Don't miss Fissure Mystic this Friday (the 5th) at the Meadowlark!
Crawford Philleo - It got pretty cold last month in Denver. How’d you guys fare the weather? Has it affected the practice schedule much?
Fez Garcia - The winter is just so oppressive. I think in general, bands probably aren’t as productive in the winter. We haven’t practiced in I don’t know how many weeks.
Taylor Rice - It was hard to get around because I don’t have a car right now. So I just stayed at home and worked on stuff.
Suzi Allegra - I think schedule would probably not be the right word...
Andrew Elkins - For the time... for the time.
TR - We’ve taken a little hiatus, but we have a bunch of new songs. We have a new album coming out, so we’ve been working on that a lot. It’s our first full-length that we’re going to release on vinyl and MP3 download. We also have a 7” coming out with this other band called Tjutjuna on February 5th at the Meadowlark.
CP - Tell me about the roots of Fissure Mystic when did you guys start playing together?
TR - We started playing together officially in 1999.
- Fissure Mystic
FG - Our first show was my and Taylor’s 8th grade graduation. And Andrew was still in 7th grade, and we played with this other guy [Simon Elkins].
CP - And Suzi, you came into the band recently...
SA - Yes, I’ve only been in the band for about a year and half. I believe my first show with these guys was August, 2008.
CP - What happened to Simon?
SA - I killed him because I wanted to be in the band.
TR - No, I think he just wanted to do other things. He still plays music, makes his own music and stuff.
FG - It was the band stuff the shows, putting yourself out there. That’s what I think a lot of musicians or artists struggle with. Keeping their art true to being a joy for them.
CP - No hard feelings though?
FG - Not at all! We still jam every once in a while. He’s still a really good musician to play with.
CP - Let’s say you had a million dollars to produce your next record. Who would produce it?
FG - We would. I would hope. No matter how much money you have, no matter what kind of band you’re in or what kind of style you play, self-production is the way you’ll get the most ideal outcome of what you put into it.
TR - I think we’d use a lot of the money for printing records and maybe going on tour as well.
SA - It might be cool to have outside input, though, just to get a different perspective on things.
FG - Dr. Dre would be tight. Phil Spector...
SA - I was going to say NOT Phil Spector![Laughter]
CP - Who’s idea was the 7” split?
FG - I think James Barone [of Tjutjuna] first approached us.
SA - Yeah, Tjutjuna asked if we wanted to do it.
CP - What’s it mean for you guys to have your music on wax?
TR - It means everything. We all collect and love vinyl. It seems etched in stone. You know, CDs... I hate CDs.
AE - It’s something tangible, it’s physical.
FG - The first time we heard it right here in this room over here, this warm feeling came over me.
SA - I love vinyl and I’ve always wanted to have something recorded on vinyl, so it’s really exciting to me.
CP - Let’s do some favorites: What’s your favorite venue to play in Denver?
TR - My favorite venue that I’ve played would be Monkey Mania, but that’s deceased. Now I would say Larimer Lounge.
FG - I would have to say Larimer, too. Sound-wise, Hi-Dive. But Larimer has stepped it up big time lately, and there are just good people there.
SA - Even though the sound isn’t really that great a lot of the time, the Lion’s Lair has usually treated me well.
AE - I like the outdoor stage at the Meadowlark.
CP - What’s your favorite record store in Denver, and what’s the most treasured album you’ve bought from them?
FG - I would have to say Twist & Shout because I found this one record, which is the only one I do not keep out in my collection. It’s in my closet. An original Daydream Nation. I don’t think it’s an original pressing, but it’s an old one. There’s no Geffen insignia or anything on it.
TR - I would say Wax Trax. It’s not the most treasured album, but a really cool record I found was this Free Jazz record. Ornette Coleman Free Jazz. I don’t know if it’s an original pressing, but it’s a really old one from the 60s.
SA - Yeah, I like Twist & Shout and Wax Trax equally I guess. But the albums that I treasure the most come from a band that I’ve seen at their show, and not necessarily the record store.
AE - I really like my Dinnermints free album demo. Hand made album cover, and it was hooked it up with a bunch of weird mixes from Doo [Crowder] that were not necessarily released.
CP - Who are your favorites on your specific instruments? Suzi first: favorite bass player?
SA - One of my early influences is definitely Krist Novoselic.
FG - I guess it would have to be John Theodore who is the original Mars Volta drummer, who I got to see live a few times. Otherworldly. Just insane. Definitely a huge influence on my style.
TR - Mine would be D. Boon from the Minutemen. I love his guitar playing a lot. Whether I play like him or not, I don’t know.
AE - Andres Segovia. He’s the man.
TR - Who is that?
AE - A classical player. Watching him actually play, as far as actually mastering the instrument. That’s not necessarily what I’m trying to do, but I sometimes wish I could do that. That’s how I started, with classical guitar, and it makes me wish I kept going.
CP - Favorite Ninja Turtle?
FG - Michelangelo, man!
AE - Raphael!
TR - Donatello was always my favorite.
AE - Really?
TR - Yeah, I always liked the scientist guy. I wanted to be a paleontologist before I ever wanted to be a musician.
CP - Suzi?
SA - Um, I don’t really know the difference. People always told me I could be April the reporter.
CP - I guess that was a loaded question for the guys. OK, enough favorites. If you could open for any band, active or inactive, who would that be?
SA - A Fissure Mystic cover band![Laughter]
FG - People would be so pissed! I’ve wondered and fantasized about our band going back in time to maybe the 60s and playing the same exact music and what people would have thought of that. Like Zeppelin and Sabbath, you know, and I think aw man, that would be so awesome to open for Sabbath.
TR - I think it would be fun to open for the Ramones. Back in the hey day, like 1977. Or it would be really crazy to open for the New York Dolls or something like that.
AE - Or the Constellations!
TR - Constellations, yeah, my favorite Denver band that’s ever been.
CP - Last question, and it’s a health issue. Your practice space... I have to say, it’s unbelievably loud. Do you have any hearing damage yet?
TR - Every time we stop practicing I have a buzz in my ear for about 30 minutes afterwards.
SA - I think my hearing definitely significantly depletes each time I come to practice.
CP - Is it just part of the Fissure Mystic thing to be as loud as possible?
SA - Taylor’s always turning it up the volume knob.
TR - Yeah, my thing is if you can’t hear yourself, then turn it up.
SA - But you can’t hear yourself because your hearing is damaged! I’m trying to wear ear plugs now.
AE - Me too. Toilet paper the last few times.
FG - I’m relying on the advances of technology in the future. They’ll help me out. They’ll have implants by then.
AE - They’ll grow you a new ear.
FG - That’s all I need. So keep that rock alive, my friends! Woo!
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