The name of this band is Bourgeois Mystics, and that's what it's about.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
- Squiggly Finesse: keys, vox, nonsensical rambles
- Zenith Nadir: bass, vox, pedantic rants
- Tonto Luigi: guitar, talk box, scheming & accounting
- Rodney Plush: drums, raps, corporate lobbying
- Duane Barry: aux percussion, deadpan sarcasm
- Emo Rainbow: vox, manic smiling, glamorous distractions
- Squid Vicious: trombone, intimidation tactics
- Trainwreck Thomas: trumpet, conspiracy fabrication
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to (insert band/artist name here)? How long has the band been around?
Multidimensional demigod and villain, Squiggly Finesse (the G's are silent) here, and I'll be answering these questions on behalf of the band. We've all played in various past projects and several of us play in other groups as well. Zenith and I get weird in freaky funk-rock/hip-hop/metal outfit, Kiddoo & The Dude. Duane Barry is the drummer for balls-out rock & roll band, Rickshaw Billie's Burger Patrol. Chuck Bucket is an 8-piece LITERAL balls-out performance art punk band that includes Zenith and Duane. Tonto was almost an internet sensation with Fat Cherry. Several members also play in wedding bands.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
I came up with the name, Bourgeois Mystics, while working at a crystal shop (more commercial warehouse than shop). Psychic practitioners and tarot readers and angelic conduits and other "spiritually endowed" cut from the same cloth would set up and sell "higher spiritual truths" to those who could afford it. I was fascinated by the commodification of people's spirituality and how readily they outsourced their inherent wisdom to artifacts and seers. What if I could capitalize on this too? Seemed easy enough, and I am a multi-dimensional space kraken villain, after all.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Zenith and I have written the majority of the music, however we've pivoted recently, and Tonto has become an integral part of the compositional framework. The main thematic constant throughout our work is that of assuming the role of the oppressor; endorsing repressive systems and tyrannical behavior, often through wacky allegorical science fiction (as well as regular fiction, since some members of the band failed their high school science courses). As our political climate becomes increasingly absurd and dystopian, we anticipate our themes will become more radically nonsensical, oppressive, and antithetical. We also intend to lean more into our sci-fi edge.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Local intergalactic wizard supergroup, Golden Dawn Arkestra has been a big influence; the costumes, energy, eclecticism, and mythos all has given us something to aspire to. They've created really powerful music and performance with the support of some of Austin's most talented musicians. Anderson .Paak has been another recent favorite of ours and we feel the pull of our songwriting moving the way of fat pocket and heavy beats (while maintaining our progressive edge).
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
For starting the band, no, but we all came to the band imbued with our respective tastes, which were pretty diverse yet contained a lot of common ground. Though all of our taste is eclectic, I was especially into underground hip hop and jazz (Freestyle Fellowship, k-os, Saul Williams, MF DOOM, Sun Ra, Kenny Dorham), Zenith had an extensive knowledge of classical music (our debut album, Eureka!, contains an arrangement of Gustav Holst's Neptune), Tonto was a 90s cat and a west coast aficionado (Dr. Dre, Red Hot Chili Peppers), Rodney came to the band a little bit later but he brought a harder edge. We're proud of how eclectic our music is and how indicative that is of the diversity of our musical tastes. While not direct inspirations, we've drawn very flattering comparisons to Frank Zappa, Talking Heads, and Mr. Bungle.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
We all dry-fast for 36 hours before each show, and spend an hour in group meditation the night before. Right before soundcheck, we put on the championship curling match from the '98 Winter Olympics and watch Switzerland dazzle with their swift rock glides.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
We headlined Art Outside 2017, an amazing festival and coming together of the greater Austin community that I'd attended for years. It was personally very gratifying to be admired for my talents in a community I spent so much time enjoying.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
OutKast are heroes. We played with this killer duo in Philadelphia named Trap Rabbit and absolutely were blown away by their set and by them as people. Plus we're a big band so touring with a smaller unit sounds ideal. In terms of posthumous artists, it would be fun to tour with Mozart (who isn't even one of our favorite classical composers), but that dude was freaky-deaky, would impersonate cats (or imcatsonate them? proper verb?), and loved scatalogical humor.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Die young, live fast, sleep with questionable peeps. Namaste shalom. Boogie-woogie 'til your mom comes home.