Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Ramiro Verdooren: guitar, vocals; Cristian Sigler: drums; (currently, our live lineup consists of) Christian Kues: bass guitar, vocals; Jim Campo: guitar,keys
Recording-wise, Cristian Sigler and myself (Ramiro) play all the instruments and sing on our respective songs
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to The Rotten Mangos? How long has the band been around?
We both played in a band called The Peppered Moths when we first met. Cristian was an original member of that band. That band then dissolved into two bands: one retaining the original name and the other was a band called Pyramid Mirror.
The Rotten Mangos began as the drummer from The Peppered Moths and the bassist from Pyramid Mirror and myself. The band was formed for the sole purpose of filling up a time slot for a show on August 31 of 2013 so we’ve been a band 4 years now, though we’d all played music together for a couple of years before that
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
That name was really just one on a list of possible band names. I really liked 60’s band names like The Coasters, The Shadows, The Beatles, The Seeds, etc.; The Rotten Mangos just happened to be the one we chose. I guess being from a small town where there really isn’t any music marketing going on (let alone a scene) made it easy to name the band anything just for the sake of putting a name to the sound
We’ve never changed the name although I’ve considered it a couple of times, as I’m sure most bands have before. At this point it’s what people know us as so there’s no real reason to change anything
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?
I write a lot of the songs but Cristian has a few tracks on this new album and one on the debut EP we self released. We both write and record separately most of the time but there are also plenty of exceptions
Our songs are about anything really: a chapter in a book, being in love, not being able to write a song, advice to oneself, the weatherman, a carpet hanging in our living room; if we can perceive it we tend to create a reflection of it
I think the topics and themes will always change correspondingly to the new experiences that incite them, musically as much as lyrically
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
I myself have been listening a lot to early rock and roll/rockabilly like Eddie Cochran, Lloyd Price, Gene Vincent and also a bunch of bands produced by Joe Meek; to name a few: Emile Ford & The Checkmates, Michael Cox, The Packabeats, The Outlaws, Mike Berry & The Admirals
Cristian: Kim Deal
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
The first time I knew I wanted to play in a band and perform music was watching Jimi Hendrix’s performance at Monterey Pop Festival 1967. I’d already been playing guitar for nearly 5 years by this point but from the moment I saw Hendrix play with his teeth and command the guitar the way he did, I knew it’s what I wanted to do
Cristian: Los Beatles
What do you do to prepare for a show?
Usually just get away from people for at least the 40 minutes leading up to us playing and find the best headspace to project/exude our musical beliefs
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
I don’t think it’d be one show in particular but rather the several shows we’ve been asked by name to play. Some of them have been sold out shows for an audience that’d never heard of us before which is always great. So the highlight I guess is having achieved the level of notoriety that we have, which isn’t much but even still it’s nothing we would’ve ever foreseen when we first started the band
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Guantanamo Baywatch because they’re good friends of mine and, having toured with them before, I’m sure it’d be a really good time. Probably the Grateful Dead too so that we’d be able to play a really long improvised set and not get booed off the stage
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to add that we record everything at home without the help of any computers or digital recording equipment. Every edit you hear and every mix you hear was done with a tape splice or live mixing. I think it’s good to know because it might change the listener’s perception of the sounds they’re hearing and their perception of how we arrived at those sounds.
8 tracks is all we’ve ever used and I really feel like it makes the recording process easier in a lot of respects. It’s also good to know because when I learned an album I was really impressed with was recorded by the artist or musician themselves at home, it inspired me to try and do the same so maybe someone can read this and have the urge to give it a try themselves