WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Welcome to Witchpolice Radio The guest on this episode is someone who's been on the show before. But the last time you were on the show was one of the rare occasions where everything completely went wrong. We had this great interview with two members of your band, and then something happened to the file, got corrupted or something. But I've got backups and backups and backups going on here, so we're not going to lose it this time. I think the best way to start this off is if you want to just introduce yourself and give a bit of background about what it is you do with your band. Because it's been a while since we talked about it and I know you have some new things happening.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Sure, yeah. I'm Matt. I play bass and sing in Mouth Feel. Yeah. And we're just getting ready to release our second album now. July 15 is a release show. Hopefully we'll have it done by then. That's planned at least. We kind of went fully DIY for this one. So it takes a lot longer than you think. And we're all four guys in our 30s, so we're just kind of chipping away at things and doing things when we can. And it's going to be done eventually. And we're pretty excited for it. We had our first album ready to go and then and a week before the release show, the pandemic hit, so that was kind of put a grinding halt to not just our small little band, but pretty much everything.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Was there kind of like, nerves about doing this next one because the pandemic was still… I mean, it's still happening. But I imagine when you started working on this one, things were still fairly shut down. Right. Were you concerned that it was going to happen again and you'd be sort of stuck in the…
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Oh, of course. Yeah. It's like an infinite loop. It seems like we got some momentum going. And then another round of restrictions comes out. And I work in the healthcare field, so I understand where they're coming from. I just don't think our government was… anyway, I don't want to get political, but I think things could have been handled a little differently than me would have given us a better outcome. But yeah, this is a music show, and no one wants to hear what I think about politics right now.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: No, it’s good.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Anyway, it was nerve wracking. And like I said, we get moment going and things would shut down and we'd play a couple of shows, and then there'd be no shows for months. We haven't played since November now, so just trying to get back in the swing of things. Pretty much, yeah.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Well, how did you even manage to keep it together as a band over all this? Because it's not like you had this extensive history beforehand.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Right.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: A lot of bands have been around for 10-15 years. This is just kind of a blip in their careers as musicians. But for you guys, like you said, you had this first record ready to go and then pandemic hits. I mean, was it hard to keep the momentum going, to even want to do this, knowing what was going on around the world and not really having a clear idea of whether shows would happen again or anything like that?
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Yeah. I think for me, personally, this is just something I do just for the love of it. It's something that I have. Like, I'll take my dog for a walk and a melody on top of my head, and I'll build a song out of it, and I just have fun jamming with my friends. And that's kind of the thing. Like, we all bring our ideas in and we work on them. So that was kind of what kept me motivated, was, like, regardless of playing a show or not, it's just fun to create with your friends and just having these moments where we kind of build each other's songs and just work together on things. And it's a social thing because I'm not alone in this. But during the pandemic, I mean, a lot of things, a lot of our social lives were kind of uprooted and flipped upside down. So this kind of through our group chat and stuff, we'd come up with a riff and a melody and we'd send it, and everyone would kind of throw their two cent in. And it really kept us together. And we had been doing the band for about three years before we put our first album out. We just kind of were not teenagers anymore, so we don't have as much free time, so things happen a lot slower than they would have. So we are fairly established, and I think we all like each other, we're all friends, so it's just something that we do for the fun of it, really.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Yeah. Do you think that comes through on the new record? The idea that this is something that because I think it comes through on the first one. Like the idea that this is just, like, a fun thing and you guys are just enjoying it for what it is, rather than trying to become rock stars or whatever. It has that kind of loose vibe to it. And not loose in a bad way. I mean, the songs are tight and everything, but you know what I mean? Just that kind of like almost like a casual feel to it, right?
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Yeah, I hope so, because that's kind of the vibe we've always kind of had amongst ourselves. And that's the vibe, I guess, that we try and put out. We're not here to be the biggest band in the world or anything like that, way beyond our expectations. Our expectations is make some songs, have fun, put them out. Hopefully people like them, play some shows. And I think it comes through. I'm the worst at judging my own band's music. I couldn't even tell you what bands we sound like. I leave that up to other people.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Well, I don't know if that affects my next question I was going to ask you, but I was going to ask you how things changed, I guess, sonically from one album to the next. Because if people have heard you, they probably heard the first record. And a lot of this stuff is going to be new to them because you haven't been able to play shows.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Right.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: So a lot of this material, I'm assuming, hasn't really been heard by a lot of the audience. So what would you say is the main difference as far as the sound goes from one to the other?
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Well, our drummer, I think on this one, there's a little bit more contribution from every member. Our drummer wrote two songs and our other guitarist wrote one, one or other guitarist, two. And then I threw some lyrics on here and there and our drummer through some lyrics on, Jeff. So I feel like it's more of a collaborative effort. I know the songs that I ended up coming up with for this album are very, like, straight ahead, kind of more pop punk. Pop punk sounds has such a negative. I don't think we're like a mid 2000s pop punk band or anything like that. But I feel like it's just more of a collaborative effort, I feel. So the songs probably will sound a little different to people. Those other songs that we recorded, we had been playing them for about three years, like I said, at the point that we actually recorded them. So we were already over them by the time we recorded it. Now the same thing has happened with this album. We're kind of done with these songs and moving on to new ones already.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: But you have to play these songs right now. The shows can happen now. That shows are actually a possibility. You have to do these ones because the record is coming out, right?
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: No matter how we are, we have to play them a few times to show people yeah, that's the way it isn't about. I mean, you work on something and you feel like it should take you like, a weekend to get this all taken care of. But there are logistics. Just obviously with the world the way it is these days, things are just dragged way out.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: For sure.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: We still like them, but we just would rather play other ones.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Well, I don't think that's a bad attitude to have either. I think the idea that you're constantly making new stuff and that you're presumably improving on the sound and honing it and working better together collaboratively and all this stuff, that's a positive. Right. The idea that you want to leave the old stuff in the past and keep moving forward.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: I think that's, like, the goal of any band is as much as their fans might not like it, not saying we even I don't know if we have people who like our band, if they don't like this album, whatever, they might like the next one. But we like these songs and we worked hard on them and that's who we do it for. We do it for ourselves. We're selfish about that.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Well, and I think that, like you said before, you're not teenagers anymore.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Right.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: You're in a place in your lives where you have, I'm sure, families and careers and all this stuff that means you can't the idea of, well, we're going to make it, we're going to get a big hit, or whatever. That's not even part of it.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Right.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: You're doing it because you love doing it. And like you said, the camaraderie aspect of it, and just being able to be creative, like with your friends.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Yeah. That's 100%. It's just a joke amongst ourselves that we're never going to make it. Someone's late to practice, so we're not going to make it. It's just a long, long running inside joke that I'm sure every band kind of has.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Yeah.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Unless they're really serious about it, then I kind of feel sorry for them because I can't be that much fun.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Does that relieve some of the pressure on kind of writing the songs? Just knowing that you're doing it for yourselves and it really doesn't matter. You can do what you want to do and you can do it how you want to do it without having to worry about anyone else's sort of opinions on it. Does that like, freeing a little bit?
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: I think so. I think it definitely is. There's some songs on this record that I wrote that maybe in bands that I used to play in, I would have just never even pursued… like would have came up with the riff and decided in my room and thought, that's no good. I think that as you grow older, your horizons hopefully brought in a little bit and you kind of take in more influences and you see the value in different styles. And I feel like that kind of especially, like you said in our situation now, where we're just totally selfish about everything we do. Yeah, if we like it, then that's all it really matters. It is freeing.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Has that resulted in other stuff, like you're just saying different styles? Has that resulted in other kinds of music kind of seeping in and sort of making themselves heard, whether it's on purpose or not in the overall sound?
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: I think it probably has unintentionally. I think it just happens as you're writing songs. Like, I'm not saying we're making up these crazy soundscapes and we're, like, going outside the realms of what people think is possible with music and all that. Yeah, we're right in punk songs. We're a punk band. We just do it for fun. But yeah, definitely, like, different influences definitely come in without you even realizing it or trying for it to happen. It's just kind of you can't help it. The more music you listen to, the more you're influenced, whether you like it or not.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Yeah. It seeps in. You can't do anything to stop it.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Yeah, I know.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: You mentioned earlier you haven't played a show since November. Are you hoping to get back out there? Like, do you have plans to get back out and play shows locally and hopefully get this new music, this new old music that you're already sick of?
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Yeah, we do, we have a show on, July 15th at the old Bulldog Event Center there. And that's the unofficial album release party. So Yer Mum is playing, and Shit Happens. You can leave that if ….no, I seen you on Shaw, Sam, so I don't know if they swear on there… and the Strange Things are also opening, so we got four bands there. She'll start in at 9, $10 and you get a free download code when you come in for the new album. Yeah, we're hoping to get that show out of the way and then see what else happens. We're always kind of looking and we don't want to be one of those bands that plays every weekend, but we don't want to be the band that plays every six months either.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Yeah, of course. Those bands you mentioned that are playing with you at that show, is that sort of the sub scene of the local music scene you see yourself fit in? Well, with some of those bands kind of play together often at that venue as well.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Right.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: I mean, it seems like there's kind of a whole little community within the larger punk scene. Is that sort of where you feel you guys have been in?
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: I feel… yeah. Those bands have always been super gracious to us. The people in those bands always been encouraging. We played one of our first shows at the Park Theatre. We were opening for some band from out of town and Cory was nice enough to put us on the bill and it was like our second show or something. Of course we're like nervous and nobody's there, but the other bands are there watching us. And they were there and after our set they were really encouraging and we kind of felt a kinship with them where we're all just , here to have fun and it's grown from there and they've always been supportive and so I kind of feel like that's definitely where we kind of found our people or whatever, as corny as that sounds.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: No, but that is the thing. Right. I think whatever kind of music you play, people bands and artists will kind of gravitate towards other people they feel some kind of connection with.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Right.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: So yeah, it's totally a thing that happens.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: I'd like to eventually start playing with all sorts of different bands. I'd like to have a show with a rapper on there to start off maybe. Or just mix it up. A death metal band too, because I like all different kinds of music and I'm sure I'm not the only one like that. To go see four bands that sound exactly the same would be kind of gets kind of old. That's 3 hours in the show we're playing on the 15th. We don't sound like Yer Mum, Yer Mum doesn't sound like Shit Happens. Nobody sounds like the Strange Things.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Right.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: So that's like we're all punk bands but we all kind of have our own take on it. Nobody wants to hear four Minor Threat imitators in a row.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Right. Well, that's a good thing about punk being kind of an umbrella genre at this point too, is that there are all these different versions and different styles sort of within that that you can all be punk bands. But yeah, you can sound radically different from one to the next.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: And I think people these days, I don't know what it is, but at least compared to when I was younger, I feel like when I was younger, people are very narrow minded in the type of music that you should play, the type of music you can listen to. And now I don't know if it's because I'm older or if the scene is matured, but people are just more open to all different styles, now it seems. And they're not afraid to be like nod in their head to some quieter music, some more popular music rather than before, where it just had to be circle pit the whole time. Nothing wrong with circle pits. Circle pits are great. We love to see them. But yeah, it's nice to see people kind of expand their horizons a little bit and myself included. I had the blinders on when I was 18 as well.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Me too. Yeah, well I think part of it too is that people have now so much everything is available to them all at once. Right. Whereas before you were limited to whether it's what you heard on the radio or what you could get the local record store and that was it, or what your friends had, but now, yeah, you have access to literally anything. You want to listen to some weird ragtime song from 1926, you can do that. And then you can listen to some current radio signal from some pop artists five minutes later. So, yeah, I think there's, like, just people are growing up now in an era where everything is accessible to them, so there's not, hopefully, as much stigma on, oh, you're selling out because you're not listening to this, or you're not cool because you're not part of this scene. And ideally, you'd get a generation of people listening to literally everything and anything all at once.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: It kind of feels like that's where it's going because a lot of the bands we play with, they're younger than me, and I definitely see way more openness in them than I saw when I was younger, among myself included, for sure. So it's really cool to see it's really encouraging to see that kind of stuff.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Do you think that -- I don't want to call you old guys because I think I'm either the same age or older than you -- but as old guys in the punk scene, do you feel like the younger audience gets what you're doing? I know punk hasn't changed enough that you're going to be doing something drastically different than what they probably grew up listening to. But do you feel like there's a connection musically between people from our generation playing the stuff that inspired us, and then whatever the 20 year olds are doing now, which is obviously going to have different sounds and different inspirations.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: They say, ‘you guys are good’, and all those kind of stuff, and you're like, okay. Yeah. But sometimes you can tell, especially when other bands come up to you and kind of see it and they're not boring your gear. If they're borrowing gear, you got to be a little suspect about their praise. But when they're not, you can kind of tell and you see the reaction from the crowd when you're playing. And we've usually had good reactions. And so I feel like people are open to all kinds of stuff now, and they're embracing all different styles because they've grown up with bands that I listen to, influence bands that they listen to kind of thing. So it just keeps building on itself.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: It's all part of the same continuum.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Yeah, exactly.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: So at this point, I mean, obviously, the CD release show, the show you mentioned at the Bulldog, that's where you would ideally, people could check you out, but before then, or someone might hear this six months later. What's the best way to find out what you guys are up to online? Or hear the music that you have out whenever someone's hearing this.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: If you're looking to listen to our music, it's all on Bandcamp. Mouth Feel WPG. There is another Mouth Feel. I don't know where they're from. Mouth Feel WPG and we're most active on Instagram. I don't really go on Facebook anymore because it was very bad for my mental health.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Fair enough.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: I couldn't help but look at the comment sections and then it just kind of made me depressed.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Yes, I hear that.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: I just stopped going on Facebook and Instagram is just easier. I just scroll through and look at pictures and then tap, tap, and it gets that endorphin. I don't know what it is.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Yeah, I think that's why people are so hooked on it.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Yeah, exactly. Whereas Facebook was draining that for me. I try and cross post every now and then, but Bandcamp and Instagram, that's where we usually can be found.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Cool. And I assume that it's on all the regular streaming services that people use too.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: Yeah, it's on Spotify. Apple YouTube. I've uploaded we've made a couple of videos actually very DIY, kind of use some simple program that I downloaded and just kind of stitched a bunch of clips together and yeah, we're on YouTube as well. So you can listen to our first album up on YouTube. There's some live clips and the two videos that we've made as well.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Awesome. What's the name of the new record?
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: I think we're going to call it Doubt. I think that's the name we're leaning towards. Doubt.
WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Right, okay. So by the time it comes out, it could be something totally different. But Doubt is at the present time.
MATT THOMPSON OF MOUTH FEEL: That's what you're it's like 98% going to be called Doubt, I think. So we got the cover down and everything. So if we change it, we'll just have to change a word. But I think that is the name.