Most great musical ideals start from small beginnings. The Boss Mustangs came together in 2009 with the simple goal of just playing music. The band mastered their classic rock ‘n’ roll garage band sound. Ever since 2009 The Boss Mustangs have been touring and playing their music for fans all across the Midwest.
The road to success hasn’t been easy for The Boss Mustangs but to the band members it is a road worth traveling. “We do it because it’s fun and I can’t imagine anything else I am more suited to do. If this is a job, it’s one I would work ‘til my dying day. But, it’s not a job, at least in a literal sense. It’s work, very hard work, and after a show, I am exhausted beyond all belief, but I wanna keep going. As I said, nothing gives me a greater joy than walking off that stage and being able to say that I left nothing behind,” said Dan from The Boss Mustangs.
The Boss Mustangs now are looking forward to the future and to what the Midwest music industry road will bring next. “We would like to do another record, but mostly, we’d like to stay out there and keep playing for anyone who wants to have us. We love doing it, and as long as we can, we’ll keep doing it.”
I had the chance to interview The Boss Mustangs. The Boss Mustangs detailed their musical influences and explained what the future of the band holds. The entire interview is below.
C: When did The Boss Mustangs come together?
Mickey: 2009. I was looking to start just a basic rock and roll band, garage rock I guess, and started looking for other musicians with the same ideas I had. It took the better part of eight months of looking before we had a solid line up. J. Edsel Hoover and I were friends that were in another band together and he was the first one that I called. He was in right away. I had met our first bass player, Henry Jay, a little time before that, right as I was exiting the last band I was in. He was a really cool guy, and when I was starting The Boss Mustangs I called him up and he was in right away as well. After that it was craigslist ad time. We got Dave Jimenez and Dan Cadillac that way. Craigslist works once and a while! Later on, after Henry Jay left the band in late 2010, he actually found his own replacement for us in Hyde DeSoto. Dave left in mid 2011 and we decided to carry on as a four piece, and that’s the way it’s been since then.
C: What would you consider to be some of your most notable music influences at a younger age?
Dan: Most of my father’s musical interests, which was a considerable amount of Elvis Presley. But I grew up listening to a lot of older music. I developed a real taste for mid to late 50’s rock and roll, people like Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, and Link Wray. In my later teens, I started to really get interested in punk and garage bands, groups that had a certain mystery about them, and played with a real high energy, like the Stooges, MC5, and the Ramones, to name but a notable few.
Mickey: At a younger age? I was way into KISS, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and stuff like that. My uncle gave me a Funkadelic tape at a fairly young age and that kinda opened my eyes to the fact that there was a ton of awesome music out there, but that was not super well known. Later I discovered The MC5, The Stooges, The Flamin’ Groovies, The Mummies, and about a million other awesome bands that kinda shaped my brain into what I wanted The Boss Mustangs to be like.
Hyde: Probably Bob Seger and Black Sabbath
J: I grew up with my parents vinyl and 8 track recordings from the likes of The Four Seasons, The Beach Boys, Peter Paul & Mary, The Beatles and Bing Crosby
C: The Boss Mustangs in a few words, how would you describe the band’s musical sound?
Dan: Pure energy. Imagine the most powerful force in the universe you can think of, and picture that being formed into pure sonic fury. It’s not so much the sound alone, but the whole experience. See it, feel it, hear it. It’s really quite hard for words alone to describe.
Mickey: Heavy Garage Punk? I don’t really know how to put it. We’re just a stripped down, raw, high energy rock and roll band.
Hyde: A churning wall of sound with an electric demon of a frontman
J: Raw and in your face
C: What musical influences do you pull from when you are performing or writing music?
Dan: Like I said about musical influences, it’s a very broad spectrum. And you take that, condense it down to its most basic, raw form, and give it back. It is partially yours, and what has come before, but we make it what it is, and you interpret that the way you will. Nothing is entirely original in this day and age, but that experience is ours and yours at that given time, and in that sense, nothing has ever come before and nothing will come after that is exactly like that one place in time. It’s that feeling, in that moment. So to answer the question, it’s drawing from so much, it’s musical, it’s spiritual, emotional, physical.
Mickey: I love almost all styles of music. So when I write, it kind of depends on what I was listening to that day. Our song “Hazel Holly” was written after listening to alot of Motown records. Whether that comes through in the song or not, I don’t really know. Basically I listen to music constantly and am influenced by probably alot more than I realize. As for the performance part of it, I always liked bands that did a little more than just come out in street clothes and play. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but in my mind it was always that much cooler to see a band put a little bit of effort into it. From the sixties garage bands wearing all sorts of crazy psychedelic clothes and doing crazy light shows, to over the top stuff like KISS or the Mummies. I just wanted to give people that come to see us something visual as well as the music they’re hearing. That’s why we started wearing the crazy nehru jackets. If someone is going to like us enough to come to a show, then why not make it worth it for them.
Hyde: Late 60’s/Early 70’s heavy psychedelic rock/proto-stoner rock (most obscure). Bands such as The MC5, The Stooges, The Alice Cooper Band, Black Sabbath, Buffalo, The Taste, Sir Lord Baltimore, Blue Cheer, The Cream, Blues Creation, among scores of others.
J: Live shows play a big part in gleaning influences and showmanship. I look to my fellow bandmates to influence me in a live setting. There’s nothing like seeing Hyde get his bass on or rocking to a ripping Mickey Catalina solo while Dan struts up front. Those drive me to drive the bus.
C: The Boss Mustangs have gained quite a large following in the Midwest, what was the process of coming up in the industry like?
Dan: I would say we’re still outside of what you would call “the Industry”. No one’s really paying us to do this, There’s no record exec somewhere. We do it because it’s fun and I can’t imagine anything else I am more suited to do. If this is a job, it’s one I would work ‘til my dying day. But, it’s not a job, at least in a literal sense. It’s work, very hard work, and after a show, I am exhausted beyond all belief, but I wanna keep going. As I said, nothing gives me a greater joy than walking off that stage and being able to say that I left nothing behind. I worked for you. I gave everything I had and more for that hour or so. And I’ll keep doing it, so long as I have the ability to do so.
Mickey: Play lots of shows. That’s the only way to get out there. But it’s cool because you make alot of friends along the way. That makes booking shows alot easier as time goes by too. But yeah, just playing lots of shows and hopefully winning people over in the process.
Hyde: It is still a process of breaking into the industry. The key has been playing out of town and out state as often as possible to try and gain a broader audience.
J: Paying dues is never easy when you know you’ve got a good thing and have to start from square one. Fans, fans fans. I can’t say enough about word of mouth advertising and face-to-face interaction.
C: How would you guys as a band describe the Midwest music scene?
Dan: Underrated. So many great bands live under the radar of the “trendy” areas in our country. Not to knock the coasts, as they have produced a great many fine acts, but there are so many hard working groups in the Midwest that will never make it past their city limits, and that will be eclipsed by people that won’t put in the real work, like anywhere you go in this country.
Hyde: The Midwest music scene, and what seems to be the music scene in general, is currently quite challenging. With the introduction of downloading sites for music, it’s definitely more of a challenge to get people out to shows.
J: Midwest is cool, down to earth, but at times way too f-ing conservative. When on tour most newcomers don’t quite know what to expect when attending a Mustangs Freak Out, but quickly learn that we’re at our most intense every night. The pay-off comes later that season when we see familiar faces along with the new and know we’ve made a connection.
C: How do you all as a band feel social media has helped and will continue to help your career?
Dan: It has allowed for so much connection, at no time on this planet have people been so well connected. We know what’s going on all the way on the other side of the world, and instantly. It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time, but used in a responsible manner, there is nothing the people can’t accomplish now. And in that sense, I hope we can reach out to each other and share our music, and have them share in the experience with us. It’s a perpetual flow of energy, let’s keep it going.
Mickey: Things like Facebook and sites like that are a good thing to have because pretty much everyone is on the internet now, but to be honest, I think people put too much stock in it. It shouldn’t be the only thing that a band does, but more of an addition. Alot of those sites are good for people to find out info on you and show news, but there’s alot more things that bands can do than just make an event page and be done. Make flyers, hang out at record stores and music stores, go to other bands shows, get word of mouth going. Plus you’ll meet alot of cool people out in the world that you’d never otherwise meet. Then you can keep in touch using the internet. I’ve booked alot of gigs though meeting people at shows or wherever and setting stuff up later through Facebook. It’s a very handy tool, but not the be-all-end-all. Maybe I’m just old fashioned though.
J: Social Media Sites are a neat way to introduce ourselves to potential listeners and keep in touch with those who care to hear what’s next for our band of misfits. But…so often it seems people will hear a name, click a button and feel they have done their part. Little do they know the real magic lies on stage and in the basements where real rock and conversation happens. Social media is a starting point, the proverbial tip of the iceberg for those willing to take the plunge.
C: What does the future hold for The Boss Mustangs?
Dan: We would like to do another record, but mostly, we’d like to stay out there and keep playing for anyone who wants to have us. We love doing it, and as long as we can, we’ll keep doing it. Fame and fortune are nice, I’m sure, but they are temporary, and can change like the weather, in a split second. I’m looking for a little more, and I’ll keep going until I find it. On the other hand, I could up and die tomorrow. But damn, I’ve had some good times up until it happens, and that matters a lot more in the long run.
Mickey: Well, we’re kind of in a catch 22 situation right now. We want to record a new album, we have a solid lineup and definitely have enough songs, but when you play a lot of shows it kind of dwindles your band fund. But you pretty much have to play shows to get money in your band fund. None of us are rich so it’s kind of slow going. We’re just hoping we can get more and more people out to shows which will allow us to sock away more funds for a new record. Also we want to keep going farther and father out of state playing shows. We want to be able to play our music for as many people as possible in as many states as possible.