Mungion is gearing up for their first tour of the year! Starting on February 8th, the Chicago-based jam fusion band will perform first in Missouri, and then work their way through the south with dates in places like New Orleans, Atlanta, Birmingham. From there they’ll work their way up the east coast, playing Gypsy Sally’s and then two back to back Umphrey’s McGee after parties at Asheville Music Hall. After that they will cycle through the northeast with shows at spots like Knitting Factory Brooklyn, Nectar’s in Burlington, and Buffalo Iron Works, before finally making their way back home to Illinois.
If you’re a fan of jamband music, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard the name Mungion. After releasing their debut album Scary Blankets in 2015, the foursome hit the scene hard, and the musical world took notice fast. They have toured multiple times with other current jam favorites like Spafford and Aqueous, played a show with moe. in their hometown city, and earned spots on major events like Peach Music Festival and Summercamp Music Fest (twice). With their music a whirlwind of musical color and intensity, and their sets always a full display of the band’s fearlessly zany character, Mungion shows are truly like nothing else these days.
To get a bit of a better idea, lead guitarist Justin Reckamp gave The Poke Around some quick insight into the Mungion experience.
The Poke Around: How were the NYE shows in Chicago this year from the band’s perspective? Any personal favorite moments that topped the weekend?
The 3-night run in Chicago was something really special for all of us. I think the band was just really excited to play our first 3-night run in our home city for all of our friends and family. The crowd was absolutely insane through every step of the way! The energy that they illuminated was off the charts and that’s really when the best moments happen for us. Once we start feeding off of the crowd there is an unexplainable back and forth that takes place. The end goal is to construct something in the moment that is created by the band and the crowd alike, it almost takes on a life of its own. I know it sounds hippy dippy but it really is something that takes place when everyone is listening and trying to create something TOGETHER in the moment. Everyone was participating in all 3 of those nights and we couldn’t have asked to end 2017 on a higher note.
What are some pieces of advice for writing/composing ambitious and adventurous pieces of music?
For us it happens pretty organically—I think it stems from everyone in the group having a very diverse taste in music. We are all very open minded and can find certain things that we like in virtually every style of music. We kind of piece things together and just take it a step at a time, usually the song will tell us where it wants to go. If something feels contrived than we might try and take another direction. We all love to play music at the end of the day, whether it’s a 15-minute epic or a 3-minute bluegrass tune—it’s all good clean fun!
Will any new/unheard material be tried out on the upcoming tour? If there were any qualities (more hardcore, jazzier, more comedic, a heartbreaking relationship-arc album, etc.) that you know you wanted your next future album to have, what would those be?
We CANNOT wait to release the new record. Some of the music has never been played and we really took some liberties in the studio. Its got something for the whole family, so keep an eye out for the release date. The name of the album is ‘Ferris Wheel’s Day Off.’
Does Mungion have new band dance moves on the way this tour?
Yes, I think we’re going to start taking choreography classes from this dance instructor named Parn Kournt. Hopefully, by the end of the year, we will have dance moves for virtually every tune. Also, Matt (our drummer) has been taking 80’s Aerobic classes so we can’t wait to see where that takes us.
The craziest thing I ever saw attending a concert was when ___________________.
Our bassist Sean lost a bet and dressed up as Abraham Lincoln for a street fest we played last year called Live on Lincoln. That made me feel good inside.
Mungion will top that by ___________________.
We’re thinking of putting a vert ramp on stage. Joe Re will then pull off a 900 whilst wearing a kilt. But wait, there’s more…He will also be playing a smokin’ keytar solo over “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen mid 900. Just think about it.
_________________ is the best live album ever made.
I can’t begin to answer this one but I just heard ‘Down Home Live’ by Buckwheat Zydeco and it was damn near life-changing. Such great music.
__________________ is a classic movie that would have rocked with some Mungion jams as the soundtrack.
Reefer Madness or A Hard Day’s Night.
Mungion will never cover ________________ despite how many fans might ask for it.
“Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen.
Be careful going to a Mungion show. You might ____________________.