As frontman for the semi-recently formed The Vultures out of Seattle,Washington,and long-standing veteran to The Mullens out of Dallas, Texas, I was recently able to catch up with Mr Matt Mayo to talk about the future of both bands and his recent relocation from Texas to Washington.

The Mullens formed seven years ago and have cranked out two really solid full length albums, a self-titled debut and a follow up 'Go Where the Action Is' , and also a number of singles. There's a third Mullens album due out soon as well called "Tough to Tell', which will have twelve songs, and which like both its predecessors has been released on the Get Hip label. You can't go wrong with a garage band of this calibre, which is why when Matt's latest endeavour, The Vultures, came to my home city of Ottowa, and I picked up their most excellent single: 'Alcoholic Lady' it became time to find out what was going on.

Originally I was a bit unsure about the fate of The Mullens, since The Vultures had come on the scene, coupled with Matt's recent move to the other side of the country, but in light of a new Mullens album on the way, decided we could probably talk about both bands.

CR : How did The Mullens hook up with Get Hip Recordings as a label/distro ?

MM: Through 1 + 2 in Japan who did our first 45.

CR : Why is it that you decided to move to Seattle, and how did you come to form The Vultures?

MM: Well, there were lots of reasons for the move itself...mainly the desire for new experience. I've made a point to discover some of the natural wonders that are in Washington, like The Pacific Coast and Temperate Rainforest. In the city I've met several people that I've become good friends with.

The Vultures were subsequently formed through his association with Heath Heemsbergen.

MM : Heath and I knew each other through our respective groups (Heath is also the guitarist in The Fells, another must-check-out group), and we decided to try something.

CR: I'm curious to know whether you consider one to be more of a side project than the other, and where your focus lies.

MM: My focus did lie primarily with The Vultures last year, but I'm prepared to shift it to a new project. I've got lots of new songs.

CR : I guess this means you're still able to have both of these projects on the go?

MM: Well, I guess you could say I have three projects (including the new stuff...) on the go. Unfortunately, Matt Rendon(The Vultures' bassist) decided to return to Arizona due to personal reasons, and in light of that Heath and myself are going to try going in our own directions. We had fun with The Vultures, but it's time to move on. We did however record 8 songs in Detroit with Jeff from Rocket 455 (A Detroit garage band) , which I'm going to try and release. I think they'll be cool. Johnny Hentch (from The Hentchmen, another act from Detroit) played piano and organ, and he was great. I'm looking to start a new outfit now here in Seattle, so we'll see what happens.

CR : Can you tell me a bit about the different ways you approached both bands...different writing styles, different influences, as well as how you find things personality-wise to be different between working with two separate sets of people in two separate places?

MM: I suppose it wasn't that different, but after playing for 7 years with The Mullens, we have a real sense of familiarity. We recorded the new LP last year in about one week, which is a result of that familiarity. The rest of the guys will practice up a bit before I arrive which makes it easier. When the Mullens wrote songs we would hang around with a few beers and such and come up with ideas. We collaborated a lot as a group, especially on the earlier stuff, which was a lot of fun. With The Vultures it was more of a situation where someone had a finished song and it was learned. We were getting to a point where the band was improvising and expanding, like on 'Sunday Night Depression'. I know The Vultures recording will be very raw, but I remember the performances as being good, and the vocals were good with all of us singing.

Now I know the North West has a pretty substantial "indie-rock" scene happening out there, and Matt cites music from the early fifties and sixties as primary influences, but decided to ask him, given his good judgement, how it looked for any garage and punk bands out that way that he might recommend.

MM: In Seattle right now, I'd say The A-Frames, The Valentine Killers,The Briefs, The Spits, The Wiretraps, which is the new Fallouts who are still playing. The Right On,The Pulses,The Cripples (fun keyboard rock) are all bands I like now...of course the Makers are here, who are great. There are also some I don't like, but no need to mention them.

CR : Are you planning a new Mullens tour when the record comes out?

MM: I would love to, but I don't think it will happen in 01, maybe Europe in the fall, if that comes down the pipe.So, keep your eyes peeled...The Mullens have recently been booked for the Las Vegas Shakedown this fall, which I've just heard is happening the weekend of September 28th / 2001. One of our staff writers here, Darrell Angus is planning his wedding around it, so I know I WILL definitely be there, and plan to check out The Mullens once again because they're always so damn much fun. I'm gonna polish up my go-go boots for that one.

Thanks for your time, Matt!

The new Mullens LP 'Tough to Tell' is due out soon. Get Hip. Get it.

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