Saturday, 28 September 2013 17:47

Mountain Goat: Sludge Metal's Sweeter Side

Written by  Lauren Allen
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Mountain Goat, Wizard Castle, Night Hawk
The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
Sept. 28, 9 p.m.
$6 Day of show, (616) 272-3758

Through a smoky haze, endless microbrews and foot-long hair, so rises the sludge metal trio that is Mountain Goat. These guys require some careful Google-ing; simply adding an 'S' will generate results for either the indie/folk band, The Mountain Goats, or you'll learn a hell of a lot more than you ever intended about the large-hoofed mammal found only in North America.

If your web search somehow led you to the stoner metal Facebook page you were looking for, you'll come to find that these three guys are about as down-to-earth as magma. While the music they play has a specific sound, the guys themselves are open to all kinds of music.

"We like Odd Future a lot," said Drummer Keith Ortiz.

Frontman Monte Davis agrees.

"Tyler, The Creator, Kendrick, Chance the Rapper...we listen to a lot of hip hop."

But it doesn't stop there. Ortiz admits to his love for Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles; while Davis mentions he frequently warms up his axe with a heavier, yet still emotionally driven, version of "Stay" by Lisa Loeb.

Although these guys don't try to infuse their music with elements associated with other genres, they're not doing it on purpose.

"We just play what we want to play and if it stops being fun then we'll play something else," said Davis.

And since they've been playing together since tenth grade, they seem to have found their niche.

Davis said that while these music interests don't influence the sound of their own music, other aspects of pop culture do.

"I'm a big '70s and '80s horror movie fan, so a lot of our songs are about stuff like that. ... I don't want to say [our songs have] important subject matter, it's just weird stuff that pops into my head."

The band members' straightforward nature translates into their shows. The guys agree that you will find them drunk and joking around on stage, and while Otiz admits to less-than-stellar drumming abilities, he makes up for it with his showmanship and hair.

"We at least try to make our shows fun to watch and fun to be at," Davis said.

With all of the members working "day jobs," their shows are a chance for the guys to have a little fun.

"I just like doing this because these are my best friends," bassist, Derek Kasperlik said.

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