With three albums under their belt, the newest of which is entitled, White Rhino, Vancouver based group Mendozza are starting to push sonic boundaries. Their self-released debut disc, HMCS Uganda (the CD is named after the HMCS Uganda, which was the only Canadian warship to fight the Japanese during WWII) dropped in 2005 and the band has been going full bore ever since. With an original song recently being added to the Underworld Revolution soundtrack a new door has opened for this rising act. Recently, drummer Bina was kind enough to answer a few questions for PureGrainAudio about all things Mendozza.
Different groups have unique ways of writing their songs. How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?
Bina: We swim in our moat that surrounds our house or we eat the local fungus and meditate in our sweat lodge, it could start with a riff or a beat, but it is usually a collective effort.
Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?
Bina: The obvious are Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. ACDC, Entombed, Scorpions, Kyuss, the Kittens, Big Business, the Melvins, Melvins, Melvins.
The name of the band Mendozza is interesting to say the least and sounds as if there is a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what is the story?
Bina: Officer Mendozza.
Give us some insight into your 2006 record Illuminairus and the meaning behind its title?
Bina: There is a lantern festival every summer in Vancouver called Illuminaries. It takes place at night where people make lanterns and walk around a big lake. It is a very spiritual experience with friends and it is a ton of fun. “Safe inside a ring of fire. Devil’s stroll, at night!”
Your band was a featured artist on the soundtrack for Underworld: The Revolution. How did that come about and what was the reaction from your fans?
Bina: We were playing a small club in the summer time and they had all the windows and doors open. There were about 10 people in the bar. No matter how Many people you play to, you always have to give it all on stage. That is when the producer of the movie and his wife walked in off the street after they heard us; they offered us a spot on the soundtrack right there. The movie and the soundtrack were already done but he said that if we wrote and recorded a new song in 2 weeks, we could be on it. That is how we wrote “Eternal Battle” we now have fans all over the world! Also, a ton of teenage Goth kids!
What is the hardest part about being in a touring metal band and what is the biggest obstacle your band faces?
Bina: The hardest would be that we are totally independent and it’s all out of our pocket. So when we tour, we all have to take time off work. We would love to get a little help financially, that would definitely help! Also, the Zombies are pretty horrific.
The band keeps things interesting thematically. Can you talk about some of the subjects you tackle on your records?
Bina: We write about things that happen to us or interesting stories that we’ve read. Even if we do not have anything happening. White Rhino is about not having anything to write about, it is about writers block. Otzi the wanderer is about an iceman from 3300 BC that we read about who was found in the Alps.
When you are on the road for a while, I am sure you see and experience many different things you might not even have known existed. Are there any stories that stand out in your mind as being exceptionally strange or odd?
Bina: We have definitely met a ton of strange and great people, but we used to live in East Vancouver, so were pretty used to it all. Why in the USA do bathrooms not have any doors?
Do you find it difficult being away from family and friends for such an extensive period of time? How do you cope with the separation?
Bina: It is the main reason why we tour is to get away from them! But, we really do miss our pets when we are away.
How do you maintain that level of energy and exuberance? You sound like you are ready to go full bore every time you sit at the drums.
Bina: Jägermeister! That and the tiny naked dancing girls on my toms.
What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
Bina: When the bass player quits the band and still wants to be on the album. I guess, make sure you try to be half sober when you start the set and make sure your guitar is tuned! [ END ]