Interview w/ Mommy Long Legs

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Seattle’s gnarly, rad, and deliciously barf-core Mommy Long Legs is one the best – and coolest – bands around. From shredding and roaring on KEXP (if you haven’t seen this performance yet, you need to leave work and get to a laptop or something – I’m not sure what you want from me) to releasing some of the sweetest tracks ever, the band is the real deal. In order to find out more about the survivalist troupe of vomit garagers, we asked Mommy Long Legs – Lilly Morlock, Cory Budden, Melissa Kagerer, and Leah Miller – some pressing AF questions. Here are their answers. By the way, in the end we’re all alone.

 

Rob Patrick: “Life Rips” has one of the best music videos basically ever made. How did the idea come about, and how was the cake?

Cory: Thanks! It was kind of a mash-up of a bunch of ideas we had. We keep a notebook of ideas — Leah is really good about keeping track of ideas in her phone — so anytime we thought of something, we’d write it down and then we just narrowed down our ideas to what we thought was the most feasible/most fun. The cake looked better than it tasted but that’s ok.

Melissa: 😜 We collectively came up with a lot of the ideas for the video — like Cory said, we have a big band notebook that Lilly carries around with her everywhere, and Leah puts a lot of notes and our rantings in her phone so we just met with our friend who filmed it and spewed off a ton of ideas and he helped us zero in on a couple of the best ones! I thought the cake was delicious, but we had also been working allll day and were super tired and jazzed on caffeine so who really knows.

Lilly: We had a lot of grand visions for this video. Including a scene with us all flying on a bong in space (hopefully one day this dream can come true in a future video). Our idea was basically that we would come back from the dead, go to Starbucks and go on a shopping spree and have a freaky party with a black wedding cake.  We narrowed down this vision due to a very very small budget and one day of shooting.  I put a lot of weird things in my mouth that day so my taste buds were wrecked by the time the cake came along.

Leah: The cake was really dry, it smelled a lot better than it tasted. As for the overall concept of the video, we just talk a lot of nonsense to one another and it usually turns into a big blob of an idea that we shape. We’re constantly coming up with new ideas or weird sayings so we just keep track of that gold and harvest it later.

 

When will we see Chastity Belt, Tacocat, and Mommy Long Legs play a dream tour together?

Cory: That would be a dream! Maybe someday in the near distant future it could happen. Or we could at least all play a Seattle show together!

Melissa: Wowza that would be a crazy dream tour! Maybe the stars will align one day and we can all rule the world together!

Lilly: The holy trinity. Only god knows.

Leah:  Depends on whether or not the world is ready for a portal to open up. 

 

The band’s performance on KEXP was brilliantly fun, super rad, and p electric. Everyone in Mommy Long Legs has great stage presence. In your minds, what makes a great live performance?

Cory: I think just being really present in where you are and what you’re doing and not being on auto-pilot. Each of us has our own style and I think we are always just really excited to be playing music for people and it comes out in fun ways.

Melissa: I think the most important thing when your preforming is to just have fun, be yourself, and not overthink things! We all have a lot of fun when we play together and we try not to take ourselves to seriously; we want the audience to laugh and dance and enjoy themselves as much as we do!

Lilly: Just pee yourself!

Leah: Shred so hard you pee a little on stage. And always baw wit da baw!

 

How has the reemergence of tapes and vinyl changed things for bands, in a climate that was increasingly digital?

Cory: No matter how digital everything becomes, I think everyone still holds a preference for tangible objects. Screens can’t really replace a record or tape and the intimacy that comes with it. Also the warm sounds cassettes and records produce can’t be duplicated and that’s really important for us. Obviously, if it weren’t for the internet, we wouldn’t be able to reach as many people as we do, but we still love giving actual things, like tapes, to actual people.

Melissa: Tapes and Vinyl have such a great lo-fi sound that feels a lot more intimate to me than digital does. I don’t think tapes ever stopped being a thing around the DIY scene because they are  inexpensive to make but still look and sound really great! Also gotta agree with Cory on the tangibleness of vinyl and tapes, it’s like kindle vs. real book: I think a lot of people prefer to have the digital copy. It’s almost nostalgic in a way, too. I mean, I have tapes and vinyl in my collection that whenever I play remind me of certain people or shows and digital just doesn’t have that; I think there will always be a lack of intimacy with digital media that tapes and vinyl fulfill.

Lilly: Tapes are cheap and hip. Vinyl is novelty item and flirty. I wish we could release our music on Google Glass. The rest is history.

Leah: Exactly. 

 

You’re pretty great at social media. Modernly, how important is maintaining an online presence for musicians?

Cory: Super important! It’s so much easier to connect with people that way. And we’re funny!

Melissa: We have a lot of fun with social media and it has let us connect with so many amazing people all over the world that we would have not been able to reach and that’s been really amazing! The band Parquet Courts has no online presence and they are still rockin’ and rollin’ their way into peoples hearts, so I don’t think you 100% absolutely have to a big online presence, but I do think it helps make everything a lot easier. Watch out for the trolls though, they’ll gethcha.

Lilly: We love content. We love the internet. We love likes and hearts. Building a massive online ego is top priority.

Leah: We love data! We are big on documenting in general so I think sharing that with people is a really crucial part in getting to know us beyond our music, if you’re into that. I know I yam!

 

Which member of the band was most resourceful when surviving the blizzard outside of Denver?

Cory: I think it’s a tie between Melissa and Leah. Leah has the most experience driving in the snow so she handled our van very gracefully in the middle of a shit storm. Then when our van got stuck in a parking lot, Melissa went into major survival mode trying to dig it out. She also ended up going all the way back to the van after we abandoned it and drove it to where we were staying so we could have all our stuff with us. There was also a point where we were trying to get out of the snow for a minute by hiding in the van and Melissa would not get in to get warm. She was just in a zone. She’s a tough broad.

Melissa: Leah (and can I say myself haha)!? Leah definitely has the most experience driving in snow so she knew how to handle our handsome vansome, Jansome. When we got it stuck a few times she helped direct us and told us what to do–she dominated that whole area.  I really got lucky when I went back to the van to grab some supplies this guy pulled up and offered to tow it out so he was the real hero. (Thanks stranger, wherever you are!)

Lilly: I literally did nothing. Melissa and Leah win top prize. I told them that if it came down to it they can start by eating my ass. I just cant wait to go to heaven.

Leah: Lilly for volunteering to let us eat her ass first.

 

Which of your songs is your favorite to play live, and why?

Cory: I like our new song “Glam Dump” the most. Maybe because it’s new but I also like the drum parts I play for it a lot.

Melissa: I love playing “Dick Move”! I feel really passionate about that song and I love that we can play it loud and fast and scream it and it doesn’t have to be this perfectly put together thing. It really riles me up haha

Lilly: “Assholes”. I get to not play guitar and roll around on the floor like an original classic rock star.

Leah: “Weird Girl“. I like singing “I’m not too cool for school, I’m not to cool to drool” because that’s important.

 

What is the one question you wish interviewers would stop asking the band?

Cory: “How did your band start?” We’ve been asked that every interview and it’s kind of a long and not very interesting story [laughs]

Melissa: “How’d you come up with the band name” and “How did the band Start”– just both are not the most riviting stories.

Lilly: “What if god was one of us?”

Leah: “Kumbaya???” I never know what to say to that.

 

Finally, what’s something inconsequential that you can tell us about yourself that your band mates don’t know about you?

Cory: Ummm… I feel like they know everything about me at this point. They’ve seen me naked several times and we survived a blizzard together.

Melissa:  I wrote the screenplay for “Flubber”.

Lilly: I’m a virgin.

Leah: I love Usher.

 

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Author: Rob Patrick

A member of the San Diego Film Critics Society, Rob created Cinema Spartan after he stepped down as the editor of a weekly. He has written for The East County Californian, The Alpine Sun, The East County Herald, The San Diego Entertainer, and the San Diego Reader. He has also introduced films with the Pacific Arts Movement. He co-owns two dire wolves, Buckley and Ruffin. At any given time, he can tell you superfluous hockey statistics. He is the chancellor of Tapatio, an advocate of iced tea, and an owner of at least 70 pairs of Vans.

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