If you’re a concert-loving Monster Magnet fan living in Vancouver–or anywhere in North America, for that matter–you may well be wondering where the hell the band has been for the last ten years. It’s been releasing albums every three years or so, but has not toured the U.S. or Canada in a decade. As Dave Wyndorf pointed out on the phone from his New Jersey home last week, the absence came down to business.
“I took the break because I was just getting more work overseas,” he explained. “I was getting steadier, better paying work, and better audiences, in Europe. I probably would have gone to Canada, but I had some visa problems, so I had to stay away from there. But it wasn’t that I was stayin’ away from Canada, it was more like I was staying away from the U.S.A.
“The U.S.A. was not a good place for us,” he added. “I kept getting more and more disappointed going out there. Rock culture had changed. There was a lot of stuff that had filled up the blanks for people to see that didn’t include psychedelic space-rock. So I was just like, ‘You know something, I think I’ll just go where I know I can have good shows.'”
According to Wyndorf–whose band plays the sold-out Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver this Saturday with Royal Thunder and Anti-Mortem–those diehard Europeans that kept him busy for the last ten years are a lot like Canadian hard-rock freaks.
“They remind me of each other quite a bit,” he said. “There’s a lot of listeners that are looking for differences in their rock, and it’s more than a teenage thing. They go for stuff that’ll make them happy wherever they can find it rather than waiting for the next big thing to be delivered to their door–and that’s what the States has been about: ‘Gimme the next big thing!’
“Monster Magnet is an ‘odd duck’, as my mom used to say. It’s kinda like classic rock, but it’s more messed up. It’s a little nasty; it’s got some punk-rock in it. It really doesn’t speak to the mass audience, and it never has. It’s really directed inward, inside people’s imagination and thoughts. And the States just ain’t buyin’ that right now.”