Mom’s Weekend is a melodic punk band from Ohio, influenced by emo, but not quite pop enough to be so, and leaning towards what the kids call pop-punk, but not necessarily “punk as fuck” either. They play fast, loud, and honest songs about a multitude of topics ranging from M.I.L.F.s, wrestling, relationships and existentialism.
They started, as many bands do, as two stoned boys (guitarist/singer Paul Lampley and drummer Jimmy Eckman, with the recent addition of Tabor Wordelman to the fold) in a basement with a desire to create a unique, but familar sound. After two and a half years of honing their sound and releasing two EPs, embarking on a Midwest tour, and countless shows supporting touring bands in Athens, Ohio, they released their self-titled, full length debut in October of 2013.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Paul and Jimmy to discuss the record. This is what they said about it.
When did you begin writing the material for your most recent album?
Paul: Well, “The Title Fight” and “Grab All the Cash You Can, You Look So Good On Camera” were written in the fall of 2011 and were on our first demo. The rest were written between November of 2012 and July 2013.
Jimmy: We began writing new material for the album at the beginning of the year. Since I live three hours away writing has been the most time consuming part. When we had most of the basic parts written I brought down my mixer and microphones to record a rough demo of the album so we can both remember and talk about the things we liked or disliked about each song. Having these demos really helped to mold the album into what it is.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
Paul: Honestly this whole record was a struggle. Jimmy graduated in the Spring of 2012 and moved out of Athens. We almost broke up before we got in the studio just because of how hard it is to be a band when we’re four hours apart, practicing once or twice a month for four to six hours in a row. It was a difficult process.
We tracked nine songs in a 10 hour session, everything. Drums, bass, 2-4 guitar tracks, and vocals. And mixed it in nine hours, but it took two months until we could get it done.
Jimmy: There wasn’t any song in particular that was hard to take from the initial writing stages to the studio. Since we live hours apart and didn’t have that much cash between us we decided that we had to track the guitars, bass, and drums in 10 hours. We had to know exactly what to record and how long each of them should take. Because we had little time there wasn’t much in terms of changing or adding to any song in the studio. This can be thought of bad thing like we were rushing but that’s what punk is, doing the best with what ya got
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
Paul: “I Don’t Know…” It was supposed to be all acoustic but we started playing around with it for a live version and decided that was the best way to present the song.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
Paul: Grant Engstrom of Small Steps, DJ Wymer of Shower Beers and Drew Davis of Shower Beers and Small Steps did some vocals. Grant did vocals on “Grab All the Cash You Can, You Look So Good On Camera.” and they’re straight up fantastic! That came out of Grant being at all our shows and sometimes joining us on stage. His old bands and us played together for a solid year then he, Drew, and I started Small Steps, so we go way back. Drew actually wrote the “woos” in “The Title Fight” on our tour together in January of 2013, and he, Grant, and DJ did some in the studio for us.
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
Paul: Mark Speer engineered the record so he helped us achieve what we had in our minds. I had a vision of what I wanted the record to be, and Mark helped us get there as quickly and cost effective. No one had a traditional producer role, we all just communicated what we thought worked and what didn’t. Mark is a really talented engineer, he got amazing sounds within an hour or two and once we were rolling it was extremely smooth.
Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?
Paul: Not really. It’s kind of about the things you think about when your stoned alone. We cover a lot on this record: existentialism, serious relationships, childhood, escapism, insecurities, religion, the insincerity of our peers, and the influence your friends have on you. I think it’s about the things people have contemplated since the beginning of time. We didn’t really address anything that hasn’t already been addressed by others, it’s just our take on them. I think it’s about rediscovering your existence after you’ve found yourself, but more than likely it’s about pot.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
Jimmy: We have played the new songs a couple times live. My favorite to play and the one that gets the crowd going is “The Title Fight”. Originally this song didn’t have a gang vocal part, but after playing it at shows the crowd kind of wrote that part into it and it is now recorded as part of the song, which I like. The song is also very punchy and loud and naturally makes you want to push the person standing next to you.
Paul: Well “Slowin It Down” was written for our friends in other bands and they love it, so I think that one has gotten the strongest reaction. “I Don’t Know…” and “5am” are more personal and a little softer at times than our older songs so those seem to give the old fans something new to enjoy. I hope they enjoy them all.
(Check out the LP here: http://momsweekendmusic.bandcamp.com/album/moms-weekend-lp.)