Facebook has its good and bad. Honestly, I really don’t give a shit that you just checked in at Wegman’s. Or that you made spaghetti for dinner. Did you really need to take a picture of your meatballs for all the world to see? Besides, they look like crap anyway. And if I see one more photo of your kid sitting on Santa’s lap all happy and shit I’m gonna vomit. Sorry, just getting some anger out.
But believe it or not, Facebook does have some appeal. I never heard of The Munsens until I saw a video of them playing over at The Saint on Facebook. Pretty damn good I must say. One example of the social networking giant being worth a damn. So in the spirit of Christmas, or whatever fucking holiday it is you celebrate, I thought it be a nice gesture to give these up and comers some publicity. I caught up with bandmate Mike Goodwin, asked him a few questions, and here’s what he unloaded.
Who and what are The Munsens? Sounds like some kind of TV show. Tell me more.
The Munsens are Shaun Goodwin, Jon Surmonte and myself (Mike Goodwin). We are 21, 23 and 24, respectively. Jon grew up in West Allenhurst and Shaun and I grew up in Oakhurst. We have all been close friends for quite some time now.
Shaun and I live in Colorado, though Shaun is currently studying in Brighton, England. Knowing Jon, he could be living just about anywhere but to the best of my knowledge, he is lurking somewhere in the Asbury area. I work primarily at a snowboard magazine and Shaun is in school, so we are able to spend a good deal of the summer back home in New Jersey.
When and why did you decide to start a band?
I can’t say when exactly The Munsens came to be, but it was probably around May or June of 2011. Originally the idea was to just write one riff and continue to play it over and over creating a heavy drone of sorts, I guess. And then move somehow into another riff and play that one relentlessly. We would switch instruments for different songs and I guess our current setup is just a slight evolution of that.
Our good friend Zach Cusano has a skate ramp in his backyard and I remember that summer it seemed like almost every evening tons of people were meeting up to skate and get loose. I remember we wanted to play a show while everyone was skating and getting fucked up, so that was a bit of motivation, something to look forward to. But I am not sure we even considered ourselves a band. The Munsens was just something that happened in the dark, hazy hours of the early morning – our late night ritual in Jon’s basement.
Without that dungeon there really is no Munsens. It’s all cement walls down there, nothing can really get fucked up, and we acted accordingly. Munsens performances and getting loaded go hand in hand. Just as much as we enjoy playing music in that basement, we appreciate all the friends that come by, listen, and sink lower.
This past summer, I was home for the month of June and we spent all our time down there, twisting these riffs into some semblance of songs. We recorded a couple live tracks on the computer and played the Saint at the end of the month. I then had to head west and we have been laying low since. That soon will change.
Where does the name of the band come from?
This dude, Steven Schwoegler, aka The Homie, our buddy from Colorado was always calling people Munsens, like, “Oh, fuck that dude, he’s a Munsen.” Presumably, the name comes from the movie Kingpin, ya know, Roy Munson. We thought it looked better spelled with an “e”.
But the name is appropriate. “He is what is called a born loser… a real Munson,” I believe is a quote from the flick. That really sums it up.
How would you best describe your sound?
Loud. It has to be loud. I guess we would fall somewhere in the psychedelic, doom area, though I think we often play our songs faster than intended.
What future shows do you have in the area?
We will all be back in Asbury for the New Year so we will be playing a bit. We are playing a basement show in Asbury on the 28th of December and playing the following night, the 29th, at the Saint. Come out and get high with us.
What is it about Asbury Park’s music scene that inspires you?
I can only speak for myself, but it’s wild how much changes each time I am away. I guess the pace is inspiring. Change, for better or worse, is inherently exciting. I am anxious to see what will become of Asbury. It’s a shame the Press Room is no longer, but nonetheless, it is good to see that people are trying to keep the rock and roll alive. As a whole, I think we like Asbury because it’s home. A lot of our friends are still there.
My greatest fear is that Asbury will continue to spawn soft Jack Johnson clones.