The MANSFIELDS are back in Europe so we caught them just before their gig in Séléstat, France. Dave Mansfield (Vocals/Bass) tells us more about the band, this tour, his love for vinyl records and horror movies.
How has the tour been so far ?
So far it’s been good, we’ve been to Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, it’s been really good.
Any difference compared to last time you were here in Europe?
We started the tour in places we haven’t been like Spain and Italy. We haven’t played there before!
Any line-up changes since the last tour?
No it’s still the same, same guys: Doug, Tommy and myself.
You’re on Gearhead records, how is it goin’?
It’s goin’ good! The album came out in July, the first press of the vinyl has almost sold-out! So far, so good! It’s a really cool label.
Have you toured a lot in the U.S?
Yeah, we toured in all of the U.S, everywhere!
What are your favourite places to play there?
We were talking about that earlier, L.A of course, Southern California, Texas has been good, New York, pretty much all of the major places have been exciting. Also places like Memphis, Nashville are very good too. We always had really big shows and fun times in Memphis!
You seem to have different influences in the band, from 50s/60s rock to glam, punk rock, etc. Are you all into these musical genres or is there like a punk rock member, a glam/sleaze one or something like that?
No, oddly enough, all of us are into almost exactly the same stuff, from 50s rockabilly and Sun Records, Elvis, Johnny Cash, 60s pop stuff, 70s punk and glitter, etc. Nobody is like the rockabilly guy or the glam guy…
So you don’t fight too much in rehearsal?
Nah.. Well we fight every single one pretty much (laughs) but it’s cool, it’s usually fighting over arrangements or little things like that.
How do you usually write a song? Vocal line first or music?
The first thing would be like an idea like hearing a good old song and wanting to do something like that or a cool song title. I try to come out with a cool title and figure out “what that song should sound like?” Just trying to work on the vibe, maybe on a chorus but the lyirics themselves are usually the last thing I write. When something grabs me, like a title then I can start thinking about what that vibe would sound like in the song. Then the melody line, the verse kinda comes along with the music. But the actual words, I like to write them last.
On a visual point of view, The MANSFIELDS also have a kind of horror movie influence…
Oh yeah, that’s a big part of our influences, old universal monster movies. There’s a little bit of that in our music but it’s more a live thing. Trying to picture the Monster’s living room is what we try to do live.
But you don’t define yourselves as horror rock?
No, a band like WEDNESDAY 13 is all about horror. Wednesday only writes about that. For us, it’s just a vibe, little touches of it. It’s in some of our songs too but not all of them.
Have you seen any new good horror movies lately?
Probably the last one is Rob Zombie’s Halloween! The remake which I thought was really good. That was a good one!
Speaking about Halloween, aren’t you a bit sad to be here in Europe while it’s Halloween time in the US?
Yeah Halloween is one of my favourite times to be home! We do a huge Halloween show every year so it’s a little sad, I’m kinda missing that but I’m probably happier touring over here! (Laughs.) I wouldn’t trade being here for being home now! Three more weeks to go!
As the gas prices went up in the US (though it’s still not as expensive as here!), do you think it’s easier to tour in Europe now?
Well, I don’t know if it’s easier… It’s probably easier for us because we have a good booking agency to take care of lots of details and stuff like that. In the US, if you’re completely on your own and are an unkwown band then it’s really hard. We’ve got to work or do whatever and play shows at home and save and save and save to be able to tour. But we’re pretty lucky, we’ll be on tour for a month with The QUEERS around March in the South and South West, that will be good! They’re still doing good so we’ll be sure to play in front of a couple hundred people every night. Economically, it’s tough in the States right now and it gets harder to book bands because less people are coming out.
Any new bands you’ve liked lately?
They’re not really new but The SOUNDS from Sweden. They’re working on a new record right now. But actually, there’s been a lot of cool bands lately. I still buy a lot of records. If I se a band I like, I’ll try to get their stuff. Labels are doing cool things like colour vinyls, I love vinyl. Downloading is not for me, I like to have something and I always try to find it. Trying to have a cool package has always been important to me. You can’t download that!
Anything else to add?
Just… Our driver, she’s nuts! She’s killing us! Cracking that whip (laughs)… nah she’s great! Thanks for taking the time to do this. I appreciate that.