Grunge pioneers Mudhoney to make splash at North Tahoe Saturday
CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. — In 1988, Mudhoney didn’t have any pipe dreams.
Like any band, the newly formed alternative rock group from Seattle just wanted to be heard by someone, anyone.
“All we wanted to do was release a single so people knew that we existed,” Mudhoney frontman Mark Arm said in a phone interview Monday.
With that, Arm and his bandmates crammed into a Seattle studio with producer Jack Endino, cranked up their amps, and stirred up the fast-paced, fuzzed-out, punk-meets-metal single “Touch Me I’m Sick.”
Twenty-seven years later, with nine studio albums and a stack of singles and EPS to show for, one could argue Mudhoney has, in some capacity, been heard by almost everyone who’s ever been plugged into the “Seattle sound,” better known as grunge.
This Saturday night, the Seattle rock band will unleash its dirty, distortion-riddled stylings onto a Lake Tahoe crowd for the first time in their near 30-year existence.
“It’s always fun to go someplace that we haven’t been to, and check it out and see what it’s all about,” said Arm, who noted his only time at Tahoe was on a family vacation as a kid. He wryly added: “I remember there was a lake.”
When Arm, 53, and Mudhoney — which includes lead guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Guy Maddison and drummer Dan Peters — settle into North Tahoe Saturday, it will be the fourth stop of their 12-show, two-week tour.
“You can expect four of the most handsome guys you’ve ever seen, playing some of the most killer rock music you’ve ever heard,” Arm said, tongue buried in cheek. “But I don’t know how true that is for everyone — I think that’s more of a subjective thing.”
One thing attendees of Saturday’s show can be certain of? They will witness grunge music at its grungiest. Noisy guitars, rumbling bass, frenetic drumming, angry vocals — all of it.
Arm said the group tries to map out a set list that enables them to “hit at least every record” during their shows. He went on to mention that crowd favorites include those off of their debut EP “Superfuzz Bigmuff” — a record the late Kurt Cobain listed as one of the albums he thought was most influential to Nirvana’s sound.
It boasts tracks like “Hate The Police,” “In ‘n’ Out of Grace,” and, the single that introduced rock fans to Mudhoney in ’88, “Touch Me I’m Sick.”
For Arm, being able to play those raw, angst-fueled songs that started it all — and every song that followed — to a room full of people for nearly three decades is what gives him the most satisfaction.
“Just being able to get away with it,” is the most rewarding aspect of their longevity, Arm said. “When we started this band, this was just another band that Steve (Turner) and I were in; we’d been playing in bands since 1983, off and on.
“And here we are, 27 years later. It’s kind of weird, and kind of cool — but unexpected.”
Read more about Mudhoney at mudhoneyonline.com.
TY SEGALL’S FUZZ TO OPEN FOR Mudhoney
Opening up for Mudhoney on Saturday is Fuzz, a Los Angeles-based hard-rock trio.
Anchored by the prolific Ty Segall (drums, vocals), who at 28 years old has already released eight studio albums as a solo artist, Fuzz crackles with the influences of heavy metal (think Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer) and psychedelic rock (nods to Hendrix are abound). Fleshing out the thundering, riff-centric sound are Charles Moothart (guitar, vocals) and Chad Ubovich (bass, vocals).
“They’re great,” Mudhoney’s Arm said. “They obviously listen to a lot of Blue Cheer, and so do we. They’re coming from a great place and I fully endorse it.”
Fuzz’s second album “Fuzz II” is out on Oct. 23 off of In the Red Records.