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Inside the Mayhem: Interview with J. Mann of Mushroomhead

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Following the release of their album The Righteous & The Butterfly, Mushroomhead has been on the road in support of the new record and spreading the word. It was well-received by fans and contains work by the full ensemble including all three vocalist J Mann, Jeffrey Nothing, and Waylon Reavis. While each of the guys have their own distinct sound and stage presence, there is something electric about all three working off one another and engaging the crowd. At Mayhem Fest in Atlanta, we chatted with vocalist J Mann about rejoining the fold, the heart of the album, and their next big adventure.

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How do you go into the studio and recording process?
J Mann:
Well to be honest, on this album a lot of the music was done before I was really ever fully on board. Basically, they were like, “Come and sing a couple of songs on the record.” So, the music was written, and I did a couple of songs. Then, they were like, “Ah, what about this song? Try something here.” Ok, I did something there and then they’re like, “Oh, what about this one? Try this one.” So, after about a month of that going on I was like, “How many songs am I on?” They counted it up and were like, “You’re on the whole record.” So, I was like, “Ah, I guess I’m back in the band then!” So, it wasn’t as planned as people think. (laughs) I was definitely gonna do a 20th anniversary thing. I was definitely gonna do a couple of songs with them, but it was just so inspiring to be in the studio with them again. Especially since Skinny and I have had a creative relationship for almost 22 years now. It all just fell into place and it was undeniable, like “Ok, this is what I’m going to do for the next decade.” (laughs)

So, as far as getting the album together, it was just an “Ok, you’re back!” That easy?
J Mann:
Yeah! (laughs) It really kinda happened like that, though. But there were also things that went into the mix of that, too. During the making of the album, we lost a girl that was basically a sister to me and the mother of our drummer’s children; a wonderful woman named Vanessa, and the album became a dedication to her. So, it was kinda like fate. These tragedies brought us back together, times brought us back together, friendships brought us back together, and now let us kind of repay all of those things with an album. I guess the album is basically us paying our debt to the people that we love and the people that have supported us.

Was there anything difficult about getting back into the mix?
J Mann:
No, I think that’s why it happened so suddenly was because it was so smooth and natural. I mean, nothing is forced When it became more obvious that I would be doing more work with the band, I had a conversation with Jeffery and Waylon, the other two singers. I obviously didn't want to do this without their blessing. Jeffrey we had a working relationship for year and year and then Waylon came in. It was like first and foremost, no one’s demoted and nobody’s doing this unless everyone’s on board. It had to be a unanimous thing because I didn’t want to come in and step on anyone’s toes.

What’s up next for you guys?
J Mann:
We’re actually doing a tour that’s going to be like a hip hop rock tour. It’s gonna be us co-headlining with Insane Clown Posse. I think Three 6 Mafia’s on it, and I’m pretty sure Avatar’s on it. So, it’s gonna really be cross-pollinated. Should be fun!

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