Live preview: Monster Magnet

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The upcoming London show is based on four Monster Magnet albums – Superjudge, Dopes To Infinity, Powertrip and God Says No – that are being reissued in expanded form. “I’m really looking forward to it, especially with the Orange Goblin guys as support. Nowadays all of the rock action is in Europe and the UK; the States is a weird place.”

Monster Magnet have already played several album-themed shows, revisiting Dopes To Infinity and Spine Of God, and have even returned to the studio to ‘reimagine’ recent releases Mastermind and Last Patrol. Has the focus been too much on the retrospective?

No. Because once you have a bunch of albums in your catalogue it’s important to keep them alive. We have 11 records, and it’s our responsibility to play them, not consign them to the dustbin. It feels natural, and it’s also what the fans want.

When will we hear something completely new from Monster Magnet?

I haven’t much felt like writing, to be honest. It’s got to be something good, not for the sake of releasing something. There are some new ideas, and I hope we’ll release an album by the end of this year.

Celebrating four individual albums in one night is quite a challenge. It’ll be a long show.

Yeah. And I’m not the Grateful Dead, so I’ll boil it down to the most interesting elements. We’ll play some deep cuts from those records and the things people will expect. I might deconstruct the more heavily produced moments from the A&M Records years and present them in a garage-y, evil psych trip kind of way. It’s less about the set-list than the vibe.

You’ve had a hand in these new editions of those old records, haven’t you?

I did a series of interviews with Malcolm Dome, trying to provide a bird’s-eye view of how they were made.

What do they tell us about Monster Magnet that the original versions didn’t?

Each record has a ton of bonus material – BBC sessions, B-sides and tossed-away tracks – that have stood up to the test of time better than I imagined. It was an education for me.

The press release refers to Monster Magnet as an “antidote to the grunge and nu metal scenes of the 90s”. What does that mean?

That’s probably a polite way of saying that we didn’t fit what was cool back then… and we still don’t.

Monster Magnet play London Forum on March 19.

Classic Rock 221: News & Regulars