Mild High Club: Lodown Interview

Mild High Club: Lodown Interview

  • November 09, 2015

Renko Heuer from the always excellent Lodown Magazine caught up with Alex from Mild High Club recently for an interview published in issue #98. Here's a piece of the story titled "Whirl of Wet Salsa"

Not to be confused with the infamous "mile high club" – a loose collection of individuals who claim to have had sexual intercourse while on board a flying aircraft – Los Angeles based Mild High Club is the silky, fuzzy brainchild of Alexander Brettin, joined by a shape-shifting cast of (international) players who are also interested in mild highs, hot pies, tie-dyes, blood-shot eyes, vanilla skies, caressed thighs, 60s vibes, shaggy haircuts, and classic, analog-style West Coast pop and psych flavors ... Overwhelmed by the dreamy DIY charms of MHC's debut album Timeline, we even forgot to ask Alexander about the other MHC perverts - but at least he confessed to be somewhat scatterbrained as well ...


Lodown: Alexander, how's life these days? How does it feel to have a wild and amazing album coming out this month?
Alexander Brettin: Life is great. Life is exciting. Every day a new city.

Yeah, I've seen your tour schedule ... looks like quite a trip. I guess it's the first tour of this scope for you, or did you have any prior musical project that also dedicated so much time to being on the road?
Nope, this is pretty much the first one. This is the first band that has some serious touring going on. I once took a trip from Baltimore to Mexico with Run DMT, but that was pretty much it. That was in 2013.

What did you learn from sharing stages with greats such as Wire, Mac DeMarco, Mikal Cronin, and Ariel Pink?
I don't know. I learned that there's different types of music for different types of people. I learned that Wire got heavier in the last twenty years. I learned that Mac DeMarco has a lot of teenybopper fans, like screaming their heads off. I learned that I never played with Ariel Pink, like, live. I learned a lot from Wire because they're like, legends. I learned how to drink a lot of beer at the Mac DeMarco show, in front of a lot oflittle kids. That was cool. Apart from being on stage and in the studio, what's the greatest kind of high you can imagine? The greatest high that I can imagine, is jumping out of an airplane like head first. That would be crazy. Or like, being in outer space. I guess leaving the planet is about the greatest high you can get.

And how about a perfect mild high? How mild, how high?
Let's say that mild is like, 98 degrees and rising. How high is like, Method Man and Redman. Like a wet salsa.

Who exactly is part of the club anyway? Any members one can't see or hear - but maybe feel, as a sort of presence?
Well, we have a ton of different members and all are really talented. Right now we're traveling with our boy Spencer Jenich, he's just pretty much a beast on the keys. He can play it all. Also Matt Roberts, he's, like, uh, Minnesota's finest jazz and metal drummer, and like everything in between. We recently plucked him from his last gig, which was playing drum~ in Dee Snider's Rock & Roll Christmas Tale. That's Dee Snider from Twisted Sister.

Wow. How long have you been based in LA anyway, and what about the Midwest connection?
We've been in LA for almost two years now, about a year and a half. The Midwest connection is, like, that's where I grew up. So everything that came from the Midwest was there before I got there, because that's where I'm from, wh.ere I went to college. My mom still lives in Illinois. At any given time half the band is from the Midwest. Or anywhere. We've even had international members. It's an international player's club. We've had Canadians play with us, Californians play with us, Michiganites ...

Back in the Midwest, did you grow up with a lot of 60s and psychedelic tunes around the house?
No, well, the first album I got from my parents was Sgt. Pepper, and for the longest time I thought it was a children's album, so there's that. I also heard a fair amount of Steely Dan as a child, Pink Floyd, Sade, which at the time I wasn't into but now she's dope. My dad had, like, random compilations with songs like "Crystal Blue Persuasion," and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. There was a lot of music in my house, but my parents were never musicians, they were just like, cool. It was always more of a soulful, jazzy kinda thing around the house because my parents weren't really hippies. Although they did graduate high school in 1969. I'm very blessed to have had parents with some taste.

How important is weed whim it comes to inspiration?
I'm inspired by everything. Weed is just another facet of the world I consume.

So what else seems to be very inspirational as oflate?
Musically, Donald Fagen "The Night Fly," also, like, going on tour with these dope-ass Australians King Gizzard. Also, something that's really inspiring is having some fans at these shows now that the album's come out. It seems like there's at least one fan at every show that seems to know the music and comes up and thanks me, and that inspires me to push myself as far as I can with the next record and inspires me to make more. Knowing that people are actually, like, listening. Besides me.

What else can you announce for the remainder of the year?
We're gonna finish this tour in a week, and then we're gonna do it again. We have a homecoming/ record release show in LA in two weeks at this crazy historic mansion, then we're going to New York for CMJ. Also, we're going to Tijuana in November to have the craziest party with our boys The Memories. I can also announce my birthday. November 27th.