1. please introduce yourselves and tell us what you do in the band.
Adam: Hello. This is Adam Savage and I'm the guitarist from Mongrel. The band is
made up of myself (obviously), Jessica Sierra (singer), Mike "Hoagie" Hogan
(drums), and Michael "Blue" Ariza (bass).
2. how did you girls/guys end up coming together as a band?
Adam: I started the band about 11 years ago and we had various line ups
come and go, but until 4 years ago we always had male singers. About 4 years
ago one of them had left the band abruptly and I called on my friend Jess who I
knew through the local scene and was a big fan of her singing to see if she could
cover some shows with us. Longer story shorter, it worked out amazingly well,
she threw her name in the hat for the full time position and it's been awesome
since in that realm. Hoagie's been with us 2 years now and his old band had
played a show with us a year prior so when he saw our listing for a new drummer
on craigslist he got in touch, clicked great with his audition and about 2 weeks
later played his first show with us while opening for the Butcher Babies and Otep
(not a shabby debut if you ask me!). Blue has been with us about a year and a
half now, I had found him on bandmixx.com while looking to find a new bassist.
He came to meet us at a show we were doing with a fill-in bassist and instantly
clicked, the audition went great and I believe it was a couple of weeks later he
debuted with us opening for another national act (no pressure on the newbies eh?).
We've been really lucky with this line up and having such a great team and family
together on this.
3. do the core fans of the band have a particular song they really seem to have latched onto?
Adam: There's a few of them for sure.... "No Gods No Masters" is our anthem essentially and
is always a fun sing-along for the fans.... of the newer stuff I'd say "Snakes" and "Over and Over"
from the new "Evolution" cd are the fan favorites.
4. what is the concept behind the name of your album, "Evolution", what does that mean?
Adam: Essentially it's the next "evolution" of the band, how we write, and taking it all to the
next levels with the people we worked with on the cd. In the past I essentially had written
nearly all of the songs/lyrics/etc. where as now with this line up and with the tunes on
"Evolution" it's much more of a collaborative effort than it had ever been in the band and
it truly has evolved the approach and taken it to that next step I think. The tunes we've
written since recording "Evolution" I think are continuing with that growth and we're all
really excited about how things are going.
5. who is producing "Evolution" and what has the experience been like so far?
Adam: We recorded with Jim Foster at Red 13 Media here in Massachusetts who has
recorded all 4 of our cds we've put out now since Jess joined the group. Jim has worked
on cds from POD, Nullset, Thy Will Be Done, Sully Erna, and he did the new Godsmack
video as well. He really "gets" us at this point and we're incredibly comfortable working
with him and gets the best out of us so that was great. Then thanks to a successful
kickstarter campaign coming through thanks to our amazing friends and fans, we were
able to get Dave Fortman (Slipknot, Otep, Evanescence, Snot, Soil, Godsmack) to mix
the new cd and we got Howie Weinberg (Pantera, Metallica, The Cult, Soundgarden,
Nirvana, and about 85% of my favorite cds of all time) to do the mastering. To top it off we
got Joey James (Otep, Type O Negative, Biohazard, Butcher Babies, etc) to do the
graphic work for the cd so it has been a great experience working with people who's
work I'm a fan of and getting to get them involved in what we're doing.
6. when fans come to a Mongrel show, what kind of show can they hope to see?
Adam: It's typically high energy, fun, intense and hopefully interactive. We love the exchange
with the audience both on stage and off so we're not a band hiding in a dressing room by
any means. We're always hanging out, checking out the other bands and happy to talk to
the fans. We want people to move, have fun, sing/scream along, and to share in the
experience with us. There's not a fancy light show, there's not a fake encore break, there's
no never ending solos, no backing tracks, etc...it's a REAL rock show and we want
everyone to really have a fun and cathartic experience with us.
7. are you girls/guys generally considered to be a good live band?
Adam: Hah hah. Well I certainly hope so! People show up more than once so I'm
guessing we do pretty well ;)
8. describe your typical fan.
Adam: It's hard to say... we've got old school rock fans, some people into punk, some
metalheads, men, women, it's a good cross section honestly. Generally it seems to be
a more aware and really understanding fanbase which is awesome. Our shows are a
safe place for people who may not always feel they fit in so it becomes a cool little
community among the fans. We've seen lots of friendships and even lasting relationships
over the years come from that and it's pretty amazing to see.
9. whats the biggest show you have played so far and how did it go?
Adam: We've been really fortunate and been able to play with bands such as Korn, Gwar,
Danzig, Lacuna Coil, Godsmack, Misfits, Halestorm, etc so I'm not sure quite which was
the "biggest" but all of them have been a great time and gone really well.
10. whats the worst experience you ever had while out touring with the band?
Adam: Technical issues always make for a rough night for sure. Having to fire a band
member (years ago) after a set is never a good evening... Thankfully not things that
couldn't be overcome and learned from.
11. when you're out there on the road, do you have an agenda to connect with people?
Adam: "agenda" seems kind of contrived and corporate but yes, I definitely want to meet
and connect with people when we're out playing shows. That's typically a really fun part
of what we do.
12. if you could put together the "perfect tour", what bands would you pick to tour with and why?
Adam: Let's go with the super fantasy package tour of us with Guns N' Roses, Pearl Jam, and
Metallica then. I think it would be a good fit where our aggressive and more melodic songs
would all fit in, and how could you go wrong getting to listen to all 3 bands every night...maybe
even the fantasy guest appearance or something...
13. whats your favorite band of all time?
Adam: Probably Pearl Jam or Guns N' Roses (hard to say)
14. what is your favorite album or song that you can't stop listening to right now?
Adam: I'm in love with this UK band called Dogstate and their album "Let it Loose" -
think The Cult meets Danzig with more groove to it. It's been in heavy rotation in my
car for MONTHS and never gets old.
15. what are your hopes for the future regarding Mongrel?
Adam: We'd love to get over to the UK sometime. More touring and shows here at
home of course and we want to see how far we can take this while playing by our rules
and doing our own thing and just really not fitting into the cookie cutter "you should
sound like this" mold. As the song "Oxygen Mask" from "Evolution" says, "who knows
what the future brings...."
16. where do you see yourselves in 10 years?
Adam: On tour ? Retired? who knows. lol
17. where are ya from?
Adam: We're based in the north eastern part of Massachusetts and southern New
18. who is the primary writer of the song lyrics?
Adam: For a long time it was me, but now Jess is taking on a bigger role in the lyrics
going forward which I'm excited about so as to get to share some of the responsibilities
in that regard. Plus she's got a lot to say too!
19. do you prefer indoor or out door while playing?
Adam: I prefer indoor shows personally both for playing and for shows I attend.
20. ultimate stage fantasy? what would you most want to happen?
Adam: Is this THAT kind of website?? lol. I'd say getting to guest with one of my favorite
bands or getting one of my favorite artists to do a guest spot with us.
21. what is your hidden talents?
Adam: Keeping talents hidden while answering interviewers questions probably. ;)
I handle most of the band business/management stuff so thankfully I had some natural
instinct and desire to learn that over the years as well. I also make really good french
toast on occasion !
INTERVIEW BY JAX JAXMETALMOOSE@GMAIL.COM