Mr. California and the State Police (Pop/Rock/Punk

Written by Jonny Havoc

Mr. California and the State Police
Posted Oct 14, 2008.

Hello How are you doing today?
Not bad. Tired. Sober.

Where did you come up with the name Mr. California?
Well, the full name is Mr. California and the State Police . . . the State Police is the name of the drum machine. I wanted to have a name that sounded like there was more than one person in the band. After doing this thing for almost nine years now I've gotten tired of throwing the "and the State Police" at the end, so it get's shortened now and then. Also, I've started doing projects with other people so the band name gets changed accordingly.

How hard is it being in a band with no one other then your self, Or is it easer?
It takes four times as long to record on a four-track. The ups and downs of control issues are pretty obvious. You don't have anyone to argue with about executing an idea. However, you only have yourself to blame when it comes down to the end result of what an LP or EP sounds like. For the most part, I'm fairly satisfied with the process. Besides, I do have people that I play new material to, to see what there reactions might be to it.

Have you been in any other bands before Mr. California?
Nothing you've heard of. While doing this solo thing I was in a band called BUTTON Boys. We've got a myspace page. We've been broken up for over a year now but music is slowly being released. A 7" came out on Kenrock six months ago and another one should be out around Christmas time.

What are your major infulances for your music today?
Everything is an influence. Bland music makes me know what I have stay away from doing. Horrible music can be good sometimes. I've always been attracted to novelty music and punk rock just seemed like a natural extension of that to me. Then there are the people that have been around since the begining. Alessandro and Davide, from The Grabbies has been great influences in showing me wonderful music that they have heard and enjoyed. Those are the kind of people that I can just talk and talk and talk to hours about music with and never get tired. My friends Brian and Miles are like that too. People with vast music knowledge inspire me to make more music.

What were some of your favorite bands when growing up? And yes i want to know about the New Kids On The Block and Jackson 5 obsession...
"ABC" by the Jackson 5 is a great song! I'm not obsessed with pop music but it certainly has been an influence. I used to listen to American Top 40 every week when I was a kid. Then it was the live 4 hour version of the Dr. Demento Show that used to air every Sunday evening on KMET. That was the great part of living in Southern California at that time. Everyone else got the two hour syndicated program but we got the live for hour show and you could call in and talk to Weird Al or Barnes and Barnes. After KMET got sold, I started listening to Rodney on the Roq.

You have realised a bunch of CD's, 7" which one has done the best so far?
Everything sells out eventually. I heard that one of the early 7"s fetched $18.50 on E-bay . . . but I suppose it really depends on what you determine as "best". Lots of people claim that the split 7"s I did with Vilently Ill and The Weird Turned Pro are best. Others think that the first CD "I'm Gonna Kick You In The Head" is best because it was recorded on an 8-track and the rest were done on a 4-track. Personally, I think there is some great stuff that hasn't seen the light of day yet, but eventually.

What can we expect from you in the future in the way of a new CD or LP?
I got a few 7" that will be coming out over the next couple of months and a split CD with a band called Death Hunt that will come out around the begining of next year.

I saw your did a split 7" with Shoot It Up, how did that go and how did it work out?
The guys in Shoot It Up are awesome!!! I was lucky enough to be able to help engineer the recording of their LP. The live in Long Beach and I live in the East Bay but I go to LA every couple months or so to visit my Mom. Joe from Shoot It Up and I have recorded a bunch of stuff. There will be some 7"s of those recording coming out. Also, he and D-Rock played the guitars on the new Mr. California and the Flintstone Sound Express 7" that just got released on Kenrock. They are a small but effective label based out of Sweden.

A show with one guy on stage, could you maybe walk us through how a show experience with you would be?
I play guitar and use a drum machine. I play a set that consists of around 40 songs in less than 25 minutes. If all goes well I just hit the button on the drum machine play all the songs in a rapid order. Most of my songs are pretty short so it's a fairly easy thing to execute as long as I've got my sense of timing in check.

What do you think of UFO's?
I believe in the unknown but I don't know what it is!!!

Have you heard, the bird is the word?
Everyone's heard about the bird.

What do you think of Big Smile Magazine?
It's amazing all the rad stuff that can just be sitting in cyberspace, just waiting to tickle one's own brain!!!

Anything that you would like to say to all your fans reading this?
Thanks for all the encouragement and support over the past years. It's been the prime motivation for my on-going output.

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