Monday, July 27, 2009

Interview with Gannon Hall

Check out this brand new interview I conducted with Gannon in July 2009.

1) Firstly, since Mordred split, what have you been up to ?

After Mordred, I switched gears and become involved in technology and interactive marketing. I'd always been into computers and programming so it was a pretty natural transition for me. I founded an interactive agency '97 that i ran until 2003, at which point I teamed up with a larger marketing communications agency, where i worked until 2007. Now I'm working as chief operating officer for a new media tech start-up here in SF. I was living in NYC for a few years and moved back to SF about a year and a half ago.

2) How do you recall the Mordred days ?

Mostly great memories. A big part of my youth. I was 17 years old when I joined the band. Just a kid. I learned a lot that I still put in practice today. I also learned that life as a musician ultimately wasn't for me, and so I chose a different path.

3) For me 'In This Life' is one of the greatest records ever made, how do you rate the albums the band made ?

I would rate them in this order:In This Life, Vision, Next Room, Fool's Game

4) For me, Mordred without Scott was too hard to accept, what were the band attempting with 'The Next Room' and why did you eventually split up ?

I agree, Mordred without Scott just wasn't Mordred. That was the biggest mistake we made, although at the time Scott's departure was probably inevitable. Scott was a total original and probably a huge contributor to our unique sound. Somehow we lost sight of that. That was a long time ago and I haven't spent much time thinking about it since then. But if I remember correctly, at the time we wanted to make a heavier, more cohesive album, and Scott was becoming increasingly less interested in heavy music. The bottom line is that the record company simply wouldn't release the album Scott wanted to make-- they absolutely hated the demos we sent them. In some ways they were right, the new songs had fragments of good ideas, but didn't totally work. They were unfinished sketches and lacked focus. Scott however was uncompromising and would have none of the label's feedback. The other guys in the band, we wanted to continue as Mordred and didn't see how we could do that without capitulating to at least some of the label's feedback. In retrospect though, Scott was right. We should have figured out a way to continue, even without a label. We should have ignored everyone's opinions other than our own. Not sure how much longer I would have lasted personally, but regardless of my involvement, if Mordred had continued with Scott I'm sure some good music would have come of it.

5) Mordred were always ahead of their time, but they got lumped in with the sickly 'funk metal' trend. How well/bad did that affect the band ?

Of course today that would never happen, as audiences are more comfortable with musical diversity. In the late 80s and early 90s all music was labeled. Even so called alternative bands had a very specific "alternative" sound. We hated being labeled funk metal, but we were also (at least I was), equally embarrassed to be labeled just a metal band.

6) Having a DJ was monumental, but how hard was it getting the band accepted in metal circles ?

We didn't identify with that scene at all. I thought it was ridiculous actually. The music we were creating was honest. We were playing exactly what we wanted to play without regard for trends or scenes. This was very much a reflection of who we were and where we came from. We were a diverse band from a diverse city. Our influences ranged from Joy Division to Iron Maiden to Bad Brains to The Police. Our intro tape to live performances was a William Burroughs monologue! We had very little in common with most of the metal bands and felt a closer affinity to the more experimental bands of the time.

7)I saw Mordred 4 times at The Marquee, how well do you recall those days and recording 'In This Live' ?

We were at the top of our game. I remember those shows very well. Incredibly exciting time.

8) What are the chances of Mordred getting back together for real ?

For me personally there is no chance of doing anything even somewhat serious. But, I'm only the drummer :) I'd love to see the line-up with Scott and Danny back together.

9) Do you have any Mordred photo's to share ?

I don't unfortunately. I wasn't a good record keeper.

10) How much do you hear the sound of Mordred in today's bands ?

I definitely hear it in bands like Linkin Park and a few others. Although I doubt those guys ever heard Mordred. Most likely they simply share a similar philosophy and set of influences.

11) What stuff are you listening to nowadays ?

My music taste continues to be eclectic but I suppose I mostly listen to what the kids these days are calling "indie rock." Bands like Band of Horses, MGMT, M83, Cut Copy, Bon Iver, etc. The only heavy bands I listen to are NIN and Tool.

12) Are you still in touch with ex-Mordred members ?

Not very often, but like a close family, years can go by and when you see each other again it's like no time has past at all. I have tremendous love and respect for everyone in the band.

13)I have a letter from you from around 1994, do you recall sending it ? ha!

I don't. I hope I was nice.

14) What are your thoughts on the Mordred website ?

It's great! Thanks for keeping the memories alive.

15)Any messages for Mordred fans ?

Thanks for all the support over the years.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Mordred members on Facebook.

Scotty, Gannon, Pause and Danny White have Facebook profiles. I took these two photo's from Gannon's photo collection ha! (Thanks Gannon!)

Hi-Nobles album update.

Scotty mentioned that the album should be out in September...can't wait.