Heavy Glow Interview
Neck of the Woods
April 10, 2013


Joe Brooks aka Tommy Prospect (bass), Jared Mullins (guitars/vocals), and Michael Amster (drums).

Joe Brooks aka Tommy Prospect (bass), Jared Mullins (guitars/vocals), and Michael Amster (drums).

If you forget about it, play your music,

and people dig it, then everybody’s happy”

– Jared Mullins

Sean and I were super stoked when we received and email from Heavy Glow’s manager.  They sent us a 7” and I listened to everything that they had up online.  I am super into their modern psychedelic vibe.  After listening to their tunes, I thought it would be interesting to have a chat with the band.

I had never been to Neck of the Woods, the current name of the former Rocket Room, in the inner Richmond.  It is a pretty neat venue with a bar downstairs in which patrons were playing Bar Trivia and a cozy music venue upstairs.  We made contact with the band and headed up stairs. There was a quaint staircase with red walls that looked like a good spot to chat it up.

We started off with introductions.  The men of Heavy Glow are down to earth with a great sense of humor. There was none of that cool guy vibing that often happens when you meet bands. The band is comprised of Jared Mullins (guitars/vocals), Joe Brooks aka Tommy Prospect (bass), and Michael Amster (drums). After a bit of  small talk, I launched into the questions.

Since I am from the Midwest, I am always curious about the migration of others. When I asked Jared why he left Ohio he said, “Well, there is the obvious…weather. With the definite weather changes and the fact that it is still snowing in Ohio right now.” Jared has the air of unpretentiousness that is often found in Midwesterners. He said that he took him years to transition and adapt to the ways of Californians.  “I feel that people in the Midwest don’t really have anything to prove, they are very content being themselves. If they are overweight, they are overweight and they love it. If they like the Browns, they like the Browns. If the Browns suck, they don’t care. They love the Browns more than anybody else ‘cause nobody is pretending to be anything more than they are and that is what I like about the Midwest.”

Jared grew up in Cleveland, where he started playing drums at the age of 11 or 12, before he relocated to San Diego.  Jared has lived in California for 8 years and has maintained his Midwestern bluntness. “Transitioning from there to here – I just fucking say it how it is.  It is just black and white for me and everybody’s like ‘whoa’.” This attitude didn’t stop him, he started playing with a band soon after arriving in California.

Jared met Joe, a native Californian, from a Craigslist post looking for a band additional member.  The pair has been working together for 7 years.   Their bond seems almost brotherly.  He is called Tommy Prospect because they play the porn name game while on the road.  When I asked Joe what it is like working with Jared, he said, “He’s an asshole. But…he’s my asshole.”  That made the bunch of us roar with laughter.  These are hilarious. Joe, then responded by saying,   “It works, you know, I can’t complain”

Joe and Jared posted another Craigslist ad to find Mike.  They sent him a few tracks and let him know that they had a big tour coming up.  He listened to the tracks and “was like, hell yeah, let’s do that.”   Mike joined the band in January, four days before they hit road to play 20 shows.  Joe indicated that they, “Melted face right off the bat”.

Our conversation became a bit more robust when I busted out the question that I was dying to ask – Would you put yourselves in the stoner rock genre?

Jared: I like the rock genre, but it’s hard because you can’t just say we are a rock band because people think…you know, I am from Cleveland…rock band, so okay that is either ah, Kid Rock or Nickelback,  yah know what I mean? So you have to be specific about it.  And if you- I just don’t know what other….I don’t like it I guess.

Mike:  I was just going to say that if you want to call us a stoner rock band you could compare us to bands like Sleep, which are stoner rock bands, but then there is us who are not really in that.

Jared: The stoner thing is just so weird.  If you want to call it that, sure.

I didn’t really WANT to call them anything.  I actually really like a lot of music that is categorized as stoner rock…

Tom:  We are the band that gets invited to go to stoner rock show and brings the bottles of Jameson. That is us. We are drinkers for sure, you know.

Jared:  The hard thing for me, with stoner rock, is that there is not a lot of good songwriting with it and I just kind of get over it. And that is why when people say stoner rock I think of Queens of the Stone Age, but Queens of the Stone Age don’t even like being called a stoner rock band. They prefer desert rock. So, I think it’s hard to say. Queens of the Stone Age is really melodic, they have great guitar tones -they have lots of tones- they are original, they are doing things nobody else is doing. They have the most evil background vocals, like evil Beach Boys harmonies going on and if we get associated with that then I think that is pretty cool. So, it is complicated for me.

Mike is also in Blaak Heat Shujaa out of LA. Blaak Heat Shujaa has done some work with Scott Reeder, a former member of Kyuss.  Mike pointed  that Heavy Glow may get lumped into that category because of their association with other bands in the genre.  Mike said, “We are not; we are more a psych band than anything” regarding the stoner rock genre issue.

Jared summed things up with, “It just seems like everyone is freaked about being sucked into a genre. If you forget about it, play your music, and people dig it, then everybody’s happy, ya know? But, call it whatever you want as long as you are coming to the show and having a good time…Rock and Roll”.

Ladies, Mike is single.  His band mates want you know.


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