Oct 12 Feature – MTHDS
by Tim Wenger
Before we get in real deep here, let’s cut to the chase and get the facts out of the way. Denver’s most funky-rock, jammed-out, storytelling, funny-face making, badass hip-hop group, the MTHDS, dropped a new album, Pretty Deep, on September 25. They also have a brand new video for theie song “Influences,” which features Chali 2na on one of the verses. The new album, along with the video and all of their previous releases, are currently available for free at mthds.com.
If you caught them at Higher Ground Music Festival or anywhere else recently, you have undoubtedly noticed their captivating, humorous, slightly quirky stage presence. Since the death of MCA, they have performed unforgettable Beastie Boys tribute sets at multiple venues, but their own show holds its own like a good movie: you don’t want to leave to go pee because you might miss that part that everyone will be talking about after it’s over.
MTHDS are becoming known as a band that appeals to fans across genre lines, and this new record serves to further that reputation. “The songs are a little more diverse, but it blends well together,” says drummer Dustin Zentz. “It has good flow to it. There’s a song that (guitarist) Johnny Schleper does the lead on that doesn’t even have any hip hop influence on it.”
“We’re not necessarily trying to appease different genres,” says vocalist Dilz Dillen. “We make these tracks because we like that genre of music. It’s not like, ‘Hey let’s make a punk track for the punk kids, an electro track for the electro kids.’ We do it because we’re like, ‘Yo, wouldn’t this be fun? We end up with these tracks that go in completely different directions.”
The band hit the studio and started laying down tracks with their good friend and fellow Mile High City rocker Josh Fairman of Kinetix running the boards. The smooth-sailing record they came out with is proof that bringing in that outside ear can make a huge difference on the way your album sounds.
“Josh basically produced it,” says Dillen. “Not in the sense that he wrote the songs for us and Shania Twain’d the f**k out of it, but he engineered it, and he had a lot of input. We trusted him because we trust him as a musician.”
“Almost all of the recording was done in Fairman’s basement studio, and then he moved to the Scanhope Sound out by Red Rocks in Morrison for post production. A lot of the mixing was done there on a much more elaborate system. There were a lot of additional resources that he had to put into it, his original basement recordings were really good but he brought it to the next level, and was able to use the utilities that they had available there.”
MTHDS took this album to the next level by having numerous cameo appearances from other musicians. They have shared the stage with Chali 2na multiple times, so having him in for a track was a no brainer. “That was really awesome, having Chali come down and actually write a verse with us. I could tell that he actually sat down, wrote it out, smoked all the weed, and then delivered the most awesome verse that I’ve ever heard,” says Dillen. Also on the record is One Be Lo from Binary Star and Aubz.
“Dilly and Johnny tend to spend the most time in the studio, as far as fine tuning,” says Zentz. “So if anything really sucks, blame Johnny.”
“I think it’s the most cohesive thing that we have done so far,” says Zentz. “It’s funny because we really didn’t plan on doing that initially. We had talked about releasing singles, and then we realized that singles work for producers and dorm room music, practically. But if you’re a band, you can’t do singles because regardless, it takes six hours to set up the drums and mic them, so you might as well just do it, ya know?”
Outside of the record, the band–or at least the drummer–has been a busy man. Zentz tied the knot a few weeks ago, and in true MTHDS style, some craziness went down at the wedding. “We got married in a beautiful area in Montana,” Zentz says. “This dude was great,” he says pointing at Dillen. “He sang “Sexual Healing” while playing the drums, and dedicated it to (my wife’s) dad.”
“He’s way more relaxed now that he’s married,” says Dillen.
The guys are looking to hit some resort towns this winter during ski season to push the record, with a possible full tour going down as well. Check their Facebook page and website for up to date show listings.
Along with the video for “Influences,” the guys have a video for the song “Partay” which they will be debuting at the CD release party November 15 at the Hi-Dive. “Partay” has been a featured single in rotation on MileHighUnderground.com over the summer. Prior to the official CD release, fans can also catch them October 19 at the Belly-Up in Aspen, and alongside March Fourth Marching Band October 27 at the Gothic Theatre.
Fans that feel the urge to support the band can purchase the record off itunes or Bandcamp, but the free download is also available on their website.