Monday, May 7, 2012

Bill Weedo of MENTAL DECAY!!!

Mental Decay are 30 year NJ Punk rock vets. These guys are still hashing it out and have just released a two disc set of older material thru Working Class Records. Bill Weedo, Mental Decay's frontman and only original member, took some time out from being his bad self to talk to me about his 30 year journey.

Mental Decay is celebrating it's 30th year as a band. Did you think the project would go this far
when you started it? 

Bill Weedo: Nope. We thought the hardcore movement would last forever.. When your in a band its like being married to so many personalties that eventually theres a boiling point. We've had so many different lineups so it just takes on a life of its own. This lineup is the BEST I've ever played with and known on a personal level. So we'll ride this as long as we're having fun playing.

You recently released a two CD set of early material on Working Class Records. Tell us
about the albums and when the work was recorded. 

Bill Weedo: Our 1st release was on Buy Our Records in 1983 or 84. Then we just put out 4 singles with Headache Records from 1987 or 88 to 1992. The last one was on my label Trout Records titled "Elvis DeMilo" and that was in 94.

Mental Decay has gone thru some changes over the years. When do you feel you were most productive? 

Bill Weedo: Writing wise was definately the 90's. There was so much to draw off of and we were all in the zone. As far as performing live, it is without a doubt now!!! Its so much fun with Jack, Tommy, Greg, Mike and Jimmy. We all love the music and don't take anything for granted. Besides, we love being the old guys when we play with the younger crowds. They must look at us and wonder who brought their dads and then BANG, we fire up the Marshalls and Gibsons and school em.

Is there a strategy or method to your music? Where do you draw your lyrical ideas from? 

Bill Weedo: For me personally, I draw from my or someone elses life experiences and sometimes current events. I tend to write as a 3rd person looking at the situation from the outside. I write with irony I guess. Sometimes I'm in your face, but mostly I try to paint a picture mentally. I'll get a topic or theme and just roll it over and over in my head until I come up with a melody, or sometimes the melody comes 1st. The greatest part is Jack being able to interpret my gibberish melodies into music. 

Is there a favorite show or a memorable bill from your vast history that stands out? 

Bill Weedo: For me, I loved the CBGB & A7 shows with all the NY bands. Not too many Jersey bands were respected by them but I think we were. Agnostic Front, Crumbsuckers, Corrosion of Comformity, all great shows. But honestly, I really believe that the shows we're doing now mean more to me. Just the love and respect we got at the Stanhope House gave me chills onstage!! I'm proud to be able to still do this and having the new generation embrace us is a testiment to our music.

How are you celebrating this milestone? Most bands don't make 2 years let alone 30. 

Bill Weedo: Just playing as much as we can, reaching out to a new generation of kids.

How do you feel music rates in compared to when you first started? Do the bands work as hard in the
post internet world? 

Bill Weedo: Todays music sucks, honestly. The band names are horrible (not that Mental Decay is a great name). Its all watered down and rehashed with no true feeling and soul. I'd love to have a hit song if possible, but I write how I write and I won't compromise for success. Having said that, I also believe that the bands are good at what their playing. I see the bands now and about 50/50 work hard. Man you gotta play the dives and bust your ass in this business, and still the chances of success are slim. That's why you gotta write for yourself and what you believe in. I ain't a critic or anyone to pass judgement, its just my opinion. 

Is there any new Mental Decay songs in the works? Can we expect a new record in the future?

Bill Weedo: I'd love to get new material out. Sometimes life takes precedence over music. As soon as we have time, there will be some new material. The process of writing and rehearsing, then fine tuning a song can be time consuming. I don't believe I can write a song in 5-10 minutes anymore. This lineup deserves to put their stamp on vinyl/disc and I will do all I can to make that happen. Like I said earlier, this group of guys are the BEST I've ever played with, bar none.