The vibrant and awakening sound
By Savannah Mul
It’s psychedelic rock, jam, and funk. As described by Russ Harris, the drummer of The Mushroom Cloud, “It’s a vibrant sound and we want to be awakening to people, where our music will put them in the present.”
For the past 12 years Paul, guitarist, along with Russ Harris, drummer, two brothers hailing from Cheshire Connecticut, and Charlie Mazur from Westchester New York, have been playing music all their lives. Before Mazur fully joined The Mushroom Cloud in early December of 2011, a keyboardist was part of the jam band as well, but due to differences left the group. Currently, the band is still looking to fill that sound and find a dedicated keyboardist to replace the missing element within the music.
It wasn’t until the later part of 2010 where Paul and Russ decided that they wanted to truly dedicate themselves to music.
“We’ve been playing music our whole lives,” said Paul, “and thought, we can really get into this. That’s when we started becoming more serious and our jams became more focused.”
The Mushroom Cloud is currently a three-piece instrumental jam, funk, rock band where they’ve been together for about a year and have played 40 shows within the New England region and have future plans of expanding in to Boston. The Mushroom Cloud has shared the stage with Cosmic Dust Bunnies and played at the Bella Terra Music Festival this past summer in New York.
“It was a struggle in determining whether to add vocals to our sound or not, we’re an instrumental band,” Russ explains. They had plans to add vocals into their songs, but at times it felt too forced and the members agree and appreciate how each instrument can stand up on their own, without the vocals to support it.
“We wanted people to connect to just to what we were playing, rather than what we had to say,” Russ said.
If the addition of lyrics feels right to the members to add within select songs, Paul said “We’re not always against adding vocals in the future, we’re constantly changing.”
Paul explains how the band aims for music that people would want to dance to in a live situation and they want the crowd to notice they aren’t afraid to take chances within their music.
“I want people to come see us and realize that we really love what we’re doing and each song really means a lot to us.”
Mazur explains within the year of being with the band, they have already done so much and said if people can do anything when they come see them perform it would be, “to dance and get lost within our music.”
When performing on stage the band plays from memory while keeping their live performances as interesting as possible. In doing so, they play parts of their songs differently by extending riffs and drumbeats, and incorporating transitional jams and riffs that flow into each new song.
On Sept. 21 Mushroom Cloud released their first debut album available for free download on reverbnation.com/themushroomcloud. It contains 60-minutes of original music.
Russ says “A new show almost every time is crucial.” The band doesn’t want to play and sound the exact same way as recorded on their album. They said they improvise a lot on stage with transitio ns into songs and want to make their live performances as compelling as possible.
“We’re not trying to sound like anyone else, and we have a really high energy sound and are still learning and playing our hardest,” Russ said. The band describes performing as a battle with giving their most and putting their best in the music. With breaking strings and bleeding hands at the end of the night, the band agrees that nothing is better than doing what they love and are happy doing it.
Next the band has plans of putting out a second album as well as looking for a replacement keyboardist to add to their psychedelic sound. Upcoming shows The Mushroom Cloud will be playing include Nov. 15 at Arch Street Tavern in Hartford and Nov. 29 at Toad’s Place in New Haven.