Mission of Burma, with Minibeast and Bugs and Rats, at the Regent Theatre
Mission of Burma, with Minibeast and Bugs and Rats to Benefit Somerville Local First; Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 7:30 PM at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, 7 Medford St, Arlington.
Legendary Boston punk band Mission of Burma will return to the (almost)
scene of the crime this upcoming weekend when they play a benefit concert for Somerville Local First on Sunday, February
9, 2014 at the Regent Theatre in Arlington. No, it’s not the Rat or Cantone’s
and it’s not 1981 either, (although you wouldn’t know it by drummer Pete
Prescott’s enthusiasm), but the Regent is fast becoming one of my favorite
Prescott says it’s become something of a
tradition for the band (which influenced groups like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, R.E.M
and Sonic Youth) to play a Boston area gig to start the year, and he says
it almost didn’t happen this time around. “Since we’ve been playing
together again (the band reformed in 2002 after splitting up in 1983 due to
guitarist Roger Miller’s tinnitus) for some reason we always ended up doing a
local show in the dead of winter, but it looked like that wasn’t going to
happen this year. But Clint (bassist Clint Conley) amazingly enough became a
grandfather this year – a grand-punk – and his daughter was having a baby in
January, so he said ‘Let’s not do it this year, because I want to be around
when she has the child’, so it almost didn’t come off.”
But luckily for Boston fans, M.O.B. got an offer to play in New York, then
a Philly date was added, and the opportunity to do the Somerville benefit
materialized. “It all just fell into place, a little bit later than usual,
so I guess we’re just fated to play in the dead of winter.” Events INSIDER
got a chance to talk with Prescott last week as the band prepared for their
Events INSIDER: It seems you guys do these mini-tours – the Midwest, Europe
and East Coast – in bursts. How do you fit them into your schedule?
Prescott: When we’re promoting a record and it’s out, we try to go most
places, but in between those periods of time, I think um…my mind just went to
‘Why are we still together?’ (laughs) It’s pretty mysterious at this point. We
never talk about this, but I have a feeling that maybe we value it more than
ever…in a bizarre way. Because we know…none of us will ever play in a band
like this again. At our age, it’s this
amazing rush to push yourself (this way). It’s sort of a violent band to play
in. Although violent may not be, the right word, maybe intense.
Events INSIDER: Very intense.
Prescott: So the idea that we’re still able to do that…it becomes this
very precious thing. You don’t want to besmirch it. I think we’ve always been
motivated by the idea that we desperately don’t want to embarass
ourselves. So whenever we do play, we
always try to make it make it feel like it’s the last time we’ll ever play. And
it’s not lost on us how incredibly rare it is to be in your mid-fifties and be
able to play in a band like this. So whenever it comes up that people are still
interested in people having us do it, we just put our heads down and go into
it. So whenever we do a little tour like this and we’re all done and we don’t
see each other for a month or something, I think we’re all left with this feeling
that we’re all still ecstatic to be able to do it.
Events INSIDER: Did you really think you’d be playing basically ‘punk rock’
when you were in your fifties?
Prescott: The first answer to that is: No. What am I insane? But I guess
you don’t think about it. Roger’s a lifetime musician. Clint likes to think
he’s not, but he is. And I pretty much seem to be doing it for the rest of my
life. You don’t look ahead so much when you come from what was always an
alternative lifestyle. You sort of take each day as you’re doing it…and I’m
glad its punk rock and believe me, the three of us are as…we get as pissed
off as ever. Although I suppose it looks more like the grumpy old dude who
wants the kids to stop playing in his yard. When you’re younger you’re a punk rocker,
when you’re older you’re a grumpy old man.
Events INSIDER: But it’s still a lot of fun. I have some friends in their
fifties who play in a punk cover band and I ask them why they do it and they
say, ‘Because it’s F-ing awesome. That’s why. ‘
Prescott: That’s it. That is the answer, and you can’t get around that. I
mean, it’s not a new tradition. Howlin’ Wolf was playing when he was pretty
F-ing old. So the idea that people are playing aggressive music late in their
lives is becoming commonplace now. As long as you’ve got the physical energy
and the interest – do it.
Events INSIDER: I think that when younger people hear (great old Boston
punk bands like Mission of Burma, the Neighborhoods, LaPeste/Peter Dayton Band,
Unnatural Axe, and Nervous Eaters) covers and they’re blown away. I was driving with a guy about 30 years old and told him about the show, and he just pops in his MP3 player and starts blasting “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver” that Moby covered. So he knew you guys.
Prescott: I do think one cool thing that’s going on now is that kids aren’t
so ageist. They’ll go see an old fart band if the old fart band does something
interesting. They’ll have an open mind for it. Ten or fifteen years ago, it was
like ‘Man, I don’t want to see Grandpa here. And now I think enough people that
are 20-25 are open to it if something was going on. I like to think that the
energy and the intensity transcends age.
It certainly does. For more info, go to: http://missionofburma.com/
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