This is the first of hopefully many interviews for Hovercraft Plastic. This one set the bar pretty darn high. CT’s Mission Zero really had fun with it much like their live performances. Be sure to check out their upcoming CT dates:
Oct 9 – Hoops n Hops, Simsbury
Oct 10 – The Space, Hamden
Oct 29 – Best Video, Hamden
What is your most memorable show and why?
We both agree that the show we recently played at the Ballroom at the Space Complex in Hamden was our most memorable. We had played the other two stages there and had always looked forward to playing the “crown jewel” so to speak. We had a great time with the other bands in the lineup (Glamour Assassins, Brighter Than A Thousand Suns, and If Jesus Had Machine Guns), and the crowd was fantastic! At one point during a song somebody in the front started singing a third harmony part along with us and it was REALLY GOOD. Who knew? Moments like that are pretty great.
Everyone has their opinion of who you sound like, but what are the band’s main influences?
C: We share a lot of the same influences, like Duran Duran…
C: Peter Gabriel.
D: Oh nice one! The Police
C: Yes. Not the band Yes. I’m agreeing with you. About the Police.
D: Bjork, Radiohead, The Eurythmics…
C: Yeah – and actually those are the three bands people seem to bring up most when they’re making direct comparisons to our sound.
D: Who else do we totally love and are forgetting here? Massive Attack? They’re a big influence on me.
C: For me it’s also Jane’s Addiction.
D: OH MY GOD. Yes. There’s a truckload more too of course…
Do either of you have day jobs? If so what/where?
C: David’s “day job” is playing with guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. We also both play in other bands, and I play as a solo singer/guitarist.
(Chenot) What is your favorite aspect of the Roland Juno Di?
C: I love the Roland Juno Di! I keep discovering new things about it. For example, today I realized that the secret compartment that’s supposed to house flash drives should not ever house guitar picks. Now there are at least two stuck inside the keyboard somewhere. Anyway it’s super lightweight and portable (I’m flying with it for the second time when we go to the west coast this week) and it has endless variations on gorgeous, interesting preset sounds. Carrie from Glamour Assassins has the same synth. We geeked out over that for a while.
(David) What is the best kit you have ever played, and why?
D: I’ve had the opportunity and pleasure to play a ton of different kits. It’s possible to make any (quality) brand of drums sound great, but what I appreciate is when people make a drum kit work well for a specific purpose. For example, a well-tuned jazz kit would not work in a death metal situation, and vice-versa, but both kits would be considered excellent-sounding. I currently have two Fibes kits, and love them both. The kit I play live with Mission Zero is a standard four-piece setup, but I have the toms tuned very low and use coated heads to get a deep yet mellow sound from them. I play Dream cymbals – they’re the best sounding cymbals I’ve ever played, and I haven’t broken one yet! I also created a hardware setup out of recycled stands and sheet metal that allows me to set up the kit exactly the same way every time and prevents anything from moving on stage, which most drummers will tell you is often a problem!
What was the inspiration for the band name?
C: It’s a play on my name. Miss Chenot. Mission…oh. Get it?
Please explain a typical Sunday.
D: After rehearsal we go straight to the nearest burger joint and sacrifice a milkshake. To the sugar gods.
C: If we run out of rehearsal snacks things get very low.
D: In all seriousness we really don’t have typical Sundays. That’s one of the best things about being a full-time musician.
C: Half the time I don’t know what day it is if I don’t have a gig.
Did either of you play high school sports?
C: We are not sporty.
D: That’s not true. We’re sporty. We just didn’t sports in high school.
C: Yes there was no sportsing. I do summer sport things (surfing mostly) and David does wintery things like snowboarding and non-competitive ice driving.
What record or artist made you realize, “hey I can do this”?
C: Our Mom! All the time. Every time she hears someone on the radio she can’t stand she goes, “This is awful, why are they doing this? You should be doing this, you’re much better than this.” Actually, singing with her when I was little was what started me in the right direction.
D: Like so many of my generation, the illustrious Neal Peart from Rush. He made me realize I was going to be a drummer. I heard “Tom Sawyer” on the radio and that was that.
Where do you see Mission Zero in 20 years?
C: I want to see us in every city everywhere, playing gigs where a whole bunch of people buy tickets to hear us, and enjoy it so much they come back every time we’re in town. Not millions and millions necessarily; just enough so we can play beautiful old ballrooms and mid-size concert halls around the world and still walk down the street at home without getting mobbed by the paparazzi.
D: I agree.
C: Oh wait, TWENTY years? Maybe we do all that way sooner and in 20 years we retire to our private islands. Maybe.
What is the one thing that scares you the most in life?
D: Human civilization collapsing because we can’t get it together to fix our problems.
C: We’ve written a few songs about that: “Lotus” from our latest EP “People in Glass Yachts” is a nod to that fear. “The Stickers Song” off of “Sky Candy” is based on that idea as well.
What was your last sibling argument over? Pick one; family, politics, music.
C: David’s girlfriend just bought him an expensive bottle of scotch and he left it at home instead of bringing it here to share with his sister. So, politics I guess.
D: I respect Taylor Swift! Leave me alone!