The Mad Doctors | The Family Interviews
Meet The Mad Doctors
Doctors, quacks, shrinks, physicians…whatever you call ‘em, ya don’t want to cross your medical professional. Could get a bit dicey.
Luckily, The Mad Doctors are not licensed to treat anyone. The Brooklyn-based three-piece specialize in punk, surf, and a whole lot of heavy rock. After a prodigious career, they’ve gone onto greener pastures, but took the time to let us pick their brains after the release of their farewell album, R.I.P.
Below, we chat incessant toe-stubbing, a dumpling-heavy diet, and get their two-cents on the metal scene in NYC.
Read on, listen away, drink some water, eat your veggies, take a walk.
LETTER TO A LOVELORN COLUMNIST: A Mad-Lib by The Mad Doctors
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts:
I've been engaged to the same man for 32 years. He keeps
telling me he MINES me, but we need to wait to get ATE until he makes more FRIENDS. If we marry now, we will have to SIMMER with my mother and eat TELEPHONES every day. But isn't CHUNKY love worth that? Should I put my STOMACH down and set a date, or just continue to be FROZEN?
Dear Young Lady:
Don't do anything SLIMY. Something worth BARFING on is worth POLE-VAULTING for. I don't think eating PUNCHING BAGS with the man you SWEAT is bad, but eating PUNCHING BAGS and living 32 miles away from your mother is better.
Would You Rather…
get in contact with ghosts or aliens? What would you say?
Aliens. They'd be way more interesting. Ghosts are just us from a different time period - aliens would have completely different perspectives! It'd be like talking to a frog. We'd ask all the basics: what's interstellar travel like, how is it to be of a superior intellect, what's TV like on other planets, how's the sushi, yada yada. Gotta see if they have any good travel tips - it'd be cool to be the first (humans, at least) to get the insider scoop of what's up in Messier 81 before just going there with no real plans and wasting a bunch of time and money.
Some Questions with The Mad Doctors
Digital, Records, CD, or Cassette. Which is your favorite format of music? Why?
They're all great. It depends on where we are. Some vans only have CD players, some only have tape players. Obviously, it's nice to throw on an LP and hang out with the buds and you listen to the whole damn thing. Tapes are cool cuz they're cheap and it's easy to take a chance on something new. The lo-fi quality can sound really nice, especially if the band is going for a similar thing. CDs are probably least favorite, personally, just because they don't feel personal but they still take up space (kind of the worst portions of physical and digital media). But it's all just a way to digest music and try to connect with it.
Do you remember the last time you stubbed your toe? What happened?
Every friggin week. It seems my toe-eye coordination is lacking cuz my little toe gets smacked all. the. time.
Having put out a steady stream of releases since 2013 are you happy looking back at all the work you did?
For sure! This is how we learned the whole process! It is Greg's first band and Josh's first band on bass. Seth had a few bands and recording projects in high school so had more experience on that end, which helped us put the whole thing together and make recording much, much easier than it would have been. But yeah! It's great hearing what we were doing at all these different periods of our lives both as a band and not. They're little time capsules and you can hear where our skill level was, what we were clearly listening to, how we were trying to work with production, how we were learning the ropes. The tunes still hold up and we definitely play old tunes in our live set to this day.
What is the food you get delivered most often? Do you have a favorite place to get it from?
Chinese, most likely. Or Thai. Or Indian. Who knows? It turns out American Asian foods make up most of our takeout orders...
But any way you slice it, dumplings, in one form or another, are probably 60% of my (Greg)'s diet and so also makes up a significant amount of delivery orders.
What is your take on the current Metal scene in NYC?
Unsure - we are more in the garage/punk/heavy rock scene moreso than the straight metal scene. It can be splitting hairs but in NYC, there are tons of micro scenes that exist based on venues, friend groups, etc. But ours is a little less aggressive, more driving. It's not a huge difference but I have noticed that our fans and friends are attracted to bands that push the boundaries but still remain fun. It's like the difference between music to rip down the highway to vs. split someone's skull to. But our scene is great! Lots of buds, lots of folks trying to make great music, and not a ton of ego.
Do you drive? Are you a good driver?
Greg and Josh drive - they each do the lion's share of the tour driving. Seth also drives but doesn't love it so he's the "navigator/front seat napper." Are we good? Well, let's say we haven't had any issues...
What has been your biggest high together as The Mad Doctors?
Well...one of our songs - Justin's a Cop - was featured in a video for an Australian clothing line shot in a hemp field. The video had a bunch of folks skating a half-pipe they erected in the middle of the field and the whole thing was then featured on High Times. Not bad for a bunch of dudes that, combined, probably smoke less than an 1/8th a year.
Where did you grow up? Did it shape the music you are making today?
Josh and Greg grew up on Long Island (Locust Valley and Rocky Point, respectively) and Seth in Westfield, NJ. Seth was the most prolific of all of us, having played in a number of bands in high school, gigging around the state and opening for bigger bands like Derek Trucks and Mountain. Josh also played in bands on the Island but Greg didn't. The Mad Doctors are his first band that ever actually had songs and played gigs.
Where do you go to escape the city?
What was the best interaction you ever had with a fan?
Probably outside of a show in Pittsburgh. I dunno if I'd say they were a fan but we played with some dudes in a great fuck-off side project type band called The Shit Boys. We were just finishing up our second LP and were trying to figure out what to name it. We are usually pretty fast and loose with names for songs, records, what-have-you. So this dude is drunk off his ass and describing what he thought of us and described us as "really heavy...surf-like NO WAVES, JUST SHARKS" and I turned to the dudes and said, "That's the name of the new record."
What hairstyle would you like to see become popular in 2019?
I mean, the proliferation of the mullet has been forthcoming for years now...
Do you have any routines/rituals during a practice?
Not so much during practice - but every time we leave town for tour, we always have to listen to Queens of the Stone Age's 'Songs for the Deaf' as we leave the city. It has pulled us through many tours and we consider it a good-luck charm. If we don't do it, we're clearly cursed.
If you were running for mayor of New York, what would be your slogan be?
It Could Be Worse!
Do you have any future projects on the horizon?
Always! Seth is heading up his 10-person soul/funk/psych project Ghost Funk Orchestra (which Josh also plays in). Greg is in a rock n roll band called Lumps (also on King Pizza). Josh and Seth play in Josh's intro-sludge freakout Sludge Judy. Seth and Greg play as the very-occasional surf punks The Fucktons and are working on a biker rock recording project called Power Children. Who knows what else the future will bring?!
Any final comments? (This is your electronic soapbox for one last answer.)
Thanks for chatting with us! And thank you to everyone who has read this far. And to everyone who has supported us through the years! Drop us a line if you have any fun stories we might not know (preferably regarding us but, like, whatever). And support independent music and art!