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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Mothership's John Beckman Answers 20 Questions: Extra Awesome Sauce Included

In the early 19th Century, Marcel Proust was given a questionnaire called "an album to record thoughts and feelings," also known as a "confession album."  At the time, it was popular among English families to assure that a man or woman was marriage worthy, bona fide if you will!
Written in 1890, it was discovered in 1924, and in 2003 auctioned for over 100,000 euros . 

The TV show The Actors Studio had their own version that the host would ask the actors live in the studio. And Vanity Fair's readers have long enjoyed the magazine's version of The Proust Questionnaire. It's fairly basic but gives you a glimpse into the minds of some of the most famous and respected people in the world. It is so popular that there is now an online version that you can take and compare your answers to everyone from John Waters to Eric Clapton. 

So, when we explored creative ways to interview people, we realized The Proust Questionnaire designed for musicians would be perfect!

John Beckman is the singer for The Mothership, the band that is now on everyone's radar since last week at their sold out show at The Crocodile Cafe. Their new CD, Bright Side of Dim, has totally surpassed everyone's expectations, and it's just a matter of minutes literally before they are whisked away by a major label -- at least that's what most definitely should be happening! Not only is this album amazing, but all the musicians in the band are in a constant state of creating and have too many side projects to count, including solo music from John that's as good as the best selling pop-dance music with songs as danceable as The Arctic Monkeys and as precise and catchy as the best Muse songs. He is Mr. Diverse, and  we just can't say enough good things about him, his band, or his motley crew of great friends and musicians that surround him. He's like a magnet for awesome sauce.! 

Photo by Erik Johnson
So, please enjoy a glimpse into the mind of John Beckman, and don't forget to lick the awesome sauce off your fingers when you're done~

1. What music makes you the happiest? 

The kind that I don't have to spend hours making and stressing over. I nit pick my shit to death -- other people's music for the win! 

Photo by Erik Johnson

2. What musician do you identify with the most? 

Hmm, I don't know, that's a tough one. I really admire Josh Homme's drive and ability to pump out good music all the time. Whether it's producing, recording with friends, or lending his talents to other bands, he always seems to be doing something. He's areal go-getter, that kid! Plus, in a couple of interviews I've seen, we seem to share a sort of distorted, sarcastic perception of things. I would love to have him over for dinner! 

Photo by Paula Alexander 

3. What musical talent do you wish you had or were better at? 

Cello, I suck so bad.

4. What is your most treasured musical possession or memorabilia? 

That would be 'Jizzy,' my white SG that I have had for about 7 years. It's been with me for every rehearsal and  show since. I love it so much and I feel one with its shittiness. We are emotionally and physically connected. We definitely have an E.T. and Elliot sort of relationship. 

5. What venue do you dream about playing at? 

Well I would say the moon or something like that, but we all know the no sound thing would be a crucial factor. The Gorge during a summer sunset. That would be great.

Photo by Paula Alexander 

6. If you could bring any musician back from the dead, who would it be? 

I would really love to hear what Beethoven would do with dubstep . I could see that guy with a head full of acid seriously getting down on a chaos pad ha ha ha! And Kurt too, I would love to peek into a parallel universe for a minute and see what kind of stuff he would be up to. He could have farted into a microphone for 45 minutes and it still would have affected me on a level I can't explain. 

7. What trait do you most deplore in others musicians?

Super too cool for school egos. I've noticed that people with the biggest inflated egos usually have the least amount of talent. People that say they can do it better drive me crazy -- you may be able to play it flawlessly perfect, but the passion wouldn't be there. And I know this because only a passionless, narcissistic, trying-too-hard mook would say something like that in the first place.

8. What about in yourself?
I hate that I have trouble living in the moment. When I'm playing there's always this pessimistic voice in the back of my head saying it's not good enough. I need to have some sort of self conscious killing bug zapper apparatus installed in my head. It would sound like someone was making popcorn. 

Photo by Paula Alexander 

9. Who or what is your muse? Something or someone that is your source of inspiration...

It could be a great song I'm listening to, anything space related, then it could be someone that pisses me off or makes me sad. That's when the lyrics flow. I can get it out that way without having to confront them -- as fiercely. As far as being inspired in a good way? Yes there are a couple of people ha ha! 

Photo by Erik Johnson 

10. Name one thing, song, concert or event in your life that made you want to be a musician? 

Believe it or not it was Nirvana's Teen Spirit. I was 11 and it changed my life. I had never heard anything like it and it affected me and spoke to me on a level I will never be able to explain. 

Photo by Erik Johnson

11. If you could change one thing about your appearance what would it be?  

I think invisible would be a good look for me! 

12. Who in your life has stood beside you and supported your music? 

The evil entities that paralyze and observe me when I sleep. 

The Mothership CD release show 
photo by Hitch Hiker 

13. What is your current state of mind? 

My current head space is good. I recently cut back on my debauchery a bit, so my head is a little clearer. I'm trying to face issues instead of drowning them in booze. I still gladly accept free drugs though, I don't want to send the wrong message to anyone ha ha ha! Now that Bright Side of Dim is out, I'm going to start dabbling into another solo album.

Midnight in the garden of good and evil 
at The Mothership house 

14. What phrase or word do you overuse the most? 

Rad. I say rad entirely too much. 

Photo by Erik Johnson

15. What would you say was your best moment as a musician? 

I don't know? Let's pretend the question was, "Do penguins have eyelashes?"  Same answer -- I don't know! 

Photo by Hitch Hiker 

16. What band or musician can you absolutely not listen to? 

Pretty much 85% of whatever I didn't physically put on myself. Most of the stuff people put on for me makes me cringe and I have to quickly wash it away with some Sleepy Sun or some Black Angels -- I can't stand anything that doesn't come across as real. I have to believe it. There's nothing worse to me than listening to a singer with with no life experience -- no pain to dip into. If it makes me happy, it better be The Beatles. 

17. What band or musician can you listen to over and over? 

Too many to list, but lately I have been obsessed with the Dan Auerbach record -- I just can't get enough. 

Photo by Hitch Hiker 

18. If you were not a musician, what career or trade would you have chosen? Besides a fireman or an astronaut? 

Panhandling would be my expertise. And I would be the best. 

19. If you could be a bug on the wall at any moment of musical history, where would it be? 

Abbey Road Studios during the recording of The White Album. I would be Paul's Yoko. Actually, come to think of it, that sounds pretty awkward. Let's change that to Rubber Soul Sessions. Being there for some of the early Sabbath, Zeppelin, and Doors sessions would be fantastic. Man, I'm getting all excited here. 

20. What song will be played at your funeral? 

Blind Willie Johnson, "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground." 

The Mothership's new CD, Bright Side of Dim, can be purchased here: 

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