The Secrets of MASON PROPER! The Band speaks.

This is the second half of my interview with Michigan's Mason Proper. The band has proven to be one of the most exciting indie rock bands in the country this year. Their new album; "There is a Moth in Your Chest" is easily one of 2007's best releases. Read on to capture the wild revelations the band has to share about life. If you haven't already, check out the first part of this interview to capture the spirit of what has already passed.

On stage: Mason Proper's Brian Konicek. Photo by Kayla

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Jonathan Visgr (vocals/guitars/keys,) Matt Thomson (noise/vocals) and Brian Konicek (guitars) all grew up in Northern Michigan towns. They began playing in musical groups together as boys, eventually forming what became Mason Proper in their late teens and early twenties. After moving from their wooden hometowns to Ypsilanti, a suburb of Detroit and Ann Arbor, the group met Zac Fineberg (bass/vocals) who eventually left his own group to join the band. After two years of writing and recording parts of what would become their debut LP There Is A Moth In Your Chest , the band split back to the woods, finding new drummer Jesse Parsons along the way. The group finished recording and pressed up the record, all by themselves, without the assistance of a label. They landed that indie label in a trip to NYC, drawing the attention of Dovecote Records. The band recently toured with California's Birdmonster (one of my favorite bands out there) and that pretty much brings us current.

Ryan - RSL: If everybody in the band could become another musician, (past or present,) who would you be - and why? Would you guys all get along? (This is what they call a baited question)

Brian: I'd choose Elvis Presley so then someone in the band would ACTUALLY know how to dance. (laughs)

Jonathan: I would like to be Matt, because he owns this baseball card worth $700 and i could hawk it and put it towards a hang glider. (lots of laughter)

RSL: A hang glider?.. Nevermind.

Matt: I would be Leon Theremin. Why? He worked for the KGB, invented secret listening devices and built an electronic instrument that you played by moving your hands in the air. A life like that, i figure you'd have some stories to tell.

Leon Theremin in 1927

RSL: The inventor of the theremin! (The band has one of these instruments, which Matt plays)

((( Surprise mp3 sample - One of the first ever recordings of a theremin )))
Clara Rockwell - The Swan (1927)

Jesse: I would want to be Jon Bonham, from Led Zeppelin. He was an amazing drummer, an inspiration for many drummers to come after him,and he was playing in one of the best bands that ever existed.

Zeppelin's Bonham. Herb Greene photo

RSL: I kind of thought you might pick a rock drummer.

Zac: Andreas Clair Lomerekahn. (silence)

RSL: Sorry. Who? (looks of confusion)

Jonathan: (With the explanation.) It's a dulcimer player Zac saw play at some random cultural event in a public library as a kid. Nobody famous at all, but it's the first musical experience that really stuck with him and so he has always remembered his name.

RSL: Well, I hope he reads this! Ok, two more questions guys and then I will leave you alone. If you weren't in Mason Proper - what would you be doing back home?"

Matt: A full time version of what I do in between Mason Proper days. Writing, art, finding an abandoned house and filling it with life size collage creatures.

RSL: I don't think that people realize, Matt - that you do a lot of the crazy art that is on the Mason Proper myspace page. I encourage fans to check that out! What about you Brian?

Brian: I would probably doing the standard of going to college for something
I'm not interested in, or starting my own band.

Jesse: Me too. I would most likely be likely be somewhere else, playing in
some other band.

Zac: I would be back in Michigan spray-painting an apple on teeshirts.

Jonathan: I would be hiding in a cupboard and being very, very quiet. (laughs)

RSL: I think this could be the most telling question I am going to ask. It may even impact your future setlist.... Of all the songs in the world, which one would you wish your bandmates would learn so Mason Proper could cover on stage?

Brian: "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Frankie Valli, definitely.

Frankie Valli

Jonathan: I would love to play "Kelly Watch the Stars" by Air.

France's Air - the duo just released a new album

Zac: The old, old Superman show theme song.

Jesse: Well, I guess if we were being forced to cover a song, I think I would want to do anything by Wilco, or Pink Floyd.

Tweedy and company - Wilco is about to release a new record

Pink Floyd - Animals

Matt: "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Franki Valli. I's the greatest pop song ever written.

RSL: Wow - a match! Maybe you should be playing this one. Guys, thanks very much for doing this. You guys were great to talk to. It was a pleasure.


The members of Mason Proper have all signed their names to a copy of their "There is a Moth in Your Chest" CD. There is only one in the entire world and it will be given away on this page.
How to win the signed CD?

Write, draw or create something witty, funny, cool or unique about Mason Proper and email it to me. The best entries received over this week will be shared with the band with the single best entry receiving this one of a kind prize! Entries here. Enter as many times as you like - just be creative and have fun!

Entries to:

Mason Proper MySpace

The RSL MySpace

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