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20 Questions with Matt Mercado, 10/12/04




Supermercado / former Mind Bomb singer MATT MERCADO

Right now you’re probably sitting there asking yourself, "just who in the fuck is Matt Mercado?" That’s actually a very good question. Well, today’s your lucky day, Skippy, because you’re about to have that question answered whether or not you even give a fuck.

Here’s the scoop. Last year, we reviewed a CD from a band called Supermercado. Dana Brittingham even gave the songs a 9/10 rating, which is saying a lot, since Dana hates just about everything. We also discovered that Supermercado’s singer used to be the frontman for Mind Bomb, who actually had a lot going for themselves back in the early 90s. We always wondered what happened to them. Well, actually, we could give a fuck, but even though we knew very little about Matt Mercado, we were feeling generous one day and we hit him up for 20 Questions. We figured that since he’s kind of obscure, we could turn up the brutality a tad and fuck with him a little bit, and along the way, maybe find out what happened to Mind Bomb and what the deal is with his new band.

We not only find out about all that, but we also get some clues as to the current whereabouts and endeavors of Stanley from Life, Sex & Death! So pull up your pants and pay attention, because you just might learn something in this week’s 20 Questions.

1. What are you currently up to? This is your one and only chance to plug your shit.

The Supermercado Scary Baby CD will come out nationally in Spring 2005 on Dark Star/Symptomatic.

You can check it out at www.supermercadorock.com or www.darkstarrecords.com

For all the other projects I?ve done you can go to www.mattmercado.com

I?m also producing bands in my studio.

If you?ve got a great band and are looking to make a juicy record, you can email me at: supermercado@comcast.net

2. Back in the day, you were in an up-and-coming local Chicago band called Daisy Chain, but basically replaced one member and renamed yourselves ?Mind Bomb.? Why did you dump the name when you already had a loyal following? Did you offend some florists with ties to the mob or something?

There was a band in Boston who owned the trademark for the name ?Daisy Chain,? so we had to come up with a new name.

Just Before our record came out, they offered to sell us the name for $2500.00 because everyone in the industry thought that they were us, the Daisy Chain from Chicago.

We really should have stuck with Daisy Chain. I think I pressed to change it because the other guys in the band came up with the name Daisy Chain, and at that point I was positive I didn?t want to be in a band with them anymore. Not with two guys who just signed a huge record deal, then disappeared off the face of the planet for six weeks while I sat around and wrote the record myself.

It was a big mistake not to stick with the name. Even after we split I could have made a deal for the rights to the name.

Daisy Chain

3. Your new band ?Supermercado? basically sounds like your last project ?Pivot Man,? except you?ve added a big black dude named Cliff who raps and shares vocal duties with you. What prompted you to put Pivot Man on hiatus, and where did you get the unique idea of having a rapper in your band?

I?m glad we sound like Pivot Man, because I thought the band had some Juicy tunes.

Gregg Potter, John Skender, and Sean Osteos of Supermercado were all in Pivot Man at one time or another so that has a lot to do with the similarities.

I put Pivot Man on hiatus because the band was cursed. I?m waiting for the spell to wear off before I entertain thoughts of a reunion.

As far as Cliff is concerned, I found him through a recording session at my studio.

He was originally hired by Stanley (LSD) to do some vocal/rap tracks in my studio for his latest project ?The Stanley Show.?

Stanley was real tuff on Cliff, sort of belittled him and said in so many words ?you’re fired, get outta here.?

I thought he had some chops so when I walked him out to his car I told him I thought he had great potential and we should at least start a punk band or something.

After Stanley heard the tracks Cliff laid down for Supermercado, he was so impressed he re-hired him to do backing vocals on his record. 

4. Rank the following singers on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a no-talent ass clown, and 10 having a platinum set of pipes:

Vince Neil = 7 – I?ve opened for Motley Crue and they put on a big rock show. Personally, his tone is irritating to me on some songs, particularly the ballads, but sounds great on Dr. Feelgood. That?s a jamming tune.

Donnie Vie = 8 – The guy can sing, very seldom has a problem with his voice live, which is a downfall for many rock singers. He?s in an extremely talented band, but in my opinion, Enuff Z?Nuff plays it too safe. I?m a musician, give me some chops!

Alice Cooper = 9 – Anyone with a guillotine onstage is going to rock, IMO.

Jizzy Pearl =8 – Mind Bomb toured with Love/Hate in Great Britain. Love/Hate had quite a following over there at the time. Our roadie Mark Messner was also Jizzy?s guitar/vocal tech on the tour. He told me Jizzy sang ten times louder and blew me away every night. Thanks Mark!

Mark Slaughter = 4.5 – I suppose he sings in key, but too much whiz in the cheese for me lyrically. I?ll have to pass, thank you!

Sebastian Bach =
7.5 – Again, I personally don?t care much for his lyrics, but the guy can belt out a tune. With such great pipes, I think the guy could try to get a little more adventurous with his vocals/lyrics. Use more of his low/mid range.

David Lee Roth = 1984 – 9.5. Now?

Jani Lane = (See Mark Slaughter)

Nasti Habits = 6 – because he?s a cool dude!

Cliff Hunt = 9 – There?s not a lot of Black dudes out there brave enough to play in a rock band. For the most part they don?t think it?s cool, they would rather rap or sing R&B. Rock started as their music, I don?t know why they don?t reclaim it.

5. The debut Mind Bomb album was hailed by critics as a ?great and diverse recording.? How much did your jealousy of Chris Stann (a.k.a. Stanley) and his apparent success with Life Sex & Death inspire that highly overlooked album?

Matt MercadoI?ve been friends with Stanley since we were 14.

I don?t know where you?re going with this jealousy thingy?

Is it that obvious?

6. ?Do You Need Some,? a song from the Mind Bomb CD, appeared in the Sylvester Stallone film ?Cliffhanger.? Who in the band had to blow Rambo to make that happen, and did you end up seeing any coin from the whole deal?

The entire band. I had to go last, ouch!!!

We got paid fifty grand + royalties.

7. Was it strange being in the studio with your longtime friends / band mates from Chicago recording an album while you were all suing each other behind the scenes?

Yes, it was quite a bummer! It should have been a time that we all got on the same page, but when you start shoving big money in front of musician?s faces, sometimes the worst can happen.

I don?t know what point they were trying to make, I was just trying to rock, and they were just trying to pretend.

There were many disputes, but one was over a large publishing deal we signed. I told them to show up and help write songs for the record or I?m taking more money.They wouldn?t do it, so I stuck to my guns.

The other was when I refused to do the second record with them. That dragged on for months.

Funny thing is, the whole thing ended on a mistake from their lawyer, Tom Swift.

Swift called me and said ?Matt, come-on, we can work this out for all of us.? I guess it was illegal for him to bypass my lawyer and personally contact me. My lawyer found out about it and it was settled in a few days for about 1/3 of what they initially asked for.

Mind Bomb

8. Ministry?s Al Jourgensen remixed several tracks off the Mind Bomb CD, including some mixes that even got played in rave and industrial clubs, widening your exposure well beyond your normal fan base. Yet we heard that he wouldn?t even let you anywhere near the studio when he was working on your tunes, and you took offense to that. All these years later, do you still think he?s a jackass, or have you finally gotten over it?

Daisy ChainFirst off, I?d like to say I have a lot of respect for Al Jourgensen.

I really had nothing to do with the re-mix and didn?t hear the mix until it was done. I was happy with it.

Here?s what I was told about the situation.

Peter Katsis (now manager of Limp Bizkit) who co-managed the band set up the whole deal.

Peter told me that Al had just bought a new Ferrari and he was doing re-mixes with Ministry partner Paul Barker to make a little extra scratch. From what I heard through the grapevine, Paul did most of the mix, and Al didn?t really like the band.

Several years after it all went down, the owner of Chicago trax told me that Al was unhappy with the way our record company used his name to promote it and actually got into a fight with Peter at the Metro about it. That?s what I heard!

It really wasn?t Al that kept us out of the studio, it was two guys who worked on Ministry’s records, Critter and Fluffy. They were remixing "Do You Need Some" for the Mind Bomb CD.

Fluffy was ok, but Critter was a dick. I thought the mixes they did were going in the right direction, but they somehow managed to fuck it up in the end.

9. Of the following, which do you prefer and why?

Comiskey Park or Wrigley Field = Please, the Sox are so bush league! My Dad was a Cubs fan and took us to Cubs games. Wrigley Field.

Penthouse or Hustler = Porno mags are sorta last millennium, don?t ya think?

The Chicago Rocker or the Illinois Entertainer = The Chicago Rocker. Just reminds me of all the fun we had at that time, it was a blast! I remember calling the Illinois Entertainer about the first Pivot Man CD release in 98. They were like, ?yeah, sounds great, but the bass player in the Smashing Pumpkins is having a bad hair day, and we really gotta get on it.? The Entertainer did finally give the Pivot Man CD a very good review, so I?ll have to give them some credit back.

Charlie Logan or Scott Loftus = Scott Loftus.

Gypsy Blue or Sgt. Roxx = Sgt. Roxx. I saw the singer from Sgt. Roxx a few years back when we were doing a Pivot Man show. He just walked up on stage while we were playing a song and just started rappin? away about the good old days. I was like, ?Dude, we’re kinda trying to put on a rock show here, if you don?t mind!? It was cool.

Joe?s on Weed Street or the Penny Road Pub = Joe?s is a cool place, but I?ve only seen cover bands at Joe?s, so I?ll go with Penny Road Pub!

Hernia checks or prostate exams = Self Prostate exams are my fav!

REO Speedwagon or Styx = Mr. Roboto Baby!

Captain Lovejoy or Captain Crack Ass = Captain Love?s Jizz!

Bash or Jizz = I would go with Bash. We did jam in a band together for years, so that has to count for something! We buried the hatchet years ago.

10. Lately you?ve been seen wearing a cape on stage, and it?s reputedly quite elaborate. How much does something like that cost, and was all that really necessary?

It was $598.67.

I was always talking about getting a cape to do the ?Supermercado? theme song. I talked about it so much that all my friends were like,?yeah, sure, we?ve heard all about your great cape, where is it already?? I got it to shut them up. It worked, so yes, it was worth every penny!

11. What ?rock star? deserves a smack in the mouth and why?

I?m cool with all musicians, we all share a common bond, and that is to ROCK!I think it?s the people in the biz end of showbiz that deserve to be smacked up. Like manager Jeff Kwantinetz, and producer Max Norman.Smack them bitches up!

12. What do you remember most about the following Chicago clubs/venues from back in the day? Please share your fondest recollections with us.

Stay Out West = I think we only played there once, so not much.

The Avalon = Had a great vibe, mediocre PA, and most everyone in the club was extremely horny. If you were in a band and couldn?t get laid, then your band really sucked.

The China Club = Great VIP room.

The Thirsty Whale = Was a dump, but the PA was good/loud as hell, and the owner Jimmy paid you great if you had a good draw. People came to see hard rock/heavy metal and we gave it to them! There?s a tribute website now, thirstywhale.com that?s pretty fun.

Interaction Lounge = The first club Daisy Chain ever played. I remember standing backstage in my underwear after the show yelling at the owner of the club to pay us what he promised. It worked, and the band thought I was cool as hell.

Malo?s = Was that on the Southside? Anytime I?ve played the Southside of Chicago with any band other than Mind Bomb people just didn?t dig it.

Toto?s = Can?t remember much.

Chancer R = Having my girlfriend drag me into the woman?s bathroom to read ?Matt from Daisy Chain fucks everyone but his girlfriend? on the bathroom wall.

Gateway Theater = the Sharky award for best Chicago rock band.

The Wild Hare = Loud ass bass. The room sounds great.

13. Why did you find it necessary to live on Venice Beach to record an album? Aren?t there suitable studios in Chicago?

We just thought Hollywood was so dreamy, and we wanted to get away from our girlfriends.

On the first Mind bomb record we stayed in Burbank. At the time, most producers wouldn?t leave LA.

It was the second record, sort of Mind Bomb 2, that John Monaco, Mike Arms and myself moved to Venice Beach. We thought we could find a better band in LA.

As soon as I got there, I immediately suffered a severe bout of writers block. I had everything at my disposal and couldn?t come up with a decent riff in a year?s time. The record company even hired top-notch producers to help me write.

I still came up with absolutely nothing.

It wasn?t until I got back to Chicago that I started writing again, but by that time the record company gave up on me and I lost my deal.

Artist’s rendering of Matt (1992)

Artist’s rendering of Matt (2004)

14. We heard that you quit smoking a few years ago, and when you did, you gained a shitload of weight and ballooned up like a frog in a microwave. What have you done to keep the pounds off as of late, and what advice, if any, would you give to someone like Jani Lane or Vince Neil, both of whom currently wrestle with impending obesity?

I got a dog.

I was looking for a cute dog to meet girls. I somehow ended up with a red nose pit bull my sister adopted for me. Her name is Coco, and she is my buddy.

When people see pit bulls, they think ?Shark? and run like hell.

Basically I?ve lost weight by chasing after the hot girls with small dogs that are fleeing from us.

They run for blocks and we haven?t met one yet.

15. Yes or No, has Matt Mercado ever:

Daisy ChainSmoked a joint with Chip Z?Nuff = We must have at some point or another? I?d go with a yes!

Gone on a drinking binge with Michael Angelo = No. I?d go on a drinking binge with anyone, lets go Michael!

Soul kissed with Chris Stann = No

Shot up with Donnie Vie = No

Had homoerotic thoughts about Vikki Fox = I remember seeing EZN with my girlfriend at the whale back when there first record came out. We both were like, man that guys just way too good looking. His face seemed like a wax head or something, it was almost bizarre. I would say that you can acknowledge a man as being good looking without being a homo.

Jacked off on the ?L? = Now I know what I?m doing Friday night!

Shit your pants on stage = Do Hershey squirts count? Sometimes when your going for those high notes, shit happens.

Forced an unwilling partner into sex = Now I know what I?m doing Saturday night!

Touched another man?s penis = Only accidentally through a glory hole, so that doesn?t count, does it?

Been arrested = 3 times and like everyone else in the joint ?I didn?t do nothing.? I do my best to stay out of jail, it?s just not my ?bag.?

16. Out of all the bands that Daisy Chain, Mind Bomb, Pivot Man, and/or Supermercado ever shared the stage or toured with, which ones were the coolest to work with, and which ones were the biggest bunch of jackasses you?ve ever met?

I was actually surprised by how cool a lot of big rock stars were when I met them face-to-face. It was humbling to me the way they acted so graciously, and I, who was a fraction as famous, acted like a conceited dickhead.

Rob Halford always gave us full sound and lights. Very cool.

Even though some of the guys in Jackyl are very cool dudes, someone in the band/management always fucked our sound up just when we started to win over the crowd. Their soundman would come up to the mixer and turn it down the second we were getting our grove on. I would have to suspect the decision was coming from someone within the band. I?d have to put them on the bottom of the list as far as bands to share a stage with, but still think they’re cool dudes and I would hang out with them any day.

17. We heard that you?re planning on selling your own Matt Mercado action figure on your Web site. Dude! What the fuck? What use could anyone possibly have for a Matt Mercado action figure?

SupermercadoActually, they’re ?Supermercado Action Figure Dolls.?

What use could someone have with one?

Say you?re at band practice working on a new tune.

You just can?t seem to figure out what chord you should go to next?

Ask the fucking doll, he?ll tell you!

He?s not just for musicians; you can take him into a board meeting with you as well.

We even have a ?Supermercado Doll? song that we are currently performing live. So far, the reaction has been mixed, ha!

18. It seems that a lot of bands from Chicago suffer from the ?Cubs Curse.? A plethora of you almost got somewhere, but somehow managed to screw it all up with your big mouths, drug intake, or horribly inappropriate sex-capades; e.g., Pete Comita, Off Broadway, D’Molls, Enuff Z’Nuff, Diamond Rexx, Urge Overkill, LSD, Mind Bomb, etc., etc. Why do you think that is? Please feel free to expound and elaborate upon this baffling topic.

If I knew the answer to that question I?d be selling out arenas. You?ve already mentioned a lot of what brings bands down.

Of the bands you mentioned, a lot of them are still jammin?, so that?s a positive.

I think Enuff Z?Nuff had the most fame, so I wouldn?t really consider them cursed.

I can?t speak for most of the bands, but as far as Mindbomb went, I blame the producer, Max Norman. We were a raw ass band and our demos sounded better than our big money CD, which was a watered down piece of dog poop. Steve Spaperri, who recorded the demos, said ?Max Norman took the Matt out of the recordings."

Cliff and Matt in Supermercado

19. The Last of Matt Mercado:

Last movie you saw in the theatre = Open Waters

Last concert you watched from the audience = Marilyn Manson

Last new CD you purchased, other than one of your own = Son Seals ?Spontaneous Combustion.?

Last band or artist whose recording you produced, other than one of your own = The Stanley Show, Escape From Earth, Killa Kat, Euphourium, Super Natural Yes, Personality 9, Killa Kat, Polly Pants to name a few. I?m always looking for a few good bands. Contact me!

Last person you punched, male or female = I can?t even remember. Even though I?m a pretty decent size, I?m not much of a fighter. As a matter of fact, I?m sort of a cowardly wimp. I always talk my way out of fights. I?ve even been caught in girls closets by their boyfriends a couple of times and bullshited my way out of it.

Last time you appeared on television = Recently playing with Supermercado before an IRL race.

Last time you drove around in a pink car = Ha, it?s been since 1999.

Last time someone told you ?Supermercado? means ?Supermarket? in Spanish = After every gig!

Last time you smoked a cigarette = June, 2003

Last time you barfed = I’m a lightweight. Probably a few weeks ago!

Natt Nercado

A concerned fan warns Matt not to dick us around like Eddie Jackson did last week

20. Time for Metal Sludge?s Word Association. We mention a name, and you give us your thoughts.

Gene Simmons = He introduced himself to me years ago and said ?I love the first song on your new record. The rest of its crap, absolute garbage!?

I thought it was cool and very honest.

Danny Vega = Fantastic bass player.

Barry Waterman = Great guy, personal friend? really needs to start eating meat again!

Alex Kane = Always been cool to me, and I dig his band AntiProduct.

Steve Spapperi = Steve got screwed out of the whole deal after he put a lot of personal spec time into the recordings that got Daisy Chain signed. It was a shame, but it goes down like that allot. Haven?t heard from him in years.

Johnny Monaco = Great player. We?ve had our disagreements, but we?ve remained friends for years. That?s gotta count for something?

Tommy Holland = Haven?t seen him in years. I?d still go to a show!

Nikki Sixx = Rock Star. I?d have in my band any day!

Jeff Kwantinetz = Very bright guy, but he played the band against each other the whole time he (mis) managed me. Also called my mom dirty names on the phone. What?s up with that? I won?t go too hard on him. I heard his girl Brittany Murphy dumped him for Gary Coleman.

Chip Z?Nuff = I remember hearing a demo of some band Chip produced and played on years ago. It was some of the best bass playing I?ve ever heard. The stuff he plays in Enuff Z Nuff is cute, but their tunes are just plain boring to me. I can see why people like them. They have a great sense of melody and are terrific musicians.

Well there you have it! Now you can feel like a champ when you play ‘bands from Chicago that never made it trivia’ with your in-laws this coming holiday season.

We have to give Matt props for taking all of the questions seriously and giving us good answers, unlike our pal Eddie Jackson from Queensr?che. Sure, you still might not give a fuck who Matt Mercado is, but at least you know what Stanley’s up to! We’ll be keeping an eye out for The Stanley Project with great interest.

For more on Matt Mercado, his various projects, escapades, action figures, and shit like that, be sure to visit www.mattmercado.com and www.supermercadorock.com.

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