Mean Tangerine are a bunch of sweeties. Not only that, but they all have beautiful hair, and can play their instruments good. They are currently in the middle of making a new record. It’s probably going to be pretty good. You can buy it when it comes out. For now, grab some of their old stuff and enjoy it, and read these question Max answered for me!
1-Who are you, and what do you do in Mean Tangerine?
-I’m Max Off, and I’m the singer/piano/guitar player for Mean T.
2-Who are the rest of the dudes in the band?
-Right now, Jesse Wilks is the lead guitarist, and Mike Carey is the drummer.. we’ve been bouncing around bass players.. we’ve had three different sick bass players, but they all had other shit going on. One went to prison for rape, one got hit by an 18 wheeler, and one OD’d on heroin.
3-You guys started out in London, and now make Toronto home. Why did you make the move?
-We made the move because we all decided we should go to school because thats the standard thing to do, and we hate straying from the norm. Toronto’s a place where you can go out any time of the day or night and find something wicked going on and have a great time.. that really worked for us… however we’ve always lived in pretty shitty areas. Sometimes it’s not always the best stuff going on, but it’s better than nothing, right?
4-You’re signed to Drive Records. What is like being a signed band as opposed to a band out on their own?
-Its not so different, other than when you run into people from high school you sound like you didn’t completely throw away your potential. Drive has been awesome to us though, we have an awesome relationship with them, considering we don’t make any money. So we’re pretty grateful to be in this situation with them.
5-You’re five records in. How have you changed since the first release way back in 2006?
-We are actually 2 CD’s and a sampler in. We haven’t released a CD since we were teenagers which was our album ‘Peels’. Seeing as we haven’t released a CD in so long, our style and sound has certainly changed. We’ve been in the process of recording a new CD for over 2 years now and even in that time our sound has changed. I can’t wait to release this new disc though, it’s been far too long, and we’ve changed so much. We’ve really matured, theres about 30% less fart, and boob lyrics now.
6-You’ve toured Canada and into the US. What is it like playing across the border as opposed here?
-Beer is so much cheaper, and the bars treat bands better financially and nutritionally, as in they feed us. Every where we played in the States was so much fun. A lot of nights was playing to no one but we made friends everywhere and we always ended up with more than we were guaranteed which is a good feeling. Canada is amazing, don’t get me wrong, it’s just a totally different scene down there. Our first show in the States was in New Hampshire, and they couldn’t get over how white our teeth were which was pretty funny because i’m pretty sure Jesse Wilks doesn’t own a tooth brush, or deoderant, or a high school diploma.
7-Facebook tells me you’re recording a new record. How is it going?
-The new records going slowly but i’m really happy with the tracks we’ve been pumping out so far. They’re a lot more in the vein and direction we want to be heading in. Which is a more mature sound, without losing what made us Mean T.
8-You’re currently searching for a bass player? Here’s the change! Make your plug!
-We need a bass player thats a cool guy and can tour and not be a puss, not saying that any of our other bass players were puss’s, but thats a requirement for sure. No puss’s….you gotta have a big ol’ set of balls… big ol’ melons really… a nice sack too… thats a must.
9-Mean Tangerine is a great name….. but, by nature, tangerines aren’t really that mean. Explain the band name to me!
-We were 15 and stoned, and misheard a Beatles lyric… it was green tambourine. We meant to change it.. but again the stoned thing.
10-You’ve toured with some great bands. what has been your favourite tour so far?
-Whenever we tour with the Johnstones we always have an amazing time. It’s just like a giant road trip with your buddies that your getting paid for. We’ve played with a ton of cool bands not on tours, but I’d say the coolest one was Our Lady Peace just because Clumsy was the first album I ever bought it was cool to share the stage with them.
11-Any tour that has just been hell?
-Every tour is hell… you stink, you wake up in car washes in Akron, Ohio, and you get in at least one fist fight, but they are all worth it. Touring is the most fun thing in the world, you just can’t be a puss about it. I can’t emphasize that enough.
12-Every band has a great van story about breakdowns, no brakes, overheating…. do you have any?
-Our vans transmission blew on the way home from Buffalo so we had to AAA to the border, and than CAA to Toronto. It was awful… but we stocked up at the duty free and they didn’t even ask for our passports at the border so that was pretty sick actually.
13-If you could have a dream endorsement from any company, what would it be?
-A gas company, they have everything we need… or a hotel chain… but they’d probably get rid of us pretty quick.
14-Gas prices keep rising….. how do you guys cope driving a big old van with gas at $1.20 +?
-We break even… and siphon gas…
15-What are the plans for the rest of 2012?
-Finishing this goddam album thats taking forever.
16- Every band has their favourite place for pre/post show eats. What restaraunt do you guys stop at the most eats?
-Um, we’re usually in new cities every time, or on a time crunch so we do a lot of pizza or Tims. We’ve got this schwarma place in Hamilton called Lulu’s we go to every time we’re there. It’s the best schwarma going… instant diarreaha but soo good.
17- Being in a band, In know this feeling. If there was one person in your band who you could take in a wrestling rig for 5 minutes to blow off some steam, who would it be?
-Thats funny you say that because we often get in legitimate fights with each other considering we live and tour together. We see each other 24 hours of every day. It’s usually a couple punches get thrown and then it gets broken up and then were best friends again. It’s usually Mike and Jesse because Mike is a hilarious shit disturber, and Jesse is a hot head. Me and Jesse went at it in a hilarious display in the ditch in front of our house once. God that was pathetic.
18- Bands often have a lot of free time pre show. You load in, then have nothing to do for 3 or 4 hours until you play. How do you guys occupy your time?
-We do a lot of drinking. When we toured the States we really made the most of it and did the touristy stuff in every city which was pretty cool… really busy, but a lot of fun.
19- Most bands have a family dynamic. In Mean T, who’s the dad, mom, etc.
-Honestly everyone I tell this to calls me a liar but i’m definitely the dad, because I’m responsible as shit, Jesse’s the mom because he’s kind of a diva. I realize I’ve made a lot of jokes at his expense in this interview, but he’s a big boy he can take it. He’s also the funniest guy going so theres a plus for him, his only one. Mike is the rebelling teen.. the Bart Simpson if you will. Him and mom are always going at it. I wish i could divorce him. He’s just so goddam good in bed.
20- If you described your band dynamic as a sitcom group (Friends, Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld etc) who would it be?
-We’d be like Band of Brothers. I’d be Major Winters for sure. Jesse would be that Leutenant that bails on everyone like a bitch and Mike would probably be Joe, the guy who gets his legs blown off but is a pretty chill cool guy.