Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Mushroomhead – are one of the most unique and adventurous alternative metal bands working today. Known for their stunningly theatrical live show and artsy masks, this innovative band has forged new ground in the rock world and influenced many other bands to push the envelope and bring art into rock. Formed in the early-1990s in Cleveland Ohio, the band’s combination of metal, rock and atmospheric elements has struck a chord with thousands of fans worldwide.

Mushroomhead have been performing incognito since 1993, when drummer Skinny founded the band. The band was meant to be a side-project so they wore masks to go unrecognized, but after only a few shows they developed a rabid and loyal fan base in Cleveland. Mushroomhead released their 1995 self-titled debut album independently and it went on to became an underground hit. This was history in the making because the band really had no proper distribution. Superbuick followed in 1996 and M3 in 1999, all released via an underground street effort.

After the band felt its image and hyper-melodic, heavy style of music was being diluted by other bands jumping into this space, the band started to change their look to reflect nothing out there. After a brief stint on Eclipse Records, a move to Universal Records saw the release of XX (a combination of the past independent releases) in 2001 and XIII in 2003. The band’s last album sold over 200,000 units in the USA alone. Mushroomhead released Savior Sorrow for the pioneering rock label, Megaforce Records (Metallica, Anthrax, Ministry, Warren Haynes, Bad Brains) in 2006. Mushroomhead released “Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children” in the Fall of 2010 and it debuted at #44 on Billboard charts.

It can be said that Mushroomhead’s musical ascendance was a singular, original, aesthetic of eight guys decked out in matching jumpsuits and artsy masks, playing unbelievable, unsettling music. No other band was wearing masks and jumpsuits and purveying this type of ultra-melodic, ultra-dynamic music at the time – Mushroomhead sounded like nothing else. The band’s merging of metal, atmospheric elements, rock, and theatrics mixed with a punk DIY attitude has inspired and spawned other bands. Even though Mushroomhead’s music is rock-leaning in thought, the group remains firmly committed to pushing the envelope and trying new things.

Influences range from the driving rhythms and breakneck turns of Pantera, to the dark melodies of Faith No More, to the atmospheric stylings of Pink Floyd, but all done in Mushroomhead style.

Psychedelic Lunch

On this date in history, 8/13/2002, Ozzfest made the annual tour stop at Deer Creek. This time around the metal smorgasbord featured Ozzy Osbourne, System Of A Down, Rob Zombie, P.O.D., Drowning Pool, Adema, Black Label Society, Ill Nino, Down, Hatebreed, Meshuggah, Lost Prophets, Chevelle, The Apex Theory, Neurotica, The Used, Mushroomhead, Seether, Glassjaw, Switched, Otep, and Pulse Ultra.

This show ended up being sort of bizarre for me. First of all, I went alone, because my son went with a bunch of his friends, so I was on my own. No problem there.

A few days prior to the show I had accidentally washed one of my contact lenses down the sink, so I wore my glasses. Again, no problem. I just determined to stay out of the mosh pits and everything would be just fine!

I enjoyed some killer sets by Otep, Meshuggah (unbelievably brutal and fantastic!) and Hatebreed, along with okay sets by Neurotica (who did a pretty cool cover of “I Am The Walrus” by The Beatles, The Apex Theory (who actually benefited from a brief rain storm that united the crowd in an act of drenched solidarity) and Mushroomhead (who suffered from technical issues that were probably out of their control).

Phil Anselmo and the mighty Down were the headliners of the second stage and I had managed to maneuver my way to the very front of the stage. The first two songs were crazy good, and then the unthinkable happened!  A crowd surfer’s foot made contact with my head, and my glasses fell to the ground, instantly trampled and destroyed! I blindly pushed back through the crowd and found a payphone and called my roommate who was coming to the show later to see Ozzy and System Of A Down.

I luckily got her to bring my one remaining contact to me. While I waited, blind as a bat, I at least got to listen to Black Label Society and Drowning Pool (coincidentally, their lead singer’s last performance before he was found dead on his tour bus the next day) and finally my contact was delivered just in time for me to see Rob Zombie’s final song!

System and Ozzy finished in stellar form and that is my report for Ozzfest 2002. Moral of the story…be careful when rinsing contact lenses!

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

 

On This Date in History