"I think a lot of people today have this misconception that Southern music is made of mud and banjos, but we're here to set them straight!" exclaims Stuck Mojo bassist Corey Lowery, who is currently on tour with his cohorts promoting their latest ass-kickin' release Rising. "We're from Atlanta, GA," Corey boasts, "We have that Southern pride and we're here to represent it!" A fact that is well documented in the lyrics to (what else?!) "Southern Pride," a hard-rockin' Southern-fried metal anthem that, given the nature of the hardcore, metallic onslaught of Stuck Mojo's first two albums Snappin' Necks and Pigwalk, seems to be an odd choice, especially considering the song features a harmonica and B-3 organ! But that, folks, is what sets this incredibly talented metal band apart from the rest of the pack. Not only is this band not ashamed to expose their Southern roots, but they're damn proud of it, and furthermore, they do it well! "We were raised on cool-ass metal bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, old Van Halen and stuff like that, but also killer Southern bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, 38 Special, Blackfoot, and ZZ Top," Corey admits, continuing, "These bands had a huge affect on us, they used to sing about being proud of the south, and you don't hear that nowadays, all you have are bands talkin' this 'New York' sound and 'L.A.' sound."
Stuck Mojo are neither your stereotypical Southern Rock band, nor your stereotypical wannabe hip-hop/metal band. Formed in early 1989 by guitarist Rich Ward and Dwane (their original bassist) with vocalist Bonz joining the clan in late '89, Stuck Mojo appeal to the common rock'n'roll/metal fan. The band released their first CD, Snappin' Necks, in early '95 on Century Media (and continue to be the label's biggest selling band in the US) with Corey joining in '96 and releasing the limited edition Violated EP in Europe shortly after. "Stuck Mojo actually started off with a singer," Corey confirms. "Rich and Bonz were working at Pizza Hut at the time and Rich kept hearing Bonz rappin' in the back room. Rich thought it'd be cool to have Bonz rap behind the singer, but when Bonz came in...being the amazing frontman that he is...the singer was gone soon after!"
Rising is Stuck Mojo's third full-length CD, and already this band is evolving into an international metal phenomenon. Coming from the old-school philosophy of self-promotion and nonstop touring, it's not uncommon for Mojo to perform nearly every night of the year in an effort to bring their music to the people. The fact is, Stuck Mojo have no home - they reside in their van! Cory confirms, "Last year we played 307 shows and the year before that we did close to 300 shows...this year we plan to do at least 308 shows! It's a real family oriented band, everyone gets a long great...and that's important when you're doing over 300 shows a year!" Stuck Mojo wrote the book on how to bust your ass in this business, and their experience definitely shows, as they are without question one of the most pummeling and energetic live bands on the scene today, and more importantly, one of the most dedicated bands in the business. In fact, you'll literally find them hanging out in the crowd before and after the shows, greeting their fans and making new friends. Cory emphasizes, "It's all about the music... and we love the music and we love our fans."
Mojo's current video is of the title track, "Rising," and features WCW wresting stars Diamond Dallas Page and Raven and his Nest. Obviously, Stuck Mojo are huge wrestling fans, but how did they come to incorporate a heavy metal video with WCW wrestling?! Corey tells the story: "We knew a lot of the wrestlers, many of them live in Atlanta, and one day we were watching Monday Night Nitro on TV and we noticed tons of metal-heads in the audience wearing Metallica and Pantera T-shirts...and we thought, 'Man, that's our audience right there.' So we threw around a lot of ideas for the video that revolved around wrestling. We felt, metal and wrestling go hand in hand, both are testosterone driven entertainment. Gary, our sound man, met Diamond Dallas Page at a club and played him a few of our songs, and Diamond just fell in love with the band. Diamond was a killer visionary for this music video, and our song "Rising" was fitting of his vision. The video shows us performing in the ring, then Raven and his Nest enter the ring and start messin' with us. So, Diamond jumps in and throws a 'diamond cutter' on everybody! It was a real fun video for us to shoot!" So, is there a message to this madness?? Cory proclaims, "The song is about how when all the odds are against you, you can still rise above."
Rising displays a more mature sound than Mojo's previous releases, it also shows a change in producers, with Andy Sneap at the helm this time around. Cory explains the change, "Devin Townsend and Daniel Bergstrand did a great job with Pigwalk, the songs were heavy, and it touched on an industrial sound that separated us from other (rap/metal) bands like Rage Against The Machine and 311. We wanted that original sound - a sound that made us the heaviest rap/metal band out there. But, on this album, the songs have matured and we felt it would be best to bring in a different producer. We had Andy run our sound for about three weeks before the recording so he could capture what we were about live, which I think made a huge difference in the studio. He produced Exodus, Machine Head, Skinlab... and those bands all had great tones. Plus, he is up and coming and is willing to spend 18 hours a day in the studio, just like we are."
Proud, dedicated and full of testosterone, Stuck Mojo are a band to be reckoned with. Whatever the case, be sure to catch the Mojo live when they invade your city!! (...And if they don't hit your neck of the woods, tell those goddamn lazy bastards to get their ass in gear and book the remaining 56 days of the year!).
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