Ypsilanti pop heads Mason Proper have admitted that sometimes even they don't know what kind of music they play. But it's exactly that kinetic, overturned salad bar mess that makes them so exciting. On stage they're a herky-jerky whirl of skinny limbs and nervous energy, and There is a Moth in Your Chest, the band's March 7 debut, matches that anything-goes, Flaming Weezer Lips sound. Here's a quick and handy Mason/Moth timeline/monomania full of pitfalls and perseverance, courtesy of vocalist Jonathan Visger.
May 2005: Mason Proper's performance at the Totally Awesome Fest in Ann Arbor is so cramped and panicky that backup vocalist Matt Thomason actually panics. He disappears, but is later found hiding in a cramped space.
July 2005: Thomason says he's seen a man without a face lurking around town. I then spend a week searching for this strange Ypsi-based Mel Gibson, stalling album progress and using band money for gas. Yes, Mason Proper does obsession well.
August 2005: The band moves into a new HQ on Washtenaw, where our album will eventually be finished. But recording is delayed again while we explore a pit guitarist Brian Konicek discovered in the backyard. Priorities, you know?
January 2006: We (finally) finish the album, and everyone takes a vacation up North. Again, priorities.
From then to now: We changed our name twice, lost three drummers, and at one point or another everyone wanted to leave. In fact, everyone did leave, but each time they'd drive away they'd get disoriented, and end up back at the pit I mentioned earlier. Is that an omen?
Mason Proper's full-length There is a Moth in Your Chest is out March 7 on the band's own Mang Chung imprint. Go to masonproper.com for more info.Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org