Long awaited, highly anticipated interview and Red Room reunion Punk-a-Palooza with Mr. Plow. The Tonic Lounge was on fire. not literally.
Never a dull moment with Mr. Plow on stage delivering hardcore comedy to friends and fans. Mr. Plow has no gimmick, backdrops or dancing girls to back him up. His hilarious songs and great guitar picking has been packing Portland venues for years. So what makes Mr. Plow the kinda soloist to play along in Punk shows and do what he does? National Rock Review asks a few questions.
NRR: So. Mr Plow. This is obviously the best business name for the guy with a 4×4 and a plow for the one to three days a year that Portland actually has snow. How did you come up with the name Mr Plow?
MR. PLOW: My parents were cruel. First name Mister, middle name Period, Last name Plow. It was taken from a Simpsons episode from season 4.
NRR: How long have you been playing guitar and what was the inspiration?
MR. PLOW: I’ve been playing guitar since grade six in elementary school. If you didn’t have parents willing to buy you an instrument to be in the school band you had to learn how to play guitar on these beat up old guitars, while the snotty brats practiced their flute skills in the gym.
NRR: Each time I have seen a Mr Plow show, so far three, I’ve only seen you on stage and at times an occasional heckler giving you this business. Is this kind of audience participation encouraged at your shows?
MR. PLOW: I don’t mind heckling. I know it is bound to happen since I’m a solo acoustic act playing punk shows. Sometimes it makes the show funnier and some times it turns into a real shit storm arguing back and forth.
NRR: Some of your songs have been recorded with a backing band. Is this all of your musicianship in the studio or have you done shows where you have had a backing band at times? If so who are they if they’re mentionable?
MR. PLOW: When I play live I perform as a solo act. On the recordings I thought I would try something new on the Mad Plow Disease album and went for a full band sound. It turned out better than I expected and was well received by my dozens of fans. I had professional players to play the role of my back up band. I had the almighty Gene Hoglan (Strapping Young Lad, Dark Angel, Testament, Dethklok) on drums, Norwood Fisher (Fishbone) on bass, and Rocky George (Suicidal Tendicies, Fishbone) on lead guitar. It went so well we decided to do it again for the Apocalypse Plow recording and we were able to bring in more guests to appear on that one. For example we had Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Oderus Urungus (GWAR), Chi Pig (SNFU) do back up vocals amnd a whole bunch of other stuff.
NRR: Have you had any problems or been banned from playing or landing gigs due to content of your lyrics?
MR. PLOW: I have had some issues where I was told because of my lyrical content the venue would not book me a show. I’ve had a few venues tell me never to come back because of my songs. I learned quickly on my last lengthy tour not to play in some red states cuz they have no sense of humor. One time I was suppose to do two nights opening for Fishbone in Washington. The first night went great. Big crowd, big laughs. The second night I was told that if I played my set Fishbone wouldn’t get paid which meant I wouldn’t get paid. Fishbone said if I didn’t play that they wouldn’t play. Turned into a huge ordeal. I ended up not playing and yet still got paid for being there.
NRR: Have you taken Mr Plow on the Road if so, where were some of the places you’ve played? Most memorable show and why?
MR. PLOW: I’ve toured all over North America for almost ten solid years. Most of it was in Canada since that is where I am from originally. The most memorable moments were doing tours as a support act for bands like Fishbone, DOA, SNFU and the Dayglo Abortions.
NRR: Over the course of your career, which had been the most memorable show and where? I played a show once in Vancouver, Canada opening for DOA. Half way through my set these three guys were doing a little circle pit. The next thing I know they all light up these mini torches and keep their circle pit alive. I found out afterwards that they had tampons and lit them on fire.
NRR: Do you have any upcoming shows? Where? When?
MR. PLOW: I’m playing the Red Room Reunion show at the Tonic Lounge August 10th with 7 punk rock bands in Portland Oregon. I am also opening up for Doyle from the Misfits in Salem Oregon at Duffy’s Hangar Sept 5th. After that I have no idea.
NRR: How may albums do you have released?
MR. PLOW: I have released one demo tape, one limited run cdr, seven full length releases and one live cd complete with heckling teenagers at an all ages show. NRR: Who are some of your favorite local Portland acts past and present? Acts from the past I would have to say, All Out, the Speds, because I met them up in Canada about fifteen years ago and they were all I knew existed in Portland. Now that I live here, I have been lucky enough to meet some amazing people who play in some amazing bands. My favorites are Clackamas Baby Killers, Mormon Trannys, Dwight Dickinson, God Bless America, and the Smothers Fuckers (which I’m a member of, so I’m biased).
Well, there you have it folks. With all that said get to a Mr Plow show, check out the links below and support the Local Music Scene here in Portland.
Mr Plow Links
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