Mountain Cult have been one of the biggest question-marks of my 2012 musical journey.
Who are these people? How did they get here? Why do they sound so damn bad, and why
can’t I stop listening to it? They somehow managed to make the most amateur rock music
around, but in a way that cannot easily be replicated – their self-titled album isn’t
something that anyone else could just go out and create, of this I am sure. I got an
email contact, hoping to determine if they were truly honest musicians doing all they
could with limited means, or just cynical hipsters trying to play poorly in some
sort of art-school flippity-flop (they are from Brooklyn, after all). After this brief
discussion (and the sad news that they are no longer a band!), I can say with certainty
that there were no motives behind Mountain Cult’s lackadaisical grooves beside the
grooves themselves… lazy rock has never felt this right. All questions were answered
by Ben, the guitarist and vocalist of the group.

Where does the Mountain Cult story begin? Were any of you friends or bandmates
prior to Mountain Cult?

None of us knew each other before the band.

How did you all meet?

Which one of you posted the Craigslist ad? Were there lots of responses, or did
the only people who responded join Mountain Cult?

It was originally me and a friend on drums, jamming for fun. We put up an ad for a bassist
and found Maria. But before our first practice, my friend didn’t wanna play anymore,
so I put up another ad and found Dina. Those were the only two responses.

Are you kind of blown away by how well Craigslist worked out for you? You should
teach a class on how to effectively use that site.

I do. It’s every Tuesday morning, around 3:30 am. Bring a thousand dollars cash, and
don’t tell anyone where you’re going. You can find the ad under “Casual Encounters”.

Was there any particular idea behind the band, any specific sound you were going
for as things got started? Or was it more a product of just figuring out your sound as
you went along?

Dina’s first time playing drums was at our first practice. She would play a drum beat,
and we would play Pentatonic scales over it. We were trying to copy a ’60s blues/psychedelic
sound: Blue Cheer, Cream, Hendrix.

What does psychedelic mean to you, musically speaking? Do you think Mountain Cult
are psychedelic?

I think we were attempting to be psychedelic, but never really succeeded at it. Definitely
not with catching a ’60s sound.

I guess what I mean is, how would you define the term “psychedelic” when it comes
to music?

I don’t know how to define it exactly. Cream and The Beatles are both considered psychedelic,
but musically they’re totally different. We were trying to sound like the heavier blues-
based bands.

I feel like Mountain Cult isn’t revered for its psychedelic properties, but its amateur
qualities, if that makes sense… how do you feel if someone says Mountain Cult is “so
bad it’s good”? Do you take it as a backhanded compliment, or an insult, or are you just
psyched that people are listening and enjoying it?

That’s OK. We’ve always been in it for the money.

How did you get hooked up with Little Big Chief for the LP? Was it something you
were already working on, and then the label offered to get involved?

The LP is one of our practice tapes from last August. Brock (of Little Big Chief) emailed
us asking we had any new material and we sent him that.

So was the album kind of unexpected, then? Do you consider it an actual full-length,
or just a practice tape put to vinyl?

No, we were expecting it to come out sometime in August or September. If we considered
it a practice tape on vinyl, it would be named Mountain Cult PT.

Alright, alright, fair enough. So about your sound, I’d say that the inherent
looseness to the music is a big part of what makes it great. Is that something you’ve
considered? Like, would you want Mountain Cult to eventually get really tight as a band?

We don’t play anymore, but the LP was probably us at our tightest. We could only practice
one or two hours every other week, so each practice was sort like trying to remember what
the songs were again. I think I read somewhere that Black Flag used to practice three
times a week for six hours or more. If you’re going to be a tight professional band, thats
what you have to do. The fun part was jamming, writing new songs and seeing how they would
change week to week.

So Mountain Cult is done? What happened? This is horrible news.
Last time we played was December. Nothing really happened, we just didn’t feel like
playing anymore.

Do any of you have any new bands in the works?
Maria left to do solo stuff and recorded an album, available on under the
name Maria Takeuchi. I’m in a band called Sex Scheme, also on, and Dina is
in a band but she didn’t tell me what it is.