Mac Blackout Band interview with Mac Blackout

September 30, 2014

Mac Blackout Band interview with Mac Blackout

© Chris Anderson 
For more than a decade Mark Dunihue McKenzie aka Mac
Blackout, has been blazing trails in the gritty soundscape of Chicago.  And while more and more people are taking
note of the town and its musical scene again at this point, often referring to
a sort of musical renaissance that’s going on there, Mac Blackout is one of the
people responsible for that sudden boom of good music and international
interest.  At least he is in my
opinion.  A champion of the local scene
at all times and one of the pivotal players in the modern music movement, Mac
Blackout’s one hell of an interesting guy to boot.  He’s been releasing destructively amazing
music for more than twelve years now, running the gambit from hardcore punk to
synthy glam rock and back again, he’s always trying something new, always doing
something different and it’s always good! 
While a lot of people know Mac Blackout as a prolific musician, having
released records with the Functional Blackouts, Daily Void, Mickey, and the Mac
Blackout Band as well as having extensive back catalog of solo material, many
of those people may not know how ingrained the visual arts are to him, or how
involved in them he is.  Blackout did
graffiti for a long time and has taken those techniques and applied them to a
variety of different visual mediums, carrying the skills and aesthetic he
learned during his tenure as a street artist. 
He’s done a variety of cover art for several of his own, as well as a
host of other bands as well, adorning them with his own unique brand of illustration.  Pushing modern Lowbrow psychedelic art to new
boundaries, Blackout crafts some of the most arresting and imaginative images
I’ve ever seen.  He’s published a book of
collected visual works this past year, has had several art installations,
offers a variety of crazy prints, and works in the 3D medium as well at this
point, hand painting boomboxes and just about anything else you’ll pay him
to.  Needless to say, he’s both an
accomplished musician and visual artist and I was more than excited when he agreed
to talk retrospectively about his career up to this point and give up some
clues as to where he wants to be headed from here on in.  Light up a smoke, grab a cup of coffee, or
maybe a cold brew, and make sure you brace your wallet if you’ve never heard of
this guy before, ‘cause you’re gonna be picking up some art for the walls in
your house and some music for them floppy skin flaps on the sides of your head
you call ears, ha-ha!
Listen while you read: http://macblackout.bandcamp.com/
© Chris Anderson 
You are what I
would gently call prolific to say the least. 
Not only are you an extremely accomplished musician who’s released ten
full-length albums in the last decade and half along with a slew of singles,
many of which you designed the covers for as you’re also an accomplished visual
artist as well!  Let’s start at the
beginning and we’ll just kind of try and work our way to present day.  Now, I know you’re currently located in
Chicago but where are you originally from and how old are you?
I was born in Bedford, Indiana in 1977.  I lived with my Mom until I was fifteen, and
then went to live with my Dad in Indianapolis. 
I finished High School in 1995 and went to art school at the Herron
School of Art.  I graduated in 1999 and
moved to Chicago.  I’ve been here ever
What was the local
music scene like where you grew up?  Did
you see a lot of shows or anything growing up? 
Were you exposed to a lot of the art that surrounds rock music like
flyers and posters and stuff there?  Do
you feel like that scene played a large part in shaping your musical tastes, in
the way that you perform at this point or in your art?
There wasn’t really a noticeable music scene in Bedford but
The Gizmos, Dancing Cigarettes, MX80 and others (Gulcher bands) where active
thirty minutes north in Bloomington, Indiana. 
My mom was an artist and took classes at IU in Bloomington.  Some of my earliest memories are walking down
Kirkwood looking at all the flyers on the poles and smelling the incense
pouring out of the head shops.  I
remember seeing the Gizmos logo around. 
My dad would always say “I’m the Human Garbage Disposal” at the end of
meals.  I figure he either partied with
those dudes, or that was the party jam on campus.  I asked him once about it and he changed the
subject.  I should ask him again…  Otherwise it was cool country kids blastin’
the Cars, walkin’ by the record store filled with Kiss cut outs, early MTV,
Nickelodeon, Saturday morning cartoons, hair metal, and later getting into
skateboarding.  80’s skateboard graphics
were a big influence on my art.  I was
really into Pusshead and Jim Phillips. 
The music, art, and pop culture of the late 70’s and 80’s was definitely
formative.  It’s had a lasting impression
for sure.
What about your home when you were a kid?  Were either of your parents artists or
musicians?  Was there a lot of art or
music around the house when you were growing up?
My mom, Elizabeth McKenzie, is an awesome artist and life
long art teacher in the Bedford area.  So
yes, I grew up with a lot of art around. 
My mom hung a lot of her art around the house.  A huge picture of a mouth on the wall in the
living room was awesome, some pop art, and big eye kids.  My mom’s childhood room in my grandparent’s
house was painted purple with eyes cut out from magazines taped all over the
room.  It was super psychedelic!  She denies it, but I got all of her old
magazines later and all the eyes were missing. 
As far as music…  My dad taught
me how to use the record player when I was three and left behind a few
records.  The Beatles “Yellow Submarine”,
Alice Cooper “Love It to Death”, and a Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare record were
favorites.  I could not stop singing TV
commercial jingles as a little kid, then later Michael Jackson…  The first record I bought with my own money
was Mott the Hoople’s All The Young Dudes.
What do you consider your first real exposure to music to
The music I mentioned in the last question, 80’s pop radio,
and Church choir.
If you were to pick a single moment, a moment that
seemed to change everything and opened your eyes to the infinite possibilities
that music presents what would it be?
When my dad explained to me how stereo music works in the
car as a kid, also when I got my first 4-track and mic in the mid 90’s.
When did you decide that you wanted to start writing and
performing your own music and what brought that decision about for you?
I had high school bands with friends in the early 90’s just
for fun.  We never played live
really.  I had a one-off show with
friends at my college graduation party, and some kid came up and punched me in
the face while I was screaming on the mic. 
It wasn’t even a punk show. 
Another time I remember screaming on the mic at a high school party and
kids laughing at me.  I knew in my heart
it felt good and it was something I wanted to do.  Later, when I moved to Chicago the visual art
scene seemed stuffy.  I took six drawings
to a gallery, dropped them off, and never came back.  I started the Functional Blackouts with my
friends and began recording solo 4-track songs and experiments on my own.  That was 1999-2000, the beginning of my
head-first dive into obsessively making music.
You’ve been deeply ingrained in the Chicago art and music
scene for something like fifteen years at this point. You’re first band that
I’m aware of was the Functional Blackouts, who were followed by Daily Void and
then Mickey and The Mac Blackout Band as well as having a great solo catalog as
well.  I know that currently Mickey is
back in action, the Mac Blackout Band just released their debut full-length and
self-titled album.  How do you keep so
many balls in the air, so to speak?  Most
people would find it difficult to juggle a solo career with a band, but you do
that along with doing visual art and I’m curious to hear if that’s more of a
situation where you’re happy when you’re working and you do that you love so it
doesn’t really feel like work, or maybe just an outlet for some OCD, but how
you’re able to do all of that, and do it well, is completely beyond me!  Got any tips for the rest of us lazy folk?

Music has always been an emotional/spiritual outlet for
me.  Other people’s music means
everything to me.  I feel like most of
the times I’ve truly connected with another person was through art and music.  There’re no strings attached.  The music, or art, will always be there for
you, it will never let you down.  It’s
been my best friend my entire life.  I
found this feeling for the first time with the Germs’ (GI) tape in high
school.  I felt a spiritual connection to
the music.  I’d blast it on my
headphones, cry to myself and forget my troubles.  I still crank that album today when I want to
escape.  It’s my safe warm place, a piece
of art I feel an endless spiritual connection to.  That being said, creating seems
automatic.  If I’m not doing it, I feel
worthless.  Like I’m being a bad friend
to all the people in the world that need that art or music to connect to.  A piece of art or music that speaks to
someone is very specific.  It comes to
you at the perfect moment to touch your life in a way nothing else can.  Creating is a necessity for me.  I would be very depressed without it.  I’m obsessed with working and more than happy
to do it every waking minute.
Daily Void 
Your output is extremely varied, and while there’s a vein
of recognizable sounds that run inside, it definitely runs the gambit of genres
and styles.  I’m really curious to hear
who you would cite as your major musical influences?  What about influences on particular projects
as opposed to yourself as an individual?
There’s a ton of influences…  Lou Christie, Dion, Ike and Tina Turner,
Prince, Cindy Lauper, Stevie Nicks, James Brown, Betty Davis, the Germs, Black
Flag, Adverts, Hubble Bubble, Clone Defects, Electric Eels, Dead Boys, Gizmos,
early GG, the Dictators, Scorpions, Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper,
Alan Vega/Suicide, Iggy Pop, Billy Idol, The Boss, Kim Fowley, Bowie, Bolan,
Slade, Sweet, Sparks, Roxy, Steve Harley, Alistair Riddell, Heartland Rock,
Killed by Death comps, Junk Shop Glam, Late 80’s and early 90’s hip hop; Eric
B. and Rakim, Gang Starr, EPMD, Nas, Jeru, Ice T., Jazzy Jay, Busy Bee.  I dig a lot of free jazz, weird soundtracks,
prog stuff too, home tapers, 60’s psych and garage.  I could go on forever.  Probably would be better to list favorite
albums and comps.  Anyway, it’s pretty
obvious which bands leaned in which direction. 
Functional Blackouts and Daily Void were more KIlled by Death/raw punk
bands.  Mickey is more of a Glam/hard
rock band.  Mac Blackout Band is kind of
a mix of both with some metal-ish rippers. 
New Rose Alliance is a post Mickey experiment in a Roxy vein at
times.  We don’t really shoot for
something too specific, it just kind of happens depending on the people I’m
playing with.
What’s your songwriting process like?  Do you like to write riffs or work on songs
outside of practice and take an idea into the rest of the people that you’re
playing with when you feel like you’ve got a somewhat coherent idea to share
with the rest of the people you’re playing with?  Or, is it more of a situation where you kind
of bask in the present of the people that you’re playing with and harness the
energy that you all create together and channel that into ideas that you all
work on and refine together as a group?
It’s different for specific bands.  With Mac Blackout Band I write pretty much
everything before bringing it to the band. 
Some songs are solo tunes we rework as a group.  I let each musician have space to express
themselves in the style they play.  With
Mickey, the band writes the instrumentals and I take the practice tapes home to
write lyrics and vocal arrangements. 
With Daily Void and the Functional Blackouts, Ilth and I each brought
our own songs to the band; usually the lead vocalist on the tune is the one who
wrote it.  With the first Functional
Blackouts LP it was a mix of Mac and Ilth songs with Brian Nervous on vocals.
What about recording? 
I’m a musician myself and I think that most of us can obviously
appreciate the end result of all the time and effort that goes into making an
album when you’re holding that finished product in your hands.  Getting to that point though, getting stuff
recorded and sounding the way that you want it to, especially when you’re
working with other people, can be extremely difficult to say the least. What’s
it like recording for you man?  Do you
prefer to take a more DIY approach to recording where you handle the technical
aspects of things so you don’t have to work with or compromise on the sound
with anyone else?  Or, do you like to
head into the studio and let someone else handle that side of things so you can
simply concentrate on getting the best performance as possible out of yourself?
I love recording, I’ve been recording my own solo records
for fifteen years.  The
recording/creative process plays a big part in the song writing.  All of my solo material was written and
performed at the same time.  Usually,
I’ll start writing a song and work on it all night until it’s finished.  After I have a good group of songs I’ll
release an LP or single on whatever label is interested in working with me at
the time.  As for my other bands, Mark
Freitas records and produces/coproduces many of the records.  His work is amazing.  He’s done all of the Mac Blackout Band and
Mickey releases to date.  He also did
some Functional Blackouts and Daily Void records.  His input is what makes the records truly
stand out.  It’s a lot of hard work but
we’ve been working together for ten years, so recording goes pretty
smooth.  He’s kind of like the sixth
member of Mickey and Mac Blackout Band and he plays keys in New Rose
Do you spend a lot of time meticulously working out every
single aspect of a song before you head in to record it, or do you get a good
skeletal idea of what a song’s going to sound like while allowing for some
change and evolution during the recording process when necessary?
With the bands, we work things out prior to recording.  The energy of the performance is the most
important thing to me, we’re not that technical.  We add vocals and overdubs after the initial
recording.  With solo recordings, it’s
all written while multi-tracking.
Do psychoactive or hallucinogenic drugs play a large or
integral role in your songwriting, recording or performance processes when it
comes to music?  People have been
harnessing the altered mind states that drugs produce for creating art almost
since the beginning of recorded history and I’m always curious about its
application to the processes of creation and performance.  What about with your visual art?
Psychedelic visions and intense experiences play a big part
in my art, drug related or not.  Any
experience that is truly beautiful, horrific, passionate, or emotional usually
finds its place in my music or art.  I
don’t take a lot of psychedelic drugs, but I do love the experiences I’ve
had.  I tell it like I see it.
As I mentioned before, I know that the Mac Blackout Band
just released their debut album and I know you have a new solo album coming out
on Bat Shit Records before too long and Mickey is active again as well.  Do you have anything else going on right now
as far as music goes?  Are there any
bands or side projects that I missed?
Yeah, New Rose Alliance is two-parts Mickey, two-parts E.T.
Habit with Mark Freitas on keys.  We have
a LP pretty much finished.  We don’t know
what label will be putting it out yet.
Mac Blackout Band just dropped an album not long ago and
I know you have the upcoming Bat Shit solo album as well.  Do you have any other releases in the works
or on the horizon at this point that you can tell us about?
Mac Blackout Band is recording a single for the song “Red”
soon and Mickey’s working on some unreleased material.  The Mac Blackout solo American Loser LP
should be out soon.  You can listen to it
online here.
Where’s the best place for our US readers to pick up
copies of your enormous and ever-growing back catalog?  What about your amazing artwork?
You can order records at http://macblackout.bandcamp.com/
For art you can get in touch with me on my Facebook page or
buy directly from my etsy store.  There’s
Links to everything at macblackout.com.
With the absolutely insane international shipping rates I
try and provide our readers with as many possible options as I can for scoring
imports.  Where’s the best place for our
international and overseas readers to snag your stuff?
The best place to order is from my Bandcamp page.  I’ll ship international.  If you send me a Facebook message I can put
together a package with a bunch of recordings, prints, whatever you want.  I’ll write you back quick.  Otherwise, directly from the record labels or
search online.
And where’s the best place for our interested readers to
keep up with the latest news like upcoming shows, album releases and the newest
art from you at, man?  It’s a full-time
job at this point.
Are there any major plans or goals that you’re looking to
accomplish in the rest of 2014 or 2015?
This Mickey reunion is real exciting!  Record new records with Mac Blackout Band and
Mickey, I’m working on new art daily.  Do
some murals with my graffiti crew, Made U Look. 
Get back and do some street art, it’s been awhile, and I’ve got some new
tricks stuff up my sleeve.  Finish a new
Mac Blackout solo LP.  I have plans for a
big solo art show, probably next Fall.
Do you spend a lot of time out on the road touring or
anything?  I know you have a lot of stuff
going on and didn’t know how much your schedule allowed for that sort of
thing.  Do you enjoy being out on the
road?  What’s life like on tour for you?
I enjoy tour, but it takes its toll.  We play hard and party hard.  I like to keep tours short, get back and work
on art.  There’s too much down time on
the road, too many hours wasted in bars before the show.  I love to see old friends and meet/see new
bands though.  That is truly the best
thing about tour…  Really, it’s the
reason why we do it.
What, if anything, do you have planned as far as touring
goes for the rest of the year?
We just finished our LP release/summer tour.  We may do some Midwest out of town
dates.  Mac Blackout Band is playing UFO
Dictator fest in Kalamazoo this October.
Who are some of your personal favorite bands that you’ve
had a chance to play with so far?
Recently, the Manateees and Nots from Memphis, all the
Pelican Pow Wow bands are really my favorites right now.  UFUX is Ilth’s new band from Functional
Blackouts and Daily Void.  Mama from
Chicago is great!  Some all time
favorites I’ve played with are the Clone Defects, Mentally Ill, Weirdos, Spits,
Nobunny, Wizzard Sleeve, and Puffy Areolas.
In your dreams, who are you on tour with?
Mickey, Mac Blackout Band, and a two-piece with just me and
my wife, Alison.
Do you have any funny or interesting stories from live
shows or performances that you’d like to share here with our readers?
There are way too many wild and weird stories for one
question…  With the Functional
Blackouts, we used to get in fights on stage out of frustration…  One time in Seattle I punched Brian Nervous
during the show.  The Spits got on stage
after us and fought with each other the whole time.  I figure they were trying to show us up.  I love the Spits.  The Functional Blackouts last show was a
fight between Ilth and Cos at the Mutiny. 
Ilth used to puke at every set. 
He puked on a reporter from the Chicago Reader once.  We’ve been banned from The Fireside, The
Mutiny, Cole’s, Cal’s, The Empty Bottle, Club Foot…  too many Chicago bars over the years.  We used to play eviction parties where the
kids would tear the place to shreds.  I
had to take Brian to the hospital after one. 
With Mickey, I would get my ass beat. 
I’d come out with broken fingers, cuts all over, huge hematomas, clawed
faces, knots all over my head, I think I cracked my skull on the stage once, I
couldn’t bend down on my knees for two years. 
It was like being a pro wrestler, a lot of fun.
© Rob Karlic 
With all of the various methods of release that are
available to musicians today I’m always curious why they choose and prefer the
mediums that the do.  Do you have a
preferred medium of release for your own music? 
What about when you’re listening to or purchasing music?  If you do have a preference, can you tell us
what it is and a little bit about why?
Records are my favorite, they sound the best and the artwork
is nice and big.  Tapes are my second
favorite.  They’re small and you can put
them in your pocket easily, they sound real warm, they’re cheap to make, they
force you to listen to an entire side for the most part.  I like to listen to tapes in the shower.  Just pop one in and listen to a whole side
while getting ready in the morning.  You
can get lost in a tape much easier because you don’t want to fast forward or
rewind, just listen to the whole thing. 
CDRs are cheap and you can hand them out to friends with full album art and
they convert to MP3s easily.  Digital is
my least favorite, no real album art, digital/streaming is okay for quick
listens, but if you really love the music you’ll want to get the record to
enjoy it more.
Do you have a music collection at all?  If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Yeah, I have a ton of records and tapes.  It’s a real scratchy collection with all my
favorites.  I don’t have that much fun at
record stores anymore, ‘cause I have most of my favorite albums.  It’s a big ratty party collection.  Slade records with crusty beer spills all
over them.
I grew up around my dad’s fairly large collection of
vintage psychedelic music and I was really encouraged to dig in and listen to
anything that I wanted from a young age. 
More importantly than that I think though, he would pick up random stuff
for me from the local shops that I was interested in and I quickly developed
this ritual of coming home with an album, kicking back with a set of
headphones, reading the liner notes, staring at the cover art and just letting
the whole experience take me on this crazy trip away from wherever I was or
whatever I was doing.  Having something
physical to hold and experience along with the musical always made for a more
complete and much more intimate listening experience for me.  Do you have any such connection with
physically released music at all?
Definitely!  Having
the physical tape or record in hand with art is essential to me.  It’s all about connecting with the art.  Having it in your hand makes the experience
so much better.  Finding out about music
online is great, but if you dig the music you have to get a copy of it to truly
enjoy the full experience.
Like it or not, digital music is here in a big way.  That’s just the tip of iceberg though, when
you combine digital music with the internet, that’s when things get really
crazy.  Together they’ve exposed people
to the literal world of music that they’re surrounded by and allowed for an
unparalleled level of communication between bands and their fans, eliminating
geographic boundaries that would have crippled bands even just a few years ago.  It’s not all peaches and cream though, while
people are being exposed to more and more music it’s beginning to seem like
they feel entitled to it for free on a lot of levels and they’re not
necessarily interested in paying for it. 
People’s interaction and relationship with music is constantly changing
and evolving, but I think that digital music may have presented a monumental
step backwards in people’s experience and appreciation of music.  As an artist during the reign of the digital
era, what’s your opinion on digital music and distribution?
I’m fine with it. 
Like I said, if you really like an album you’ll end up buying it in a
physical form.  I like sites like
Bandcamp where you can download and buy records directly from the artist.  That probably ends up being better for an
underground artist in the long run, because chasing royalties isn’t an artist’s
thing really.  I think fans are choosing
to buy directly from the artist more and more because they know the money is
going straight to the source.  The
internet gives the artist as much power as streaming takes away.  Fans, and the public in general, just need to
understand that buying directly from the artist is the best way to do it.
I try to keep up with as much good music as I possibly
can, but I swear there’s just not enough time in the day to keep up with half
of the amazing stuff that’s going on out there. 
Is there anyone from your local scene or area that I should be listening
to that I might not have heard of before? 
What about nationally and internationally?
Chicago has a ton of great bands, too many to
mention…  my favorite current bands are
UFUX and Mama from Chicago, and the Manateees from Memphis.
We’ve talked a lot about your music, but I wanna take a
bit to talk about your artwork as well as it’s some of the coolest psychedelic
art I’ve had the pleasure to come across in a good while!  When did you start drawing seriously?  I know you attended school in Indianapolis
where you received a BFA in 1999.  Did
you attend school to learn how to do psychedelic illustrative art like you’re
making now or was that more of an education in fine art, per say?
I started drawing really young.  I would draw for fun throughout my childhood,
later drawing hair metal logos and pictures of Axl Rose and stuff when I was
ten…  In high school I drew for the
school newspaper and went to classes at Herron for figure drawing.  I was doing a lot of graffiti at the time and
would draw out pieces during class and go to the freight yard later that night
and paint them.  I wrote graffiti heavily
from 1993 to 2001 then gave it up to focus on music.  Graffiti made me a man, gave me self
confidence, and it made me a better artist in general.
Was there a certain moment, an experience maybe, or a
point where you saw a certain piece of art where you thought yourself, “Yeah I
can do that. In fact, I will do that” or anything?
Yeah, I would see images of graffiti on Subway trains in the
80’s and love it.  When I moved to
Indianapolis in 1993 I had just broken both arms skateboarding and gave that up
to start writing graffiti.  Indianapolis
had no graffiti.  I stumbled across a
copy of “Subway Art” and started destroying the city.  It was exploration of a totally new urban
land.  I could be alone at night and take
my frustrations out on the wall. 
Complete freedom in a virgin land. 
I’d drive around the city in the day and see my graffiti
everywhere.  It’s probably the best
feeling a human can have.  You’re in
complete control of your success.  You
don’t have to rely on any two-faced asshole that wants to leech on you.  Do it yourself.  Create your own destiny.
I know you did the cover the self-titled Mac Blackout
Band album, along with a ton of other covers for bands that you’ve been
in.  Do you do a lot of commission art or
pieces for other bands?  If you do
commission work, what’s the best way for interested parties to get in touch
with you?
Yeah, I’ve done recent work for Flesh Panthers, Modern
Convenience, and Golden Pelicans.  I’m
working on an LP cover for a great Chicago band, Le Tour.  I’m open to commissions/illustrations of all
kinds, LPs, shirt designs, I’ll paint your boombox, your car, your house.  Just get in touch with me on Facebook or
Instagram direct, @macblackout.
What are some of your favorite visual arts projects
you’ve been involved with over the years?
I love making all types of art on my own.  I paint a lot of boomboxes right now.  I’d love to paint more cars and start doing
whole buildings.  As far a projects
involving other people…  Growing up
doing graffiti with my crew, Made U Look, was tops…  Also, working on the first Functional
Blackouts cover with Ilth.
I know you do prints of a lot of your art which you can
find on your etsy page and when I was looking around on your site I saw that
you had published a book which collects some of your artwork from January to
March of this year (2014) from a series entitled, Nightmares And Pretty Things.
Is that out of print at this point?  I know
that several of the pieces from that are offered up as prints on the etsy page
but I didn’t come across the book.  Is
that out of print that this point?  Are
there any plans to do a follow-up to that at this point?
Yeah, the first edition sold out.  I’m going to print a second signed edition of
it.  I also plan to do another series of
drawings for Nightmares And Pretty Things Vol. 2 this winter.
The pieces from the Nightmares And Pretty Things series
were all done with pen and ink, so pencil, no sketching, which blows my mind
when looking at the art.  Do you approach
a lot of your stuff with that kind of stream of consciousness approach or does
that depend and vary on what you’re working on?
The series started as just doodles.  Then, I wanted to add something referential,
so I added it as I went.  It’s a balance
of automatic drawing doodles and rendering images…  Whatever comes out.  A lot of the time I don’t know what’s
happening until it’s done, so it’s kind of a psychological portrait.  I don’t like to over think it or preplan it
too much… Add one thing, then the next. 
When you get done it’s like, “What the fuck did I just make?  That’s a weird one”.
What’s your preferred medium when you’re doing art?  Are you a pen and ink all the way guy, or do
you like to bring in some paints or mixed media stuff?  I’ve meddled in that stuff and I think it’s
all a blast, but my heart definitely lies in black and white pen and ink
illustration.  Do you have any one style
or media that you’re particularly fond of?
It changes from time to time.  I’m starting to really dig painting with sign
enamels on all kinds of found objects.  I
like acrylics too.  Pen and ink is great,
collage is super fun.  I really like
mixed media as long as it’s constructed to last.  I love doing mixed media handmade tape and 45
covers.  I just put out a handmade tape
with my last two solo LPs and five bonus tracks.  You can get them on my Bandcamp or message me
on Facebook.
A lot of people who work inside the graphic designs and
illustration fields that surround the music scene, rock and psychedelic music
in particular, are lumped into a category that’s often referred to as
Lowbrow.  While I understand where
they’re coming from, I don’t necessarily agree with all of the connotations
that arise from the usage of that term as I don’t think a lot of people
understand what it means or refers to. 
How do you feel about the Lowbrow art term and how would you describe
what you do?
I just make art. 
There is no low or high art to me. 
People connect with all kinds of different art and artists.  “Lowbrow” and “high art” are just
labels…  The world has changed a lot
since the 90’s.  What used to be
considered “Lowbrow” art is now “high art” in many cases….  Raymond Pettibon, Shepard Fairey, graffiti
Art in general.  “Lowbrow art” is in all
the modern museums in major cities worldwide. 
We live in a much more open minded society.  Just like what you like, don’t let anyone
tell you what’s cool or not cool, or “high” or “low”.
© Michael Siciliano 
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me, you’re
a seriously talented and interesting guy and it was awesome learning so much
about you and the vast body of work that you’ve created.  I look forward to invariably hearing a lot
more from you in the future, and I swear I’m done – no more questions!  Before we call it a day though, I’d like to
open the floor up to you for a second. 
Is there anything I could have possibly missed or that you’d just maybe
like to take this opportunity to talk to me or the readers about?
Thanks for the interview Roman.  Be expecting more Mac Blackout Band, Mickey,
and New Rose Alliance recordings soon. 
I’m always down to do commissions, artwork for record covers,
illustrations, murals, etcetera.  Just
message me through my Facebook page or direct message on Instagram
@macblackout.  See macblackout.com for
art and links to music.
© John Mourlas 
Mac Blackout Band (2012 – present)
(2012) Mac Blackout Band – Black Knight – 7” – Diversey
Records (Limited to 300 Glow In The Dark Vinyl singles)
(2013) Mac Blackout Band – Heartbreaker – 7” – Pelican Pow
Wow Records (Limited to 400 hand-numbered copies)
(2014) Mac Blackout Band – Mac Blackout Band – 12” – Pelican
Pow Wow Records (Limited to 300 copies)
Mac Blackout (2008 – present)
(2008) Mac Blackout – Mac Blackout – 12” – Dead Beat Records
(2008) Mac Blackout – The Rabid Babies – CD – Dead Beat
(2009) Mac Blackout – The Western Blue – 12” – FDH Records
(2010) Mac Blackout – Don’t Let Your Love Die – 7” – Sacred
Bones Records
(2011) Various Artists – Tarantisimo Summit Volume 2 – 12” –
Bat Shit Records
(2011) Mac Blackout – America Stole My Baby – 12” – Burka
for everybody Records
(2013) Mac Blackout – American Loser – 7” – JukeBox Records
Music Company
(2014) Mac Blackout – American Loser – 12” – Bat Shit
Mickey (2009 – 2012, 2014 – present)
(2010) Mickey – She’s So Crazy – 7” – Hozac Records (Limited
to ? copies)
(2010) Mickey – Highway Bound – 7” – Florida’s Dying Records
(2011) Mickey – Rock n Roll Dreamer – 12” – Hozac Records
Daily Void (2006 – 2010)
Void (2007 – 2010)
(2007) Daily Void – Surprise – 7” – Hozac Records (Limited
to ? copies)
(2007) Daily Void – Mass Communication Culture – 7” – Boom
Chick Records
(2007) Daily Void – ID Code – 12” – Dead Beat Records
(2008) Daily Void – Man Machine – 7” – Florida’s Dying
(2008) Daily Void/Ovoids – Split – 7” – Don’t Hit Records
(2010) Daily Void – Civilization Dust – 7” – Ken Rock
Records (Limited to ? copies)
(2010) Daily Void – Eclipse EP – 12” – Sacred Bones Records
Functional Blackouts (2001 – 2006)
Blackouts (2002-2008)
(2002) Functional Blackouts – Razorblade Blues – 7” –
Electroshock Records
(2003) Functional Blackouts – 1-900-GET-INSIDE – 7” –
Goodbye Boozy Records (Limited to ? copies)
(2003) Functional Blackouts – Functional Blackouts – 12” –
Criminal IQ Records
(2005) Functional Blackouts/Fashion Fashion – Split – 7” –
Florida’s Dying Records
(2005) Functional Blackouts – Raw Dawg – 7” – Wrench Records
(2006) Functional Blackouts – Severed Tongue – 12” –
Criminal IQ Records
(2007) Functional Blackouts – The Very Best Of The Monkees –
CD – Dead Beat Records
(2007) Functional Blackouts/KK Rampage – Split – 7” – Big
Neck Records
Interview made by Roman Rathert/2014
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2014
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