Here Come The Mummies are performing at the Taft Theatre Sunday night in support of their latest release, Cryptic. Having seen the band in Covington, Lawrenceburg, and Cincinnati, I can tell you that they're no strangers to the tristate area. As a DJ on the local scene, I can also say that I've had the pleasure of introducing their music to hundreds of people with almost universal approval.
Don't let the loose bandages fool you, HCTM know how to party like bikini clad coeds on college spring break! The 10 piece band of funkateers puts on a multi sensory show that looks, feels, sounds, smells and probably even tastes like funk. HCTM wrap super tight arrangements of guitar, keys, bass, horns and percussion with hip wiggling rhythms, dazzling multi-part harmonies, and choreographed dance moves; deftly combining funk, soul, R&B and elements of disco into an intoxicating blend of beyond the grave boogie.
The band's bio reads "It's been a long and dusty road since 1922 when, at a dig in the desert south of Tunis, Professor Nigel Quentin Fontenelle Dumblucke IV (1895-1973) unearthed the ruins of an ancient discotheque to find a dozen undead Egyptian mummies inexplicably throwing down what he dubbed, "Terrifying Funk From Beyond the Grave." HCTM dedication to their identities and back story rivals that of even the most serious method actors (think De Niro, Pacino, Norton, Bale, Nicholson, Ledger) and/or the most over the top movie spoofs (see Airplane, Young Frankenstein, Austin Powers, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, Spaceballs, Scary Movie.)
Both endearing and vexing to their fans, the subject of the mummies true identities gets plenty of digital ink on message boards across the web. But who the Mummies really are isn't as important as what they represent; which is having fun getting down with the funk. And though their closely guarded identities will most likely be kept under wraps for eternity, "this reporter" managed to dig up some interesting insights during an interview with percussionist and band spokes-mummy, Java.
CincyMusic.com: Over the past decade, the Mummies have put together an extensive collection of songs. How do you manage to produce such copious amounts of material?
Java the Mummy: We are a virile and prolific bunch. Our energy is attributed to the fact that we were cursed at a young age, hence perpetual teenage humor. Eating lots of pineapple aids the copious material.
CM: With so many members it must be hard to find the time to come together. How does the process of creative songwriting work in such a large group? Who are the chief songwriters?
JM: It is tough to get together. We found that if we put the fridge and toaster next to each other, that we can corner Cass and Spaz. I guess I just admitted that many of our songs were written in the kitchen, not the bedroom.
CM: The Mummies write sexually suggestive songs full of innuendo, how do you maintain the stamina needed to give your fans such an energetic performance night after night?
JM: Again, perpetual teenage libido.
CM: Bob from the Bob & Tom Show wrote a song, The Astronaut Song (Tang), which cut from the same cloth as many of your tunes. First of all, imagine for us how many places HCTM could go with that title. Secondly, when can we expect a HCTM/Bob & Tom collaboration?
JM: I once spent an entire day trying to untie an astronaut. We get along swimmingly with Bob & Tom, ... they are genius. There has been talk about collaboration, but they do not share our affinity for toasters.
CM: I grew up listening to EW&F, The Commodores, Tower of Power, AWB and other similar acts. So that's how I describe HCTM sound to people who haven't heard you; 70's style Funk and R&B with a little bit of a disco vibe thrown in for good measure. Is that an accurate description? However you describe it, why did the band settle on this sound and instrumentation?
JM: We play music that makes ladies happy. I like your roots and description, though I would add a nugget of rock.
CM: I'm putting together a band called There Go The Dummies. We'll dress as ventriloquists dummies and write songs about having wood for the ladies. We'll have a similar approach & sound only our members will be much stiffer than you. How do you feel about Dummies/Mummies tour?
JM: Bring on the dummies!
CM: Pop culture is filled with references to zombies, vampires, werewolves. What plan have you devised to "thrust" HCTM further into the publics consciousness?
JM: We are thinking of the Undead Olympics, with sports such as bagel eating, flatulting for distance and duration, and all euphemism Scrabble.
CM: Cincinnati is a corn hole playing, chili loving town. Some of our citizens(this reporter) would like to requisition a song with either the title Cincinnati: Come for the Cornhole, stay for the 3-way or Cincinnati: Where the Cornhole is Good But the 3-Way is Better. How can we make this happen?
JM: Sounds like you just wrote a hit. Scoring advice: never admit to needing help facilitating a 3-way Cornhole.
CM: Greater Cincinnati is chock full of interesting towns and venues. What do you think about the idea of playing at Beaver Lick or Big Bone Lick State Park (both are real places)?
JM: I never stop thinking about them ... I own both on Blu-Ray.
CM: If and when you hook up with groupies do you keep the lid on or off the sarcophagus?
JM: We find it best to at least crack the lid.
CM: After 4000 years, I'd imagine that you've seen and done just about everything. Can you tell the ladies what they have to do to "grab your attention?"
JM: Wear nothing and bring Pellegrino.
CM: How do the Mummies help "fill the void" in their fans lives?
JM: Give them a reason to smile, and we all win.