Mustard Plug started out in 1991 in the punk clubs, basements, and dive bars of the Midwest, playing punk-influenced ska music before most people in the U.S. had ever heard of ska. They embraced a DIY work ethic that had been ingrained in them growing up in the 1980s hardcore punk scene and applied it to everything they would ever do together as a band. Mustard Plug self-released their first cassette tape, 1992’s Skapocalypse Now!, and played constantly to earn enough money to record their first album, 1994’s Big Daddy Multitude, which was released on legendary NYC label Moon Records. With their newfound national distribution and exposure, the band climbed into their van and performed their music for new fans across North America.
For their next album they enlisted their heroes, the Descendents' Bill Stevenson and Stephan Egerton, to record their breakthrough ska-punk classic Evildoers Beware at The Blasting Room. After meeting the crew from Hopeless Records in the beer line at a Descendents show at the Whisky-A-Go-Go, the band teamed up with the then-fledgling LA punk label to release the album to an eager and rapidly expanding fanbase. Released in 1997, Evildoers Beware solidified the band's own take on the genre, combining the edginess of punk and the danceability of ska with sure fire melodic pop hooks. Through relentless touring and word of mouth, Evildoers Beware sold over 150,000 copies and solidified the band’s position within the burgeoning third wave ska scene. The band even flirted with commercial radio play with their cover of The Verve Pipe's "The Freshman," but decided mainstream pop fame was not for them. They never shot a video or commercially released the song despite the radio buzz.
In March 2020, while touring Australia, Mustard Plug watched as the live music industry began to collapse in front of their eyes. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, the band was forced to take a 16-month hiatus. Stuck at home, they workshopped songs for a new album.
The band returned to The Blasting Room recording studio in January 2023 with their longtime producer, Bill Stevenson. Teaming up with ska label Bad Time Records, they released the new album on September 8, 2023. Where Did All My Friends Go is a return to form for Mustard Plug, with melodic dance floor bangers and darker lyrical themes inspired by the pandemic and the unraveling of modern society. The album is sure to please both older fans from the 90s and the new generation of ska fans who have been building the genre’s momentum in recent years.
The band is currently doing what they do best: touring in support of the new album! Mustard Plug is stopping at The Southgate House Revival on Wednesday, January 10th!