The Mustachios is a hometown band taking the new age of the music industry and coming up with innovative ways to market themselves. The band is comprised of three veritable newcomers to the local music scene along with front man and scene vet Michael Francis, who is known for his work with local bands such as Scarecrow and Blood Red Squid. When the four met, the constant between them was their facial hair and it became the obvious name for their group.
“We all had moustaches by coincidence,” Francis said. “The band name came second. We were just trying to find a name. We didn’t really subscribe any value to it. It turned out to be a good brand though.”
The Mustachios introduced themselves with last year’s debut “Mavis,” a three-track EP with an unsullied modern indie rock sound riddled with classic rock overtones. Following suit with other modern indie bands, The Mustachios broke the two-years between releases industry standard and brought their fans “Ride,” only eight months after “Mavis.” This full-length album displayed higher production value and cohesiveness. While the indie rock remained, the band incorporated a number of fun grooves to accent their tracks.
While many bands have traditionally relied on physical copies of their album, The Mustachios decided to go with a more modern approach. “Mavis” and “Ride” were distributed through their website and other online music outlets. Francis is familiar with the old way of being a DIY musician, and he will admit that modern methods are superior, especially on the business side of things.
“I think the major thing is the forum of the Internet,” he explained. “That wasn’t around in the ‘90s. Now it’s the major means of dissemination for indie bands, at this point. The other thing is that technology has changed a lot. Digital recording is basically free, so you can put out a lot of stuff without spending a lot of money.”
The Mustachios are in the process of releasing their third effort, “Bruce.” This album takes its name from Francis’ loyal canine companion, who has become a mascot for the band. The band has recruited Dogwood Studios for past studio work, and they have chosen to do the same for “Bruce.” They were introduced by an associate of the band, engineer Ray Norman, who they claim is one of the biggest selling points for the studio. Their time with Norman has been a positive experience for all members of the band.
“He’s really laid back,” Francis said. “His major goal is to bring out the way a band sounds without coloring it too much. He does provide really interesting feedback if you ask him to. He can take the role of being light handed or heavy handed when you want him to. We find that we work really smoothly with that style.”
The Mustachios are also bringing a new technique of both creating and marketing the tracks on “Bruce.” The four tracks found on the EP were all recorded in a 13-hour day. Each track was recorded on location at a different locale. The band essentially played four, one-song shows. After a track was recorded, they loaded up their equipment and moved to a different location to record the next track.
While it may seem strange, the process makes sense when one factors the other aspect of “Bruce.” For each recording location, local filmmaker Kris Skoda shot the creation process. Ultimately, each track was recorded with an accompanying music video. The band had no experience with shooting videos. They presented their idea to Skoda, and he maintained the vision for the videos for “Bruce.”
“We stay out of the video realm,” Francis said. “We have no expertise at all. We gave [Skoda]an outline of what we were trying to accomplish, which was a matter-of-fact recording of us playing live. He took it and ran with it. Each song has a different video feel, and they are spearheaded by a different person each time. So, we got some unique aspects for the four videos.”
Every two weeks over an eight-week period, The Mustachios will alternate releasing tracks and their companion videos. “One Way Ticket” is the first track/video to be released from “Bruce” and can be found on the band’s website. “Connor’s Song” will be the next release. This song is about one of the band member’s brothers and his talents on the dance floor.
“He has this characteristic way of dancing,” Francis said. “He’s going to be featured in the video. It’s about wanting to dance with Connor.”
For Francis and the other members of The Mustachios, this method of releasing an album has many benefits. First, producing a four-song EP is more economical than releasing a full-length album. Second, the sporadic release of these songs and their videos allows the band to maintain traffic on their website and keep “average levels of interest up.” Finally, the method is extremely innovative and a new technique of marketing music on the indie level. Francis says this is a marketing technique that the band will revisit with future releases, as they try to get as much material out as possible.
To experience “Bruce” both visually and aurally, visit The Mustachios website (www.themustachiosband.com). You’ll also find their previous recordings there.