If you don’t know who Mindless Self Indulgence are let their legions of fans teach you a lesson. Ever since their 1999 debut “Tight,” the band have been pumping their wild blend of punk, rock, electronic, synth, and hip-hop for a sound that is crazy, intense, and always a lot of fun. The band just released their “lost” album “Pink” full of rarities that promises to take listeners on a ride through MSI’s history. Frontman Jimmy Urine talks about the new release, his other projects, and why it was the right time to open up his vault.
So the “Pink” album is the journey to how MSI’s sound was established?
Jimmy Urine: Yeah, it’s basically a prequel of what lead up to the sound that we all know and love.
Did you always have it in the back of your mind to release “Pink” or did it happen randomly?
JU: I always wanted to release it. it was just never the right time. Then when we got off tour last year I was like “Perfect! I will get this s*** off my plate now”
While gathering up the songs for “Pink” were there tracks that made you think what the hell was I thinking?
JU: There was a lot of tracks that made me think, why the f*** didn’t I release this before? This is f***ing great or super melodic or great lyrics etc. And a lot of clever sampling that made me think ‘damn Jimmy you really are a f***ing genius.’
You mentioned in a previous interview these songs were abandoned once you did “Bring the Pain.” What made you decide that was the sound you wanted and not turn back to rework these previous songs?
JU: Because after I did the “Bring The Pain” cover I just vomited up like 20 amazing songs that ended up on “Tight” and “Frankenstein [Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy]” and even some were not released till “If.” So I was like ‘f*** that old s*** this is the future this is the sound’ and I never looked back until 25 years later.
The last track is particularly interesting since it’s a recorded rant. What do you remember about that? What made you grab a recorder and take down what you were saying?
JU: I was alone in a huge house on the Upper West Side. I was all amped up after walking the streets all night and I had a tape recorder so that is definitely a recipe for an old school rant.
So is this all the previously unreleased material from the vault or are there more MSI rarities that will see the light of day?
JU: There are more. There are always more, but this was stuff that definitely fell under the self-titled or “Pink” or “Pink” b-sides category. There are always songs I write that don’t get used that I revisit later and am like ‘Oh s*** that is great. I know what to do with it now 10 years later’
You previously contributed the music for the video game “Lollipop Chainsaw” and there was even DLC based off of you. Will get involved with more video games?
JU: I am already doing music for video games, now and in the future. Video games are a really fun medium that fit the MSI sound perfectly and [sic] vise versa.
What if you had the chance to create your own video game? What would it be about?
JU: It would probably look like something from Team ICO. I love their stuff. People think if I made a game it would be insane, but I would rather it be like playing a beautiful immersive movie. That’s just me.
You and your wife Chantal Claret are going to appear in the musical “Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival.” Did you ever think you would take on a project like this?
JU: It’s not that far of a stretch from the type of stuff I get offered which is crazy cult stuff like “Lollipop [Chainsaw]” and “Devil’s Carnival,” which I’m happy about because most stuff I do I really enjoy, it’s fun and arty. And the chance to act and sing with my wife was an opportunity I could not pass up.
Based on your experience with this one, would you do another musical if you felt like the character suited you?
JU: Hell yeah, I love musicals! And as long as I like the project I am always down.
You guys announced your were taking a touring hiatus last year. What will you be doing during this break? Recording a new album perhaps?
JU: Been doing a lot of various studio work. But I am always writing MSI stuff and sticking it in a folder for later.
Anything else you want to add that we didn’t cover?
JU: Yeah. That I am such an awesome human being.
Mindless Self Indulgence’s “Pink” is out now. To grab a copy and hear their “Personal Jesus” cover, visit their website. The band’s last album “How I Learned to Stop Giving a S*** and Love Mindless Self Indulgence” came out in 2013.