With a band name like Mindless Self Indulgence, most listeners know not to expect a “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” or a “Pet Sounds” or anything that’s conceived as a great, serious work of art.
But frontman Little Jimmy Urine says there’s an art to having fun, too.
“There’s plenty of bands ready to get on a soap box,” says Urine, 38 (real name James Euringer). “We kind of have an idea of not really telling anybody what they should do; they can figure it out on their own. I kinda like that about this band; it’s nice to be able to put up a piece of art and say, ‘What do you think of it?’
“If I took you into a museum and showed you something and said it was about this and this, you’d be, like, ‘Whatever ...’ But if you walk in and just look at it yourself, you’re much more interested. So that’s how we approach our music.”
On MSI’s fourth album, “IF,” Urine and company actually reversed the process a bit by throwing a song-in-progress — the provocatively titled “Mark David Chapman” — on its MySpace site and having fans weigh in on what direction the tune should take.
“It’s just me being fun, or me being bored,” Urine explains. “I said, ‘I’m just gonna have the kids vote as to how I should write this song. They’ll tell me what direction to go, and I’ll go in that direction. Every big turn in the songwriter process, they’ll tell me.’
“And, you know, I completely adhered to it. It was just time to do something interesting and new and have some fun with it. We throw so much (music) at people and say, ‘Here, listen to this ...,’ why can’t they say to us, ‘Here, write it like this ...’”
Mindless Self Indulgence, the Birthday Massacre and Julien K perform Saturday (June 21) at Harpo’s, 14238 Harper Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (313) 779-9278 or visit www.harposconcerttheatre.com.
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