Until recently, communal living was the way of the world for Michigan rockers Mason Proper.
The group hails from the Alpena area but spent time living in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, where the quartet recorded its debut album, the independently produced “There is a Moth in Your Chest.” The band members got along OK in close quarters, according to keyboardist Matt Thomson; the problems were with others who shared the houses with them.
“Just having the band members wasn’t enough to make the rent cheap enough, so we had to bring in outside people that were our friends but weren’t in the band,” explains Thomson, 22, who studied briefly at the University of Michigan before leaving to devote himself full-time to Mason Proper.
“No matter how good of an idea it seems, the three or four other people who lived in the house had no interest in hearing you try to write a song at 2 in the morning. So that was a point of contention with the other people, but within the band there was never anything like, ‘You haven’t washed dishes in a week and I’m upset about that ...’ ”
Nevertheless, living together “got old,” according to Thomson — especially with the band members spending more and more time together in a van as the group’s career developed. Now they’re living back Up North but aren’t there very often now that New York-based Dovecote Records has picked up “Moth” and released it nationally, allowing the band to re-record the songs and providing new packaging.
“I think it’s every band’s wildest dream to go back to a creation after it sat and ruminated on it for awhile,” Thomson says. “It was initially a sell-it-out-of-the-trunk type of situation, so to have it be such a wonderful looking album now, and to sound so good, it’s like a whole new experience and a whole new beginning for us.
“It’s an amazing feeling, really.”
Mason Proper and Birdmonster perform Tuesday (March 27th) at the Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $5. Call (313) 961-4668 or visit www.lagerhousedetroit.com.
Send your thoughts and comments to