Shawn Mrazek has played drums in numerous bands (Evaporators, Doers) over the years, but he handled nearly all of the instruments himself when recording Thought He Was Dead, his debut album as Shawn Mrazek Lives! The results are bubbly and ebullient, with eight whirlwind tracks that gleefully merge indie-rock brightness and punk energy with jubilantly shouted mantras.
Best local release other than yours:
“That would be Aaron Read’s Even Rats Can Feel the Sun. He’s good at so many different things, and not just a little bit good—he’s really good. His songs are heartfelt. They’re really poignant, they sound great, and he performs everything on them.”
The year’s best gig:
“Apollo Ghosts’ last show at the Rickshaw Theatre on May 10 with B-Lines, Watermelon, and Diane. It was a big love-fest, just having those four bands under one roof. To be able to see the Ghosts one last time—they played fantastic—I couldn’t have asked for more.”
Your house is on fire. What album are you saving?
“The Modern Lovers’ self-titled first record, the one before JoJo [Jonathan Richman] went solo. Legend has it that Modern Lovers sang at Gram Parsons’s wake, and they played ‘I’m Straight’. I would have loved to have been there to see that. Gram Parsons passed away of a morphine and alcohol overdose, and there’s the Modern Lovers playing ‘I’m Straight’. It’s super-punk, and the record is just incredible on all fronts.
Chip Wilson’s paying, so where’s dinner?
“I don’t go out very often, but when I do, I love going to Neighbour’s Restaurant [6493 Victoria Drive]. It’s a family-owned and -operated place, and it’s been going for 30-plus years. You can get steak and spaghetti there, and I don’t think I’ve had a better steak and spaghetti anywhere. The pizza’s fantastic. Everything’s good there.”
We’re reshooting the video for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”. Who’s your topless costar?
“Easy answer: [Stephen] Hamm. I play drums for the Evaporators, and whenever Hamm takes off his shirt during the show, the crowd goes berserk. The ladies love Hamm. I love Hamm!”
Let’s make this city more fun by opening a venue. Where?
“A good new venue is really determined by whether or not it has lasers, so I think the Planetarium [H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, 1100 Chestnut Street] would be, hands-down, the best place to have shows. They’ve got lasers, they’ve got smoke, they’ve got the planets. I’ve always dreamed of being huge in Uranus, and I think that’s as close as it gets.”