Monday, December 17, 2012

Pheaturing Justin Jones From The Mahlors

Hey, kids, welcome to another entry of the Phile. How are you all doing?  A survey found that 66 million Americans haven’t started their holiday shopping. Which means they only have 8 more days to find out which gas station near their house sells Chili’s gift cards.  Despite a rough season, the New York Jets can technically still make the playoffs. Incidentally, “technically” is what most people say when someone asks them if they’re still a Jets fan. Speaking of football, on Twitter, Donald Trump mistakenly called New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, “Bob Belichick.” Then he said, “I apologize to the entire Patriots organization, and their quarterback, Jan Brady.”  There’s a new iPhone app that uses your location to give you constant updates about the weather. It’s called Talking to Your Mom.  McDonald’s reported today that it had better than expected sales in the month of November. Executives credit the success to increased advertising, new menu items, and two states legalizing weed.  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed an amendment that officially legalized marijuana in the state. Stoners took a moment to thank Governor Hickenlooper... then they spent a few hours just saying the word "Hickenlooper."  A professor at MIT just said that Windows 8 is a Christmas gift you should get for someone you hate. So, looks like you’ve got some competition, Edible Arrangements.  So, who saw The Hobbit in theaters? Logan and I are gonna go see it tomorrow morning, but I did see the latest advertisement for it, and it had me a little confused.

There's also another inspirational poster they released about the Hobbit. Check it out, Tolkienites.

Have you seen the new Sony headphones that are out? They are supposed to be the best. I wanted them for Christmas until I found out they were over 200 dollars. Here's what they look like.

Well, another company has some similar ones out, they are not as expensive, and are not that cool. Here's the ad...

So, Christmas is exactly one week away today, people. If you are still trying to figure out what to get for your loved ones, I am here to help. So, once again, it's the...

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And now, from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

The Top Phive 121212 Concert For Sandy Relief: By the Numbers
5. Number of knishes sold at the Harden during the concert: 67,892. Number of knishes not sold to Gov. Chris Christine: 241.
4. Number of Modell's stores Adam Sandler had to visit to compile his dazzling ensemble: 4.
3. Number of kick-jumps Pete Townshend has left in him before his hips turn into a fine powder: 3
2. Number of viewers who watched the show: 2 bollion. Number of viewers who were neuseauted by Roger Daltrey's waxy geriatric bird-chest: 1,9999 billion.
And the number one 121212 Concert numbers is...
1. Estimated total raised for Sandy relief: $53,000,000. Estimated total ages of the concert's rock acts: 53,000,000.

Okay, today's pheatured guest is the lead singer for the rock band The Mahlors, who kick off their tour today at Ortlieb's Lounge in Philadelphia. They have a fantastic new album called "Stay True" that is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and anywhere else that's cool. Please welcome to the Phile... the dreadlocked... Justin Jones.

Me: Hello, Justin, welcome to the Phile, man, how are you?

Justin: I'm doing well, my friend. Finally have some down time so I'm spending it on the beach and just relaxing... never get a chance to do that anymore. We played like 150-160 shows so far this year... it's fuckin' draining.

Me: A lot of people ask me how do I find the bands and musicians I interview? There's a number of ways. Your band, The Mahlors, I found when I typed in Foghat on iTunes  seeing if there was anything I didn't know about, like a cover of "Slow Ride" or something and I came across your track called "Foghat" on the "Give In" album. What would you call that track, a skit?

Justin: It's definitely just a skit, hah. I still chuckle at it when I hear it.

Me: Justin, tell the readers what it's about. I have to say, I was laughing my fucking ass off. "FAWGHAT. What? You never heard of them?"

Me: Basically, it is just TJ and I in the studio. TJ was actually making fun of this one old guy we met from a show, we were talking about music and we some how got on the subject of Foghat. The man had a heavy Jewish and obnoxious voice. Sometimes, TJ gets caught up in an impersonation and it's hilarious. I taped him impersonating this guy when TJ wasn't aware and pretty much it's just him talking slightly about Foghat and just a bunch of other random stuff...hah.

Me: TJ said he saw Foghat in concert in 1976... I doubt he was born then. LOL. Anyway, are you guys Foghat fans? LOL.

Justin: I dig Foghat. TJ is also a big Foghat fan too. Everyone of course knows them for "Slow Ride" but their underground cuts and B-side tapes are just fuckin' disgusting... it's pure rock n roll the way it's meant to be.

Me: So, what's the background story on this skit? TJ was playing around in the studio and someone recorded it?

Justin: That's exactly it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Me: How did you guys decide to put it on the album?

Justin: I have no clue actually. It just kind of happened. I listened back to it and it was just hilarious, so we had to put it on.

Me: You know you guys are gonna have to record a Foghat song now for real, right?

Justin: Fine by me, just let the guys from Foghat know, ha!

Me: We don't have to let them know... I'm telling you. Anyway, I ended up buying the whole album off from iTunes and enjoyed the whole thing. This is your third album, right?

Justin: That is correct, sir.

Me: And you have a third album that just came out.How do you compare all your albums, Justin?

Justin: Our past two records were done with our former lineup. We used to have another singer and guitar player, but he quit last October and I decided to just take over the frontman role. We added my longtime buddy Ryan to play guitar and sing backing vocals. Everything just took off from there. In terms of comparison though, I still consider these demo tapes. There are some cuts off it that are good, but it's two years old and a little immature to our current sound. Our sound now blows our old lineup the fuck away.

Me: Justin, the new album is really great, I downloaded it off from iTunes.

Justin: This is everything we've wanted from an album and it's something I can't stop listening to. The songs are great, catchy, and the quality of the record is fuckin' outstanding... and it was produced in my bed room... hah. We consider this record our "40 oz to Freedom" because that was the tape that took off for Sublime... we are hoping it does the same for us.

Me: Tell the readers what the album has on it.

Justin: This album has it all. The way I like to describe our sound is if reggae had sex with punk, ska, dub, hip hop, rocksteady, and jazz. Another way to describe it would be if reggae had the attitude of punk rock with the sophistication of jazz. This record has everything on it. Everything from straight up roots reggae, to fun ska, to straight up rock, to our interpretation of a Latinish bossa nova, to heavy punk rock and early hardcore. This album seriously has it all. I can't think of a single track on it that I'm a little iffy about, these are all good songs capable of being played over and over.

Me: I mentioned TJ in the band, he's the drummer, am I right? Who else is in the band?

Justin: TJ is indeed the drummer, he's a killer player. I play guitar and sing for the group. We've got Ryan DeHaven ripping on the guitar and singing backing vocals and we got Anthony Villar providing that bass.

Me: You are the main songwriter for The Mahlors, right? How long have you been writing songs, Justin?

Justin: That is correct. I've been writing songs since I was about 10 years old. Growing up, I used to play in all different sorts of bands, like I played in a bunch of different punk rock/hardcore bands, rock bands, and was even in a blues band with Ryan at one point. I was used to writing all different kinds of music but when I turned 15 that's when the reggae kick started happening. I started writing weird jazzy reggae punk songs as a solo project. These songs eventually turned into a life for me, and then I started making music with our former frontman. That's how the sound for The Mahlors got its start.

Me: The band is very reggaeish. Are you guys into reggae?

Justin: Were all into different forms of reggae. I listen mostly to rocksteady, roots reggae, and first and second wave ska. As cliche as it is, Marley took a big role in my life. TJ listens to every form of reggae, everything from roots to heavy dancehall and whatnot. Anthony listens to a lot of roots and Ryan listens to a lot of reggae-rock.

Me: I definitely hear The Supervillains in your music. What bands are you into, Justin, and who are your influences?

Justin: I love The Supervillains, we've actually played with them before. Their early tapes are among my influences. I was lucky because my father introduced me to good music at birth. The Allman Brothers "Live at Fillmore East" was in constant rotation growing up. I also listened to a lot of Led Zeppelin, Santana, and other great classic rock groups. As I got older I got introduced to punk rock and The Sex Pistols took over my life as well as The Ramones. I even scarred my arm to say "No Future" in homage to the pistols. I fell in love with reggae in my later teen years. I was big into bands like The Wailers, Toots and the Maytals, The Paragons, and then other punk-esque reggae bands like Sublime and The Supervillains. I was also big into jazz growing up, I constantly listened to Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Grant Green, Charlie Christian and other jazz greats... which made me go to college for jazz performance. My mission with The Mahlors was to try and combine every single influence that I can think of... so far we've done it with flying colors.

Me: I had Toots from the Maytals on the Phile twice. You are a fan of his music, did I read that right, Justin?

Justin: Absolutely, Toots and the Maytals are awesome.

Me: You guys are based in Pennsylvania, right? What part? My wife is from The Harrisburg area. I love it up there.

Justin: We're quite far from Harrisburg. We're based out of Bucks County... more specifically Doylestown. It's about a half hour north from Philly. It's a nice suburban town. We're all actually scattered. Ryan and I live close together near Doylestown but Anthony lives in Willow Grove (right outside of Philly) and TJ lives in Bensalem (also right outside of Philly). We all live pretty far from each other but we've been pretty much living together for awhile.

Me: So, what is the reggae scene like in Bucks County?

Justin: Non existent. It sucks for us. Hardcore, emo bullshit, and pop punk flow like water but there's nothing that stands out except a few bands. There is a heavy ska scene around Philly, but if you play anything other than traditional ska, they don't really dig it. The ska bands around us are really good though.

Me: With no reggae scene to think of, you must have a big following, am I right?

Justin: In our hometown, no. I mean we can still easily pack a room but it's not like people would go out of the way for it. I feel like we have no luck at home, but when we play other places, people love us. We do turn a lot of heads though. We love the fans we do have at home though.

Me: Do you get a lot of groupies at the shows?

Justin: Haha, we're an ugly band. And we sweat a lot. Women get offended by us because we're kind of rude and gross during our stage show. Our current assignment is getting TJ laid though. So ladies, if your reading this, TJ is giving out free mustache rides...

Me: I have no idea what that means. Sop, what is a typical Mahlors show like?

Justin: It's just a shit ton of fun. Bands that take themselves too seriously are assholes. Your bound to hear us talk about loose women, bleached assholes, douche bag dudes with flat brim hats, and we make fun of a lot of people. Its fun as hell. Just this past weekend I made a girl flip me off and leave the show because I said something offensive I don't remember.

Me: I have to ask you about the band name The Mahlors, where did that name come from?

Justin: It's actually a misspelling of a genius composer Gustav Mahler. I remember I always thought the name was cool and I think I wrote it wrong or some dumb shit. Our name is pretty weird but I dig it because there is no one else in the world with the band name The Mahlors.

Me: Justin, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back soon. Is there a website you wanna plug?

Justin: Thanks a bunch for having me, man. Check out our website at and like us on Facebook at

Me: Thanks again, and tell the others I said hello. And I cannot wait to hear your reggae version of "Slow Ride". LOL.

Justin: Hah, definitely.

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to Justin for a great interview. Check out his band on tour. Alright, the Phile will be back on Wednesday with Keller Ross, lead singer for the band Opium Symphony, and then on Sunday it's A Peverett Phile Christmas 4 Pheaturing British legend... Chas Hodges. You heard of Chas and Dave, right? Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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