Super Mash Bros. live at Legends
Troy Mathew | Monday, March 7, 2011
Super Mash Bros, a Los Angeles-based mash-up group, performed at Legends last Friday night, creating what was aptly described as “musical jungle juice.”
This eclectic musical and visual juice included mash-ups featuring Lil Jon’s “Get Low” over Hanson’s “MMMBop,” coupled with videos displaying everything from Bill Nye the Science Guy to clips of “The O.C.” Such pop-culture nostalgia is very characteristic of the group, band member Nick Fenmore said in an interview with the Observer.
“Our goal is to put things together that no one else would think of,” Fenmore said. “If something is obscure and needs a comeback, we’re more than happy to make it happen. We like to use things in our songs people wouldn’t necessarily consider dance music.”
Also contributing greatly to the throwback-laden show was the video component, created by fellow Mash Bro, Ethan Dawes.
“The video component is just about making the show more of an experience,” Dawes said. “The video is always really tailored to where we are.”
The personalized video show, which included clips from “Rudy,” and Notre Dame football highlights, resulted in an audience wondering what could possibly come next. The music also fully established this feel, as the group made an effort to mix new material in with their more established songs.
“We like to play our classics, but also throw in some of the new stuff as well. Sometimes we absolutely wing it based on what the crowd is feeling,” Fenmore said. “I don’t define our classics. It’s just whatever people want to listen to. People seem to love our Eminem/MGMT track and our Sandstorm/Soulja Boy track.”
Such tracks differ in the group’s live show, as the group will play more of the songs’ choruses to heighten their sing-along quality. The personalization and spur of the moment additions lead to a unique concert-going experience.
“For our live shows, there are no rules and no expectations,” Fenmore said. “This is going to be a party, we just want people to sing along and have fun and enjoy the whole visual aspect of what’s going on.”
Fenmore and Dawes, both 21, are joined by group member Dick Fink. Fink, who is currently studying abroad in Australia, rarely tours with the group because he is a full-time college student. Dawes, who graduated early from Emerson College, and Fenmore, who is currently on leave from UCLA, are the group’s primary performers.
Super Mash Bros formed between 2006 and 2007, when Dawes and Fenmore were both working as DJs in the Los Angeles area. Their work as DJs led to a fortuitous musical breakthrough.
“I didn’t start making mash-ups until 2007. I was DJing and I think just accidentally started making mash-ups,” Fenmore said. “When you’re mixing something and going from one song to the next, there’s going to be some accidental mash-up. Then you realize, holy crap, these songs go well on top of each other and sound good together.”
The process for making songs for their albums is not always as effortless.
“We either find an instrumental or rap we really want to use. It’s a lot of sitting and trying different things, sort of a trial and error type of process,” Fenmore said.
The group has released two albums, 2008’s “F*** B*****. Get Euros.” and 2009’s “All About the Scrillions.” Their current project, which has been in the works for over a year, is nearing completion. Although it does not have a specific release date, they hope to release their album this summer.
As for content, the group plans to take their music in a slightly different direction.
“We definitely are going to do more mash-ups. It’s not only our name but it’s what people know us for,” Fenmore said. “However, I’ve been working on this next mixtape for the past year and half and I want to take things in a more modern direction. We’ve established this sort of throwback, nostalgic kind of vibe, but our next project is into a lot more modern electronic music and things like that. It’s still in homage to what we started out doing, though.”
Fenmore highlighted his personal favorite on the upcoming album: a song featuring Phil Collin’s “In the Air Tonight,” and the Ying Yang Twins’ “Whisper Song.”
Since they do not sell their music, the group does not legally need the artist’s permission to use their song in a mash-up. Upsetting the artists is not a main concern.
“If there’s an artist who takes themselves too seriously and doesn’t want to hear Justin Bieber over their song, I apologize, but I’m going to do it anyways,” Fenmore said.
Along with their album release, the group has big summer plans. Although they could not mention any details, they plan to appear at a number of summer music festivals across the country.
With songs often firmly rooted in the age of “Rocket Power” and “Space Jam” while also implementing a huge amount of current songs, Super Mash Bros provide a best of both worlds. By coupling their music with colorful and surprising video-nostalgia, their live show is electrifying and comes highly recommended.