Thundercore’s Rob Mason: A Class Act
January 25, 2003
I spoke with Rob Mason, the guitarist from Thundercore. He is intelligent and thought provoking. Truly a class act. Read on.
MusicIncider: What is your birth date?
MusicIncider: Tell me the story about how Thundercore was born.
Rob: It came out of the ashes of a cover band. Dan and I were guitarists in another band, and we got very dissatisfied with people asking us for our autographs after we had just spent a night of doing Metallica and Black Sabbath covers. God help me, we did Steppenwolf covers too.
At the end of doing four hours worth of covers-to have a bunch of drunken people going man, I’d buy your cd, where can I find it? I thought the cover thing was going to be really cool, and then we got into it and realized we had all these skills and all of this music inside of us-it made us want to do our own. I had the idea for Thundercore, not the name. We went through four names, and other bands had them. We said, let’s find the dumbest name we can-no one had it. So Thundercore was it. Chris Morley picked the name.
MusicIncider: How long has the band been together?
Rob: Since 1996. Bret Simmons from Connecticut is our lead singer. Stacy Copas from Reno, Nevada is on drums. Dan Morley and myself are on guitar, we are both from Indiana. We are looking for a bass player right now.
MusicIncider: Who is your favorite metal guitarist and why? Who would you compare your guitar playing to?
Rob: Dime back Darryl. Blue Oyster Cult and Neurosis.
MusicIncider: Who would you compare Thundercore too musically and why?
Rob: Luckily, I don’t have to guess about that. We fall somewhere between Hatebreed, Fear Factory, Pantera, and Sepultura and Soulfly.
MusicIncider: What is your most memorable live show and why?
Rob: Milwaukee Metal Fest. It was the first arena gig we ever did. It was an amazing show. I almost fell over when I walked out ob stage. We went on right before Soilwork. It was 7:30 pm in the US Cellular arena. I have never seen that many people before. Those were all our people. They were metal fans. There was a vibe in there that was just awesome. The other thing that made it really cool is that the band that was on before us was Jag Panzer. Just about everybody knows who Jag Panzer is, and we had met them back stage. During our set, the road manger and all the guys from Jag were hanging with us on stage and watching us and giving us the thumbs up. It was an amazing experience.
MusicIncider: Who in the world would you like most to open for?
Rob: Pantera, undoubtedly. But I could also say Soulfly.
MusicIncider: If you could sign with any label, who would it be and why?
Rob: Roadrunner. Most of my favorite bands are on Roadrunner.
MusicIncider: Where do you see the band five years from now?
Rob: I think we are going to just keep doing what we do regardless of what happens to us. I am speaking for myself. We don’t do this just because we want to; we do this because we have too. It’s therapy. I don’t think you are ever too old to get a message across or to get your angst out. That is what we are about. I imagine we will keep touring and plugging away.
MusicIncider: Tell me your feelings about America going to war.
Rob: I think its bullshit, actually. I don’t see an immanent threat from that place. I feel like we are getting snowed. I think North Korea is probably just taking advantage of the situation right now to get us to lift sanctions. They are starving over there, and I can’t say that I necessarily blame them for the strategy although I think they are messing with the wrong people. I am not suggesting that what they are doing is right. Right now, we have sanctions on them and they can’t feed their people. I can’t blame them for flexing their muscles a little bit.
MusicIncider: Describe yourself as a person.
Rob: Overtly sensitive to a fault. I am a very empathetic type of person.
MusicIncider: Have you ever inhaled?
Rob: Have I ever WHAT? Yes, I have partaken.
MusicIncider: Do you believe in psychics? Why or why not?
Rob: Actually, I do. Just as a lark, a friend and I were in San Francisco on Fisherman’s Wharf checking things out. It seemed like just a fun thing to do, we walked past a sign that said Psychic Readings. We went in just for the fun of it. There was this old Indian woman there dressed in a sari. She said she would read our palms for just ten dollars. I didn’t believe a word at the time. I didn’t believe in psychics at the time and I walked out of there a changed man. She answered questions about our futures.
MusicIncider: What is the message the band’s music is trying to get across?
Rob: I don’t know that we deliberately set out to deliver messages in our music. Our writing has to do with things that affect us personally. We even went so far as to record a song with Michelangelo producing. We had never done anything slow in our lives, and it was a ballad called ‘Shimmer.’-It is about what happened on 9-11.
I write the music for the band on an acoustic guitar, and sometimes I will just be sitting watching CNN, like in the case of 9-11. I unconsciously reached over and picked up my guitar. The song wrote itself as I watched that tragedy unfold. That is what the song wound up being about. We try to be real.
9-11 was a mess. I am a big strong guy, and I was crying when I watched it. It really affected everybody that I know. Those were Americans dying for no good reason.
MusicIncider: What is your greatest achievement?
Rob: My wife and kids. Lynnette and I have been together since high school. We have been married for fifteen years. We got married right out of high school, and we just adopted three children. So, I would have to say that is my greatest achievement.
MusicIncider: What is your stance on gun control?
Rob: I think that idiots shouldn’t have guns. I am a gun owner, and I don’t consider myself an idiot.
MusicIncider: Who is your all time hero and why?
Rob: I would have to say my wife deserves that spot. She is just about the strongest and most supportive person I know. She would do anything for anybody.
MusicIncider: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Rob: Paris, France. I have always wanted to go. I don’t know why.
MusicIncider: Are you getting any airplay?
Rob: Yeah, all over the world. There are a lot of specialty radio shows that we are on, and a few commercial stations. The two most interesting recently are in Brazil (107.9). Brazil has this show called Rock Patrol. Our stuff was so requested that they broke from their traditional format and had Thundercore night. We had a number nine hit in Romania, of all places.
MusicIncider: What is your favorite book of all time?
Rob: The Dark Tower series from Steven King.
MusicIncider: What do you want people to know about you and your band?
Rob: We are just an ass kicking hardcore band. Hopefully they will check us out.
MusicIncider: What is your favorite quote of all time?
Rob: Don’t Let the Bastards get you down.
MusicIncider: Is there any message you want to send out to your fans?
Rob: Thank you for your support. We have been blessed with support, people come out to see our shows, request our stuff on the radios, and request that club owners book us. Our fans are all over the country and all over the world.
If there is anything we can do for you Barbara, let me know. I own a business called marketyourmusic.com, and we sign bands up for press and try to help them get their music out.
Send us bands like yours Rob. We would love to talk to them. May a label pick you up soon.