By DONNA BALANCIA
Electric Mud wants to re-create the sounds of “real” rock and roll. The band’s album Highway Refugees, recently won Best Rock Album at the San Diego Music Awards.
“We’re soulful rock and roll, and we’re searching to recreate and recapture the feel of The Stones’ early stuff, Tom Petty, Otis Redding and Waylon Jennings,” said vocalist and guitarist Marc Hansen.
His brother, Matt Hansen, is on drums, Colton Cori is on guitar and Phil Narmada is on bass.
Electric Mud is comprised of New Yorkers who grew up on Staten Island. They came to San Diego when they joined the Navy. The brothers are nephews of supermodel Patty Hansen, who is married to Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.
“I learned guitar by putting on records and CDs on and asking, ‘What is that that he does there?'” Marc said. “Then I’d find the licks. I’d listen to John Lee Hooker, The Eagles and Creedence.”
How do the guys create the music?
“I bring the lyrics,” Marc said. “The music is generally record jams. We take the jam and add verse and chorus and add structure.
Matt said: “We jam organically. We get in there, start playing, and if Marc feels something lyrically we take that jam put it together, bring it back to the band.”
Electric Mud won Best Rock Album at the San Diego Music Awards and is also up for two ISSA Awards, Band of the Year and Album of the Year. They will also headline the ISSA Awards in August.
Does coming from New York make you a better rocker?
“I think it goes well, rock and the New York attitude,” Marc said. “They’re not used to the directness, the in-your-faceness. But we’re respectful and try to be. That’s another thing about New York, we’re respectful. The whole ‘New York’ thing comes when you don’t get the respect back.”
The band is made of Navy men.
Matt said: “In the military I found you got guys from all over the United States and they will straight up not like you because you’re from New York. They find the directness abrasive. The good thing about the military is those walls break down.”
Through their Navy training and after several tours, the upbeat music of Electric Mud reflects strength and resilience. But the band’s record, Highway Refugees, has been a long time in the making, going back to when Keith Richards guided Marc on his first attempt at the guitar.
“The first time I ever picked up the guitar Keith gave me three chords,” Marc said. “I see him at family events. So when we talk about how we sound like Keith. When The Stones started out, they wanted to sound like Muddy Waters. We’re doing the same homage. In our own way we’re not gonna copycat anyone, but we learn and paying homage.”
“We’re not trying to recreate The Stones in general, but we love The Stones,” Marc said. “There’s something to be said for learning that style.“
“We try to be super low key that we served in the Navy because we come from a long line of Hansens who have joined the Navy,” Matt said. “We’re not trying to promote ourselves based on the fact we were military.” Corey and Matt were even on the same ship.
“We play rock and roll and speak the truth,” Matt said. “We’re not trying to take that stance of pro-military even thought we support the troops and love the fact that we come from those roots. It’s about the music and not about what you were. It’s not something we base the band off. We try to base the band on rock and roll.”
Under My Thumb cover by Electric Mud: