'80s - Mr. Mister (2010)
'Hey Soul Sister, Ain't That Mr. Mister on the Radio?'
Mr. Mister is an American pop rock band most popular in the 1980s. Indeed, Mr. Mister may be considered as representative of the melodic sound of 1980s pop rock. The band consisted of Richard Page on vocals and bass guitar, Steve George on keyboards, Pat Mastelotto on acoustic and electronic drums and Steve Farris on guitars.
The first Mr. Mister album, 'I Wear the Face, was released in 1984, but it was the second album, 1985's 'Welcome to the Real World' that was teh true breakthrough for Mr. Mister. With three top 10 singles, two of which hit #1 on the U.S. pop charts - "Is It Love," "Kyrie," and the monster hit "Broken Wings" – they had several #1 MTV videos. They even performed at the first MTV Spring Break show in 1986 and had several Grammy Award nominations, including the 1986 Grammy for Best Pop Band.
Sitting down with Pat Mastelotto, we chatted about the early days of the band, the hit singles, the just-released 'new' fourth album, and where they stand today as a band.
Taking it from the top, and with regard the reason we are talking today, after an incredible 20 year wait, Mr. Mister have officially released 1990's recorded 'Pull.' So, first things first: Why did it not come out back in 1990, and why has it taken 20 years to get released now? "It wasn't released because record company didn't get it. It's been released now because time marches on and those folks at the big bad record company are gone - and the new folks are a lot nicer these days!"
Being that it has indeed now been 20 years since its creation, and the fact that the music scene has moved on two-fold (let alone the fact that the band isn't even together any more to tour it), what has been achieved by releasing it today? "This release gives fans a chance to hear the record in Hi Fi as it was intended."
Has anything been done to the masters since the recording of it back in 1990 for this 2010 release? Has any musical fine tuning been going on behind the scenes, so to speak? "Almost nothing.
Years ago Rich added some vocals to the bridge of "Burning Bridge." Besides that nothing, just mastered. And mastered by the very best, Bob Ludwig assisted by Kevin Killen - not that Bob needs any assitance!"
"But since Bob and Kevin are good friends and Kevin was involved in the mixing and happens to have the biggest ears on planet earth, why not?!"
Do you have a favorite track from 'Pull' and is it the same track you would have chosen to admire back some 20 years ago? "I like 'em all. If I had to pick one it would be "Crawl" or "We Belong", or "I Don't Know Why" ... oh shit, there I go!"
And why was it called 'Pull'? "We saw it everywhere and the subliminal impressions must have taken over our subconscious. Then one day we all looked at each other, bowed our heads and said, in low unison tones, PULL."
Being that Train recently incorporated Mr. Mister into their hit song, 'Hey Soul Sister' ("... ain't that Mr. Mister on the radio, stereo ..."), when you first heard it on the radio, did you even pick up on your bands name being used in that lyrical fashion? "Nope."
Having touched on the fact earlier that Mr. Mister isn't together to tour these days, now this album has resurfaced, is there a possibility that the original Mr. Mister can come together and hit one of the '80s tour collectives next summer? "Ask again next summer!"
Tackling some Mr. Mister trivia for the fans, at what stage did the Pages become Mr. Mister ... and where did that latter name originate anyway? "The band I auditioned for was called Pages.
The next time I saw them they wanted a fresh start with a new name. We threw names around during early rehearsals and on was something like Dial M. As we did word association somehow that lead to Mr Gone (our favorite weather report record) and off that went Mr this Mr that. Until we hit Mr. Mister. We used it for the first gigs and press release, but once we had a record deal (with RCA) we immediately tried to change it!!"
From your side of things what did these two (2) songs mean to you at the time?
'Broken Wings' - "A groovy groove, the lilt in the pocket, sweet bass line, great vocal, the image of banners and flags swaying in the stadiums, lighters held high, tearful eyes."
'Kyrie' - "An updraft on solid footing - a flying melody with lyrics to reinforce, an invitation by extended hand followed by an embrace that clobbers with a grip that doesn't let go."
As a member of Mr. Mister through the '80s, what was your one personal highlight - something that, to this day, makes you beam with pride, and smile like a schoolboy?! "When Stevie Wonder stood and sang with us during our Grammy performance of "Kyrie"!"
If asked to record one for charity, what '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today...and why? "Why cheese? It would be "Back In Black." And why? Because it's "Back In Black"!"
Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine loves Penguins ... do you? "Yes."
"Check this out": WARNING: VERY FUNNY PENGUIN JOKE VIDEO!
Interviewed by: Russell A. Trunk