Rootbeer and Mermentau, pt. 2: Excellent Adventure Interview
By Warren Bujol | 12/23/2014
A Short Introduction
As promised, we present to you the Rootbeer and Mermentau interview. I must say, our journey with these two young adventurers has been an emotional roller coaster. We were hoping if we delayed this article long enough, they wouldn’t leave. So far, our procrastination has had minimal impact on their itinerary. It appears as if we really will be saying goodbye.
A Slightly Longer Introduction
The setting is impressive to say the least: a massive, wide-open dining room large enough to fit the grandest of dining room suites, but holds a modest 4-seater retro kitchen table (yellow in color). I approached this table with most consideration, as the duo awaited to tell me the tale of their journeys together. Nerves rattling; anxiety sets in; I am more than present.
The Interview Begins
WARREN: I have a cat named Finn, but I tell my friends her name is Napalm Death ‘cause it sounds way tougher...
MR. MERMENTAU: We definitely get that.
WARREN: I’m not very good at interviews, so I was hoping maybe you two could just ask yourselves questions and then answer them. It would make this really easy on me.
[Mr. Rootbeer smiles, gaining the attention of Mr. Mermentau and forcing him to feel as though he needed to respond.]
MR. MERMENTAU: [LAUGHING] I don’t know if he’s (Mr. Rootbeer) got it, but I’ll lead him in the right direction.
MR. ROOTBEER: I just go with the flow; It’s kind of my thing.
[The duo looks down to the table as though to agree with me. After what feels like an hour-and-a-half…]
MR. MERMENTAU: You were wanting to know where we came from. I was in a ton of bands...wait! I’m gonna take it way back. In about 2007, I began playing in a band called Mothership. I was playing drums and singing, and I think that if Mothership were still happening and Rootbeer and Mermentau were playing somewhere: Mothership could be on the same bill. It was a three-piece rock band that did a lot of Zeppelin covers. That’s what put me on the road to realizing that I could play rock and roll in this town. And that was as far as I could set my vision, because I wasn’t even considering taking a show on the road. I had no idea how far I could take it.
WARREN: Mr. Mermentau, you are dealing with the oddity of the space, time continuum with the greatest of ease. How old were you when all of this was taking place?
MR. MERMENTAU: We were young, man. Still in high school. My dad would bring us out to what was 710 at the time (currently Luna Live), and he would have to be at the shows or they would throw us out because we were so young. We would do shows at Rickenjack’s during a certain time, and they would be like, “Okay, kids, you’ve gotta go.” My dad would wait around to get our money.
MR. MERMENTAU: Yeah, I went on to play with a band that I feel really did something, and that was HeadMind. That one was a three-piece also. I thought we [HeadMind] were really going somewhere, but the other two guys had something else in mind. But it worked out because that’s where I got it that I wanted to be in a really badass rock and roll band.
WARREN: Mermentau, while I agree that, in time, your band will be most triumphant: The truth is, Wyld Stallyns will never be a super band until you have Rootbeer on guitar.
[the strangers start playing air guitar, so Warren and Calvin try their best to play also]
Our Editor was able to see deeper into the world of these musical creatures than any outsider before him.
MR. MERMENTAU: Yeah, I was writing some songs and messing around with this guitar rig that could let me play guitar and have a low-end bass at the same time. When I met him [Rootbeer] and we decided to start a band, I instantly thought it would be a three-piece because that’s what I was used to.
WARREN: Mr. Beer, what are your thoughts? Or...tell me about your musical history.
MR. ROOTBEER: I got into mus...
WARREN: [INTERRUPTS] Could you please sing your responses?
MR. ROOTBEER: [SINGING] I got into music because it made sense to me. My dad, Mr. Rootbeer Sr., always listened to Rock n Roll around the house and in the car when I was growing up. As soon as I got my first guitar, everything just clicked, and music just made more sense than everything else.
WARREN: What is your side of the Rootbeer and Mermentau story? In song, please.
ROOTBEER: [SINGING] I had known about Mermentau through his other musical ventures - and Luna is where we formally met. My buddy decided he wanted to waste the rest of his night at Cowboys, then tried talking me into going with him. Too bad Mermentau had invited me over to his house to drink liquor in his kitchen.
WARREN: [INTERRUPTING] I believe this is where readers will want more info, so I’ll do my best to direct the conversation to where it matters most... Tell me about the kitchen.
MR. MERMENTAU: The kitchen at my house had this cool little set-up where we could sit around and drink, so I figured that’d be the thing to do.
WARREN: Most excellent.
[as Mr. Mermentau shows off, Mr. Rootbeer narrates]
MR. ROOTBEER: [PUTTING ON HIS SUNGLASSES] Yea, I never really thought past the option of not going to Cowboys. We drank and talked about music. He gave me an invite to come back in a few days and jam.
MR. MERMENTAU: I did that a lot, where I’d invite people to jam and just blow them off.
MR. ROOTBEER: [scoops up a pile of dust from the basin before them and lets it run out of his hand] Too bad I got shitfaced that night, passed out on his couch, and he was stuck with me the next day.
WARREN: This is a dude who, 700 years ago, totally ravaged China, and who, we were told, 2 hours ago, totally ravaged Oshman's Sporting Goods.
MR. MERMENTAU: He had my jam room hostage when he woke up, so, we jammed. It was good.
WARREN: As the Lord said in the beginning: so says Mermentau now. How did you feel, Rootbeer?
MR. ROOTBEER: It was better than good. We became brothers that day.
[they look at the phone booth]
MR. MERMENTAU: We really did.
MR. ROOTBEER: [WHISPERS IN MR. MERMENTAU'S EAR] Lyrics, dude, recite them some lyrics.
WARREN: Wait, what assholes gave you two the idea of moving to Colorado???
MR. ROOTBEER: Our good friends, the Dirty Few. We met them on tour when they came through Lake Charles (the land from which the originally hail). We partied hardy, and instantly became the best of buds.
WARREN: They seem like great guys, sorry for calling them assholes. How will you be getting to the Land North of the Wall?
MR. ROOTBEER: The old-fashioned way, horse and carriage.
WARREN: one more, before I go; How did you (Rootbeer) get so tall?
MR. ROOTBEER: *
Don't Stop Believing (Too Obvious)
Lake Charles is an amazing place; but for some reason, we fail to appreciate the innovators and artists among our ranks. Our city limits are overflowing with talented and creative people, but without our support, those people are unable to reach their potential.
I was at Luna Live last Saturday, and saw one of the best shows I’ve seen in years (White Heat, Large Marge, and the Marvelous Wonderfuls); I didn’t actually count how many people were in attendance - never mix math with alcohol - but, I did notice that I had plenty of room for activities, and I almost never had to wait to get a beer. I don’t like waiting for beers, but I would rather wait long enough to contemplate sobriety, than to see these bands perform in front of an empty house again.
Roughly half of the Exposure staff are (self-proclaimed) musicians, so we will be diligently helping to (re)build the Lake Charles Music Scene. We will be promoting local bands through articles, sponsoring events, creating incentives for our readers to come out, but most importantly, we will be there ourselves...hopefully waiting for hours to get a beer. If you know of upcoming events, or noteworthy artists, be sure to let us know. We will literally drop everything we are doing, and blast our readers' eyeballs with the newly acquired information. We do it because we care, and we love blasting eyeballs.
*Mr. Rootbeer prefers that the secret to his impressive height not be shared, but has granted us authority to do so, as long as you (reader) do not share it with anyone else...He eats half of a stick of Chapstick every other day, and anchovies on the off-days, everyday since he was twelve.
To support Rootbeer and Mermentau as they venture across the country, you may purchase their music by clicking on the below picture.
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Gunning for your job, Aaron.