We got on the phone with Blue, the lead vocalist and guitarist of Masked Intruder, to learn a little bit more about these mysterious pop-punkers and their new self-titled record:
So how did Masked Intruder meet?
We were all doing time and just met up and became best friends. You know what they say about friends from prison. I’ll tell you it’s friends forever.
Why were you in prison, if you don’t mind me asking?
Basically nothing that we actually did, all of us were innocent of all charges so we’ve never done nothing really bad or nothing. Basically just your garden variety stuff, like robbing liquor stores.
How’d you get involved with Red Scare?
Toby is a really shady character, always hanging out with weird people so naturally we just hit it off. The music business is very much like crime so it was a match made in heaven and plus he likes our band, he likes this kind of music. He’s a good friend and so nice. I thought record labels were supposed to be assholes and I mean he’s definitely an asshole, but he’s so good to the band too.
How did you find time to record your self-titled?
Well, you know we were all out of prison. Red Scare was kind enough to introduce us to Matt Allison, who is a super talented producer. We aren’t in prison at all times, we just were before and now we’re out and able to tour. Making a record is kind of like being in prison sometimes though, because you’ve kind of just got to sit there and do what you’ve got to do.
How long were you in the studio?
We were in there for a week and a half, then coming back on weekends for awhile, basically commuting. It was a good period of time, Matt Allison really threw himself into the recording and really did a good job we think.
Would you say you ran into any challenges while recording?
There were no real challenges because the studio was hidden away and there was no problem with the law poking around. Everyone did real good on their instruments and stuff. He brought out a lot in me with my singing, which was a bit of a challenge, but really fun.
Where did most of the inspiration for your songs come from?
I basically see our songs as regular love songs. Just like anybody else, you fall in love with people. You might be in love with someone, but they don’t love you back or even know who you are. Or maybe you like them a lot and they just think you’re really creepy. It’s a difficult situation with a lot of heartache and that’s where a lot of the inspiration comes from. I think we’re all romantic guys and that’s what inspires us.
Which I think is kind of sweet. I was expecting more songs like “Stick ‘Em Up” when I first heard the record.
Yeah, that’s right and that’s something we’re trying to get away from. We don’t want people to think of us as just criminals. We’re musicians, you know?
What’s your favourite song on the record and why?
My favourite song is maybe “Am I Only Dreaming.” I love that song because it shows some of our doo-wop influence. Like before we made the record we were listening to a lot of The Four Seasons and stuff like that. We thought it would be cool if our songs had some of that vibe. I also like “Heart Shaped Guitar” because Maura from Mixtapes sang on that one. She’s a super sweet person and it was a lot of fun to be able to work with her. She’s very talented.
What were some of the other musical influences you drew upon while writing?
Like a lot of people our age, we grew up on the pop-punk in the 90s. The golden age if you will, obviously Green Day. And the Descendents of course. Other than that, I think we just like really well written songs. I like listening to a lot of pop music, like Lady Gaga and shit. Country, I like to listen to country music and sometimes even Christian rock. Just whatever is a good solid song, we especially like pop from the 50s and the 60s.
What’s with Snooki? I’ve noticed she takes up a lot of space on your Twitter feed.
I don’t know, basically Jersey Shore is a really good show and I just think she’s beautiful. She’s always wearing so much eye makeup and it’s just so cool for her to do that for America. It’s good that she’s looking out for us and she’s just so pretty and real short too. I mean, it’s OK if she was tall, I don’t know if we have a crush on her or something. We just like her a lot and thought we’d try tweeting her. She has so many followers she probably doesn’t even know we exist. But maybe she’ll hear the record.
Are any of the songs about her?
No, none of the songs are about Snooki. Actually the songs aren’t about any particular girl either, more like an amalgamation or whatever. Basically just general experiences we’ve had, different memories put into one. It’s not about one girl, it’s more vague, you know?
I know you’re hitting the road with Teenage Bottlerocket and Nothington soon. What’s next for Masked Intruder?
We’ll be continuing to tour for a little bit and try to get more releases out as soon as possible, just hit it as hard as we can. I mean, we’re already writing for the next record. I don’t know just how long we’ll be touring on this record before we start on the next one, that’s a bit up in the air at the moment.