Jon Bon Jovi sings ‘who says you can’t go home.’ Dave Wyndorf agrees. The vocalist-guitarist-songwriter’s terribly underrated Monster Magnet will perform at the club where the Red Bank based band started, the Brighton Bar.
Monster Magnet will play tonight at the cozy Long Branch club.
“I can’t wait to do this because that’s where we got our start,” Wyndorf said while calling from his Red Bank home. “Back in 1989 we played our first show there. It was an hour set. We played three songs that had vocals and the rest were instrumentals. I remember the cool old school liquid light show we had. Those lights ticked off punk rockers. I’ll never forget our early days at the Brighton Bar.”
Magnet, which also includes guitarists Garrett Sweeney and Phil Caivano, bassist Jim Baglino and drummer Bob Pantella, will deliver primarily early material. Expect the band to play its 1992 debut disc, ‘Spine of God,’ in its entirety.
The band’s visceral but satiric take on metal holds up today. “You can’t help but laugh when you’re in a rock band or you’re an idiot,” Wyndorf said. “Humor is a part of it because every day we play out, it’s like Spinal Tap. That’s just the way it is.”
It appeared that Magnet was going to take off after it signed with A&M Records in 1994. The following year the band released its epic ‘Dopes to Infinity,’ which included the hard but catchy ‘Negasonic Teenage Warhead.’
“I wrote that song to get on the radio and it did just that,” Wyndorf said. “Who would have ever guessed that would work?”
The following release, 1998’s ‘Powertrip’ went gold, which is the band’s greatest commercial achievement.
“But ultimately it didn’t work out for us,” Wyndorf said. “The label didn’t know what to do with us. We were misinterpreted. People didn’t understand what the songs were about. I would be asked about a song and I would say, ‘it’s about me breaking up with my girlfriend’ but they would say ‘but you’re being shot through Mars.’ I think it’s better to be ambiguous lyrically. Well, whatever, I didn’t plan on success or moving out of New Jersey.”
Wyndorf still lives in his childhood home. “I love Red Bank,” Wyndorf said. “There are ups and downs with every town but I must like it if I’m still here.”
He still likes being in the Magnet, which will release a new album in 2013. “It’s still a lot of fun,” Wyndorf said. “I expect us to have a blast next year. Expect us to play the Starland. But in the meantime, it’s going to be really cool being at the Brighton again It’s been too long.”