Being in a gimmick band must be a lot of fun, but when it comes to band interviews, it can’t be easy. Do you stay in character? How do you approach questions related to your youth that may or may not merit genuine answers? Can you ever show what’s underneath the exterior? It seems that Masked Intruder, a Wisconsin based pop-punk quartet is still finding that balance.
The criminal band arrives to our Warped Tour interview at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts dressed in colored ski masks with a parole officer leading the way. Masked Intruder, who adamantly claim to have formed in jail stays in character for majority of our conversation, though there are moments when you can sense the Intruders’ individual desires to share a taste of their true identities.
During our interview we talk about prison life, early Warped Tour experiences, and Love and Other Crimes, the six-track EP that Masked Intruder released through Pure Noise Records in early July. Much like each of their releases, this album is poppy, romantic, and reminiscent of their time behinds bars.
My name is Lia and I’m here with LIKEYOUSAID. We usually get names, but just for our readers at home, who do we have joining us today?
Intruder Blue: My name is Blue, this is Green, that’s Red, that’s Yellow…
Officer: I’m Officer Bradford.
What were you doing before you were a cop?
Officer: No good. Allegedly I was on the other side of the badge at some point.
Blue: Yeah, he put his badge on backwards, which is very dangerous because the pin is poking out…
Officer: They should probably just make stickers for Officer Bradford.
[Laughs.] Okay, okay, so I’m told Masked Intruder formed in prison. Many of us weren’t fortunate enough to experience prison life, let alone form a band with our cellmates. Could you share what prison was really like with us?
Blue: It was a lot like high school. You’re just in this situation with all these people that have different backgrounds, you’re all smooshed together and you have no choice about it. But there aren’t as many ladies.
But there were some ladies?
Red: There were prison guard ladies and some of the attorneys were ladies…
What was the food in prison like?
Blue: Not that bad but not as good as the catering at Warped Tour. Better than Chili’s.
Let’s talk Warped Tour. What was your first Warped Tour memory as a kid?
Red: I remember going to Warped Tour and I saw the Vandals, the Descendents, and Social Distortion all in one day and it was fucking amazing. I remember seeing Blink 182 play when they were on a side stage and no one gave a fuck about them yet. It was before Dude Ranch came out and no one ever knows what time they’re going to play at Warped. They were the first band on stage that day.
That’s right. Kevin Lyman has the whole lottery system going, so you never know set times ’til you arrive.
Blue: Yeah, you gotta show up to Warped Tour early… When I was a kid, I remember going to Warped Tour on my rollerskates and just looking for wallets everywhere.
[Laughs.] That sounds about right. Well, Masked Intruder just released a new EP called Love and Other Crimes, and it’s really catchy. On this record you still seem to be following the same storyline about love and jail. With the next record do you think you’ll continue in this direction or do you anticipate getting in more trouble with the law and building off that?
Red: You gotta write about what you know.
Yellow: We’re kind of like Bruce Springsteen, you know? He writes songs about New Jersey. He writes about the working man, and we know about doing our own kind of work.
Blue: That’s right. Maybe if I see the new X-Men movie and it’s really good, the new record will be about the new X-Men movie. Probably not. I will say Jennifer Lawrence is a babe, though.
Do you have a favorite pop-punk band?
Yellow: Over the years it’s hard to pick one. I know what Green’s is.
What is it?
Green: Yeah, Green Day [laughs.]
Red: Teenage Bottlerocket, they’re probably our oldest friends who are another pop-punk band.
Blue: Screeching Weasel, for lyrics Mr. T’s Experience, and there are so many bands we listen to like NOFX, which people say isn’t pop punk, but I think it is.
You’ve released material through Fat Mike’s record label, Fat Records, so you know all about NOFX.
Blue: That’s right and proud of it! Love and Other Crimes was released through Pure Noise, so we’re working with Pure Noise Records now and they’re fucking cool too.
Absolutely. So, what comes next for Masked Intruder?
Blue: We’re doing Warped Tour, we got that EP that just came out. After Warped Tour we’ll be working on new material, playing Pre-Fest and Fest in Gainsville, Florida, plus we have other plans overseas that we aren’t announcing yet.
And you’ll be staying out of trouble?
Blue: Well… You never know with Masked Intruder [At this point the band approaches a locked barn and stages a break in.]
You can keep up with Masked Intruder and all of their latest crimes on the band’s Facebook page.
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