“San Diego is definitely a cool place to be from,” says Mower front man Brian Sheerin. “We get a lot of love from local people who’ve been behind us for years, who go along with all the weird directions we go in. We take that everywhere we go.”
Mower has tried on — and cast off — many musical styles since forming in 1999.
“Look,” says Sheerin, “music is, first and foremost, a live art form, and great live music can be any genre. We play hard rock, whiskey honky-tonk, punk, metal, industrial, blues, jazz, lounge music — whatever will generate the most amount of energy in concert. It makes no sense to cement yourself into one style of music. We give our audience credit that they can appreciate a lot of different styles at different times.”
Not all their fans took kindly to Mower’s 2007 side project, Slower, featuring the same set lists but with slower jazz-based arrangements.
“The underlying thread to the whole band,” according to Sheerin, “is that we have kind of a do-it-yourself punk ethic, and we’re not really concerned about trying to please people.… We might do more Slower shows. We don’t ever write anything off completely.”
Mower opened for Metallica at the Sports Arena in 2005, toured Japan with Slayer in 2006, and appeared on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball in 2007. Their 2007 album Not for You, coproduced by Mikey Doling of Snot, was nominated for a San Diego Music Award. Their third full-length album will be released early next year.
Mower performs at Winstons on November 22.
WHAT’S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?
1. Slayer, Christ Illusion. “The most consistent hardcore band ever. You can always depend on them to annihilate.”
2. Fugazi, Repeater. “Fugazi gets tons of DIY street cred because they deserve it. Great record from 1990.”
3. Mastodon, Leviathan. “The first line of this album is ‘I think that someone is trying to kill me.’ Awesome. A very solid new band.”
4. In Flames, Come Clarity. “I really didn’t get into them until last year, so I was pretty late to the party, but they’re finally getting their due.”
5. NOFX, Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing. “These days, a lot of bands are focusing their inspiration on politicians, but no one bashes them like NOFX.”
1. The Godfather Trilogy. “Life is nothing without family.”
2. This Is Spinal Tap. “ ‘It really puts perspective on things, doesn’t it?’ ”
3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. “The title wouldn’t really work with any other state but Texas. Try it for yourself. Florida? Nah. Delaware? Nope. Texas. That’s the one.”
4. The Exorcist. “Using religion to scare people is nothing new, but using pea soup to scare people is genius.”
5. Fast Times at Ridgemont High. “The epic comedy.”
“We’ve had equipment blow up, power go out, and fire alarms sound. We’ve been escorted out of clubs by security and had to sidestep police in a few states. For Mower, it seems the bigger the disaster, the fonder the memories of the show. One April Fools’ Day, we played to a sold-out crowd in Los Angeles. Our entire set lasted ten seconds. People thought it was a joke. It wasn’t. It was April Fools’ Day.”
AFI OR GREEN DAY?
“So far, Green Day. They’re further along in their career, so they display more versatility. Their current songs regarding American politics and the sad state of the union are admirable. On top of that, in person they were very down-to-earth guys.”
MIKEY DOLING’S COOLEST SNOT STORY?
“He told us a story about Lynn Strait, their singer who died in a  car accident. It seems one time Lynn got arrested in the middle of a concert after coming out of Limp Bizkit’s enormous onstage toilet, completely naked.”
BIGGEST POLITICAL CONCERN?
“Immigration and gay marriage aren’t threatening to erase mankind the way global warming is. If the ice caps continue to melt, you can wave to all the gays and immigrants while we all tread water and watch the politicians float by on luxury liners.”
FAVORITE LOCAL EATS?
“Anything on the menu at Café Japengo in La Jolla. Spendy, but worth it.”
WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH THE POWER OF INVISIBILITY?
“I’d fake my own death and then observe everyone at the funeral. The next day it would be fun telling everyone that I heard everything they said about me, especially any hypocrites. It would also be a great publicity stunt.”
SOMETHING ABOUT MOWER THAT FEW WOULD KNOW OR GUESS?
“We all have big hearts.”