Interview by Paul Salfen

You hear and read countless stories about blood, sweat, and tears all shed in the name of art and—paid like a toll to unseen forces—for its creation.

However, you never validate how much of each fluid really flowed…or do you?

In this case, blood actually spilled (beyond a lot of tears and sweat) in order for Mondo Cozmo to craft his second full-length and first release for Last Gang Records, New Medicine. Now, he does not regret putting his fist through that window for a second, but the four-hour surgery did suck. Yet, breaking the glass smashed a figurative ceiling. In the aftermath, he learned how to “Say no, departed amicably from the major label system, “taped a fucking pick to his cast” in order to play guitar, lost feeling in the aforementioned hand for two years, attracted the wisdom of Butch Vig (“the dude of dudes!”), and wrote the rock ‘n’ roll record he always meant to write. The most rock ‘n’ roll thing about it isn’t the right hook, the guitars, or even the attitude. It’s the moment of self-actualization by the Philadelphia-born and Los Angeles-based critically acclaimed alternative troubadour and gutter punk poet.

 The man himself, Josh Ostrander, tells the story best:

“We were shooting a live video on a sound stage in Culver City, and I fucking lost it, because the whole thing didn’t feel like me,” he recalls. “I never lose my cool. I try to be the leader I want to see. A switch flipped, though. I thought I was looking at a dumb foam wall in the studio, but it was the glass door. I punched it so hard that when I pulled my hand back out you could see the eruption of blood everywhere. Turns out, I clipped all of these arteries. My drummer pulled a handkerchief from my pocket, tied a tourniquet around my arm, and my tour manager took me to the hospital. It turned out to be therapeutic. So many beautiful things happened. Since I made such an ass of myself, I knew the next record had to be the best thing I’ve ever fucking done,” he laughs. More on the official website

 

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