Mr. and the Mrs. – Q & A with the Midwest’s grimiest garage punk duo!

Mr. and the Mrs. are Ben and Michele, a husband and wife garage punk duo from Hillsdale, Kansas who Maximum Rocknroll declared “hometown heroes in their local dive bar”! Aside from the fact that they bash out a heady mix of savage and grimy garage punk, they also have strong and creative DIY ethos. They pair up their limited edition collectible releases with novel items like skateboards and homemade DVD film versions of their albums. GET INTO IT!

50THIRDAND3RD: Give us some basics on the history of Mr. and the Mrs.

MRANDTHEMRS: We started the band in December of 2011 and had our first shows in 2012. We are a husband and wife duo. We have recorded three full lengths, and are currently working on the fourth and fifth albums as we speak. We mostly played around Lawrence in our early days, but in the last few years we have played in 7 different states. All DIY, Linking ourselves through our music to others and their musical communities. Our passion for music, and each other is what drives the band forward.

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50THIRDAND3RD: Tell us a little about what’s going on in the scene in Kansas.

MRANDTHEMRS: There really isn’t much to say about Hillsdale, Its where we live and record. It has one gas station and a post office as well as no noise ordinance, so that works for us! Lawrence on the other hand is a great place to start a band and has many very talented musicians that have helped us along the way. Lawrence is not alone in that we have a sister city to our music scene, with Kansas City being so close, its like we have two homes. Lots of great musicians, record stores, and venues, from bars to houses in our great cities!

50THIRDAND3RD: Who are some of the best bands you’ve played with?

MRANDTHEMRS: Some of those most memorable national bands we have played with over the years are Chain and the Gang, OBNIII, Cosmonauts, Death Valley Girls, K-Holes, Night Beats, Natural Child, The Mallard, and Mannequin Pussy.
Some of the most memorable local bands we have played with over the years are Lazy, Up The Academy, Who and the Fucks, Cucumber and the Suntans, Planet What, The Daddyo’s, Dry Bonnet, Headlight Rivals, Mystery Blood, Old Man Creaky Bones, Slime Flower, and Hurt Russell.

50THIRDAND3RD: Tell us about Spiderchild Records and yr full length that they put out last year. It’s really good and the label is cool too. I dig the aesthetic.

MRANDTHEMRS: Spiderchild Records is and amazing record label ran by Jessie James and Jackson Barnes out of Austin, Texas. The full Length Bumble-Buzz Bee-Fuzz was recorded in Hillsdale, Ks by the Band. Bumble-Buzz Bee-Fuzz was the first album that we had complete control over in the studio. We recorded it and I had been listening to Spiderchild Records catalog around the same time so I shot a message over to them and they were extremely nice people and loved the album and they took it up right away and released 100 cassettes. They had control of the artwork and did an amazing job on that as well. We released it in Austin, Texas at Shanghai Kate’s Tattoo Parlor. I also Made 25 copies of a black and white film chopped up and paired with the album on dvd, and 25 of a color film executed the same way.

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50THIRDAND3RD: Do you two skate? I noticed you made some nice Mr and the Mrs. skate decks, am I right in thinking you paired those up with some copies of Bumble-Buzz Bee-Fuzz?

MRANDTHEMRS: Ben skates, and we both have always loved the skate/surf scene. Yes, We have paired a board with many releases we have done over the years, they are like a special merch item that only comes in ten with each release. We have several boards from split singles and also albums put out with skate decks. The skate decks are designed and hand painted by Michele.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=243691170 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small track=1899980292]

50THIRDAND3RD: So Mr and the Mrs. have a lathe cut split 7″ with Hurt Russell, and yr gonna be on the new Girlsville comp, what else is in the cards for 2018?

MRANDTHEMRS: We are super excited for both the split, and to be a part of a bigger community with the Girlsville comp, everything Girlsville stands for is amazing! We Are working on our fourth and fifth full length studio albums, one is a tribute to the instrumental music that has been a big inspiration to us called Look Ma, No Microphone, and the other is going to be affectionately named Gasoline Ice Cream, it will be geared more towards our psych music and as always sprinkled with garage and punk! We have several labels in mind to shop these two albums to when they are finished! We also have several shows coming up this year and more in the works and you can find out about those by following Mr. and the Mrs. on our socials, or maybe we will just be in your breakfast nook playing music one day when you wake up!

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Courtney DelMar

Aside from writing about bands for 50THIRDAND3RD, CJDelMar runs the Girlsville Records imprint out of Portland, OR. Girlsville is home to bands like COACHWHIPS, HOOD RATS, TOWANDA, MR. AIRPLANE MAN, VIRVON VARVON, & THE PRISSTEENS.

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