Meet Mason Proper. It’s an indie rock band hailing from a tiny town in Michigan that is starting to make it big nationally. The band consists of Jonathan Visger on vocals, Matt Thompson on keyboards, Zac Fineberg on bass, Brian Konicek on guitar and Garrett Jones on drums.
In January 2006, they released their debut album, ‘There is a Moth in Your Chest,” on their own label, Mang Chung. That fall they signed with Davecote Records in New York after touring across the country and planned a remastered version of ‘Moth” for the following year.
The band recorded new songs such as ‘Rest Up,” ‘The Boneman” and ‘Friendship” for their ‘Short Hand” EP in 2007, as well as created music videos for each song. They released their second full-length album, ‘Olly Oxen Free,” later that year after recording it in 11 days.
They have toured with artists such as Ra Ra Riot, Saturday Looks Good to Me and Cloud Cult, have performed live on MTV and recorded sessions for KEXP, WOXY.com and Fearless TV.
They performed at the Bug Jar on Nov. 15 and we were able to catch up with Visger beforehand for a quick Q-and-A session.
Are you excited for your show at the Bug Jar?
Yeah, definitely. I think it’s gonna be a really fun night. We’ve never played in Rochester before.
How’d you get your start?
All four of us are from the small town Alpena, Mich. and went to high school together and played in different bands. All the bands were breaking up, and gradually we all came together, started a band and moved to Ann Arbor. Then we started recording an album together.
Why did you call your album ‘There is a Moth in Your Chest”?
We haven’t fully revealed where it’s from. The title is from a song no one really heard that didn’t make it onto the album.
Who do you consider to be your influences?
The first album shows a Pixies influence. Our new album has a spacious, electronic influence.
What kinds of music were you listening to when you were young?
A lot of us listened to different forms of punk music that’s where we learned from.
What are your favorite cities to perform in?
Ann Arbor, Chicago’s fantastic, New York City obviously cause that’s where our label is based. There’s this random town in Wisconsin called Steven’s Point that we went to on our first tour. We didn’t expect anyone to be at the venue. When we got there it was filled. People were singing along to all the songs, apparently we were #1 on their radio station for six weeks in a row. Everyone knew us. A city never treated us as well as they did.
What celebrities do you guys look up to?
I don’t think any of them are cool.
What does the future hold for you guys?
We love making albums, although playing live is a lot of fun. Next year we want to do another album and just keep making music.
Kraus is a member of the class of 2009.
Venkateswaran is a member of the class of 2011.