By J. Hubner
Feature Photo by Allyson McClain
Don’t let that title fool you. There will be no virgin sacrifices or blood lettings happening on March 3rd at the Brass Rail(after 3am all bets are off.) What will be happening is some punked-up rockabilly ala X, the Replacements, Blondie, and The Stooges. Streetlamps For Spotlights’ Jason Davis has a knack for bringing quality rock and roll bands to town to lay waste to local stages, and on March 3rd he’ll continue the streak with Columbus, Ohio’s MOBILE HOME. Along with MOBILE HOME, Streetlamps For Spotlights will be christening the stage as well with their presence.
MOBILE HOME indeed play a twangy mix of punk rock and gritty country, but it’s all done so well and with a real heaping of class. Bassist/singer Jess Kauffman, guitarist/singer Kyle Martin, and drummer Aaron Michael Butler are a trio to be reckoned with. Their vocal harmonies ring beautifully both in the studio and onstage. Live, there’s an urgency to their dusty tunes that pulls you in immediately. My advice would be to get out on March 3rd and check these guys and gal out at an intimate place like the Brass Rail before the chances are all gone. What I’m saying is it’s only a matter of time before these three are playing far larger venues and far bigger cities.
Kyle and Jess sat down with me and answered a few questions. Enjoy.
J. Hubner: So, the band formed in Nashville but now spend time between Columbus and Athens, OH?
Kyle Martin: It’s actually the other way around. We’re originally from Ohio, but we moved to Nashville in 2012. We had more of a honky-tonk sound at that time. We started the Mobile Home thing toward the end of 2015, then we came back to Ohio not long after that.
J. Hubner: You’ve definitely got a twang to your sound, but with a punk rock edge. Who are some influences?
Kyle Martin: Bands like X, Husker Dü, Replacements. Blondie. The Stooges. We did a Misfits cover set for Halloween and we did The Clash-athon in Columbus in December. But, we also love country music and rockabilly. We want to sound like the Everly Brothers when we sing together.
J. Hubner: Your self-titled EP sounds amazing. Where did you record? What’s the songwriting process like?
Jess Kauffman: We recorded the EP at our friend, Eric McConnell’s, home studio in East Nashville.
Kyle Martin: Jess and I write independently, then help each other tweak and polish the details. Aaron Butler helps a lot with the arrangements. For this record, we made demos on the iPhone, then sent them to Aaron to learn. The next time we met was at the studio. So, what you hear on the EP is actually the first time we are all, together, playing those songs.
J. Hubner: You’ll be making the trek to Fort Wayne on March 3rd to play at the Brass Rail. Is this your first time playing Fort Wayne?
Kyle Martin: This is Mobile Home’s first time playing Fort Wayne. We’re performing with Streetlamps for Spotlights on Friday. Those guys are fantastic, and we’ve been wanting to get to the Brass Rail for a while now.
J. Hubner: What can Fort Wayne expect from a Mobile Home show? You describe yourselves as “Bible Belt Devil Music”. Will there be exorcisms and incantations?
Kyle Martin: No blood rituals…for now. We’re really using that with a wink to refer to the way people might have used it years ago to refer blues musicians and early rockers. I think people called it ‘devil music’ because it inspires dancing, drinking, sex, etc. You can expect at least one of those at Mobile Home show.
J. Hubner: You’ve got a great EP under your belts. Is there any new music in the works?
Kyle Martin: We just recorded a single for a #BandsAgainstHate compilation coming out from Disjointed Records. An album will be slower to come, but we’re getting after it.
Jess Kauffman: Proceeds from the compilation will be donated to a charity supporting Syrian Refugees.
J. Hubner: Any great gigs that stand out?
Kyle Martin: Our friends Brenda the band threw a big party in Louisville that featured an open chili dog bar. That was a great time!
Jess Kauffman: Another one of our favorites was a show at Mahall’s 20 Lanes in Cleveland, mainly because we had a bowl-off between Mobile Home and our buddy band, Dune, prior to the show. And because we played the Locker Room stage.
J. Hubner: Any not-so great gigs that stand out?
Kyle Martin: We’ve played a few empty rooms, but in this line of work, we probably haven’t seen our last one yet.
Don’t let Mobile Home play to an empty room on March 3rd. Head out to the Brass Rail that night and watch two amazing bands tear it up. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed. Go show Mobile Home some love, and go give their great EP a listen over at https://mobilehome.bandcamp.com/releases.