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By Tom Murphy
Mustangs and Madras are, like, almost a real band now. The past six months have been a whirlwind for the Longmont-based five-piece -- recording an album, getting a manager, booking a tour -- and the group hasn't even left the city limits yet. All of this sudden productivity can be credited in part to a little lady named Emily Frances (tour manager for Planes Mistaken for Stars), who informally stepped into the Mustangs' manager position and has been guiding the boys toward the possibility of doing this music thing full-time. And they -- vocalist/saxophonist Nick Krier, bassist Gene Martinez, drummer Colin Madden, guitarist Tom Chagolla and guitarist Eddie Maestes-Vigil -- couldn't be more stoked about the newfound impetus. For these five high school friends, who basically started out just dicking around with instruments together, embarking on a week-long tour with their idols represents a giant leap. We recently sat in the back of the act's suspiciously clean tour van with Madden and Maestes-Vigil to talk old band names and new horizons.
Westword:Tell me about this tour you're about to go on with Planes Mistaken for Stars and the North Atlantic.
Colin Madden: When it was first spoken about, Emily told us and we're like, "Okay, that's awesome." And then Eddie called me and was like, "Dude, do you, like, get this? Can you believe this?" And I'm like, "No, I don't believe it yet." You know what I mean? It hadn't really sunk in, and then when we got the official confirmation -- like, these are the shows you're playing, this is the time that you have to be there, you and Planes and North Atlantic will be playing seven shows together on the way to Gainesville Fest -- you just kind of step back and are like, "How the hell did we get this?" I remember when Planes first came to Colorado and I was fifteen.
Eddie Maestes-Vigil: We played their second show at the Bluebird. We were the very first opening band, and we were sixteen years old and didn't even belong in the same arena.
What was the band called?
EM: Fourth Gear Blue.
CM: Fourth Gear Who? Right. Exactly.
So with this tour, then, it's almost like you've come full circle.
CM: It really is surreal at some point that stuff this good can actually happen. You go on tour because you love playing music and you love being around your friends, but to be able to do a tour like this is -- I don't even have the words. To be able to survive on just playing music, that is the ultimate goal. And I don't mean get rich, but to survive on just playing music would be the most amazing thing in the world.
EM: It's not even like this is the biggest tour or anything like that, but it's huge to us, you know? Just because we live in a hick fucking town.
CM: Yeah! Longmont.
EM: There's no fucking culture. There's no fucking drive.
CM: It's cement and brick, you know what I mean? All the way around. We're so lucky that the five of us went to the same school. I don't know. It's weird.
EM: Basically, when music is your biggest influence on a friendship, then you're destined to have a long friendship, a long family and hopefully get some good music out of it.