Jammerzine has an exclusive interview with Jason Herring of The Mystery Plan. They say that originality comes in many forms and has many influences. That is no more evident than in The Mystery Plan’s new album titled Zsa Zsa (review HERE). And today we get to talk with Jason about that new and varied album as well as the beginnings of The Mystery Plan and how that magnificent sound came to be. We also get a glimpse of the gear behind the sound and how The Mystery Plan is making plans in this current global situation and where those plans will take them. This is a wonderful conversation disguised as an interview. Enjoy!
Check out our other features featuring The Mystery Plan HERE.
Produced by the legendary John Fryer and Jason Herring, this record also features such notable guests as Micah Gaugh (The Veldt / Apollo Heights), Ian Masters, That Guy Smitty, and Snap Nation. This is not the first time The Mystery Plan has worked with Fryer, having previously collaborated on their fourth full-length release ‘Queensland Ballroom’, released in late 2017, and the ‘Electric Love’ single.
Based in Charlotte, NC, the band is comprised of Jason Herring, Amy Herring, Jeff Chester, Otis Hughes, and Patty McLaughlin. Since forming in 2010, they’ve managed to release 10 EPs and LPs combined.
“JC Quinn was an actor from NYC with many films and television credits, including “Barfly”, “the Abyss”, “Visionquest” and countless others. He moved to Charlotte in the late 1990s to be closer to his grandchildren. We met at a downtown watering hole called Cafe 521, owned and operated by his good friend from New York, Peter Herrero. That’s where I met JC, along with many other actors, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Bernadette Peters, etc.. They would always stop at the café when in town to visit their good friend Peter,” says Jason Herring.
“JC and I struck up a nice friendship. He was a fan of ours and would come to shows and stand right up front so we could see him. A very lovely man indeed. Sadly, JC died in Mexico while shooting a film a few years ago. I’ve always wanted to pay tribute to him, and we have finally done so with this song. The lyrics are a blend of what we would do with him now if he were still here, and iconic lines from some of his films.”
‘Zsa Zsa’ was recorded at Catalyst Recording and various local studios over a 2+ year stretch following a number of Southeast U.S. tours in promotion of the band’s ‘Queensland Ballroom’ album. This new record touches of several different styles – everything from deep mellow shoegaze and folky ambient to upbeat danceable trip-hop and electronica.
‘Zsa Zsa’ finds the quintet moving further afield of its earlier psych-folk leaning to land on something more akin to the down-tempo approach of Portishead and Zero 7, mixed with early 4AD action. That later is in no small part due to the return of band collaborator, producer John Fryer (too many A-list credits to list here), and new Mystery Plan friend Ian Masters, former bassist-vocalist of influential British shoegazers Pale Saints.