THE MUNSTERS MASH, PART III: INTERVIEW WITH VIRUS UK’S COKE FINDLAY
MetalSucks is celebrating the season of the witch with the Munster Mash, a(n almost) weekly spotlight on metal covers of the Munsters theme. During the thrash/crossover era, every band and their moms busted it out at some point, either as a live staple or a hidden track.
This week’s take on the song is “Munster Mosh” by Virüs , pioneers of the ironic umlaut-U. The UK thrash band formed in 1986, split in ’91, and reunited in 2008. The TV-tune cover appeared on the band’s sophomore LP, 1988’s Force Recon, as a hidden track. Lead guitarist Coke McFinlay told MetalSucks how it became the band’s biggest sorta-single.
“As it was the hidden track, people didn’t know about it until we mentioned it in the press. And then when we played a big gig, the crowd usually shouted ‘Play The Munsters!’ And it generally got a great reaction. It even saved us from a diabolical bad time we had in Leeds in the UK in ’88 when technical problems plagued us the whole gig!
“The Munsters did well in the UK, and we were going to do a vid for it. But we decided against it, as Xentrix’s [cover of the Ray Parker Jr. movie theme] Ghostbusters and Lawnmower Deth’s [version of Kim Wilde’s] ‘Kids in America’ kinda had the monopoly, and we wanted to be recognized as a serious thrash band.
“’The Munster Mosh’ came about one day: I was watching it in my house, and I started playing along with the theme tune. I thought to myself, ‘I can seriously mosh this up,’ so I used power chords to enhance the rhythmic feel to an otherwise rock-a-rollie tune. And then added my own little twist like the middle section.
“We recorded it becoz [sic] we used to jam it constantly at rehearsals when we got bored of [the band’s 1987 full-length debut] Pray for War, which was easy to bash out. And as we were recording Force Recon, we decided, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we faded in The Munsters at the end of the album?’ I was a huge fan of the program, and [6’5” tall Herman Munster actor] Fred Gwynne always had me in fits!
“Every gig, we played we were expected to play ‘The Munster Mosh.’ And we didn’t let our fans down. I remember one particular gig, I think it was with the Cro-Mags, ‘Munster Mosh’ was our last tune of the evening. For seven rows back they were all moshing out to it.”
Download Virüs’ new Raped by Mutants EP free here (or pay a few quid if you think it’s worth it, which it is). The band plans to record a new full-length next year if it can drum up some label interest.
What’s your favorite moshable Munsters theme? Submit your choice below, send us a note, and maybe it’ll make the spotlight next time.
D.X. Ferris is the author of 33 1/3: Reign in Blood, the first English-language book about Slayer. You can friend it on the Facebook, or follow his bullshit daily on the Tweeters:@dxferrisand @SlayerBook. He’s way into Halloween, but he thinks this “sexy whatever” costume trend has gone way too far… except for Batgirl .