The City Museum has always been a friend to St. Louis artists of all kinds. From employing local artists to work on the establishment's many oddball attractions, hosting art shows to providing a venue for some of the most memorable concerts in town (Fishbone, anyone?), St. Louis has always been able to count on support from the sprawling adult playground. Even St. Louis' rambunctious punk scene has been able to find a home there throughout the years. A memorable show in the early 2000's with Cut The Shit from Boston had rowdy kids circle-pitting on skateboards on one of the Museum's upper floors. The short-lived but highly-buzzed St. Louis band Bill McClellan, Motherfuckers! (named in honor of the Post-Dispatch columnist) had a song called "Get Fucked Up and Hit Your Head on Stuff", paying tribute to the weekend routine of many a St. Louis punk. When touring bands come through town with time to kill, the first destination on the St. Louis must-see list is always the same: The City Museum.
Even with the tragic recent passing of owner / creative force of nature Bob Cassilly casting a shadow over the days, the City Museum is still ready to be the home of the odd and awesome, opening the rooftop on October 30th exclusively for the punks, when it will play host to the record release show and "Longest Time Spent on a Ferris Wheel" attempt of St. Louis hardcore band the Masculine Journey. We sat down with Mark Plant and Travis Morgan of the band (guitarist and bassist / World Record hopeful, respectively -- also City Museum employees) and talked about the upcoming release, setting world records and what it was like to work for a St. Louis Icon.
"Counter-Counter Culture" by Masculine Journey
Daniel Hill: So, how did this show come about?
Mark: Well, we all work at City Museum. T-mo [Travis] has been working there for a lot longer than us, but the rest of us started a few months after we recorded the record. After Rick, our supervisor, brought up the idea of a show we knew it had to be the record release.
Tell me about the ferris wheel ride. Are people from Guinness really going to be there, or how does that work?
T-Mo: There is not going to be an official from Guinness there, but we are going to follow all of the guidelines that we have to to make it official. Basically, I need a couple of notarized witness statements and some video and pictures of the event and it is legit.
As of right now Guinness has no recorded Longest Ferris Wheel Ride, so basically anything over 24 hours is considered a "marathon" record. I'm going to shoot for 36 hours, but I have to stay awake the whole time. After I hit 24 hours I plan on just going until I pass out.
Interesting. So you have only yourself to beat. What provisions will you be bringing? What happens if it rains?
T-Mo: I plan on tracking down a portable dvd player to use. Anything I need people can just hand off to me as I pass them by, so I'm not too worried about starving or dying of boredom.
As long as it's not raining tigers and wolves I'll go for it. If it looks like it will be some crazy storm we may reschedule. Really if it seems like I probably wont get struck by lightning I'll go for it.
I heard a rumor that you are going to play Masculine Journey's set with a wireless set-up, from the ferris wheel. Please confirm this.
T-Mo: We can't completely confirm, but we are going do some test runs.
More ferris wheel dives!
Mark: The stage will be at the bottom of the giant white slide, so start planning dives now.
That rules. Ok, tell me about the new seven inch. Do you have a label putting it out, or will it be self-released?
Mark: Completely self-released. I basically have a copy shop set up in my room that I am printing and cutting all the packaging myself with. It's been a long process, but it's way worth how pretty these records turned out.
How many songs will be on it?
Mark: Eight songs at 45rpm. We recorded them back in January when we were still called Suburban Smash. We decided to change our name and quit doing Suburban Smash songs during the recording process because of how far we've come since 2007.
Describe the overall sound of the record, as if you were doing so for someone who has never heard you guys before.
Mark: It's really fast, loud and chaotic. It takes a little influence from every era of hardcore, maybe if powerviolence bands were way into revolution summer in DC. One time a kid at a show told me our music made him feel uncomfortable, like he just saw his sister naked. It's like that. Chorus pedal. Eight songs at 45 rpm tells me that they are short and sweet. What is the pressing info? Will there be a special press for the show?
Mark: There were 530 pressed. 500 are clear and the rest are mixed with black. The packaging is mostly clear as well. The mixed black ones will be at the release show, first come first serve, along with a special cover.
And everyone who pays to get into the show gets one, correct?
Mark: Everyone who pays to get into the show gets one, but only so many people can get into the show. This is a very exclusive media event and we can't handle all the riff-raff.
Understood. Alright, elephant in the room time: So all of you guys work at the City Museum. I am sure the passing of Bob Cassilly has loomed pretty huge over the day to day operations of the place. How would you describe the atmosphere / environment up there now?
T-Mo: It's a big blow to everyone there. Bob always had a presence. Even when he wasn't there it was all about what Bob wanted. I believe it will still be like that. We still work for Bob.
Tell me any good stories I might not know about Mr. Cassilly. What was he like to work for?
T-Mo: He's a good boss. He likes you when you are working hard and wonders why you are not when you are not. Sometimes you would see him just staring at a corner....
Mark: ....And a few months later there would be a slide there. or a hole there.
T-Mo: Bob was always imagining what could go where. I imagine he had an inventory of stuff he had in storage. When it clicked, the project started that day. A lot of times he would leave his current project to work on his new idea or plan.
Mark: We always find out when something is opening the day of, usually before the crew had even left the scene or gotten their equipment out.
So, do you think he knew about this show? And do you think he was into punk music? Because based on everything I've read, his legacy is punk as fuck.
Mark: Probably not, on all accounts.
T-Mo: He was into mostly classical and world music.
Mark: City Museum is definitely the destination for [out of town] punks every time they come through here. I've had bands ask me to take them here for years because its all people know about St. Louis. Even if Bob wasn't into punk, he helped fuel the scene more than most the people involved in it.
True indeed. Now, the show is the day before Halloween. Costumes encouraged?
Mark: Costumes encouraged every day of the year.
How would one go about buying tickets in advance? The cut-off number is 200 people, correct?
Mark: The actual number is less than that because we have to account for people in bands. Anyone can email us at email@example.com for will call tickets and we'll have a wristband saved in a nice little envelope with a name at the show.
Perfect. Thanks for your time, gentlemen. Any last words? Fire away.
Mark: Best slide dive gets a test press.
Whoa! Slam-centives. Thanks again guys!
Note: The show starts at 7 p.m. sharp (no punk time!) and costs $7. Sucked Dry and Dark Ages from Kansas City will be playing as well, in addition to St. Louis's Doom Town. 200 person limit; all attendees will receive a limited copy of The Masculine Journey's new EP. For more info about this and other St. Louis punk and hardcore shows visit The St. Louis D.I.Y. Board.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.