Denver is always rife with slow, pounding music, possibly because cannabis lingers in the air. One of the scenes that makes great use of cannabis imagery and inspiration, as well as loud, heavy riffs, is the genre of doom, and Denver’s metal scene is alive and thriving. As a prolific group in this scene, The Munsens is band that is defining the heavy, unique doom sound of Denver. CULTURE was able to connect with Mike Goodwin, bassist and vocalist of the band, to learn more about The Munsens’ impact on the local music scene.
“Shaun [Goodwin] and I started playing piano at a young age,” said Mike. “Graham [Wesselhoff] has played drums since he was young and comes from a musical family. Our story is fairly typical—played in bands since middle school, high school and just kept on learning.”
“The drug war is a failed effort, and I think it’s something even many legalization detractors know at heart.”
The band is currently riding the success of its highly-lauded EP, Abbey Rose, leading The Munsens to tour the Southwest and play local shows every chance it gets. With a sound that is heavy and aggressive, yet accessible, The Munsens weaves together melodies and carry the crowd live with powerful hooks and vocal trade-offs. Unlike local groups like Primitive Man or In the Company of Serpents, which throttle listeners with unrelenting aggression, The Munsens present a varied and inviting musical landscape more akin to grooviness.
The band is small, tight-knit and made up of two brothers, yet it maintains big dreams of taking the local scene by storm with opening appearances and a signature sound. “A lot about the ‘doom’ scene is a bit tired, with too many people simply regurgitating ideas, whether musically or artistically or otherwise,” Mike admitted. “However, I think the overall heavy music landscape is very promising with so many bands releasing exciting music.”
The Munsens is a band that is loud and heavy, and it clearly has an affinity for other bands of a similar style, Mike cites Neil Young as one of the group’s biggest influences. “This one is always tough, but Neil Young’s work has been pretty pivotal in shaping our approach to music,” Mike explained when asked about the group’s biggest influences. The band also lists Neil Young as a shared group interest on its Facebook page.
When it comes to cannabis legalization, members of The Munsens believe the plant should be legal and accepted across the globe. “Weed should be legal, for sure,” Mike stated. “The drug war is a failed effort, and I think it’s something even many legalization detractors know at heart. In terms of Colorado, I think everything could be more subtle, and hopefully it will be given time.”
Mike advocates for an end to unnecessary cannabis penalties due to a history of legal trouble. Although he doesn’t feel that cannabis is necessary to be creative and make slow and heavy music, he does feel it is a good tool for recreating. “It cost me some high legal fees as a kid. I don’t really buy into it as a creative aid, but it can be a nice way to pass some time and check out for a bit,” he stated.
Look for The Munsens playing shows at Hi-Dive, 3 Kings Tavern, or other Denver metal staple venues this summer, and keep an ear out for new music as the year progresses.
See The Munsens Live
August 11 @ The Squire Lounge