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Mental Infestation: The pioneers of nonsensical silly slam

Mental Infestation will be playing at The Dirty Hippie this Friday, November 11th. Learn a little about them before catching their show..
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See them live!

The Dirty Hippie

November 11

6 P.M.

From left to right: Casey Lockwood, Jordan Houser, Jason Lohman, Max Quint, and Chris Lockwood.

From left to right: Casey Lockwood, Jordan Houser, Jason Lohman, Max Quint, and Chris Lockwood. /Credit to Mental Infestation

Mental Infestation is nothing what you'd expect from a typical slam metal band. While other musicians in their genre write lyrics about butchering women, gore and violence, the five members of Mental Infestation sit down and write silly, nonsensical lyrical caricatures of their friends. When Mental Infestation performs in front of a crowd, they don't encourage hardcore dancing and senseless aggression, but simply a good time. They aren't covered in tattoos and piercings. They don't dress exclusively in metal t-shirts, but will wear Elton John and duck t-shirts without ever once considering their image. Mental Infestation, without doing so deliberately, defies nearly all stereotypes associated with metal.

Mental Infestation started in Jenison, Michigan as a three person band with sixteen-year-old Chris Lockwood on drums, his thirteen-year-old brother Casey Lockwood on guitar, and sixteen-year-old Kyle Landstra on vocals. Originally named Bleeding Souls, they performed and practiced out of Chris and Casey's basement in front of groups of their friends until they began playing at Skelletones and other Grand Rapids venues.

After going through several changes in the band's line-up, Mental Infestation is now original members Chris and Casey Lockwood, Jordan Houser on guitar, Max Quint on bass, and Jason Lohman on vocals. The indoctrination of the new band members did not happen through a rigorous selection process, but through the friendship that already existed between them.

Vocalist Jason Lohman describes the day he joined Mental Infestation as, “we were all just hanging out. Nick (Mental Infestation's former vocalist) had just left the band and I did some vocals for fun. Later that day we went to Speedway and Chris asked me to join the band.” This is not atypical for Mental Infestation. Jordan Houser, guitarist and long time friend of Chris and Casey, was asked to join the band after riffing with Casey a handful of times. Every new band member started as a friend, it is just mere coincidence that they are also talented musicians.

The sound that Mental Infestation creates booms with barbaric energy. It is composed of methodical chord progressions with gritty distortion paired with Chris Lockwood's incredibly fast drum beats and Jason's breathy, gutteral lows. Mental Infestation, in a sense, sounds like a war cry. Their music evokes a primal energy in the listener. The humor comes from the fact that such an intense sound can carry such a nonsensical, lighthearted message.

Outside of playing shows and writing new music, Mental Infestation likes to have a good time. They don't do this through excessive partying, but through getting together and playing Donkey Kong Country or driving aimlessly through their hometown of Jenison, Michigan while sipping on Speedway Slushies.

If you'd like to find Mental Infestation, they'll be the dudes walking to the Wealthy Market from their house on Diamond, wearing colorful knitted hats, “Minnesota: Keepin' it Real” or Elmo shirts, purple pants or blue jeans. You might find them at some local metal shows. They won't be the guys starting a fight, but breaking it up. Mental Infestation will be playing live at The Dirty Hippie this Friday, November 11. 

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