It’s been nearly eight years since the last Mondo Drag album came out. In that time, the Bay Area psych-prog band toured the US and Europe, performed at major festivals and – once again – reformed their rhythm section. But in the context of the band’s nearly two-decade existence, it’s just another chapter in the band’s story to core members Jake Sheley, Nolan Girard, and John Gamiño. The three went to school together and came of age going to shows and playing in bands in the 90s, 00s Midwest punk, hardcore, thrash scene. Somehow along the way their search for interesting, weird music and counterculture led them to the world of psychedelic and progressive rock.
Mondo Drag was formed in 2006 in Davenport, IA where they recorded their first album, New Rituals, which was released in 2010 on Alive Naturalsound Records. With a debut record in tow, the band hit the road for the next year, playing over a 100 shows across the USA including festival appearances at Austin Psych Fest and SXSW as well as support slots for bands like Black Mountain, The Black Keys, and Wooden Shjips. This active period also took a toll on the group which saw the original drummer/vocalist and bassist leaving the band after a tumultuous tour.
After their departure in 2011, the band enlisted fellow Iowans, Zack Anderson and Cory Berry to record bass and drums on the Self-Titled album before they took off to Europe to pursue Blues Pills. It would be almost four years until this album saw the light of day. Unable to find a permanent rhythm section, the trio relocated to Oakland, California in 2013 where they reformed the band. They finally released their Self-Titled album in 2015 and quickly followed it up with The Occultation Of Light in 2016 – both on RidingEasy Records.
These releases solidified the band on the West Coast and landed them tours with Goblin, Pentagram, and Elder as well as notable festival appearances at Desertfest Berlin/London, Roadburn, Levitation, SXSW, and Psycho Las Vegas.
After yet another rhythm section change and a pandemic, the band emerged from their studio ready to make a new album with their most dynamic lineup to date with current drummer, Jimmy Perez, and bassist, Conor Riley (Astra, Birth).
The band recorded their fourth studio album, Through The Hourglass, in San Francisco and it was released in September 2023 by RidingEasy. The album marks a definitive advancement in the band’s songwriting, arranging, and performances.