Episode 171: Mike Baggetta & mssv’s Human Reaction


This episode of Across The Margin : The Podcast presents an interview with musician Mike Baggetta, one third of the experimental rock/punk band Main Steam Stop Valve (mssv). mssv recently released their second studio album, Human Reaction, a captivating collection of songs that is the focus of this episode. The band, composed of guitarist Mike Baggetta, Stephen Hodges on drums, and Mike Watt on bass, creates music that is an unimagined hybrid of a punk power-trio and a dreamy experimental rock band, though they prefer the term “post-genre.” Recorded mostly on May Day immediately following their last tour, Human Reaction traverses a deeply broad sonic landscape, as expected from this nearly unclassifiable group. With inventively churning drum textures from Hodges (an instantly identifiable sound honed in his days with Tom Waits and David Lynch) and the full-steam-ahead all-in attitude from Watt, (as he’s displayed throughout his storied career with MINUTEMEN, fIREHOSE, and The Stooges), there is still the impression of “pressure, combustion, power, and hissing clouds of sonic poetry,” as Premier Guitar puts it. Also evident is the more fearless exploring that comes from a band that has spent a lot of time together crafting their vision. In this episode host Michael Shields and Mike Baggetta discuss the origins of mssv before diving in deeply about how their second album came to life on the road. They discuss the band’s lyrical awakening featured on the album, working on music with Nels Cline, the forthcoming 58 date fall tour, and so much more.


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