Brothers Kelley and Kyle Juett of the band Mothership deliver two scoops of solid metal. The Dallas Observer Music Award-winning group will perform tonight at Dan's Silver Leaf in Denton to kick off their next tour.
Brothers Kelley and Kyle Juett of the band Mothership deliver two scoops of solid metal. The Dallas Observer Music Award-winning group will perform tonight at Dan's Silver Leaf in Denton to kick off their next tour.
Photo by Mike Brooks/Courtesy of Action! PR

Mothership's Kyle Juett Says Heavy Rock Music Is Their Profession But It Doesn't Feel Like a Job

Two weeks from now, the Dallas-born hard rock band Mothership will perform on an actual ship.

Tonight, they'll kick off their U.S. tour at Dan's Silver Leaf in Denton before heading off to Miami to play a floating rock show called Shiprocked. They'll spend four days playing loud and proud on a cruise ship that's pointed toward the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

"All I know is it's going to be a lot warmer than it is in the U.S.," Kyle Juett, the band's bassist and vocalist, says from his home in Dallas.

This is the day job for the members of Mothership now but it's also a well-deserved reward for Juett, his brother, guitarist and vocalist Kelley Juett and drummer Judge Smith for all their hard work and success.

They'll soon release their third album High Strangeness. They won Best Metal Band at the 2016 Dallas Observer Music Awards. They've scored a sponsored tour that will take them across the U.S. and Europe. These are the results of an impressive three-year rise from their formative days in the "Hangar," the band's nickname for the stonewalled rehearsal space that molded their fiery rock sound.

"This is what we do," Kyle says. "That's the beautiful thing about it. This is our business and it's what we do but it never feels like that. It's always fun and rewarding to play music live in front of people who want to hear it."

The new album scheduled for release on March 17 will play a heavy part of their long tour that adds eight new songs of their interstellar infused heavy rock to their stage show, Kyle says.

"Having a new album, it adds fuel to the fire that we've already been building up for the last couple of years," Kyle says. "Being able to play new music, it just rejuvenates us and rejuvenates the set."

Mothership had a "very small window" to record High Strangeness. Kyle says they only had two weeks of studio time to record the tracks but it provided a unique boost of confidence to the band's abilities.

"I think it really put us to the ultimate test," Kyle says. "I don't think we ever put ourselves in that situation but at the same time, there was no pressure. Whatever we wanted to write, we wrote it. You don't try to force anything but we're very wary of deadlines. So when you come up with an idea, you stick with it and once you're done, you move on. It's a very cool experience."

When they're not in the studio, they're on the road touring for their growing fan base which Kyle says is the band's true lifeforce.

"We're nonstop on the road," Kyle says. "The most important thing you can do is play live. If you're not playing live and just relying on records, you're really missing out on the energy that is rock 'n' roll. The albums are supposed to tide you over until the band comes through and decimates you with the songs you love."

The members of Mothership love to explore more than just their metallic musical influences. Songs jump from Black Sabbath-inspired riffs on "Hallucination" to trippier psychedelic stoner rock on "Cosmic Rain" and "City Nights."

"We're influenced from metal bands down to blues all the way up from the '70s, '80s and '90s," Kyle says. "We classify ourselves as a heavy rock band. Some people may lean more toward the metal side and some may lean toward the rock 'n' roll side but I think we're all in the same boat when you're playing in a heavy rock 'n' roll band. Some songs make you want to ride the motorcycle down the highway at 180 mph and some make you want to light up, sit on the couch and take a trip."

Kyle says playing with different styles gives them more flexibility on the road and keeps the performances fresh for the band.

"It's very freeing," Kyle says. "The thing with us is it's fun because we can adapt our setlist to whatever city we're playing in. So maybe these guys are into the heavier stuff or these are into the jammier instrumental stuff or the Detroit Rock City, balls-to-the-wall rock set. We take pride in being able to play with all types of rock bands and heavy metal bands because where we're going to meet the most amount of people is to have a little something for everybody."

Mothership members (from left to right) Kelley Juett, Kyle Juett and Judge SmithEXPAND
Mothership members (from left to right) Kelley Juett, Kyle Juett and Judge Smith
Courtesy of Action! PR

Having such an eclectic repertoire can also come in handy on the European leg of their tours.

"I will say that Europeans are less brainwashed in the sense of what they listen to," Kyle says. "Our country has a certain protocol that's forced into a lot of people's minds that is the popular music. I feel in Europe, people have the decision to choose what they want to listen to. There's not really a mainstream type of musical movement in other countries as opposed to America where it's what's hip and what's making money."

Of course, if you're going for a wide range of music and hard rock fans, you've got to be prepared to put in a lot of work. Kyle says that whether they are in the studio or on stage in front of a full house of screaming rock fans, their drive to keep playing is the true glue of Mothership.

"One thing we're really good about doing whether it's about touring or anything is that we go until we're dog ass tired but there's always a little extra in the gas tank to go a little farther. That's the bond that the three of us have together. We've had to go through the gnarliest shit we've ever had to go through in our lives but we keep growing and our music keeps us coming back."

Mothership will perform with the Virgin Wolves and Dead Flowers tonight at 9 p.m. at Dan's Silver Leaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton, danssilverleaf.com, $10.

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