DRR: This will be Yawning Man's first coast to coast North American tour, and will be the first time many of your fans will get the chance to see you live. What can they expect to experience?
MARIO: The band is playing a lot of new material with a few songs we love to play from each of our recordings - hopefully lots of inspired improvisation and satisfactory rocking goodness!
DRR: This tour has been a long time coming. How did it finally come about?
MARIO: Well, we have been touring Europe for 15 years and only just started to consider traveling on this level here in the States .. so after kind of testing the interest with opening for Truckfighters, we felt we could have a nice tour if we put it together.
DRR: Will your set focus on Yawning Man's current album Historical Graffiti or will it be more of an anthology of your past work?
MARIO: We play tunes from Historical as well as all our other releases... and some unrecorded new stuff as well.
DRR: What is the current line-up for the tour? We heard Dino won't be making it as he is possibly starting college in the fall?
MARIO: The line up for this tour is Gary Arce, myself and Bill Stinson ... the ol' trio line up. Dino is in college now and busy studying music and mechanics.
DRR: We recently caught you guys at Pappy and Harriet's - it was a sell-out show with a purely local line-up. How much of a surprise was that to you?
MARIO: It was a huge surprise! I was blown away to see the excitement people had to see those bands in the desert. Pappy's is a very special place though and is a draw in itself. It was a awesome night.
DRR: Historical Graffiti was recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina during your South American tour. What made you decide to record it so far from home?
MARIO: We were offered the studio time as part of our arrangement with the promoter there. We had no real plan to release it when we went in. The studio is legendary for jazz and tango musicians in Argentina... incredible history... it came out so nice we had to release it.
DRR: How was your reception on your South American tour?
MARIO: It's our best reception anywhere we have played. People there are very down to earth ... they love music and art, they appreciate creative thinking. We had an amazing experience there, incredible shows.
DRR: What are Yawning Man's post-tour plans?
MARIO: We leave for the U.K. and Ireland - parts of Europe in late November, and we are working on new material for a new recording - and a special film project.
DRR: Yawning Man has been in existence for 30 years now. How do you feel the heavy music scene has changed over that time?
MARIO: I think the internet changed it a lot - it tends to expose trends and genre specific scenes to musicians. It can be a creative tool and it can also create a mass of artists that sound and look and think the same. The term "heavy" for me has got to mean something musically... it's not about looking and sounding like Black Sabbath or KYUSS or Sleep or whatever. It's a feeling in musical sense.
DRR: You recently re-located back to the desert. Aside from the obvious economic benefit of living out here vs. Los Angeles area, what were the key aspects that drew you back to the desert?
MARIO: Slow down, and re-center my life around playing music. I'm in the high desert now, both Gary Arce and myself - it's wonderful. Frees up the headspace for music and art and writing ... I will miss San Pedro though!!!
(Thanks, Mario, we wish you, Gary and Bill the best of luck. Fans of Yawning Man, check out the tour dates and a link to their latest release below. Don't miss out on seeing this legendary band!)