Mouse on Mars Like to Flex

Mouse on Mars Like to Flex
After 13 years and seven proper albums, you’d think Cologne duo Mouse On Mars would have trouble keeping things exciting in the studio. Not so. Perhaps these two have discovered the secret to a long-lasting musical marriage.

"We do have our studiosyncracies,” laughs Jan St. Werner, one half of the long-running duo. "[Andi Toma and I] have our disagreements, but music is so large that there’s still room for both our ideas. We think of ourselves as team members with specific tasks, and we both know what we have to do to make this entirely other thing called the music.”

Their latest studiosyncracies can be found on their seventh album, Varcharz, their darkest and leanest work to date. True to form, they’ve shifted 180 degrees from the approachable warmth of Radical Connector. That said, one of the record’s biggest changes happened behind the scenes. After years of working with Thrill Jockey in North America, Varcharz is seeing release through Mike Patton’s Ipecac label.

"The move began with a misunderstanding,” Werner explains. "We had the demo for the record done, which we sent to Thrill Jockey. We didn’t label the CD, so they didn’t know it was a Mouse On Mars album. In the end, no one got back to us about it.” In the meantime, the duo’s management was talking to Ipecac about another MoM project, which eventually fell through. After a listen to the Varcharz demo, Ipecac was interested, "so we decided to give it a try. It’s refreshing after all this time to try out a different label, a different platform, a different context.”

Given the demented leanings of Varcharz, Ipecac is a perfect fit. Characteristically Werner is more interested in the nature of change instead of the change itself. "In the future we don’t want to deal with a label for more than one record. It keeps things flexible for us. That’s how we like to do things.”