Interviews Fowler'sMustache

Published on December 19th, 2013 | by Ballard Lesemann


Nick Collins and Fowler’s Mustache Unveil ‘Goodnight, Mother Earth’

East Cooper-based rock band Fowler’s Mustache started playing around the Lowcountry four years ago armed with a stockpile of rough riffs, stompy rhythms, oddball subject matter, and a penchant for loose jams. Listening to their new, long-awaited studio album Goodnight, Mother Earth, it’s clear that singer/guitarist, Matt Stanley, bassist Chris Richter, drummer John “Tank” Tankersley, keyboardist Matt Goss, and guitarists Thomas McElwee and Nick Collins have grown up and stepped out, musically and lyrically.

Fowler’s Mustache recorded the new 12 song collection over the course of the last two years at Mt. Pleasant music shop and studio Encore Music with Ed Blanton at the helm. Jeff Hodges of Mt. Pleasant’s Charleston Sound mastered the songs, which range in style from swampy blues and Southern rock to more complexly arranged pop, psyche-funk, and Americana. A few local guests contributed top the album, including singer Mary Gilmore (of Mary’s Got a Band) and saxophonist Russell Clarke (of Sol Driven Train)

Fowler’s Mustache will celebrate the official independent release of Goodnight, Mother Earth on Thursday, Dec. 26 at the Windjammer. They’ll play a warm-up show at Art’s Bar & Grill on Fri. Dec. 20 as well.

Metronome Charleston caught up with founding member and co-songwriter Nick Collins at the band’s new headquarters in Old Mount Pleasant this week. He’s doing very well these days after recuperating from serious injuries following a car accident in August 2012.


Nick Collins of Fowler’s Mustache (photo by Chris Mallin)

Metronome Charleston: What’s the story behind the making of Goodnight, Mother Earth? It seems like it took a nice while to record and mix.

Nick Collins: We started recording Goodnight, Mother Earth in 2011. We took our sweet time and wanted everything be satisfactory. This album took a long time, but my accident in the middle of it surely didn’t speed the process up. Ed and Jeff did a great job, and we all enjoyed working with them for sure.

Metronome Charleston: As expected, there’s an eccentric mix of styles on Goodnight, Mother Earth; some double-guitar action, a bit of New Orleans, a few funky psychedelic moments, a few folksy Americana moments. How would you describe the mix of styles? What kind of rock record is Goodnight, Mother Earth?

Nick Collins: This is a hard question to answer. All six of us just have completely different backgrounds in music, while, at the same time, we all have so much love for music that we enjoy and appreciate all styles and genres. I think this is how our songs can touch so many genres. Because I’m lazy and not a wordsmith, I just say its rock ‘n’ roll, but it does have some twist and turns in some songs — and definitely throughout the album.

Metronome Charleston: A lot has been written about your incredible ordeal — especially your impressive recovery over the last year. How were you able to participate and contribute to the making of Goodnight, Mother Earth?

Nick Collins: Luckily, I had a lot of my songs either finished or close to finished up to the accident. I wrote and was lead vocal on four of the 12 tunes [“Swamp Boogie,” “Mind Eraser,” “Island Daze,” and “Night Cat”]. I did backing vocals in a few tunes as well. The seven months while I was in the hospital definitely slowed down production of the CD, but these guys were able to go in and track parts and pieces of songs — just without my parts — until I was ready to get back in there.

Metronome Charleston: When did you feel well and comfortable enough to rejoin them in the studio?

Nick Collins: It was around May 2013 when I was able to get back in. At that point, all I needed to do was fill in some back-up vocals and a few guitar licks and solos here and there. I could not have been more impressed and proud with how much work these guys did while I was in the hospital and recovering. On top of this CD, they were out gigging for free to help raise more then $100,000 for “NAC Wins” [a support organization that raised funds to benefit the Nick A. Collins III Medical Expense Trust]. These guys are truly my best friends.


Fowler’s Mustache in 2012 (provided)

Metronome Charleston: What the story with the title, Goodnight, Mother Earth?

Nick Collins: I want to have a cool story of how we chose this title, but, honestly, we couldn’t all agree on what song should be the “single” or the featured tune of the album, so we didn’t want to name the album after a song. There is a lyric in the song “Swamp Boogie” where we all sing and scream, “Goodnight, Mother Earth!” Then, ideas for album covers and stuff started flowing.

Metronome Charleston: What’s the plan for the Windjammer gig next week? Special guests, weird covers, new tunes?

Nick Collins: I could not be more excited about the Windjammer show — the “Day After Christmas Jam / CD Release Show.” I think this is our fifth annual “day after Christmas jam,” and to add the CD release on top just makes it more special, especially due to how much work we have put on this album. We’ll have some special guests, and we’ll have three or four new songs that we’ve never performed live that I think people will dig. This has always been my favorite gig of the year, and having missed it last year, I couldn’t be more excited about it. We’ve got some cool things up our sleeves.

Metronome Charleston: What are the main artistic and professional goals for Fowler’s Mustache in 2014?

Nick Collins: We are hitting the ground running in 2014. Because of how long this album has taken us, Matt Stanley and I have been stockpiling songs for a new album. We’ll be putting together a more stripped-down acoustic album shortly. It’s going to be a whole different feel than Goodnight, Mother Earth where almost every song is loaded up with electric guitar. We want to prove that we are all well versed in all genres of music, and I think the next two albums will show that. I believe it will be a nice transition.

Fowler’s Mustache will perform at Art’s Bar & Grill in Mt. Pleasant on Fri. Dec. 20 at 10 p.m. Admission is free. The band headlines a CD Release Show at the Windjammer on the Isle of Palms on Thurs. Dec. 26 at 9 p.m. Admission is $10.

The band performs at the Charleston New Year’s Ball at the Omar Shrine Temple & Convention Center in Mt. Pleasant on New Year’s Eve, too. Visit for more.

A sample of “Mind Eraser” from Goodnight, Mother Earth:

      1. ‘Mind Eraser’ by Fowler’s Mustache

Top photo by Chris Mallin.

FM-CD Poster



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About the Author

Ballard Lesemann

is a musician and writer. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., he spent years playing in bands and working for Flagpole Magazine in the bustling music town of Athens, Ga. He returned to his hometown and served more than seven years as the Charleston City Paper's music editor. He's better at drumming than he is at playing guitar.

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