“Our music is for everyone. Just like ice cream.”

A conversation with Man Man’s Ryan Kattner

Anne Nickoloff, Staff Reporter

Known for its wacky, lively shows, Man Man created its own eccentric style through five albums and lengthy tours. And on Jan. 23, their tour will stop by at the Grog Shop. When The Observer called him to chat about Man Man’s upcoming concert, singer Ryan Kattner (AKA: Honus Honus) told us about the band’s lifestyle, and what to expect next week.

Anne Nickoloff: I’ve heard that your shows are pretty crazy. Could you tell me a little bit about that?
Ryan Kattner: We start out the show in a giant piñata, and then we give a baseball bat to the weakest person there. And we just let them go at it. Then, our set is actually played off of an iPod. I mean, that’s kind of the trick because it’s extremely thick, the construction of the paper mache, so… hopefully it’ll work out so the baseball bat doesn’t really penetrate the walls, until our iPod playlist is completed… and then, you know, that’s our show.

AN: Really?
RK: No… that’s all a lie. Yeah, we play a high-energy show. And it helps when an audience reciprocates the energy that we exert.

AN: If you had to define your music, what would you say?
RK: Our music is for everyone. Just like ice cream.

AN: Have you played at Grog Shop before?
RK: Yeah I’ve played at Grog Shop on numerous occasions. It’s a nice little spot. I mean, my only complaint with that place is that we couldn’t get our piñata through the doors, it just wouldn’t fit. We tried so hard, too.

AN: What’s your favorite thing about performing?
RK: I like perspiration. I like the connection you can make with the audience when they’re feeling it… and it’s our job to initiate, sustain and follow through on that connection.

AN: Why should a college kid come see the show?
RK: If you’re a guy, there’s probably some pretty cool ladies there, and if you’re a girl, then, you know there will be a handful of guys there as well. It’s just fun, you know, it’s just a good time.

AN: Piñatas aside, what’s the craziest thing to ever happen to Man Man as a band?
RK: We went on CNN a couple times at the end of last year. Anderson Cooper, we made it onto his “RidicuList.” Definitely Youtube-worthy. You should look it up. It’s pretty surreal. It’s for a song of ours called “End Boss.” Wolf Blitzer, the CNN anchorman [and] host of “The Situation Room,” we imagined as a house-breaking baby-eater.

AN: Where did that come from?
RK: It came from drinking too much lead paint when I was a child, I suppose.

AN: Do you have anything in store as a band for the future?
RK: We’re doing this tour, and then we’re gonna shut our things up for a while and start working on the next record. No rest for the weary.

AN: What bands inspire you?
RK: Beethoven. But not Beethoven Beethoven, and not Beethoven the dog. No no, I’m talking about Beethoven from “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” which is a movie… it’s on cable all the time; you should look it up. It’s not a bad hour and a half to waste, on a hangover. On a post-Man Man show hangover.

AN: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
RK: Come out and see us play. We’re gonna work pretty damn hard to either make you fall in love with us, make you fall in love with us all over again or really hate us with all of your might; it’s gotta be one of those things. We love Cleveland, you’re beautiful. Kyrie Irving, come out to our show! Unlikely.

AN: Yeah, probably.
RK: Well, if someone wants to give me a Kyrie Irving jersey, I’ll rock that shit on stage.

Who: Man Man, Xenia Rubinos, Stems
Where: Grog Shop
When: Jan. 23, 8:30 p.m. (7:30 door)
Tickets: $14