Bong Mountain // FEST Feature Friday

Written by: Kayla Lee

Michigan has gifted us with a variety of different creations over the years-- traffic lanes, Faygo soda, breakfast cereal...the list goes on. More recently, Bong Mountain emerged from Michigan with pop punk rock jams and a five track EP that will draw you in time and time again.

With Bong Mountain playing FEST this year, now is as good of a time as any to give them a listen if you haven't done so before. Read on to learn about their music, check out an interview with their drummer, Matt, and see some photos from Nick Zimmer Photography.

Bong Mountain | The FEST 15 | Gainesville, FL

Photos: Nick Zimmer Photography 

you're doin' great! was released in 2015, and has been included on the group's more recent release you're doin' great (For The Record), released in 2016, along with the rest of their recorded music which includes a 2016 split with Junior Battles and a four way split with Protected Left, Bluff Called, and Frank And Earnest

Without paying attention to Bong Mountain's lyrics, their music has an upbeat, poppy finish to it that makes you want to bop along. However, diving deeper into the lyrical content of their songs, you're struck with both the harsh reality of the world and the stark vulnerability of being human. The opening track on you're doin' great, "Pariah Carey" states "I've buried that thing a thousand times that I forgot about / But with time & some gauze & a tourniquet / It always finds its way back to the ceiling / so tonight I'm fucking burning it."

Moving through the EP, you're handed an assortment of nostalgia and fistfulls of lyrics that are perfect to scream along to with your best pals-- "I know we're getting older / getting married / living continents apart / But this graffiti ridden basement doesn't care how old we are", these lyrics on the track "Caroline" are sure to hit home for many. 

The following three tracks don't back down, and easily keep you engaged. There are no filler sounding songs-- all of the tracks seem carefully selected with a purpose. "Monday Song" in particular can truly send shivers down your spine when you give the lyrics a good listen-- 
"I guess the glory days didn't age so well / and this gallery has never payed so I'm selling everything / and starting with a canvas whitewash clean."

You can listen to Bong Mountain's entire collection on Spotify as well as Bandcamp, and catch them at FEST if you'll be there. If not, check out their Facebook for more upcoming shows! 

They are playing at Boca Fiesta this year-- check out the full FEST schedule right here

Bong Mountain | The FEST 15 | Gainesville, FL

Photos: Nick Zimmer Photography 

I asked Matt, the drummer for Bong Mountain, our FEST questions-- check out his answers below, including advice for your first FEST, FEST essentials, and more! 

Q: What do you believe sets FEST apart from other music festivals?

A: FEST sets itself apart from other fests because it's been running so well for such a long time. It also seems to be the festival to go to as you have thousands of people who attend from all over the world. This FEST will be my 10th year in a row going, and 2nd year in a row playing. I couldn't imagine not attending it as it has been part of my life for so long now.

Q: What protip do you have for first time FEST-ers?

A: Be properly hydrated and sleep well! Remember to eat and to do so somewhat healthy. There's nothing worse than flying or driving back home Monday severely hungover and / or sick. Realize that you probably won't see every band you have on your list (or on your handy FEST app that the beautiful Steve Wozniak makes)- so be prepared to stick with some buds and check out some bands you've never heard of.

Q: What's your favorite part about FEST?

A: Eating my annual first meal at Reggae Shack and then drinking spicy margaritas with all my friends at Boca Fiesta

Q: What's your favorite FEST memory? 

A: My favorite FEST memory is of our set last year at Palomino. The energy of the crowd was unbelievable and it was just a magical moment for all of us. It was my 9th FEST and the first time I got to play- for me it was a lifelong dream finally achieved and it was even better than I thought it would be.

Q: What are your FEST essentials? 

A: Fest essentials: FEST fanny pack filled with a phone charger, beer koozie, phone, wallet, and ID's.

Q: What are you the most excited about for this years FEST? 

A: I'm excited to play on the outside stage at Boca Fiesta. It's one of my favorite places to be at FEST and I couldn't be more excited to play there. For some FEST traditions, I'm excited to eat way too much food at Reggae Shack. I'm always excited to see my friends play! The lineup and time slots change quite a bit before FEST so I don't usually plan my itinerary until the day of.

You can stay up to date with Bong Mountain on Facebook