Chris Mullineaux is a professional musician and is the lead vocalist and guitarist with the group Fuzzy Mudd. He is a native of Baltimore and has spent much of his life in New York City. He has lived in Northeast Pennsylvania for the past year. He and his wife, Penni, live in Tompkinsville.
Meet Chris Mullineaux …
Tell us a little about your music and how you got involved in the NEPA music scene.
We moved here last March. I worked a regular job and played a bit. That first month, I went from two gigs to four gigs, and I now play 20-25 times a month. Between solo/acoustic and with the band, l play six days straight. And the band is pretty incredible. I lucked out. I played with a few different people when I got here. You put feelers out. And I wound up with Larry Moss on bass, and our drummer is Ryan Fenton. It’s a power-trio, but it’s a lot of Bowie. We play a lot of b-sides. We don’t play a lot of the big hits. If we play something from “U2,” it’s “Bad.” Because nobody does. Even with Bowie, it’s “Moonage Daydream,” or “Stay,” or something off of “Low,” because it’s different. And I also have a lot of original stuff. We’re going to try and do some recording this year.
Who are some of your all-time favorite artists?
I’m a big David Bowie fan. I’m a big Jimi Hendrix fan and a big Beatles fan. And I’m a big Radiohead fan. I’d put them on par with the Beatles. I really do. All through their career, they’ve reinvented themselves. I think that’s why I dig them and Bowie so much. I also like TV On The Radio. And there’s a really cool new band called Autolux that I’m into. And The Flaming Lips. And funk.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Watching television. Watching movies. I watch a lot of true crime, because truth is stranger than fiction. And my wife is a salvager, and so we go exploring and looking for stuff. Whether it’s stores or weird places, we get in the car and just go. That’s a big hobby of ours, just going and looking at stuff. And I record music at home. That’s really my main passion — recording music.
Do you follow sports?
I watch football, but I don’t follow anybody. When I was a kid in Baltimore, we had the Colts, and they left, and we stopped following football all together. They later had the new team (the Ravens), and it’s fine, but it had really put a bitter taste in my mouth. And I felt horrible for the city (Cleveland) from which we took the team. We did the same thing. With baseball, I’m an Oriole fan.
Manhattan. There’s nothing like it.
Favorite vacation spot?
We used to go camping. Now, I’m too old to deal with just a tent and a case of beer. (Laughs) I’m not 20. So now, we’ll get a cabin along the Shenandoah River. Skyline Drive. The Appalachian Trail. That kind of stuff.
What brought you to NEPA?
My wife knew a few people here, and we drove out one day on a lark, just to come and check out Scranton. And we were driving up further up, towards Lake Winola, and it was really pretty. And we like the outside stuff. We like the outdoors. And it’s extremely convenient to everything — Baltimore, Philly, D.C., New York.
Christmas. Though it gets a little sad sometimes, because you think about the people that are gone, and that it will never be like it was. I love all of my friends and family, and my wife — I cherish her — but you’re lonely sometimes, for those times … for a feeling. But it’s still Christmas. (Laughs)
All-time favorite movie?
“Goodfellas” is such a perfect movie, and I’m a big fan of “Star Wars.” When I was a kid, it was the greatest thing ever. But my favorite filmmaker is probably Stanley Kubrick. I really like “2001: A Space Odyssey.” That still blows me away how they did that … how they filmed that, when they did. It’s pretty incredible. It’s spotless. And with “The Shining,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Full Metal Jacket” — it’s a wide variety. And I dig that.
All-time favorite TV show?
Favorite book or author?
“The Executioner’s Song” by Norman Mailer.
Biggest pet peeve?
When people slide their feet when they walk. Also, open-mouth gum chewing.
Is there anything about you that might surprise people?
I’m really introverted. I should speak more on stage, even when I play acoustic. Once I play a place once, I’m cool. But it usually takes me one or two gigs. With the band, it’s a lot easier. But I’m pretty shy. In my personal life, I’m a bit of a recluse or a hermit. Once I’m home, I’m home.
Have you had a moment in your life, or a time in your life, that has really helped shape your or define you as a person?
I had a recording opportunity once — an audition with Universal Records — that fell apart due to poor planning and relying on people that I shouldn’t have. And it did change who I am, because that was it — after 10 or 15 years — I never dealt with them again, and I decided to go out in my own. And though it took a lot took some perseverance to get to where I’m at, it’s now what I do full-time. It wasn’t a good thing (initially), but I learned a positive from a negative.
UP CLOSE & PERSONAL with ALAN K. STOUT is a regular feature in electric city, profiling people from all walks of life throughout NEPA. Reach Alan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Emma Black