Charles Mansion Love House Parties

What's in a name? For the Fullerton quartet Charles Mansion, not much. Sure, you may have to really enunciate the last word when inquiring about the album at a record store, so as not to refer to the god-awful recordings of madman Manson. But to singer Corey Kaiser, Charles and Mansion are just words. “We could name our band anything,” he says. “We don't try to take things too seriously.”

Charles Mansion have shredded through the Long Beach and Orange County bar circuit for the past two years, gaining attention not just for their name, but also for their melodic, sometimes cacophonic take on rock. Their first full-length, Ready to Kill, was recorded in their home studio, Crab Apple West, and will be released on Tuesday by Winston Legthigh Records. We spoke with Kaiser about the group's moniker, why house parties are awesome, and the sad tale behind their album cover, which features an adorable baby deer.


OC Weekly: How do people react to your name?

Corey Kaiser: My grandma hates it. My whole family hates it. Most people, you say it, and it's like, “It's an awesome name, yeah, yeah.” I get the novelty of it. We were looking for a band name, and my friend Ian Johnson said, “Charles Mansion,” and I said, “No way. No. That's not going to fly.” We booked a show, and we didn't have a name yet, and I didn't know what to say, so I was like, “Oh, we're Charles Mansion,” and it stuck. Some people get a kick out of it; some people think it's funny. Everybody says, “Charles Manson”—that's cool. It's funny, but it doesn't have anything to to with Manson himself. He's his own guy.


Where's your favorite place to play and why?

House parties are always fun. Probably the best show we had was at a party in Oakland because people let loose when they're in that sort of environment. They just do their thing, like how a rock show should be—dancing and moving around and having a good time. Not just standing in the corner with their arms crossed, observing and give the little golf clap at the end.


How did your album cover come about?

Tim [Grey, guitarist] found the image on the Internet a few years ago. We had some ideas for album art that didn't go through, and then Tim just pulled that picture up, and it made us all laugh so hard, and we just knew that was it. It just put a smile on my face.

A couple of days after we signed for the rights for the picture, my mom calls me up and says, “I was doing some snooping around the Internet, and I found what that fawn is.” Apparently, he's a big deal in England. I think that was the only picture that was taken of him, and his name was Rupert. His mom was walking across the street, and she got hit by a car, and she was pregnant with him, and unfortunately, she didn't make it. They tried to keep Rupert alive, so they put him on an incubator, but I think he only lived for, like, a week after that. Sadly, he passed. It's a bummer, but then again, our band's name is Charles Mansion, so people shouldn't get too offended by too many things. It's such a cool picture and such a beautiful fawn. He's still alive on our album cover.


This column appeared in print as “Look At Your Game, Guys!”

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