Indy: On your MySpace page, you list your former job title at Geffen as "rock 'n roll savior." Apart from having your CD delayed, Geffen dropping you and losing the rest of your band, how was your L.A. experience?
MF: We moved out there for eight months, I think, and we had a lot of fun, but it got to the point where it's expensive and all our friends and family were home. And then there's the whole support structure of Nashville, with cheap studios and instruments everywhere. It's a music town and there's a lot of rock bands, even though the industry is not really a rock 'n roll industry.
Indy: Why didn't you want Geffen releasing "Little Razorblade" [which did reach No. 1 on L.A.'s influential KROQ-FM] as your first single?
MF: We originally didn't want to record it at all, but we got talked into it. It was already on our first record. They said it wouldn't be the first single, and we were kind of into believing they knew what they were doing. We're a rock 'n roll band, but it was the most straightforward pop song we ever had. It was kind of a misrepresentation of who we are.
Indy: On "Seventeen Candles" off your new CD [Sweat It Out], the doubled vocals sound like early Squeeze ...
MF: I love Squeeze. The rest of the records is pretty heavily influenced by Queen's Night at the Opera, Squeeze and early Cheap Trick. Yeah, [producer] Brendan O'Brien's a big Squeeze fan, too.
Indy: So, would you ever sign with another major label again?
MF: It would have to be under pretty extraordinary circumstances. At this point, I think if we're successful enough to sign with another major label, we'll be successful enough to not want to.
At the Black Sheep, Oct. 2.