“I’m really excited about it,” Kirchgessner said of playing Saturday’s festival, noting the band has cultivated “a really strong following” in northern Michigan. “Traverse City is such a great town and we all really like beer. It’s a perfect combination.”
The February appearance signals the beginning of another busy year for Mustard Plug, especially as it tours behind the new album with swings to the East and West Coasts.
“We’re focusing on doing a lot more festivals,” he said. “You get more bang for the buck, bigger crowds and more diverse crowds.”
The group’s hard-earned success from humble beginnings – independently releasing its first album on cassette tapes back in 1992 – can be attributed to relentless touring and a true love for the ska punk music that set it apart from other West Michigan bands in the 1990s.
Kirchgessner drew inspiration from England’s ska movement, which spawned bands like The Specials, Madness and The Beat.
“The main thing is just the energy with it. It has a lot of energy and it’s upbeat and it’s just really fun music,” he said. “It’s just kind of a celebration of life.”