Mest are Chicago pop punk royalty providing fans with years of anthems since the late 90’s.
We were lucky enough to catch up with lead vocalist and guitarist Tony Lovato. He chats to us about his solo Australian tour, song workshops and upcoming Mest appearance at Riot Fest Chicago.

SCENEzine – First up how did this mini Australian solo tour and songwriting workshops come about?

Tony Lovato – David Simon of Oxygen hit me up about possible tours and other ideas. After a few conversations we figured out a quick little schedule to get some songwriting/producing sessions in and be able to play a couple shows.

SCENEzine – Have you decided yet what kind of setlist you’ll play?

Tony Lovato – Every set I ever do is a combination of songs from every record. I recorded an acoustic record of fan favorites called Broken Down which will be available at the show. So ill be doing the songs from that.

SCENEzine –  Over the years have you played acoustically solo much?

Tony Lovato – No I have not. Although I do write songs starting on an acoustic most of the time I have not done acoustic shows. But after doing the acoustic record it seemed appropriate. Different take on the songs. Its something fun and different considering i’ve played these songs the record way a million fucking times.

SCENEzine – Do you have a favourite memory from a previous trip to Australia?

Tony Lovato – We did this show on a small yacht and it just cruised around the harbour around Sydney and you could see the opera house. It was rad. We also had a beach day and taught some of our Australian friends how to play American football.

SCENEzine –  One of our favourite Mest tracks is “Rooftops” can you tell us a bit about the writing process for the song and did you know you had something special while writing it?

Tony Lovato – It was just a normal day of sitting in my hotel writing. I wanted to write a song that my friends I grew up with would be stoked about. Reminiscing of our younger years. I loved it from the start and knew it was gonna connect with our fans cuz so many kids have that spot that hang with there friends growing up. Funny part about that song is I had to fight with John Feldmann to even get it on the record. I actually had to set up a meeting with the president of our Label Guy Osery (madonnas manager) and go in and play it for him. He looked and me and said yeah it’s a great song. So whats up? I was like I want it on the record john doesn’t. He said ok ill call john. And he did. That’s how it got on the record.

SCENEzine –  A Mest crowd favourite is Jaded featuring Benji Madden. Do you still keep in touch with the Madden brothers?

Tony Lovato – I love those 2 and I always will. We had a huge bond growing up. I was close with their mom, sister and brother. But ya know years pass and you lose touch. Ive reached out a couple times in the past. Ill throw them a text on there bdays or when Benj got married. I text them when my son was born and sent them pics. No response. Who knows. Maybe they never got the text.

SCENEzine – “Cadillac” is another loved Mest track worldwide. The video itself is awesome! Was the video as fun to make as it looked?

Tony Lovato – Yeah but that video never turned out the way it was supposed to. The original treatment by Marcos Seiga (who did every artist video you could think of and also produced Dexter and The Following) was amazing. It was the video idea with the guys where there heads were big noses. Think it was daft punk. Well that was supposed to be the same concept. The gorilla dude was supposed to do all these rad things in the video. Like whatever he did he was amazing at. Guy Osery said no to the treatment right before we were supposed to shoot. We fought for it but with such short notice we couldn’t pull off what we wanted. But it was still a really funny day and experience. This was when video shoots were budgeted at 250,000 dollars. I remember at the end of the night standing in the parking lot in on the beach where all the production was sorta taking it all in. Like fuck, this is all here for my little punk rock bands video. There are moments like that, that are implanted in my brain.

SCENEzine – Mest do a great cover of “I Melt with you”. Do you ever get to play that live?

Tony Lovato – We used to do it live all the time. When we start doing some more reunions shows i’m sure we will add it in. it’s a fun song live.

SCENEzine– We at SCENEzine are headed over to Chicago for Riot Fest in September Absolutely stoked that Mest are on the lineup! Are you excited to play the festival?

Tony Lovato- Fuck yeah. First hometown show with the original lineup in 10 years. Playing the same stage as No Doubt which was one of the first bands we’ve ever toured with. Should be a really fucking fun show. And ill have my son with me. Which will be pretty awesome having him on the side of the stage watching me.

SCENEzine– Do you have a last message for your Aussie fans? Is it possible you willbe back again with the whole band in the near future?

Tony Lovato- Hopefully we can come back around January/Feb with the original lineup and tour all of Australia. If you haven’t picked up the 2 new records “Not What You Expected” and Broken Down the acoustic fan favorites they are both on itunes. Come on out to one of these acoustic shows. I don’t get over here that often so don’t miss out!! Thanx oh and follow me on IG if you’d like @AnthonyLovato.

Thursday, August 6: Hot Damn, Sydney
Tickets from the venue 
Friday, August 7: Captain? captain! @ HQ, Adelaide
Tickets from the venue 
Saturday, August 8: The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Tickets from 
Sunday, August 9: The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney – All Ages
Tickets from 

 Tony Mest

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