Joseph Engle

Intruder Blue is coming for you!

The candy-coated punk of Madison’s only color-coded masked band,Masked Intruder, will rip through the Frequency on Saturday, Aug. 9. The event’s a release party for their second full-length, M.I., and it’s your only chance to catch the miscreant romantics before they take their crime spree all over Europe later this month.

The band have been busy since signing to legendary punk label Fat Wreck Chords in late 2012. This summer they toured with Direct Hit!, the Queers and the Dwarves. They’ve also been putting together a music video. A casting call for it mentioned such roles as a punk rock girl, a pizza delivery driver and a cop.

Likewise, singer and guitarist Intruder Blue discussed bands, girls and cops with Isthmus.

Isthmus: You guys have a lot of songs about girls that you play for fans all over the country. But you’re from Madison, so we might know the subjects of your songs. Who are they?

Intruder Blue: The songs aren’t about specific girls. They are more about the girls that we have crushes on. Which is a huge number of girls. Like, too many to list. They know who they are. Actually, I would guess a lot of them don’t.

Do you tour because you like to rob restaurants? I found articles about robberies at a Waffle House and a crab shack that could be about you.

That wasn’t us. I can say, though, that we understand why someone would want to rob a restaurant. It makes good sense. They did it in Pulp Fiction, which automatically makes it cool. As long as you don’t run into any Samuel L. Jackson or John Travolta types, robbing a restaurant should be a piece of cake.

Which brings me to my next point: Nothing works up an appetite like robbery, so it’s nice to be able to snack in the act. It’s crazy what a simple glass of chocolate milk and maybe some smothered hash browns can do to help ease your hunger and lift your spirits.

When you’re happier, the mooks you’re robbing are happier, too. It’s all about attitude, just like working in customer service. You know, being a robber is a kind of a customer service position. But the customer serves you. You know, like, their belongings. But you can still be nice.

What do you think of Joel DeSpain’s popular incident reports for the city of Madison Police Department? How many are about you?

They’re great! I don’t think any are about us yet. That’s a goal of ours. You know you’ve made it when DeSpain gives you a write-up.

Vice recently had a cop review your newest album. Would you like to respond to him?

I wouldn’t mind taking this opportunity to reach out to cops everywhere and ask them… to realize that some of us make our living doing things that aren’t technically “legal.” That’s no reason to single us out for harassment.

“Almost Like We’re Already in Love” is an a cappella departure from the soul-inspired pop-punk songs that are your bread and butter. What brought about this song?

I thought for a long time going into the writing of M.I. that it would be cool to have an a cappella jam on there. I was inspired by Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time,” which is completely rad…. The main point is to woo ladies into wanting to make out with us. It hasn’t happened yet, but we have high hopes.

Some of the tracks on M.I. mention the band’s stint behind bars. How might your creative process in the clink differ from that of a band not in the slammer? Also, how do you find time to practice when you’re breakin’ the law so much?

In prison you have all the time in the world… so writing is a natural way to pass time. Otherwise, you can get good at chess. Or smoking. Or shanking.

Outside of prison, there’s a lot more stuff going on, so it’s harder to just sit down and focus on writing. These days, we tour so much that we don’t have time for much of anything besides playing and driving to the next show. We manage to make time for a few crimes here and there, allegedly, but nothing like we would be able to do if we weren’t a full-time band.

But I don’t miss prison. Not by a long shot. There are way too few pizza parties in prison. It’s inhumane.

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