For most die-hard post-punk fans, Mission of Burma remains a huge name in the music sphere. Nonetheless, the indie-rock lovers of the recent generations do not recognize the influence that M.O.B placed upon some of the “bigger” names we’re all too familiar with.
Mission of Burma is a band hailing from the underground post-punk scene of Boston. Though their first legacy only lasted from ‘79 until ‘83, the trio consisting of Peter Prescott (drums), Roger Miller (guitar), and Clint Conley (bass) surely made a dent in the rock world.
Playing in the likes of Fugazi, Drive Like Jehu, and Hüsker Dü, Mission of Burma is celebrated by bands such as Sonic Youth. Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth described opening for them during Sonic Youth’s first few acts as a band. Noting Burma “among the few bands that would display something wholly other than what was going on in the New York eye of the hurricane when they came to town,” Moore believed M.O.B was more than the usual no-wave scene happening across the music world during the early 80’s.
These three guys surely gained a following within their first 4 years of existence. Before the break-up, they gained fans who later went to form REM, Pearl Jam, Guided by Voices, The Pixies, and Yo La Tengo. Mission of Burma is one of the few bands that contributed to the original raw and grungy rock scene, the 80’s underground post-punk movement that later defined the indie-rock world of the 90’s and recent times.
Returning into the constantly changing music industry is a challenging task, not many bands can pull this off. Being in their 40s and 50s, it’s hard to see a lot of these guys try to live up the hardcore mentality that consumed their 20-something early music careers. Surely, Mission of Burma has a solid following that is still full of appreciation. Miller, in an interview, believed that in 1979, their audience had “total belief and naivety of youth.” Now, it remains the same. They rehearsed, give their shows 500% of effort (in other words, they “gave it their all.”), and hope their fans are wild about them. From what I’ve read, M.O.B stay true to their sounds, and their fans go nuts.
After almost 2 decades of being apart, Mission of Burma finally re-grouped, produced 3 new albums, is currently touring across the country, and making a stop in Dallas. Reading many interviews with Miller, Prescott, and Conley leads to much anticipation for their arrival to the Granada on July 24th. Come rock out! Also, would it convince you any more that Moby covers M.O.B’s “And That’s When I Reach for my Revolver” pretty frequently? Influenced.