The Woggles Bring Their Unique Sound To OC Fans (2014 Revisited)

The Woggles

The Woggles play The Constellation Room Nov. 19 and Alex’s Bar Nov. 20

MIGHTY MANFRED / THE WOGGLES 2014 interview revisited…

The Woggles bring it to the people by returning to Alex’s Bar in Long Beach on Nov. 20 and will make their Santa Ana debut at The Constellation Room Nov. 19.

“If we’re out doing a show, and playing live, you want to engage the people that are there,” claims lead singer Mighty Manfred.

“I mean otherwise there’s no reason to be up on a stage, at least from my point of view.”

The Woggles put on quite a show with Manfred stepping into the crowd while singing catchy, hip-shaking tunes. The audience can’t seem to resist dancing around him while grinning from ear to ear.

“Feeding off the audience, the audience feeds off you and it just makes everything that much more exciting, that much more exhilarating, that much more thrilling, with everything building on itself,” Manfred said.

Somehow while singing and shaking a tambourine, Manfred finds a way to get down off the stage, over any barriers, across any trenches, and onto the club floor to celebrate music amongst the audience.

“When you’re right there in front of people they’re no longer watching a spectacle, they’re a part of it,” Manfred explained.

“In a room like Alex’s and I imagine, The Constellation Room, that’s pretty easy to do. You don’t have to deal with these larger rock show impediments.

“We’ve been in Alex’s before and it’s been really terrific mixing it up with the audience. And if need be, the top of the bar is just a stage extension, you know?”

Of course, mishaps have been known to happen. Take a show in Pensacola, Florida.

“You know, before doing anything stupid, I check things out ahead of time,” Manfred unconvincingly stated.

“That doesn’t mean I won’t still do stupid things.”

During sound check that particular evening, Manfred tried his weight on a curtain next to the stage and thought, “Oh, this will be great. I can swing out from this.

“So, during this instrumental song the band is playing I scampered up there and jumped off of some amps to reach this thing. As I committed myself to this forward swing, you know with the idea I would let go and go sailing, the rod came out before I had swung far enough. I couldn’t get my arms behind me so I landed with my full weight on my back.

“People have asked, ‘Did it feel like it was happening in slow motion?’ And my answer to that is, ‘Man, the ground moves really fast!’

“The guys in the band, though, didn’t know that was going on. So, I’m rolling around, and I stand up and I’m in immense pain.

“I slowly get back on the stage and I remember the drummer, Dan Eletxro looking at me and I could see him mouthing, ‘Shake it off! Shake it off!’

“He knew something had happened but you know, ‘Get with it man. Get back into it.’ Yea, that was terrible.”

After the show, Manfred went to the emergency room to get stitched up and somehow escaped bodily damage.

“I had cut my face on the nails coming out of the rod, as it came down and hit me in the face.

“But people loved the blood, though. They loved the blood.”

The Woggles initially formed in Georgia in 1987 with the bass player, Buzz Hagstrom joining in 1994, the aforementioned drummer, Dan Eletxro, in 1995 and guitarist, Flesh Hammer becoming an official band member ten years ago.

Their latest full-length release, “The Big Beat”, on Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records, came out last year. There’s a new Christmas single coming out on 7” vinyl followed by an EP in early 2015.

Music may hold different meaning for different people, but to Manfred, it’s a celebration of life.

“You’ve got to bring it to the people!” he said in anticipation of the next live shows.