On Feb. 11, The Mighty Magic Pants released their new album “My Mom is Batman.” The Mighty Magic Pants is a children’s band currently composed of Union’s previous professor of English and now adjunct Mike Mennard, senior music major Charmaine Ang and ‘16 graduate Ben VandeVere.
The Mighty Magic Pants formed in 2012 around Mennard, an award-winning musician and poet, and their first album “Gotta Be the Pants” won a Parent-Choice Award in 2014. The group toured and produced two more albums over the next four years.
However, in 2015 “Pirate Jake” Wright, one of the original members, passed away. The band dissolved soon after.
A few months later, Mennard was deeply involved with Union’s theatre group, preparing a production of his musical comedy “Captain Scrooge.” In the months of preparation for the production, he was able to closely work with VandeVere and Ang. He recognized the talent they both had, and decided to ask them if they would help reform The Mighty Magic Pants.
“He talked with her [Ang] first,” stated VandeVere, pretending to be offended. “What was funny about this, was she came to me [and told me] and I was freaking out, ‘cause I’ve followed The Mighty Magic Pants for a while."
Ang wasn’t sure of exactly what Mennard’s invite entailed at first. “He had said ‘help me out’, so I thought he just wanted me to play or sing something.”
“That’s what I meant,” Mennard laughed, “help me out by being in the band!”
“I was planning on talking to Ben, too,” continued Mennard. “I was actually trying to work up the courage!” He ended up asking VandeVere shortly afterward.
In 2015 the original group began working on a superhero themed album. Now, with the band renewed with Ang and VandeVere, Mennard brought the project back to life.
Although the primary audience for The Mighty Magic Pants is children, it’s a band that can be enjoyed by all ages. “There are references you wouldn’t get if you were [a child],” explained VandeVere. “We’re not a kid’s group, we’re a family’s group because there’s something for all ages.”
Mennard agrees. “College students are often our best audience, because they love having fun and they don’t mind being silly. They’re past that ‘I’m too cool for this’ stage.”
If you’re interested in listening to “My Mom is Batman,” the album can be purchased on iTunes, or via a Bandcamp subscription. If you head over to their Facebook page, you can find song previews and other exclusive content. Also visit their website, www.mightymagicpants.com, for tour dates.
If you can make it to a concert the Mighty Magic Pants will be “super, super, super excited” to see you. Yes, the pun was intended.
Autumn Mott is a sophomore studying communication.