Nate Mendel is undoubtedly best known as the bassist in Foo Fighters (and for holding down the low end for Sunny Day Real Estate prior to that), but just like Dave Grohl went from being just the drummer in some band to becoming the driving force—as singer, songwriter and (rhythm) guitarist—behind his own group, Mendel is fronting his own new project, Lieutenant. “I’m not an enthusiast of solo projects,” says the new frontman. “Bands are bands for a reason and it seems that once the celery is out of the soup, you’re just left holding a stringy, watery vegetable. However, I knew there was more I wanted to do in music.” So he entered the studio, and with the help of a variety of musicians and producer Toshi Kasai, Mendel ended up with his very own new album, the recently released If I Kill This Thing We’re All Going to Eat for a Week (stream it below). NME declared, “The record is no vanity project, but a serious passion project,” and, furthermore, it’s an “impressive marriage of Sunny Day’s intimate soul purging and Foos’ powerful guitar heft, it’s a masterstroke of understated college rock.” Armed with a backing band, Lieutenant (above, performing “Belle Epoque”) are currently making their way up the East Coast, and you can catch them live on Saturday at Mercury Lounge. Vancouver, B.C., rock quartet Yukon Blonde open the show.