I’ve been accumulating mass amounts of half-finished songs lately. I decided it’s time to finish some of them. So my question to you is, if I managed to finish an entire record in one week, would you pay five bucks for it on Friday? I sure hope the answer is yes, because I need the dough. Not for drugs or prostitutes (which I can afford) but for finishing a “best-of” album and getting a few hundred copies printed. Just another rung on the ladder to imminent fame and fortune.
Virginia Is For Hoverers Part Two. Coming Friday. Unbelievable. More info soon.
In other news, I opened for pop sensation Hanson last week. It was one heck of an adventure. If you saw us at the show, here, have a free album!
Firstly, thanks to any of you guys that voted for me. I can’t believe Sugar got first place out of so many hundreds of songs! I mean, it was clearly one of the only songs that didn’t sound like open mic night at Lame Ridge Middle School, but usually that doesn’t matter. But man, this kind of thing keeps happening. There must be an industry out there that has a hunger for genuine songs that consistently win over the hearts of the public and win contests! What? There isn’t? Ah, well. Starving artist it is then.
Anyway. So me (Chris Merritt), Brett (drums), Simon (bass), Stacy (some chick from Long Island….JK, hi Stacy), Cathy (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kevin (husband@Cathy.com) arrived in Buffalo, NY at the venue to find hundreds of excited teenage girls lined up around the block. That immediately struck me as weird – Hanson made lots of teenage fans in the 90s, right? I was expecting a bunch of like, pregnant newlyweds or something. Apparently Hanson fans defy the normal laws of space-time. There were loads of ‘em. Hundreds – nay, thousands – of teenage girls, and the occasional patient, nice boyfriend who is too young to know that being patient and nice is the worst way to get girls to like you.
So we loaded up our gear backstage and went to do a live streaming interview in Hanson’s trailer. My plan was to play some music during the interview no matter what. Hanson’s team didn’t want to deal with it, but luckily, Cathy and I had decided to bring her awesome little Casio keyboard, and Kevin ran across the street to grab some batteries. So I sat down with the keyboard in my lap just before Hanson came in and introduced themselves.
So then we did the interview. Man, public speaking on a big level is really really hard. I was nervous. Your fight-or-flight instincts really kick in like crazy. It’s nothing logical or reasonable, it just happens. But I managed to keep it together and say some funny stuff I think. We played Quinn and Sugar, and I was on this little Casio keyboard, with Brett on percussion, and Simon and Brett on back vocals, and I’m pretty sure the songs sounded phenomenal. Hanson’s jaws dropped during Quinn. That was a cool moment. I also called Hanson out on a couple things, which is always fun. But overall, I mean, jeez, they seem nice enough guys. They rocketed to superstardom as young boys and they still seem like allright guys. A bit pretentious and feigned maybe, but I mean, we didn’t even have security around during the interview. That’s kind of cool. After the interview, I asked them to check out some of our set later, but they said they were too busy.
I’ll post footage of the interview as soon as I have it!
Then we played our set. The place was packed and the audience started out really chatty. But as Simon said later, we won ‘em over. Two songs in, the place was filled with cheering. We opened with a new song called Radio and then went into Cult Of Karl. Both songs came off flawlessly and HUGE. Brett and I had been practicing the set like crazy, and it showed. I lost my glasses at some point. Simon, who is an overall amazing bassist and a great guy, won huge cheers from the audience. He’s a great performer. We did Sugar (which I kind of sucked at and need to practice), Madison, and Cruise Elroy, and I freaked out on the end of Elroy. I think our trio got the most spontaneous response of the night, actually. Cathy and Kevin also took AWESOME video!!! We’ll have it up ASAP!!!
Oh, by the way. This band Rooney also played that night. Everyone keeps telling me they like that band, so if this includes you, please don’t be offended by me when I say that you are utterly wrong to like them at all, and that their music was literally the most offensive thing to my intellect I’ve ever heard. They look like a bunch of trust fund kids who write the same song over and over as their pants get tighter. “When did your heart go missing?” Where did they get that brilliant lyric from? The margin of a preteen’s first attempt at break-up poetry? Their song I Can’t Get Enough should be called I Wish I Was Rivers Cuomo But I’m Clearly Not And Never Will Be, but I guess that’s too long. That also goes for most of their other songs – lame impressions of Weezer’s lame post-Pinkerton years. Although I really do love Weezer’s Green Album besides that frickin sonic train-wreck called Island In The Sun. And now I’m officially completely off topic.
No, but at least Rooney were really nice guys. Oh wait, except the exact opposite. To break the silence backstage, as one keyboard player to another: Me: “Cool keyboard. What is it?” Rooney’s keyboard player: “It’s called a keyboard. It makes sounds. It’s a Korg, which it says right there, and you can get it at Guitar Center.” Well, screw you too! I didn’t even give a crap, I was just trying to make conversation! Incidentally, the keyboard player had an announced “solo” during Rooney’s set. I use the term “solo” as loosely as possible because it consisted of him holding down a single note and activating some irritating siren-like effect. I would say that it could have been done by a monkey, but even that would be generous. That solo could have literally been played with a decently heavy rock.
So then I drew on CDs that my mom burned me (thanks mom) and sold them. Stacy is a great saleswoman and was an irreplaceable member of our awesome trip. We made about a billion new fans and they were all adorable. I played tinfoil hacky sack with one group of girls, and drew horribly crude things on some other girls’ CDs, per their request. We all had a good laugh and a good time. Except of course the members of Rooney who looked frickin’ miserable the whole time. Yeah, it sucks playing for thousands of people every night in a band, huh guys? Would it kill you to smile when you get pictures with your adoring fans, who paid lots of money to come see you, and somehow missed the fact that your music sound like Weezer’s Brown Album?
Then I tried to get a Hanson autograph for Simon’s amazing wife, who was back in NYC with the kids. In the rushed insanity of the interview, Simon had forgot to get it for her, and was at dinner with old friends after our set. Anyway, no one would help me out, and everyone was rude to me, and one security guard swore at me and attacked me with a big ‘ol shove. He weighed about 300 pounds but for some reason I decided to shove him back. He probably would have eaten me if Cathy hadn’t found me in the nick of time. He kept saying he was going to “drill me” which really does sound pretty awful. I’m sure glad that didn’t happen because I wouldn’t have been walking straight for days.
Cathy and Kevin stayed for a couple nights and went to Niagra Falls, and Brett and Stacy also went to visit early in the morning. Simon and I drove back together and had amazing conversations about physics, music, biology, philosophy, religion, life…..what a great guy. All in all, a great adventure and a great show.
Thanks to all involved for making it an awesome show!