Interviewer: Jennifer F. |
HV: You guys just got off your Advanced Warning Tour. Do you have any funny stories or anything crazy that happened?
Harley: Oh God, too many of them. No, actually, the places that were smaller as towns were better as a crowd cause they don’t get a lot of bands come through. They’re much more excited than like the big cities. Like Portalas, New Mexico and Alfred, New York. It was entertainment-starved people (laugh). It was really good and we just had a blast. All the other bands, the Ravonettes, Mooney Suzuki, and Longwave were all great and we all got along great and just partied like crazy and had a great time.
HV: How has the audience been responding to your music?
Harley: It’s been a great responce, especially with our record’s not out for a couple months. It comes out on June 3rd, so it’s cool to get in front of people for the first time and have them react to it, sell CDs after the show or whatever and talk. We always go out to the crowd and meet whoever we can.
Mark: Yeah, they’ve been throwing stuff at us and everything, so we figure they like us (laugh). Someone said it’s cause they like you so… I was just kidding.
HV: What do you want the audience to come away with after they see your live performance?
Harley: It’s just like it’s a party.
Mark: Yeah, a party. And we have miniature dolls of each of us and we hope they go away with them.
Harley: Yeah, we sell them the kind that the head bops in the car to put in your car. No, we just want them to go away with that we made their lives better or just have it so they can listen to in their car, party, or get depressed or whatever they want to do (laugh), but come away with some kind of feeling, not just like a bland… you know.
HV: So how did you guys come up with the band’s name?
Mark: We actually went through different names and we couldn’t decide on anything so we just kinda…
Harley: There was a roller coaster called White Light White Heat at this place near where I grew up so that’s how we came up with it.
Mark: The motorcade thing was just another word we were trying to fit in.
Harley: We were going to call ourselves White Lightning, but that’s kinda like Black Stallion (laugh).
HV: So how long have you guys been playing together as a band?
Harley: Um, Mark and I were in a different band together, and we wanted to move on and do something better. Steve and Tommy just happened to be putting their band together and moved up to New York City and we thought there was not scene and we were sick of it. We didn’t even know if we were going to stay together, we were kinda bummed out and all of a sudden it was like Steve and Tommy, two guys that you couldn’t have picked a better band. I don’t know if it was going to work out, it seemed too easy, you know. You think if you audition it should be forever, never like…(OK Go’s sound check in the backround gets louder) We gotta go quick, so Mark and I have been playing for like 3 years, this band’s been together for like two years.
HV: Where was your first gig?
Harley: Arlene Grocery in New York City. Our first gig we just wanted to do a warm up gig and it ended up being some people there that dug it and started getting our CD around, like our demo. Before we knew it, record companies were coming down and it happened really easily, actually.
HV: You have an album coming out. How was your recording process for that, were there songs that you recorded that didn’t make it?
Mark: Yeah, we recorded like about 18 songs and I think 12 of them are on there.
Harley: We recorded our record in Nashville, and it was like cool Honkey Tonk bars, like a place called Tootsies. We’d go down there and just got a real vibe from all the musicians that kind of, never really made it (laugh), you know.
Mark: It was hard though, you know, we had a lot of songs we liked but there were songs the label liked or didn’t like as much so we kinda narrowed it. The narrowing-down process was kind of like a democratic thing, you know.
HV: Who were your musical influences?
Harley: The Bee Gees (laugh). Actually, I love Abba. But I would say we love everything from the Beatles to the Sex Pistols, so we’re somewhere in between there.
HV: Do you have any non-musical influences?
Mark: Like Einstein…
Harley: I do, I’m really into Einstein (l augh). No, I think, definently lifestyle. That goes along with what we do. It inspires you to go back and write a song on what you experienced. Without living in the city, I don’t know if our music would sound different or whatever but there’s so much in the city to vibe off of. We rehearse at a place called Don Hills in New York City which is were there was this party called Tizwells on Saturday nights which is all this like Indie Pop/Brit kinda thing and all the bands we know and love went through there and we rehearse there and it’s kind of like our headquarters every time we go back and play there or rehearse there, get drunk there.
HV: This is more of a silly question. Do you have any guilty pleasure TV shows that the other guys make fun of?
Harley: Mine, fucking Anna Nicole! (laugh) That is like the guiltiest pleasure.
Mark: What’s that one where they do the couple trade partners?
HV: Fifth wheel?
Mark: No, the other one.
HV: Second chance or something?
Mark: Yeah, second chance or whatever it is [Change of Heart] where they go out with other people and decide if they want to stay together or go with the other person. That’s great, I love that one.
Harley: Anna Nicole is just-her cousin is the best, did you ever see the episode with her cousin? Oh man, If that’s on, I’m like, what’s on…Anna Nicole! I get all excited. You know you’re gonna see something entertaining. She’s out there but she’s great though.
Mark: Then there’s the Hitler Channel we always watch (laugh).
HV: What was the worst job you had before you did this?
Harley: Definitely construction. I did that for like a week, I hated it. I couldn’t wake up that early in the morning, it’s so not rock and roll, what I expected to do. So then I started waiting tables. That let me sleep late, go work at night. Did that, and then, I don’t know (to Mark), what was your worst job?
Mark: Um, well, it’s clothing store retail, or swimming pool, construction company, that was really bad. And worked at a golf course, that was bad too. I had to drive a tractor and cut the fairways (laughs). People hitting golf balls at me (laugh). I got hit in the back with a golf ball.
HV: That’s all my questions.
Harley: All right, It was really nice meeting you.
HV: Thank you, you too.
Harley: Take care.