This past Friday, I went to Ground Zero Teen Center for the first time in several years. With me, I brought my buddies Josie and Mitchell, and we three sort of stuck out among the crowd of hardcore-looking adults (maybe because we aren’t adults…?). I definitely should have introduced myself to the band, but I was not sure which person I had corresponded with over email (so I’m sorry Brian if you thought I was being rude; I didn’t know it was you!) and I didn’t want to jump out of nowhere saying “HELLO I’m Emily! Let’s chat!”. So I felt like kind of a fail. Note to self: know who the band members are BEFORE you go to their concert! Anyways, when it was Happy Birthday’s turn, their sound was much more interesting and unique to my ears than the band before them had been (no offense, I’m just not into that screamo stuff). So without further adieu, here’s my email interview with Happy Birthday Secret Weapon-same questions as usual- as well as several concert pictures. Photo credit to my girl Josie Warden!
1. How many members are in your band, and what ages, and what does each person play?Chris Wiliams.drums.vocals
2. How did you come up with your creative band name?With 3 days to go, we were in need of a name for our 1st show. the venue was the s.s marie antoniette. after rehearsal one day, we had the t.v. on. In the background, cartoon network. As we were throwing names back and forth the t.v. goes black, then flashes “Happy Birthday Secret Weapon” 4 or 5 times in bright white letters. We figured out it was a sign. Later on I found out that Secret Weapon was a blogger at the cartoon network webpage, and it was his birthday.
3. How long have you been together as a band, how did you meet each other and put the band together?Chris and I have been working together for 11 years. We met in school in 1999 and the only time when we did not play in the same band was when I lived in NYC, 2002. HBSW started in 2007. Isaac joined the band in 2008.
4. Where do you usually perform, and do you have any upcoming shows?we play anywhere. bars, all ages, houses, galleries, lofts, a back alley, a barn. what matters is the music, and to play it well, hopefully twice a month in front of people.
5. How often do you practice together, and where at?once a week in our basement. we’ve ventured to twice, but c’mon…..
6. Who are your musical/performing influences?each other. we’ve been told we sound like hybrids. sonic youth/motorhead, king crimson/bowie
7. What advice do you have for people trying to start their own band?have patience. believe in your music. don’t do it for the chicks. have fun. have patience. don’t give up. don’t be cocky. create community. don’t believe the hype.
8. How far do you plan on taking your musical career?i try to see music as philosophy. now, if anybody wants to come and give me lots of money, and agrees to my demands, then we are in business. how far? i can’t live without music, so even if I didn’t have a career I would still do it.
9. What are your goals for the band?to be good, interesting, unique, fun, intellectual, dynamic, weird yet not weird.
10. How can my blog readers listen to your music (is it online, any upcoming shows, etc.)?myspace, or come to one of our shows. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for cds