1. How did you get your band name?
Joey: It involved college, whiskey, and a hamster.
Danny: First of all, it sounds like a Richard Gere story when you say it like that. Yeah, he had the name when I met him. I was never even
consulted! Everybody just assumes my name is Meekos, but it's kinda growing on me.
2. How did this band get started?
Joey: I moved out to LA from Chicago. The day I moved into my apartment, I heard a cello out my bedroom window. So I used my Sherlock Holmes abilities to track down where the music was coming from. I met Danny, who at the time was at a buddies house jamming with a couple musicians. I asked him if he wanted to start playing my music. Things have worked out swimmingly.
Danny: I concur.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
Joey: I was a huge Elliott Smith fan...still am I suppose. He is a big influence in my music. Also, being from Chicago, I have to give Wilco a shout out. They are definitely my favorite band these days. Jeff Tweedy just knows how to write a good song. Listen to "Impossible Germany" and tell me you're not a fan. I think James Mercer and Ben Gibbard are absolutely brilliant lyricists and songwriters. I aspire to write songs as great as the things they've done.
Danny: I grew up listening to Green Day, Nirvana, the Offspring, basically 90's KROQ radio if you're from LA. I can't say they're a direct
influence on this project, but those groups were my first rock idols for sure. Since then, other than Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart of course, I've been listening to CCR, Elton John, James Taylor, Paul Simon, anybody willing to write a good song. Joey has definitely gotten me into Elliot Smith and Ben Gibbard a bit.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Joey: I'd really like to tour with Death Cab for Cutie. Their music is relatively similar to ours, so I think their fans would dig us...and they have a lot of fans. I certainly wouldn't mind listening to their set every night. Ben Gibbard would be pretty cool to chill with as well, plus he's married to Zooey Deschanel.
Danny: How can I disagree with that....?
5. Best food to eat on tour?
Joey: Depends where we are touring. Mexican in the West; burgers, hotdogs, and beef in the Midwest; pizza and seafood in the East. Done and done.
Danny: I watch a lot of Food Network and would love for our tour to hit every spot featured on "Diners, Drive-In's, and Dives."
6. Why should people listen to your band?
Joey: Because it doesn't demand you to listen. A lot of bands these days play shows and they figure loud is good, loud means more energy. I don't agree with that. Our band is less intrusive, people like sitting down and listening to us. Plus we have a cello.
Danny: Because of my hair. And to hear something that's different and easy to listen to that isn't "easy listening." I'd like people to hear a few of our songs and think, "why hasn't the cello been used in this way before?"
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?
Joey: Michael Jordan hands down.
Danny: Kelly Slater. Actually that's a lot of pressure....maybe one of those "free surfing" pros who never has to compete and just travels the world to surf the best waves to get photos and vid clips....Jamie O'brien.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
Joey: My parents. They are my biggest supporters and I could never thank them enough. They got me into music in the first place, so they deserve the credit. My bandmates too.
Danny: my mom, dad, family, a long list of teachers that have gotten me where I am, Joey, and Joshua Rumer.
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
Joey: Labels signing bands based on the quality of music not the profit they could make off of them. There is some real shit out there. There are so many bands that I have heard of that are absolutely awful yet there are so many bands that I haven't heard of that are absolutely amazing...so something's got to change.
Danny: I think what Joey is talking about is pervasive throughout the art and entertainment world. Just look at movies. If you put enough money behind junk, cookie-cutter entertainment, it will make you money back. It's probably a safer bet than making something "interesting" or "different." I guess you could call us risk takers....broke ass risk takers.
10. Memorable tour experience?
Joey: Isn't every tour memorable?
Danny: C'mon man, just tell 'em the hamster story.
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
Joey: It means that we are doing something right if we get mentioned in it.
Danny: Was just cruising the site.....I'm starting to develop a complex that I'm not cool enough!
12. What is your favorite song to play?
Joey: "Entropy" or "Bags of Color." I like to play "Fantasies and Fairies" too because it's the only song where I get to stop playing guitar and only sing for a quick moment.
Danny: "Entropy" was the first song I developed a cello part for that really felt like it fit....I like playing it because I feel like it represents our style. It's not one of our flavors, it's just how we sound.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
Joey: I used to live in Colorado. I love to ski. I don't live there anymore so I guess I can consider it a vacation spot now.
Danny: Somewhere warm where the beer flows like wine....and there's good uncrowded surf.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
Joey: Anything off of Michael Jackson's Bad album. Or any Beatles album.
Danny: The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round. Elton John actually....I think my first CD was a greatest hits album of his.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
Joey: Mind manipulation. I would be able to just tell people to give me things. i.e. "Danny go get me a beer."
Danny: Sorry, I drank it all. Hard to say. I wouldn't want anything that would enable me to "cheat" my way into money or accomplishing my goals. I think you'd get bored of that after a year....it'd be a good year though. Maybe teleportation, but only for the purpose of saving time.
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?
Joey: I think a relatively new ritual for me is drinking a Campari soda before going on stage.
Danny: I usually just rosin my bow, drink a beer, and strap on my helmet.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
Joey: I always wanted to be a professional skier. I was an instructor, but that's about as far as I got.
Danny: I'm not as smart as I look....wait a sec.
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?
Joey: I don't really listen to the radio these days. I probably should. I need to keep up with current trends. I hear turn tables are pretty hip these days.
Danny: I think the competition for people's attention has driven music on the radio to be a bit of an assault on your senses. My concern about our music is that it's hard to sell it to people two seconds at a time to somebody flipping through stations. Kind of the way the first bite of anything from McDonalds is the best thing ever, then after your 20th McNugget you want to kill yourself. We're the opposite. We hit our stride about 15 nuggets in. As long as people keep listening, I think we're fine.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Joey: I like to try and learn new instruments. The ukulele is my new endeavor.
Danny: I like cooking: stove top, or grill. If I ever had the kind of money to hire a personal chef, I'd just spend it on somebody to shadow me around the kitchen to clean up and put things away while I cook. Preferably a midget on little stilts so he could reach the cupboards. Can I say that?
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
Joey: I have the uncanny ability to guess people's weights.
Danny: I get along with everybody.....who isn't an asshole.