1. How did you get your band name? We were having the usual difficulties that bands always have - all the earnest suggestions that attempt to capture our sound, and what we're about - and not finding one that everyone liked. I (Andy) came up with a few 'joke' names, mostly about food, such as "4 Men And Their Super Noodles" and "The Artichoke Heartbreakers", as well as "She Hit Me First." It was only meant to be a joke, but it stuck.
2. How did this band get started? Way back in the early naughties, two creative geniuses (both guitarists) grew up together in Walton-On-Thames, and attempted to make music together, but it didn't work out so they went their separate ways. I found guitarist #1, Hazel, on Gumtree and really liked the songs, so I started singing with him. But, we didn't have a bassist or drummer. Guitarist #2, Gareth, had a drummer and bassist, but no singer. Gluing it all together just seemed to make sense since they'd already collaborated on some songs. Only Gareth and I remain from the original group, though our upcoming EP (out December 17th) features a song originally written by Hazel - despite the fact that he disappeared into the mists of Bavaria a number of years ago. No one knows what happened to him. Hazel isn't even his real name.
3. What bands are you influenced by? We bonded over a mutual love of Samiam, Sugar (Bob Mould), and similar alt-rock bands. Oh, and Adam Ant. We love punk rock, and I listen to punk almost exclusively, but the stuff we write is a more straight-ahead rock. Our new song "All My Jokes" was mixed by El Hefe from NOFX, so that's kind of punk.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why? The Foo Fighters, for sure. Have you ever read their tour rider? It's awesome. It contains a recipe for ice. And the food would be great. Also Mariah Carey, because she would have "20 white kittens, a Rolls-Royce, a pink carpet, pink podium, and confetti shaped as butterflies." Who wouldn't want to roll around on Mariah's pink carpet with white kittens?
5. Best food to eat on tour? White kittens served over well-made ice.
6. Why should people listen to your band? We love guitar-driven music - so if you love it too, maybe we're your new favourite band. Marshalls and Les Pauls never get stale, as far as we're concerned. No gimmicks, and our band name looks pretty cool on a T-shirt. We put a lot of care into our writing and recording process, so there's usually more hidden in our songs than seems obvious on first listen. Gareth is a born songwriter and musician, and I try hard to write lyrics that don't suck.
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with? Winning the Stanley Cup (ice hockey) would be pretty great. I'd switch places with one of those guys. Guess where I'm originally from.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank? I hate awards shows, but that doesn't mean we wouldn't show up to collect our Grammy. Personally I'd thank a bunch of musicians I've loved over the years, and everybody who appreciates what we do. Also, my ex-wife, since she provided me with so much songwriting inspiration, in the form of misery (just kidding, Rosie - XOXOXO) (not really kidding).
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be? The industry part, definitely. People aren't willing to spend much money or effort on listening to music nowadays, since it's so abundantly available and usually free. What little reward there is should go to musicians and their supporting people.
10. Memorable tour experience? Driving across Saskatchewan, since it's so easy to remember. Just open your eyes once at the start of the journey, make a mental snapshot, and there you go: you've seen all of Saskatchewan. We got a speeding ticket, only because the monotony makes you drive faster.
11. What does AP.net mean to you? I read your Twitter feed on my phone when I'm on the toilet. Thank you for the hours of entertainment!
12. What is your favorite song to play? We have a song from our 2009 album called "You're Juliet" that's always fun to play. I'm not a great guitarist, and that song is pretty easy, but it rocks IMHO. I can enjoy it without having to concentrate too hard.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice? Santorini, Greece. I hear there are more beautiful places in the world, but I haven't seen those yet.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood? The Mini-pops. That kid singing "Green Door" was super cool. Michael Jackson always reminds me of childhood, because I've hated his music through every decade of my life. I'm sorry that he's dead, but at least he won't be making any more recordings.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why? I would choose the power to stop time, so that everyone would be frozen (and I would not be, obviously). You could do a lot of funny things to people. Borrow their cars, eat their food, misplace their keys, etc. You could do things right in front of time-frozen people that you'd never normally do in public.
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals? Just trying to stay calm and get warmed up.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you? Most fans don't know about us. Also, I get stage fright.
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish? I honestly have no idea. I haven't listened to the radio for years. I do hear some current music at my gym, when the batteries of my iPod run out. It all sounds so gimmicky and tired to me. Based on that, no, I don't imagine there's a place for us on today's radio. If that's what people like, then we're not it.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time? I'm a professional software engineer in the geekiest possible way. I spend a lot of my free time doing fairly hard-core coding.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have? Gareth is a master baker (hee hee) and I can fly planes.