1. How did you get your band name?
Funny Story: Me First and the Gimme Gimmes were doing a chat on their website to promote their upcoming album "Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah". All the people on the chat could ask any member any question. Our ska band was just starting to get things rolling so we needed a name. I asked Fat Mike (also of NOFX fame) what he thought a good name for a ska band would be. Of course him being Fat Mike, he thought it would be funny to play off of The Specials. Thus, The Not So Specials was the name.
2. How did this band get started?
A private lesson teacher from our music store wanted to get a bunch of kids together and start a ska band.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
On the ska side: Streetlight Manifesto, Reel Big Fish, Mighty Mighty Bosstones/ Punk side: Green Day, Zebrahead
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would it be and why?
Desmond Dekker, because he's the godfather of ska. The Specials and/or The English Beat for old school 2-tone style. Big D, Streetlight, and RBF for the 3rd wave.
5. If you were a furry, what animal would you be? Why that animal? A weasel
6. Why should people listen to your band?
Ska is such an underground and underrated genre of music. Not only should you listen to my band, but just listen to ska in general. A common misconception is ska is just a bunch of upstrokes on the offbeats. There is so much more to it. Listen to how different The Specials are from Streetlight Manifesto.
7. If you were chosen to be in Guitar Hero/Rock Band, what song would you want in the game? How hard do you think it would be to five-star on expert?
Kerosene, on Expert it would be nasty hard because of the fast ska upstrokes everywhere, and the face melting guitar solo in the middle of the song. And the song is about 5 minutes long.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
We would thank George Westbay, who was the private lesson teacher who started the band. Our drummers parents for giving us a place to practice during the infancy. Jeff and Matt, who engineered, mixed, mastered, and helped produce our LP. Anybody who listens to ska, all 5 of you.
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
Digital downloading is such a piece of crap. Yes it's convenient, but A) after compressing a file to MP3 of AAF, the sound quality goes down the shitter. B) Album art is the shit/ take that out, you take jobs away from graphic artists. C) Since iTunes etc. is such a new thing (relatively) all the qualms about royalties and things like that are left uncertain, which makes things so much more difficult.
10. Memorable tour experience?
We played a basement show somewhere in Phili. Beforehand we went to this local sub-shop to get some food. We all ordered buffalo tenders. Well about 5 minutes after we left we all got nauseous and threw up in the alley behind the sub shop. It reminded me of the Family Guy scene where Stewie, Brian, Chris and Peter took syrup of ipecac to see who gets the last piece of pie in the fridge. Just youtube Family Guy and vomit or puke.
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
It unites all scenes and gives kids somewhere to express their opinions on music. AP.net=Harvey Dent....in a crappy time for the music industry we have AP.net which reminds us that music isn't about making boat loads of money (got that Metallica?), it's about comradery between the fans and the musicians. AP.net gives bands a chance to talk to their fans, and keep them updated on all things. I BELIEVE IN AP.NET.
12. What is your favorite song to play?
It's still Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambria. I don't care how many times you've listened to that song/played it on Rock Band. You cannot listen to that song and not raise the rock goblet and toast the metal gods for that song.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
We got to play a show close to Myrtle Beach back in '07 and I love that place. Mt. Washington in the summer is rad too.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
90's top 40 and alt rock: Eve 5, Fastball, Del Amitri, Oasis....ya know...that kind of stuff
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
Jumping (like the movie Jumper) would be sick. But I would not want people chasing after me for the rest of my life trying to kill me because "it's unfair to have those powers". Wine about it more Samuel L. Jackson.
16. Do you feel that your band has "made it"?
In terms of the music industry, no. We probably never will. But we have an amazing group of kids in our local scene that love it when we play a show in NH or MA. They are so open minded about music and just look to have a good time. They don't care about things like "what the band is wearing" or "who is he dating". I'm telling you, any ska scene is just like a big party. There's dancing, love, and just a good time. So in that sense, we "made it".
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
Before the band started, only 2 of us actually listened to ska.
18. What's your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving baby. Food and football. Plus all our band is in college so the first time during the semester we can actually sit down for consecutive days at a time and practice/write/record is Thanksgiving weekend.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
We bowl, we play poker, we play cribbage, we play ultimate frisbee. We also made up a new game called Stick-Friz. It's like monkey in the middle but with more than 3 people. There's a person in the middle with a stick, and other surrounding the stick person. The surrounding people have to throw the frisbee to the other kids without the stick dude smacking it down. It might sound lame, but once you play it gets mad fun.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
I can flare my nostrils at the speed of sound.