Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Our Interview With Math the Band: "The name of our band has nothing at all to do with anything."

Readers, if you're anything like us, you tend to avoid things that are associated with math.  Luckily, the kind folks behind Math the Band assured us that we have nothing to be afraid of.  They are NOT a math-rock band.  They are, instead, an "electro-punk spazz duo" from Providence R.I. who have opened up for some of the wackiest party bands around (including a stint opening for Andrew WK).  Now they'll be taking over the Bottleneck on Monday, December 10 for a night of shenanigans alongside Black Tie Laceration and LFK"s ever-bizarre Agent X-12.

Visit the official Math the Band site here and dig the new record, Get Real, over at Bandcamp .

Now enjoy this interview, which includes a "Benny Hill-esque" romp through Stonehenge, a celebration of a dude named Brian Townsend, and an inquiry into the future of the chiptune genre.

Chip:  Your band name scares me, because I don’t like math and I don’t “get” math-rock.  Can you please assure me I have nothing to be afraid of when I listen to Math the Band?  How would you describe your sound in a non-threatening manner??

Math the Band:  The name of our band has nothing at all to do with anything. None of our songs are about math, or reference math, and we are definitely not a 'math rock' band. I think ska bands are the only bands allowed to put the genre they play into their band name. I would describe our sound as a mix of Devo, Andrew WK, Atom and His Package and the sound of fluorescent lightbulbs being smashed with baseball bats while they are lit.

Richard:    It looks like you guys have opened for a lot of rowdy and wacky and high-energy acts, from Andrew WK to Peelander Z to Dan Deacon.  Want to share a wild tour story with our readers?
Math the Band:  We were touring England with Wheatus and M.C Frontalot, and happened to be passing Stonehenge in the night. We stopped, and watched the sun rise on the ruins. Next thing we know, Brendan from Wheatus has jumped the fence (Stonehenge isn't open at 5am) and he is sprinting at the towering stones. A Benny Hill-esque scenario ensues, with security guards chasing him this way and that, with the rest of us on the other side of the fence by the bus laughing our asses off. He didn't quite make it to the structure, but he came pretty close!

Chip:  According to the band description, you “use a combination of old video game systems, analog synthesizers and energy drinks to make the fastest, loudest, most party-est music they can imagine.”  What’s your preferred energy drink and why?  Is there a particular brand I should guzzle before the gig to get the complete “Math the Band experience?”

Math the Band: We generally go for Red Bulls. A favorite pre-show drink is tequila and Red Bull.

Richard:  I just watched your “Bad Jokes” video and about a minute into it there’s a brief shot of a dog who looks like he’s thinking “What. The. Fuck?”  It’s sort of the same reaction I had to the video as well!  Tell us what all sorts of shenanigans are happening there.

Math the Band: The "Bad Jokes" music video was actually filmed in San Antonio, without us ever being on set. We arranged a music video for every song on our new album, which were made over the past 12 months. Some we are in, some we made on our own, some we talked with the film makers about the concept, and let them do their thing. It has been interesting seeing all the different styles people came up with! We have five videos out now, and will be putting the rest out over the next couple months.

"Bad Jokes" video:

Chip:  My favorite Math the Band tune has gotta be “Adventures of Brian Townsend.”  Are your crowds good at doing those dance steps in the song?  [Listen here ]. Also, who in the hell is Brian Townsend?

Math the Band:  Brian Townsend is someone I grew up with. We went to school together starting in pre-school, and even ended up going to college together. He always bugged me about making a song about him, so the song "The Adventures of Brian Townsend" is about how the song is not about him. Sadly, we don't tend to play that song often live! When we do though, we have a dance routine we break out.

Richard:   What do your audiences tend to be like?  Are there a lot of video game nerds?  Skate punks hopped on up energy drinks?   Apathetic PBR-swilling scenesters?

Math the Band:  Yes, yes, no. Loads of skate punx, loads of hip nerdz, but I never see anyone I would describe as "apathetic". Scenesters, perhaps, but if we do our job, not apathetic.

Chip:  As someone named Chip, I’m pleased that the “chiptune” genre seems to have a nice foothold right now in the indie world.  Do you think it’s a trend or a genre that has significant staying power?

Math the Band:  I honestly don't consider ourselves to be a chiptunes band, though we often are cited as one. I simply love synthesizers, and 8 bit computers and videogame systems are cheap, readily available and unique sounding synthesizers. They are a small fraction of the synths we use though. I think the  bands that will have staying power are the ones that use chiptunes instruments, but expand beyond mimicking the sounds of yesteryear.

Richard:   Leave our readers with a few sentences to convince them that they absolutely MUST catch Math the Band at the Bottleneck?

Math the Band:  If you come to this show, I can absolutely GUARANTEE you it will be THE most recent Math the Band performance you have EVER seen!


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