Jason Merritt, Getty Images; Jason Merritt, Getty Images The-Dream is gearing up…
- Posted on Mar 11th 2010 10:10AM by Jason MacNeil
How did the band form?
It was a bunch of people I knew from the New York music scene. Don DiLego and I were doing some writing and some demos in New York down in a basement over by HiFi Bar, a little bar where we have a rehearsal room. And then my friend Joe Sib had this label [Side One Dummy] where he produced a few records by Gaslight Anthem, Flogging Molly. He introduced me to this guy Ted Hutt. I started playing him some of the new songs, he's a producer and we started putting the band together. We met this guy Randy [Schrager] who's the drummer and he played with the Scissor Sisters for a while. And we also started jamming a lot on my new songs and kept building from there.
How would you describe the band's sound?
How would I describe it? Power-punk-pop-tribal-roots-new wave-New York-shake appeal-Wang Chung-emo-singer-songwriter-cultural folk-peace punk liberation. It's hard for me, I let the critics say that. Glam-punk-metal-retro-interactive-Futurama-techno-beach bonfire-Coachella desperation-Palm Springs paddywagon. It's a simple description with a few power packs.
What are some of your musical influences?
Elton John's 'Yellow Brick Road' album, the Clash, Neil Young, Bad Brains, Cheap Trick and the Replacements. These days I like Wilco, Spoon, Gaslight Anthem, Hold Steady and Lucinda Williams.
How did you decide on the band name?
The name St. Marks Social is just for me the history of growing up in New York. That would be the place where you would buy your records and the poets would be at St. Mark's Church. It just seemed like since the members had changed over time it went from being an open door to a social club.
What's in your festival survival kit?
Definitely water, condoms, some kind of high powered water guns, hot mops, some Vitamin C, some herbal tea in the morning, some spirulina, a hip flask, some kind of tequila, an air mattress or sleeping bag, high-powered rocket to fly from one camp to the other like a Jetsons-cartoon strap-on high-powered rocket to make it from Strumerville so I can shoot over to Glastonbury. Baby wipes are very good. Maybe some anti-bacterial spray, some mixed iPods so you can take over the PA and jump into someone's party, and put on your own Andre Williams or James Brown funk beach dance party.
What would you say is your biggest vice?
My biggest vice would be sex and booze and overdosing on the same song. But probably sex, drugs and ice cream.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
Billy Joel would be one, I would say listening to Billy Joel would be a guilty pleasure. I would say listening to some of that Bee Gees' 'Saturday Night Fever' and a couple of bad Elton John songs. And MGMT is a guilty pleasure too.
The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?
It depends on the mood, depends on the day. But I guess of the Beatles and the Stones, I'd have to go with the Kinks. Like in the movie 'Diner' where the line is, "When you make out, what do you put on? You listen to Mathis or Sinatra." And then Mickey Rourke goes, "Presley."
What's the craziest thing you've experienced on tour?
Oh man, I had my pants break apart and fall off while I was in Texas once with D Generation. I got arrested for that. I got arrested opening for KISS at the Garden in New York for having a beer and I wasn't even outside the venue. I flipped a van in the middle of the Midwest and broke the U-Haul off, broke my ears many years ago and that wasn't really that much fun. And trying to find ways get free things, like sneaking into Cracker Barrel and telling them we have members of the Ramones and Beastie Boys, and have them give us free food at every stop.
Are you looking forward to SXSW?
Yeah, we're heading back to Austin to watch the bats come out of the bridge and watch the industry schmooze each other into the next blog or whatever.