We Sound Kind of Like Nirvana
Originally Posted November 2009 on Tumblr
We had a day off after Fest (extremely smart idea on our part!) which we spent in New Orleans (another smart idea!) After that we met up with Dead to Me in a small town called Prairieville, outside of Baton Rouge.
We arrived early at the bar, the Fat Cat Saloon. The waitress asked what kind of music we played. This task — describing your music to someone who doesn’t listen to punk music — can be difficult. If I say something like “Tiltwheel crossed with Dillinger Four and a dash of Screeching Weasel”, their reaction will probably be “Guh?” And with good reason— it’d be like if I asked a hippie what his band sounds like, and he says “Well, we take a bit from Seesaw Orb, a little bit from The Mustard Bottle Project, and then also the improvisational freedom of Harvest Skiddle”…. I would look at him like he’s a lunatic who should be chained up somewhere. It would be much better if he just said “Phish. We sound sort of like Phish.” Then I could say, “Oh. That’s cool, man.”
When we get asked this question, I usually opt for Green Day. Just about everyone knows what Green Day sounds like, and we’re at least ballpark-similar to them. Usually a safe, good, go-to answer.
The waitress stared back at us blankly.
“It’s punk rock stuff,” I added. I usually avoid this answer because it can invite imagery of everything from Sex Pistols to Good Charlotte, depending on who you’re talking to. Way too vague. But since she didn’t know Green Day, a broader description seemed to be called for.
“So, metal? You guys play super loud?”
Nick shook his head. “It’s not metal. It… it is loud. You might want to wear earplugs. But it’s not like metal really. We sound….” he seemed to be searching for a cultural reference point “… we sound kind of like… Nirvana?”
She shrugged. “Never heard of them. I just listen to country and Creed.”
I opened my mouth and considered saying “We’re kind of like Creed, I guess, in a very broad sense,” but then wisely re-closed my mouth, horrified at the implications of acknowledging something like that.
“I guess you’ll just have to check it out and see what you think.”
She shrugged again. “Oh, I don’t care. My shift is done at 7 so I won’t be here anyway.” she walked away to get a beer for someone.
The only other people in the bar, which was full of semi-cryptic anti-Obama art, were four or five burly men who did not look like they would be familiar with Green Day or Nirvana either, let alone Screeching Weasel. It had all the makings for a ridiculous/hilarious show, but by the time Dead to Me showed up the place had filled up a bit with people who were there for the show.
It ended up being really fun. For some reason I really like playing in small bars. More so than the average ‘club.’ Between bands you can hang out and talk or play foosball or something instead of having to yell over loud between-band music. Plus Coronas were only $2, the cheapest I found all tour.
Dead to Me were great, too. It was only the second show we had played with them (the warehouse show being the first), but I was already recognizing (and liking) some of the new songs.
Still pretty wiped from New Orleans the night before, we went to a motel after the show and got some rest.