Interview with the deli's Band of the Month: Friendly People
by Chrissy Prisco
How did the band start?
A little over a year ago, to the day, a bunch of us saw Pat playing some of his tunes at All Asia in Cambridge, MA at a sweet weekly songwriters circle that used to happen there called Monkey Rock. After that performance, Mitch decided he liked it so much that he decided to produce some of Pat’s songs. The production project turned into some jams, which turned into an EP and that turned into a band.
Where did the band name, Friendly People, come from?
The name originates from our song Friendly People, which is about having a magical journey in a field on a warm sunny day. Which is kind of what our music sounds like. Also, we’re friendly as shit.
What are your biggest musical influences?
The Beatles, Modest Mouse, Talking Heads, My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes, LCD Soundsystem and anything that grooves.
What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?
Our friends You Won’t, Tamsin and Emily Elbert are all coming out with records that we’re super psyched about! We Avalanche is another local band we’re into right now. The Black Keys and Yuck recently came out with awesome records too.
What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
Pat: First album – Space Jam soundtrack. First concert – Blink 182 and Green Day, Pop Disaster Tour
Davis: First album – Hootie and the Blowfish, Cracked Rear View First concert – Rusted Root and Santana
Mitch: First album – The Aqua record with Barbie Girl on it. First concert – Alanis Morissette in Thailand
Sebastian: First album – Metallica’s Black Album First concert – G3
Drew: First album – Limp Bizkit, Significant Other First concert – Box Car Racer, h20 and the Used at Hammerstein Ballroom.
Sarlo: First album – NSYNC. One of the most exciting listening experiences of my life. First concert - Pop Disaster Tour, just like Pat!!!
Jeff: First album – Blind Melon and Nevermind. First concert - Allman Brothers Band in Hartford, CT.
What do you love about New England’s music scene?
Most of all, we love the amount of talent out there and the diversity of the music. Anything you’re looking for, you can find, any night of the week. It’s also a super welcoming and supportive scene in the sense that all the bands and artists help each other out. It’s a really tight-knit community. The recording industry is also regaining ground in the region, which is great for the future of the music scene.
What would you like to see change in the local music scene?
More natural draw to venues would go a long way in building the scene. Also, last year a bunch of our friends moved to New York. They should come back. Oh! More all ages shows, so the kids can get down!
What are your plans for the upcoming year?
We’re making our first full-length album! We’ll be at the Record Company in South Boston in early-March, recording all day and night. After that, some East Coast touring is in order to share all our hard work. And of course, plenty of shows in New England, starting with February 16th at TT the Bear’s Place with You Won’t and Slowdim.
What was your most memorable live show?
I think we all agree that in general our shows at TT the Bear’s have been consistently awesome. We’re based in Central Square, Cambridge, and its great to see so much energy and support every time we play there. There was also this one time we played in Worcester at a Clark University basement party. A toy PA system, blacklights, puddles of stagnant water, sweaty college masses, last minute costumes and a brief, semi-violent run- in with someone who may or may not have been a Juggalo. Good times.
Is there someone who has helped your band grow through support?
The songwriting circle Monkey Rock is where it all began - without Tamsin Wilson and Megan Lui we wouldn’t be a band. Our tight-knit community of friends and artists have always been really supportive and inspirational as well. But most importantly, our dog Gretta is what keeps us together as a band – without them puppy-dog eyes, we’d hate each other.
Is there a piece of equipment you couldn't live without?
Pat: My guitar and my lead microphone.
Mitch: My guitar and my back up microphone.
Drew: My banjo, my beard and my libido.
Sarlo: My bass.
Sebastian: My drums and percussion.
Why do you read The Deli?
It’s great to see a magazine devoted to promoting local music, on a national level. We think it’s really awesome that The Deli operates in so many different scenes around the country, giving underground artists an outlet where they can be listened to!