Editor's note: This is another installment by Torporindy's music editor, The Kid, who hails from Delaware County. He chose to interview Muncie based band--If Anything.
Up I-69 just north of Indianapolis rests Middletown USA- Muncie Indiana- the town the economy forgot. Home of Garfield the Cat, the greatest pizza in the world (Pizza King’s Royal Feast), illegal gambling run amok, and the coolest bar in the state (Herot in downtown Muncie), Muncie has also been the adopted home of the band - If Anything, which is a band consisting of four guys, Drew, Greg, Dan, and Paul. Paul is originally from Kokomo, Greg from Indy, Dan is from outside Philly, and Drew is from Michigan City. Assuming a plot to retain one of its members in the Hoosier State is successful you should be hearing more about these guys real soon. Torporindy had a chance to catch up with them recently and here’s what they had to say:
1.) Introduce yourself and tell us how you guys got together as a band.
We met freshman year and we became really good friends. We hung out every day and watched Mr. Show religiously. We started a cover band as a joke but within a month we decided that making music together was something that we wanted to take seriously. But not too seriously.
2.) It sounds like three of you graduated from college recently, as Ball State alums you have just joined other illustrious graduates such as Jim Davis, Joyce Dewitt, and Papa John. What's the game plan for you guys post-college and especially, what's the game plan for your band?
Dan, Greg, and Drew graduated with a degree in the Music Technology program. Paul will graduate very soon with the same degree. Dan has been accepted to graduate school at NYU, but Greg and Drew are currently in the process of sabotaging his registration so that the band may live on. If Dan stays in Indiana, we will find a place to live in Indy and continue making music.
3.) Do you guys have any strong musical influences?
Dan is a fan of music with a short attention span (see also: They Might Be Giants, Mindless Self Indulgence, and Tally Hall). Drew likes Counting Crows, Ben Folds (Five), and John Williams (the film composer). Greg’s into bands like Minus the Bear, Pavement, and Jimmy Eat World.
4.) Do any of you have any song or CD that made you decide that you wanted to be a musician and be in a band?
Dan: The album that made me buy a guitar (yeah, I know I’m the drummer) in 6th grade: Queen, Classic Queen.
Drew: I remember Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun, Bush’s Sixteen Stone, and Oasis’s What’s the Story (Morning Glory) hitting me particularly hard about 10 years ago. From a guitar standpoint, hearing Jimi Hendrix’s version of “All Along the Watchtower” is what made me finally understand the magic. Just thinking about it gives me chills.
Greg: Nirvana, Nevermind. I liked the fact that he was a good song writer but he wasn’t the best guitar player in the world.
5.) How does the creative process of creating a song work for you guys? Is it a collaborative effort or say lyrics by one and then music?
While a few songs (Speed Dial, Metropolis) were written by Drew and then fleshed by the band, most other songs (Song About Music, Eleven Thirty Fifty) were written during full band practice/writing sessions. In these cases, the band will share ideas and we’ll veto 99% of them before deciding on a structure. After this, Drew still usually likes to write lyrics by himself in a cave with no running water or electricity.
6.) Your Myspace page says you guys are putting the final touches on your full length studio album, at what point are you guys with your full release right now?
We’re music technology majors, so we’ve all been heavily involved in recording projects and it’s been hard to dedicate time to our own album. It’s sitting on our computers. With a few more vocal tracking sessions it should be nearly done. We’d love an opportunity for a professional producer to record us in a professional studio, but for now we’re doing it ourselves.
7.) We have talked about the Indy music scene a couple of times on Torpor recently, as musicians what is your impression (if any) of Indy's music scene?
Indy’s music scene definitely seems very conducive to our style. We identify with bands like Stereo Deluxe and Extra Blue Kind; we’d really like to play a show with either of them sometime. We haven’t had a lot of chances to play in Indy and that’s something we’re trying to change in the near future.
8.) On the other hand, what can you tell us about the music scene in Muncie?
Some amazing and very popular bands have come out of Muncie in the last three to four years. It’s been a lot of fun to witness. We’re not going to be lame and plug our favorite bands or bash any bands we’re not fond of. It’s a healthy scene, though, lots of people helping other people.
9.) Do you happen to have any good/bizarre stories from a live show that you have done?
Not really. They’re usually fun and afterwards we talk about what we liked and didn’t like about them. Then we quote Arrested Development and laugh until our sides hurt.
10.) You have a song called Willem DeFoe, why call it Willem DeFoe and not say, Alec Baldwin?
Drew: Was Alec Baldwin in Spider-Man, The Boondock Saints, and Finding Nemo? I don’t think so.
11.) When (hopefully) you find yourself at the Herot, what are you drinking?
Dan and Greg are fans of Alpha King, Dead Guy Ale, and Dogfish Head. Drew doesn’t really care and he’ll drink a lot of different beers, as long as they don’t come in cases of 30.
Check out the band’s myspace page
. Their web-site has some songs available for listening and two postings of their past performances. We hope to give updates on they release of their CD and shows here in the greater Indianapolis area real soon.
Also, here is a link to a video
from the band.