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These ain't no nancy boys
The Nancies might be the loudest band in town.
We're talking wall-shaking, ear-bleeding, two-day-headache loud.
And somehow that doesn't make you not want to see them.
They play Tokyo Garden tonight with Seattle's Head Like a Kite
Famous asks guitarist/vocalist Luke Deniston 10 semi-random questions.
1.) Is it Nancys, Nancies, The Nancys, or The Nancies?
Right now we're just "The Nancies." We were "The Nancys," but we got sued by some other band who had it copyrighted. OK, not actually sued, but we did get a C & D (that's industry speak for cease and desist) letter. I'm not naming names (Timothy Samuels), but for a while we were called "The Timothy Samuels," before settling on a spelling change.
2.) OK. When I think of "The Nancies," I think of dresses and smeared lipstick. Why is that?
When we first started out we were kind of fed up with the way rock and roll was going, so we played in dresses and smeared red lipstick on. It was fun for a while, just seeing this total shock go through the audience when we went up there looking like drag queens and then cranking our amps to 11. But after a while, people came to expect that from us, so it ended up feeling gimmicky — more like it was taking away from the music rather than adding to it, so we dropped it (for now).
3.) Louder or faster?
I don't think we could really play any louder — unless if maybe we added another three members or something. But if we could, it would definitely be louder. Rock and roll should have a groove — it should be dancy. Not dancy like four-to-the-floor disco beats under distorted guitars, like you hear from what people call "dance rock." But dancy, makes-you-want-to-move, dancy. And if it's too fast, you lose that.
4.) What's the band all about?
Jookers and blow. I don't really know — I guess just taking music in directions it hasn't gone before. In the beginning we had an agenda, you know? Something about fixing what was wrong with modern music. But somewhere along the way that started to seem trite. Now it's more about challenging ourselves as musicians — but without alienating the audience. I think that may have been what we did with our last band (alienating the audience, with The Soma Holidays). We'd write these songs that would make no sense structurally, that were a pain to play (64th notes on the bass, the whole chorus!), and that did all kinds of crazy things (time signature changes, key changes, etc.). We'd play a show and every musician would go, "Wow." And every audience member would go, "What?"
5.) There is a certain amount of obvious energy that comes from a The Nancies show. Where does that come from?
I think it stems mostly from comfort, to be honest. We've all known each other for so long that we're like brothers. We feed off of each other. Ben (Ben McEntee plays guitar/bass and sings) will be freaking out, which will make John (that's vocalist John Thompson) freak out which will make me freak out. It's a chain reaction. That, and we had all our amps modded to go to 11.
6.) Is the rumor true? Is there a name change in the future?
Yeah, we're still figuring that one out. The threat of a C&D letter looms over our heads (we never got the official OK for the new name), and we're getting away from the whole Nancy thing (it still feels gimmicky). In the beginning maybe we needed to get noticed in an already saturated scene, but now we're a little more comfortable with what we're doing. Johnny and me wanted to change the name to "Gods of Noise" for a while. We insisted that it did NOT sound like a metal-band name, until we found out that there's already a band called "Gods of Noise" (and they're a German metal band). We'll figure it out one of these days. Any suggestions?
7.) No. Future plans?
We've got a show with the Dead Hooker Society, June 2 at Freds, (aka Club Fred) but we really want to get into a studio and do some recording. We got a bunch of stuff recorded that we did ourselves, that we may or may not release in some form (there's one song from that session on the myspace). But we just didn't feel like it captured our energy. I think we're going to talk to Eric Peters. He did half of the last Soma Holidays record, which to date is the one thing I'm the most proud of (musically). Hopefully he'll be able to capture The Nancys! (I think you mean... The Nancies)
8.) You say you're well read. Prove it.
I write all of my IM's in iambic pentameter. I just finished reading a little book about the history of the telephone. A lot of people know that the first words ever communicated via telephone were "Mr. Watson, come here!," but few people know that was because Alexander Bell had just spilled battery acid on himself. I'm full of useless trivia.
9.) OK. Give us some Nancies trivia. Something interesting that people probably don't know about y'all.
Our bass player designed the Me-n-Ed's napkins. Dead serious. Ummm ... and we "jump in" new members. There's a reason Steve Loveless (he plays the Rhodes) walks with a limp — look closely next time.
10.) What are your top five albums?
1. Neil Young, "Harvest". Every song on here is perfect. Except, "A Man Needs A Maid." I don't get that one. Especially when the orchestra comes in.
2. Reverend Horton Heat, "Lucky 7". Hard to pick which album, but the Rev is my personal hero. He's nerdy and cool at the same time — much like myself (depending on who you ask, as most people will just agree to the nerdy part.)
3. Fugazi, "In on the kill taker". Another one that was hard to pick, their whole catalog is good. This was my first Fugazi album, so it's close to my heart.
4. Pedro the Lion, "Control". Another perfect album. Great for when you're depressed, because it makes you even more depressed. Try listening to "Second Best," after you've been dumped. Real healthy.
5. Easy Star All-Stars, "Radiodread". I don't know how much staying power this one will have, but I picked it up a month ago, so it's my favorite album right now. It's all of Radioheads "OK Computer" redone in Dub and Reggae. I listened to OK Computer so much when it came out that I can't really listen to it anymore, or else that would probably have to be on the list.
I'm going to refrain from editing this at all (where's the Beatles?? Zeppelin? Low??) since it will make me start to panic and I'll never send it. Seriously, making a music fan just write a top five is kind of cruel. You should have narrowed it by saying "Top Five Albums Released in 1996," or "Top Five Albums To Clean Your House To," or maybe "Top Five Albums By Bands From Canada." Although that last one will spark a lot of debate amongst Nancies. I'm more apt to pick a Skinny Puppy record, whereas Ben is all about Rush.