It’s totally a relationship. It’s more serious than any relationship you’ll ever have for the rest of your life.
What does it take to keep a good band together? According to Denver’s My Body Sings Electric, it takes persistence, a collaborative writing process, and something we can all agree on – happy hour. On a cold night at the West end of Larimer, the guys gathered for zucchini fries, wings, and some much needed male-bonding in order to prepare for their headlining gig at The Bluebird, which happens to be tonight.
303 accompanied Brandon Whalen, Nick Crawford, Jason Bower, Jeff Fedel, and Ben Scarboro at their post-rehearsal pig out and got the scoop on what to expect tonight at their show, as well as some new songs that will arrive this summer.
303: What was is like to win Hometown for the Holidays?
Brandon Whalen: I cried a little bit. Did anyone else cry?
Jason Bower: He didn’t cry because of Hometown for the Holidays though. He had a really spicy jalapeño.
Brandon: I actually cut an onion on stage. But it was honestly a huge relief. We wanted to make that a pretty big goal for us and go out and achieve it, so it felt good to actually win it.
303: So that means that you guys get to play Not So Silent Night next year, right?
Brandon: We do. What’s crazy is this last Not So Silent Night was like 7000 plus people and they’re expecting the same thing this year.
Nick Crawford: Churchill had a lot to do with the huge crowd too. It wasn’t just the national acts.
303: What else does your win include?
Brandon: We get to play Westword [Music Showcase] as well. We played the main stage last year, so we get another main stage slot this year, which is cool. We get $3,000 to record at the Blasting Room, which we’re going to use in May, so we’re jumping right at it. We’re ready to go record new material and get something out this year.
303: Have you written new songs already?
Brandon: We have a couple of new songs we’ve been playing since September and those already feel old. But we have eight or ten songs that we’ve semi-completed.
303: Have you played any of the new stuff at recent shows?
Brandon: We’ve put a couple of singles out, but we were just so busy pulling shows every month or every other month for the last two years. Sometimes we were just playing every weekend.
303: Will the album you’re recording in May be a full-length?
Brandon: We’re actually going to try to do two EPs over the course of 12-18 months. This is the first time we’ve had 20 songs that we’ve been working on. We’ve got so many ideas that we’re struggling to find a process to actually get to everything and write it all.
Nick: There’s not enough time for us to get to actually every idea we have.
Brandon: We’re trying to write out as many ideas as we can and then decided these are the five that we think have the best sound.
303: How are all these songs developed? Are you all involved in the process?
Nick: Generally it starts with an idea from one person. It could be just a riff, or it could be a whole, complete structure of a song. It could just be a melody. And then it just kind of takes all of us batting the idea around and approving of it.
Brandon: It’s a constant process.
Nick: It’s really humbling, as a song-writer, to have your own ideas and have everyone constantly up to judge the idea.
Brandon: We’ve had to learn to not be so egotistical with the ideas because you just have to know that everyone’s going to tear it apart and pick pieces out of it, which is good. It all ends up being better in the end.
Jason: We’re like that with everything else, too. If Jeff shows up wearing some bullshit-ass sweatpants, we’re like dude, get out here with those sweatpants.
Brandon: It was a painful process. We’d get mad at each other, people would leave the room…
303: So, it’s like a relationship…
Nick: It’s totally a relationship. It’s more serious than any relationship you’ll ever have for the rest of your life.
Jason: We have four extra girlfriends, being in a band.
303: What about the lyrics?
Jeff: He watched too many Lord of the Rings movies…
Brandon: That’s entirely not true… I don’t start writing lyrics pretty much until a song is structured out all the way. Unless I know how the mood flows through the song, I don’t know what’s lyrically going to match it.
Jason: As an outside perspective, I’ve seen him kind of just whip it out of his ass and it’s almost like whatever the first phrase is, that’s the theme. He kind of just goes with the phrase and it’s always something artsy and powerful. One of out newest songs, he pulled the phrase out of his ass ‘I hate the smell of cigarettes’ and that’s what the whole song is about pretty much.
Brandon: I don’t put a lot of time into it. I could probably try harder, honestly, to be a poetic lyric-writer, but I guess I take the Steven Tyler approach – mumble my way while we’re writing.
303: Let’s play a ‘get to know you’ game. I’ve read (and now see) that you’re the hungriest band in Denver.
Brandon: We like to call ourselves the hungriest band in Denver because we eat constantly.
Nick: We’re both hungry for success and hungry for tacos. It goes both ways.
303: What else?
Brandon: Let’s just take turns ripping each other apart.
Nick: Jason is the sexy one in the band. He brings the sex appeal.
Brandon: Jason’s the guy that’ll yell at you for wearing white socks. He’s always the best dressed, most well-put together guy.
Jason: I own four shirts.
Jeff: Don’t let him fool you, though. He’s a natural sexy. He eats whoppers in his bed.
Jason: On Friday, I got drunk with my family, and I woke up with an open box finished with the chopsticks and everything of Panda Express – with me in my bed. I don’t remember that.
Nick: I’m the smartest, most charming, second best looking.
Jeff: Nick’s a dick.
Nick: I’m the best rapper and best basketball player.
Jason: Nick is actually really good at rapping.
Nick: I’m good at thumb wars.
Brandon: I’m the old man dad of the band. I’m pretty much yelling at everyone for partying too much all the time. I’m yelling at everyone when we need to be somewhere, I’m yelling at everyone when we need to do something. I’m pretty much just always angry with everyone in the band.
Nick: You sound like such a gentleman.
Jason: He definitely is the hothead in the band.
Brandon: I’m not a hothead – I just yell a lot.
Jason: Sometimes I’m scared to open my mouth.
Jeff: He’s going to be a really good dad.
Brandon: I’m the guy that’s got a full-time job as well.
Nick: Jason’s the sexy one. Brandon’s the most responsible one, I am the smartest one, Jeff is the creative type…
Brandon: Jeff is basically the Hendrix.
Jeff: I party a lot.
Nick: And Ben is the you know what you’re going to get. Nick
Brandon: Ben’s hilarious. He’s also the nicest guy in our band. He’s the sweetest little guy.
Nick: Which is why Ben is in charge of our PR now.
Ben Scarboro: I’ve never been in a group of friends like this before. In my last band, if you said anything bad about anyone, they would take offense to it and start a serious fight. And then coming here where everyone picks on each other all the time. I’m just not used to it.
Jason: I feel like that’s just how guys are. Guys look at each other and are like, ”You’re putting on some fucking weight, bro. You’re getting a little chubby.” If a girl said that to one of her girlfriends, that ruins friendship. But every now in then we get a little toasty and have some lovey-dovey moments.
Nick: We always hug before and after shows too.
303: Do you guys want to hug right now?
[Insert group hug here.]
My Body Sings Electric will be hitting the sold-out [by the time this publishes] stage at The Bluebird tonight, March 8, and will be supported by Rachel and the Kings, Chemistry Club, and Carson Allen. With new songs and a bromance you can’t break, MBSE will be an act to add to your watch list – if they’re not on there already.
Lindsay is 303 Magazine’s Lifestyle Editor. She’s a California native who loves leather bags, killer heels and a bright shade of long-lasting lipstick. She’s always on the lookout for a great guy in skinny jeans, but puts her independence and writing first, traveling to some of the best hotspots in Denver and all over the world looking for a good lede.
Know of a cool local band I should feature in Neighborhood Noise? Email me: [email protected]