Real Numbers planning 7" release show
To any veteran concert attendee in the Twin Cities, the Real Numbers will look familiar when they take the stage. Their members have played with numerous other bands, currently being active in Teddy & the Turks and Cozy, among others. The Real Numbers just got their new 7", Tear It in Two, back from the press and they'll celebrate their fourth vinyl release with a Hexagon show on May 11.
Gimme Noise took a moment to chat with band member and Three Dimensional Records co-owner Eli to ask how he divvies his creativity between bands, what the Real Numbers trip to Europe was like, and what's in store for the band. In addition to his own records with the Real Numbers, Three Dimensional has released Raydios (Tokyo), Tuff Bananas (Milwaukee), and the Sleaze.
Gimme Noise: Tell me about the band. Who are the current members and what is the lineage?
Eli: The Real Numbers began in 2007 when me and Matt switched instruments to play a couple of my songs before Retainers practices. The bass lines I'd worked out in my head were pretty simple, so we recruited Steve from Boys Club to complete the lineup. After our first recording session we replaced Steve with Mark from the Sleaze.
After our European tour we left Mark behind in France to start his new life as a turnip farmer and replaced him with Johnny from Pony Skirt/Mystery Date. Shortly after that Matt moved to Memphis to join Cheap Time. Matt and I also worked together in Teddy & the Turks. Steve recently returned to the limelight with Cozy--which features me, Johnny, and Tony from the Sinks.
Being in so many bands, often with the same people, is there a different approach with each, or is it more a matter of timing and whose company you're in? How do you determine a Real Numbers song versus, say, a Teddy & the Turks or Cozy song?
Each band has a different person writing the songs and is working within a different genre so they all have distinct sounds. A Real Numbers song wouldn't make sense for Cozy and vice versa. If Boys Club was still around there would be Cozy compositional crossover potential because Steve was/is the main song writer in both, even though the "target genres" of each are quite different. But I think that's more of the exception than the rule. It would be strange for me to be in two bands that could easily swap material.
You toured Europe last year, right? How did that go? How were the crowds different?
Great! Matt got to rip T's over B. Mark got covered in bee stings and blood. I regrettably sampled the local R and M's and flipped out in a Dutch sports bar. I guess it had its ups and downs. Brighton and Rouen were the most wild times. The London show was also really fun due in part to the White Ace and stumbling into a Hasidic snooker club at 1:00 AM. Utrecht had the best record store and Paris falafel killed.
The crowds varied a lot from country to country. In the UK people were more mellow while the French were more prone to dance.
With the "Tear It in Two" 7-inch, you'll have one release in each of the past four years. Will you break the streak with a second one in 2011?
A 6-song 12" is next in line. I'd love to have it out in 2011 but that might be wishful thinking. I guess my rate of composition has remained pretty consistent, huh?
The bands you've been in, as well as Three Dimensional, release primarily on vinyl. Has that always been your preference, or is it more of a sign of the times?
When all your favorite music originally came out on vinyl it's hard not to go that route. I know there are a lot of people putting out tapes lately. It's a cheap alternative to CD's but for my own music I'm not that interested in them.
Google brought me to a San Francisco band who has the MySpace URL of "The Real Real Numbers." Is there a budding rivalry?
Never heard of 'em! I'll have to check them out and potentially rumble.
The Real Numbers will be playing a 7" Release on May 11th at the Hexagon. Also playing are Is/Is, Whines (Portland), and Teenage Strangler.