Nutley, New Jersey’s Theodore Grimm is David Ryan on vocals, Mark Renda on guitar, TK on bass, and Chucky Grimm on drums. The band recently signed with Eyeball Records and put out a new video for their upcoming single “Pullin’ Shapes.” They hope to release their first full-length through Eyeball this summer. I sat down with Chucky and David prior to their performance at Kingdom in Brooklyn last month, which was nothing short of epic.
Q: Congratulations on being named “Artist of the Month” by Eat Sleep Breathe Music, but, uh, “dance rock?” Enlighten me…
CG: We’re not classic rock, we’re music for people who like to dance!
DR: Music for the people who like to shake it up a little bit!
Q: What’s the best dancing you’ve seen in the pit so far?
CG: We played with In Albatross once and there was a huge dance party. Basement shows are always the best. In Philadelphia last week, we had a group of like forty girls dancing with David in the crowd. He left us onstage, basically, to fend for ourselves, it was pretty awesome.
DR: I’m actually afraid of people (all laugh.)
Q: So that must’ve been terrifying for you!
DR: It was an enlightening sort of experience, that’s for sure.
CG: We got some great photos!
Q: Somebody needs to go find those! So, you guys were recently signed to Eyeball Records, whom you’ve known forever. Share with us your future plans?
DR: We are finishing up recording our new record which should coming out – fingers crossed – by July. Another full-length; twelve songs.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about that?
DR: Unleashing the beast on the world!
CG: We’ve got some new tracks – some stuff that nobody’s heard before.
Q: You trying out a new direction?
DR: It’ll be a little less dance-y than our other stuff.
CG: It’s just what we’ve progressed into now. If people like it still, they’ll stick around. We’ll see what happens.
Q: It’s been almost four years since “We Toast to the Apocalypse?” What’s changed since then?
CG: Well, obviously we’ve grown a lot; we play a lot better together.
DR: We went through a lot of crazy experiences – a lot of hospital visits.
CG: Yeah, collapsed lungs, pancreaitis, you know, the whole “rock star” lifestyle (chuckles.)
Q: Nice! What are you going to do if you go on Warped Tour someday? You get banged up as shit on those.
CG: I don’t know! We’re gonna have to sleep a lot when we get home – it’s gonna be rough.
Q: The video for “Pullin Shapes” accurately pairs the refrain “Don’t be so dangerous” with dirt bike footage; is that you guys doing that?
CG: Actually, it’s a friend of ours – real footage from the seventies, and that’s him on the motorcycle being dangerous. I figured it fit, you know? Just trying to DIY it a little.
DR: It couples with the song very well, the way in which those tapes were edited.
Q: The single is on iTunes now, along with “Apocalypse,” of course.
CG: Ah, the old us.
DR: Hope that you go and download!
Q: Do you ever have jam sessions at your namesake’s grave site, just to say thanks? (all laugh)
DR: I wasn’t aware that anyone knew that there’s where the band name came from!
Q: We pay attention around here, David.
DR: Nah, he’s resting somewhere in peace.
CG: We don’t bother him anymore.
Q: Do you think he approves?
CG: (chuckling) We were actually contacted by someone named Theodore Grimm, claiming that we were trying to steal his identity. We explained to him that we’re just a band.
Q: He thought you were using his name to get credit cards and shit?
CG: Yeah, he wrote us on myspace, “Stop trying to impersonate me!” We were like “What are you talking about?” In the end, he just wanted a cd.
Q: Ah, so that was just his approach.
CG: Yeah…at first he was all unhappy that we were using his name and then he asked for a shirt and a cd. We sent them to him.
DR: We win!
Q: Won that round! So what are you guys going to toss out the window once cds become obsolete in favor of digital recordings?
CG: Maybe we’ll just start engraving songs on like, rocks – they’ll be actual rock records.
DR: Smoke signals.
Q: iTunes gift cards, maybe?
CG: Yeah, we’ll just hand out gift cards to people to go download our songs. CDs are done – you stick your coffee down on top of them.
Q: Yeah, NoFx put out an album called “Coaster” last year.
CG: Maybe something new will come out – I was thinking USBs?
Q: I don’t think those are doing so well.
DR: Regardless of what comes out, we’ll put something out.
CG: If people can get it for free, more power to them.
Q: So you don’t have a large attitude about free downloading?
DR: Who gives a shit?
CG: I mean, if people want it that badly and they can find it for free, that’s more than fine with me. If they go and buy it, whatever. If they come and hang out with us, that’s even more fun.
DR: You know what? We started a band to make a lot of friends and have a lot of fun.
CG: I think I’ve made a lot of friends. In the end, we’re still broke, so it doesn’t matter. This guy’s (indicating David’s dinner) got Rice Krispies treats, you know, the small things in life.
Q: It’s better than Ramen Noodles. What do you think John Lennon would think about the “spazzed out spooky rock” sound that you covet?
CG: I don’t know…I’m inspired a lot by John Lennon, so hopefully he would appreciate our stuff. He’d probably be really tripped out or something.
DR: I think John Lennon would lend us his lovely voice and sing “Drop It Like It’s Hot” then never talk to us again.
CG: Yeah, he’d be all modern about it, throw people off. We’re never going to find that out, but if we did, it’d be kinda cool.
Q: Unless his ghost shows up…
CG: Even better!
Q: Alright, some last minute randomness: Fuck, marry, kill - Oprah, Beyonce, Jay-Z.
DR: Shoot one out of a cannon. I wish I could fart like that.
CG: I don’t even know! Oprah…?
DR: No, no, like “Stepbrothers!”
CG: “Stepbrothers,” what do you mean? I’m gonna stick my balls in your drumset?
DR: No, no like the randomness of the questions.
CG: Oh, alright, I got confused on that one.
Q: What else can we expect from you this year? What do you want people to know about you?
Q: You want them to know everything?
CG: We’re going on tour soon.
DR: Record’s coming out and we’re on a dvd.
CG: We’re gonna sleep on a lot of people’s couches, we’re gonna spend a lot of money on gas, and our van will probably break down somewhere.
Q: Look out for it if you see it…
CG: Yeah, if anybody sees us on the side of the road, please be a mechanic and have tools, because we’ve had five vans and they’ve all died.
Q: Well, they’re easy to spot at least, right?
CG: Yes, our truck is super easy to notice…
DR: Especially to the police.
CG: It’s very particular-looking, it’s got a bubble on the roof. Knock on wood that we don’t get pulled over.
Q: What’s getting a lot of play on your iPod right now?
CG: I listen to Arcade Fire on iTunes a lot; I actually downloaded them with the gift cards I got for Christmas. I wouldn’t say that they inspire me, but they’re like background noise that I don’t hate, you know? They definitely know what they’re doing and they keep me entertained.
DR: I don’t listen to music; I don’t have an iPod.
CG: Yes he does, he listens to music all the time! We don’t have iPods, though. We have computers.
Q: Wow, you guys are that broke?
DR: Can someone please give us an iPod?
Q: You need a fan that wants to throw iPods out the window. If you could tour with anybody right now, who would it be?
CG: Well, Queen’s dead, so…
DR: Queen’s never dead.
CG: They’re alive in all of us.
DR: David Bowie.
CG: I like The Horrors in the UK a lot; I think they’re more our rock style – “We don’t give a shit, really” kinda rock.
DR: I’d tour with The Shocks, also anybody on Gravity Records.
CG: There are a lot of bands that are our style, but might not be from our area so we don’t have a way of getting in touch with them. If they want to get in touch with us, that’s cool. We’re ready to go on the road. We want to get out of this area – no more New York City, no more Jersey.
Q: Where do you want to be, in Europe?
CG: Europe would be wonderful, yes. I love going to the UK. I’d love to bring the band out there, but we don’t have a tour booked and the record’s not done yet.
Q: Can’t you just show up and play outside one of their festivals?
CG: Probably could, but it might not work out so well. They might not like us because we’re from America.
Q: You might get bottled, but hey!
DR: You know why people are going to like us? Because we know how to make geese out of Rice Krispies treats (camera pans down to said food origami, which David then eats.)
Q: Debuting any new songs?
DR: “Witches Won’t Drown.”
CG: “Witches Won’t Drown” is the new song on the album, and “Driven By Boredom.” Just get down here, hurry up! Oh wait, this isn’t live? Oh well, go on the website then.
Q: Shit, sorry! Hey, so thanks on behalf of Jersey Beat, you guys.
CATCH THEM LIVE:
May 1, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. – The Nuthouse - 314 High Street, Hackettstown, NJ
May 7, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. – St. Peters College, Jersey City
May 18, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. – Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ
May 27, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. – The Meatlocker, Montclair, NJ