Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hey! It's The Guys From Banana Airlines!

Sometimes, it's kind of funny how you meet people and what a small world Metro-Detroit really is. Recently, Christie and I went to the Detroit X Detroit show and saw The HandGrenades perform as The High Strung. After seeing their performance, I had to look up more of the actual band, and I really liked what I heard. Soon after this, I was working at my other job at a restaurant, and happened to wait on the singer of The High Strung! Well, me being as shy as I am, decided to say something to him despite probably sounding like a crazy stalker, and it led to an interview! Who would have thought!
Well, if you don't already know of them, you really need to look them up, or better yet, go see them on May 19th at The Loving Touch. The High Strung is a group of fun guys who play really good, fun tunes. If you don't believe me, you're crazy, but check out the interview with Josh Malerman now!  

HipInDetroit- You guys have been together for awhile now, how did you all meet? I know your Facebook says you are all former stewardesses for Banana Airlines, but somehow I feel like there is more to the story... 

Josh- We met in grade school. Chad (bass) was a friend of my younger brother's. Derek (drums) and I met in gym class or health class, I'm not sure anymore. The two of them were already playing, which for me was beyond strange. We met Palmer (guitar) at an archery show in West Michigan. He was the favorite, but lost when one of his arrows struck a balloon instead of the target. We were laughing about it afterwards and he said something that really excited me, he said, “I knew what I was doing, man, but I couldn't help myself. I just had to see that thing pop.” 

HipInDetroit- You seem like pretty fun guys, you must have some funny stories from being on tour, or just some nonsense I'm sure. Mind sharing one with us?   

Josh- We all went to jail once on the road, for inciting a 'riot,' We weren't even playing at the time. We were just playing a drinking game at the bar and suddenly, poof, we were in a plexiglass cell together. A friend/fan bailed us out. I wish we had the mugshots, except we don't photograph very well. 

HipInDetroit- You just released a new record, ¿Posible O' Imposible? How was it getting that together? Where can people find it?   

Josh- You can get in on iTunes, our website, the usual channels. It's at UHF on vinyl and other places, too. It was very exciting getting it together because I didn't completely realize we had a new album's worth of songs until it seemed time to make an album and then I looked down and thought, “Well, alright, we're all set then.” There was no way for me to know there were themes to the songs, that ideas popped up in each of them, lyrically. I don't know. I think getting an album together is always something like existence... you wake up and you might think, “Holy smokes, it's all still happening.” That's what it felt like when we started learning these songs. 

HipInDetroit- I see you have some shows coming up, in particular your record release show on May 19. Where is that going to be held? What are the details for it?   

Josh- Saturday, May 19th, The Loving Touch. The bill is this: The Good Things, The HandGrenades, Matt Jones and the Reconstruction, then the High Strung. Short sets. The details are, you should eat a pot brownie somewhere in The HandGrenades set so that by the time we play, you're out of your mind with silliness and I promise I'll make you laugh.

HipInDetroit- One of your songs, 'The Luck You Got,' from your new record is the theme song for the show 'Shameless,' which is AWESOME. I've only seen one episode, but that show is pretty crazy. How excited were you guys about that? Are you fans of the show (I'm sure you are now!)?   

Josh- Yes. We're fans. It's so dirty! My mother watches it because we do the theme song and sometimes I cringe, thinking, “Oh man! Mom just saw a woman give birth on television, too!” We were very excited. We'd just finished a practice when Derek got word that Showtime was interested. It's a great feeling, writing a theme song. Makes me feel something like the old-timey song-writers who took theme songs, holiday songs, and their own albums with equal fervor. Makes me feel classic somehow. 

HipInDetroit- Recently at the Detroit X Detroit show, we saw The HandGrenades perform as you. Must be pretty flattering! What did you think of their performance? How did they do in the wardrobe department? I remember them talking about how much Tom looked like you.   

Josh- Well, I will say he looked nothing like me. :) I will also say that the bass player who sang “Giant” sings it better than I do and when I saw him again I asked him for tips. I think it's possibly the most flattering thing that's ever happened to us. I love their band. They're playing with us at the ¿Posible? Release show at the Loving Touch, Saturday, May 19th.   

HipInDetroit- Between your website, Facebook, Myspace, guys are all over the internet! And you have some pretty awesome, fun artwork on everything. Do you do it yourself or what? 

Josh- Derek had a hand in or actually made entirely the artwork for our first three albums. Then we asked a fella to do our fourth, I drew our fifth and Derek found a fella in Chattanooga to do ¿Posible o' Imposible? Derek is interested in those things, so it's something of a luxury, having a bandmate who likes doing this and does it well.   

HipInDetroit- One thing we like to ask everyone we talk to is what are your favorite places in Detroit? Favorite venue, restaurant, bar, etc.?   

Josh- John King Books is out of this world. There is another used book store near Wayne State. I was so excited once when I walked in there that I asked the guy how much for the entire horror section. I really like the Wayne State campus... and eating there... walking around. My favorite bar, though, is in Berkley. The Berkley Front. Just played in a pool tournament there. Made the final four but I was playing from behind all night... chipping away at leads.

There you have it folks. Get your butts down to The Loving Touch this Saturday and let Josh make you laugh, brownie or not! Hope to see you all there! And don't forget to get your copy of the new album while you're at it.


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