A couple of years ago, while leaving a show at Irving Plaza, one of the many people handing out cd's - handed us a cd. It wasn't in any fancy packaging, wasn't eye catching for any reason, and we held on to it and listened later that night. The band was called The Epochs, and we had a new rule about listening to cd's handed to us on the street.

The EP was good, and if we didn't have a rule against comparing bands to Radiohead, we'd have used that comparison. For now, let's say they sounded like they listened to Radiohead, and "got it". After spending some time out West recording new songs, they've seemed to find their own sound, veering a bit away from the above reference. If we had to describe it with three words we'd use: smart electro pop. It's anthemic and layered, not a shallow end in this pool. Listen to the album here, and go see them tonight at Mercury Lounge!

Mouths to Feed.mp3

Let's get this out of the way, where did your band name originate?
Ryan: It hit me while playing the drums one day. Charlie Rose was on television in the same room and, during a brief pause from my bomabastic solo I heard the word and thought it sounded really nice....he pronounced it epoch, (as in ryhmes with peacock) and I thought, 'that's it!'. I finished the drum solo and took a nap.

What is your first conscious memory of living in New York?
Ryan: When I was 18, my parents and I drove up from Virginia to when I was starting college. Coming out of the Holland Tunnel, I spotted a white limousine driving in the right lane about 25 yards ahead. The back window rolled down and a very pale, oddly shaped figure poked out. As we got closer, it became clear that this wasn't person but a giant inflatible penis that was being used to enter into open passenger side windows side of unsuspecting drivers. My mother was sitting in the passenger seat and both my dad and I knew this would be very bad. I quickly pointed out a building on our left as my Dad reached over and rolled up her window, narrowly avoiding catasrophy.

Hays: Getting a juicy black eye and chipped tooth in Bushwick during my first week of college.

What is your favorite place to drink in NYC, and what's the best night to go out?
Ryan: Nublu is great. There's also a bar in Greenpoint called the Pencil Factory that I really like.

You left us for the Pacific Northwest for a while. What was your experience like over there?
Hays: Fuzzy and dream-like.
Ryan: We're a grunge band now.

You've just recorded a full-length record and are streaming the entire thing online for free on your website. Why?
Ryan: We don't have any label to pay back the costs of recording or to tell us we can't do it, so we figured it would be nice if everyone could hear it without paying.

Now its time for some fill-in-the-blank action

You know youve made it when...
Hays: You can keep making music that you love.

It'll be time to pack up the gear for good when�
Ryan: The apartment is floods...?

I'll never forget the first time I:
Ryan: Visited a pentacostal church. I had a crush the girl that brought me there, untill she started speaking in tounges.

Let's have some fun with word association. Give me your immediate feelings on the following (if you�ve got no discernable feelings, make something up that won't embarrass you in the morning)

Ryan:Big Business

Hays: Bigger Business

Ryan: Bad business

Hays: Back to the Future.

Ryan: yowch!

Ryan: Frogs.

Ryan: Me.

A few quickies on the music tip

What was the most played song on your iPod (or an equivalent music playing device) in the past week?
Hays: I only have two albums on my ipod: Blonde on Blonde and On The Beach by Neil Young. It would probably be "Revolution Blues".

Who would be in your ultimate music supergroup, your all-star Olympic team of rock?
Ryan: No one else in our family plays music...but I've always thought it would be fun if they did. All 5 of us in a band together ala Partirdge Family would be pretty super.

If you released a 7" what would you put on the cover?
Hays: Can it be a magic eye or 3D?
What was the first/last album you bought on the day it was released?

Ryan: I went to buy the new Justin Timberlake last Tuesday but it was too much money.

If Josh Schwartz, creator of the OC, asked your band to perform on his tv show (as Modest Mouse, the Killers Tom Vek and the Walkmen have) would you?
Ryan: If Josh Schwartz jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you?

And finally...What came first, the music or the misery?
Ryan: It's complicated, but I'll try to explain it the best way I can. There's a man driving down the highway with a penguin seated next to him in the front seat. A police officer pulls him over and tells the man to take the penguin to the zoo. The man thanks him and drives off with just a warning. The next day, the same cop sees the man driving down the same stretch of highway. This time, the penguin seated next to him is wearing sunglasses and has zinc on his nose. 'I thought I told you to take that penguin to the zoo!' the officer barks after pulling him over for a second time. The man replies: 'I did! And we had so much fun at the zoo, today we're going to the beach."