The Fame makes us want to rev our non-existant engines and rock like we couldn't in the 80's. We picture cruising down the main street in a town that John Hughes created, blasting their tunes in our camaro. But the novelty ends there, they are real all-American rock and they bring the Rick Springfield optimism and glimmer back into our jaded shoegazing senses. Their sound is refreshing right now when everyone else is trying to be the next Franz and Killers, and we're pretty sure being recent NY Press cover sweethearts won't even make them cop a faux-rockstar attitude.
The Fame are Reno, Ryan, Patrick and Alana. Come check them out as they headline our Movable Hype show on Monday [details after the interview].
Let's get this out of the way, where did your band name originate?
RENO BO: I was eating a bowl of generic alphabet soup and the words "the fame" appeared after a few bites. It was quite supernatural.
What is your first conscious memory of living in New York?
RYAN: Looking out my apartment window and seeing a giant ad for the new issue of Face magazine with Kylie Minogue on the cover wearing nothing but red cowboy boots.
RENO: Not sure what my first conscious memory was. I tend to remember my unconscious moments best.
ALANA: Muppets Take Manhattan.
RENO: Hey did you see that last one? Muppets In Space. That was amazing.
What is your favorite/least favorite memory involving New York?
RYAN: Blacking out during the blackout.
What is your favorite place to drink in NYC, and what's the best night to go out?
PATRICK: I'd have to say Hi Fi (Ave A btw 10th and 11th) is my favorite. The jukebox rules and most of the staff are our friends- actually, that
goes for a lot of bars.
ALANA: Niagra and Motor City are great. Delancey is fun on Tuesdays. Free Food.
What is your favorite/least favorite thing about playing shows in New York? Is there a difference between shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn?
RYAN: Parking the van is my favorite part of playing in the city.
ALANA: There is nothing like a wild Brooklyn roof party. We need to play more BBQ's.
Do you think your New York connection shows in your music? If so, how?
PATRICK: I think we sound like we could be from anywhere in America, which is a good thing in my opinion.
RENO: I'm sure there's a bit of New York in our sound somewhere but I don't think what The Fame does is typical of what people might expect from a "NewYork Band." We like to write three-minute songs with big choruses, harmonies and guitar solos which is hardly what is going on in New York right now. I like that though. You can come to a Fame show and be surprised by what you hear. You get something different. It's fun. It's upbeat. It's Rock & Roll music.
Now its time for some fill-in-the-blank action
“You know you’ve made it when…”
PATRICK: you've got your own exit off of the highway.
RYAN: When gothamist.com asks you to do an interview.
ALANA: When you get off scott free on child molestation charges or murdering your wife.
“It’ll be time to pack up the gear for good when…”
RENO: When Ryan gets tired of carrying Patrick's drums to gigs and kills everyone in the band.
ALANA: When the boys start wearing fannypacks and ponytails.
RYAN: When you're playing the county fair and you can't see your feet when you look down.
“I’ll never forget the first time I…”
RENO: Gazed into your eyes.
“I’ll never forget the first time [insert another band member’s name here]…”
RYAN: Alana threw her phone at that girl's head. And the phone still worked.
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)
PATRICK: 1986, baby!
PATRICK: Right on when it comes to Dungen.
ALANA: Farm Aid
Bridge & Tunnel
RYAN: Chutes and Ladders
RYAN: Where's that?
ALANA: It's where you got your fake ID.
PATRICK: 2 hour parking INCLUDING SUNDAY!
Questions inspired by movies...
If you will, a brief justification of the ontological necessity of modern man's existential dilemma (in less than 10 words). (Reality Bites)
RENO: What does ontological mean?
ALANA: I think it's the study of birds.
What came first, the music or the misery? (High Fidelity)
RENO: The music business
A few quickies on the music tip
Who would be in your ultimate music supergroup, your all-star Olympic team of rock?
PATRICK: Traveling Wilburys
RYAN: But add Nell Carter.
RENO: With Chuck Woolery on bass.
What was the first/last album you bought on the day it was released?
PATRICK: First: Sonic Youth- "Goo", Last: Dungen- "1999-2001"
And finally...If Josh Schwartz, creator of the OC, asked your band to perform on his tv show (as Modest Mouse, the Killers and the Walkmen recently have) would you?
RENO: That's the show with Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowen, right? The Peach Pit. Yeah.
RYAN: Hell yes. Mischa Barton's hot.