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The Blue Pages - Good Times Every Time
Thursday, October 14, 2010

Not a lot of bands find their bassist by accidentally hitting on them at a party, or put a kielbasa in their guitarist’s pants during performances, but The Blue Pages aren’t like a lot of bands, they’re blazing their own trail and they want it one filled with loud music, wild dancing, and crazy hookups. The Blue Pages consists of Dave Rublin, Matt Sanchez, Zac Barnett and James Adam Shelley (pictured L to R), and they’re a dance band that wants to inspire everyone to have a good time. I caught up with lead singer Barnett as he was finishing up a hearty lunch and found out more about the group’s very interesting personalities, what role alcohol played in the formation of the band, and why you might want to bring a condom if you’re going to see them live.

Adam Bernard: First off, I have to ask, why so blue?
Zac: I’m so blue right now because my mouth’s on fire from Tabasco sauce and I have no water in my cup at Twin Donuts.

AB: You used Tabasco sauce on a doughnut?
Zac: I poured Tabasco sauce all over my home fries.

AB: That makes more sense. So, about The Blue Pages...
Zac: We have a few different stories behind The Blue Pages. One that we like to tell people is that when we first stated writing together we wrote all of our lyrics down in a journal that had blue pages in it. The second story that we tell people is that our guitar player, James, needed a phone book when he first moved to Boston from Florida and he was looking for a Yellow Pages but he wound up with a Blue Pages, which is actually the government listings. And the third story, our bass player Dave, he’s from Columbia, and when he was a child his parents adopted him from the adoption agency and he was only covered with blue sticky notes to keep him warm. We give all three of them and people kind of decide for themselves.

AB: I like the third one best. Now, I know you formed at Berklee College of Music, in Boston, but did you know each other before then?
Zac: No, we actually didn’t. I had been playing with our drummer, Matt, at Berklee on some little projects and stuff, and then my sophomore year I was the president of the Berklee songwriting club. James was a new student and he came up to me one day after a meeting and asked me if I’d be down to get up and listen to some of his songs. We started trading ideas back and forth. I started singing over some of his songs, and he started playing guitar on some of mine, and then because I already knew Matt we brought him in to play drums and then we threw Dave into the mix. We’re actually all from different places. I’m from Minnesota originally, Matt is from Texas, James is from Florida and Dave is from Jersey.

AB: You cover the country pretty nicely there.
Zac: Yeah, it’s not bad. It works out well on tour because we still have a lot of family and a lot of friends all over the place, so it’s really easy to find places to crash.

AB: What’s this I heard about how you found Dave? Did you really hit on him at a party by mistake?
Zac: {laughs} Yeah, we were at a house party in Boston and I saw Dave from across the room and he has this long black flowing hair and I went up behind him and started dancing with him and turned him around to go for the kill and it turned out to be this little Columbian boy.

AB: I will assume you had more than just water before that happened.
Zac: Definitely. There was definitely some whisky involved in that night.

AB: Which is a good warning to all the kids; if you drink too much whiskey you could end up hitting on a Columbian man.
Zac: But, you could end up finding a new bass player, so I look at it as a good thing. The more you drink the more likely you are to meet awesome friends. It’s kind of an added bonus if they turn out to be hot women.

AB: That’s always nice! Moving to your music, you define yourself as a dance band. What exactly is a dance band and how does it differ from a rock band?
Zac: I guess you can really dance to anything, but at our live shows, primarily it’s all about getting the crowd going crazy, getting everyone dancing, and basically getting everyone ready to have sex at the end of the night.

AB: Now I need to see you live and bring a date.
Zac: Of course. That’s the thing. I think with a rock band, I feel like nowadays people just head-bob and sway a little more to rock bands where as we try to get people as horny as possible.

AB: What have you found works well for that?
Zac: Short shorts.

AB: On you?
Zac: Short shorts on me, yeah. Stuffing a kielbasa is James’ pants. You know, give the ladies what they want. He wears really tight pants so the ladies come up to the stage and it looks like he has an armadillo in his pants. They like that. You’d be surprised how many times that works. The majority of women we get, which is few, is from the armadillo that they see in his pants. Then it all ties in together once you feed them that whiskey they completely forget about that and then when the kielbasa’s taken out of your pants they’re not as disappointed.

AB: That’s a great plan and I’m sure your local grocer loves it, as well.
Zac: Yeah, everyone seems to love it. What else? Sometimes we’ll oil Dave down before shows and get him real greasy looking.

AB: Like a pro wrestler ready to come out for a match?
Zac: Like a pro wrestler, exactly! We call him the chupacabra. Dave is very majestic, to say the least.

AB: Tell me a little bit about your albums You released Bear Fight in ’09, and Nighthawk earlier this year. How much do you feel those albums differ?
Zac: They’re a little bit different. When we first formed we were really pop-rock based. With the Bear Fight EP we were just starting to dab into electronics and all that goodness, so there’s definitely some electronics on it, but it’s a little more rock based. There are a lot more guitars going on. When we started going toward Nighthawk the electronic music theme became a lot bigger in our lives, so it’s way more dance and electronic based and influenced.

AB: Those albums have helped to put you on a bunch of major tours. What are some of your most interesting tour memories from the past few years?
Zac: On our first tour, like two years ago, we were in southern Jersey and we were driving to the venue and we had no clue where this place was. We ended up pulling up to a venue and we said this is a really cool place, this looks really nice. We were like “hey, we’re The Blue Pages, we’re here to play tonight,” and they go “I don’t know if we have you on the bill, let me check.” Then they came back like “hey, you guys actually aren’t scheduled to play tonight.” So we were like “well, that's weird.” So we went out and drove around a little bit more. It turned out the venue we were supposed to play was some really shitty hole in the wall bar down the road, so we ended up going back to the first venue and we made up some story and they ended up saying “hey, you know what, one of the bands dropped off the bill so you guys can play tonight.” It wasn’t the right venue but we ended up playing a really sweet show in Jersey at a really sweet venue.

AB: That’s awesome! What’s next for you guys?
Zac: We just got back off of tour with Let’s Get It and Down With Webster, which was frickin amazing. I think we were pretty much drunk the entire tour, but it was still an amazing time. Now the whole band is relocating to Brooklyn and we’re just gonna basically keep writing and we’re gonna be back out on tour this fall. We have a couple residencies booked around New York right now. For the month of September we’re going to be playing every other week at Bowery Electric, and then we’re also going to be playing every other week acoustic at Angels and Kings, which is Pete Wentz’s venue, which is always a good place.

AB: How much does your show change when you perform acoustically?
Zac: We keep it pretty stripped down when we play acoustic, but the energy is definitely there. We get everyone up dancing and going crazy even at acoustic shows. That’s our whole thing, we just like to have fun on stage and we like the crowd to be having fun. If the crowd’s not having a good time then I’m not having a good time. We like to keep that motto even at our acoustic shows.

AB: Is there anything else you’d like to add about yourself or your music?
Zac: We have a great fucking time doin shit. Everyone should add us on Facebook, and we got a shitload of new songs coming out soon. It’s gonna be mind blasting and flip your world upside down.

Story originally ran on SubstreamMusicPress.com.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:45 AM  
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