We caught up with Born Loser and the Hangers On and spoke to Chelsey Louise, the lead vocalist. Find out what the funny and talented singer had to say about the band and learn some things you never knew about them.
GTG: How did you come up with the name Born Loser and the Hangers On?
BLATHO: One day, as I was strolling through the thick shrubbery of North Scottsdale, a hipster ran me over with a fixie, and I landed flat on my back staring into the vast Arizona sky. SUDDENLY AND WITHOUT WARNING, the clouds parted and this tiny, spinster, old lady (who had many cats) was all, "Sup." And I was like, "Sup."
And then I went home and my dad suggested it because he didn't use it in the 60s.
GTG: How and why did you get started in music?
BLATHO: Well, I got started in music at a young age, when my mother would plop me down in front of the T.V. and made me watch "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and danced with me to "Love Shack." I also did musical theatre for 8 years, and that's why our stage performance is a bit theatrical. We call our genre "theatrical rock" because we all come from different backgrounds to create music that a lot of people call "unique" and "interesting." Jenny is a classically trained pianist, and has been playing for 15 years. Benny is a metal guitarist, Robert plays bass now, but he started playing guitar because of Dave Matthews, so his style is very jammy. And Adam, our drummer, is more punk inspired.
GTG: Tell me about the song you entered into the contest and why you chose that song.
BLATHO: We entered with "The MosquitoSong," which is the single off of our debut EP "BLATHO" (available for free download at www.BLATHO.com). The album is recorded with our old line-up (different drummer and bassist) by Michael Beck at Sound Vision Recording (www.soundvisionrecording.com). The song is really pop-influenced, and has been featured on KISS 103.9FM and KWSS 106.7FM. We also did a music video with Ber Co Productions (www.bercoproductions.com), and it has gotten a lot of good public response. Our sound is not entirely genre specific, so this song doesn't really sound like what we usually play. We think this song has a mass appeal, and it's so much fun to play a show and see our fans singing the words in the audience!
GTG: Who is your biggest influence when it comes to music and song writing?
BLATHO: We are all influenced by different bands. I am very influenced by musical theatre, and Nirvana and Queen. The stage presence of Kurt Cobain and Freddy Mercury are incredible and of course I hope to inspire and be as out there as they were. Jenny, the pianist, is inspired by Regina Spektor, who is very folksy and lyric-oriented. She writes a lot of the songs. Benny, the guitarist, is inspired by metal, like Trivium and Metallica. Robert, the bassist, is all about Dave Matthews Band, and their chill, jam style. Adam, the drummer, likes Led Zeppelin and Blink 182. He just set his drum set up like Travis Barker, even! We always try and find bands that we "sound like," but it is really difficult. People have said: The Cranberries, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead.. But I think we sound just like Born Loser and the Hangers On!
GTG: What would you say to Don Was if he were sitting next to you?
BLATHO: Honestly, I'm a bit socially awkward, so I'd probably start off with something like, "How do you feel about grilled cheese and ranch dressing?" and then continue the conversation from there. Of course, his life must be full of amazing stories, but I can imagine he would get bored of people asking what Bob Dylan was like in person. I'd ask about our music. What could we do to make us better? How does he feel about our songs? How do we look and present ourselves on stage?
GTG: Can you tell us something interesting about yourself that your fans would never know about?
BLATHO: 1) I can't play anything on the piano except Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven, and the beginning of the Entertainer. But nothing else. No scales or anything. Weird, I know. 2) We all live together, except our drummer. 3) We support the GLBT community through our "I'm A Loser" Campaign (www.imaloser.org).
GTG: What other talents besides music do you have?
BLATHO: I can speed cup-stack (www.speedstacks.com) and I'm an actor/dancer.
Benny (guitarist) can do parkour (free-running). Robert (bassist) is an amazing oil-painter (http://ciucacreations.jimdo.com).
Jenny (pianist) writes fiction and poetry (she was a Fiction major at SUNY Purchase in New York).
Adam (drummer) has an uncanny knack for remaining. After jumping out of 2 planes, plummeting off a 100 foot cliff, and being in nearly a dozen car accidents, he still remains.