The Young Reptiles
WEB EXCLUSIVE: One Morgantown band prepares to take the stage.
Michael Janney and Ricky Hussmann perform with The Young Reptiles at 123 Pleasant Street.
WV LIVING recently sat down with the men of The Young Reptiles in preparation of their show at 123 Pleasant Street in March. Read what the modest, fun-loving Morgantown band had to say in our interview:
WV LIVING: What brought The Young Reptiles together?
Chris Barr: We formed about two years ago with the strict agenda of becoming rock gods before we turned 30. Three-fourths of the band has failed on that front, but Michael Janney still has four months to achieve stardom before the youth can no longer trust him.
In truth, like most bands, we are friends who like to play music. We decided to start a band when we were eating lasagna together at a potluck. We still like potlucks.
WVL: Describe your sound in one sentence.
CB: Jangly, angular, punky, borderline danceable, pop music without all of the catchy hooks.
Ricky Hussmann: Straightforward (sometimes, we have a hook or two).
WVL: What is the band’s philosophy about writing songs?
CB: Our main philosophy is to do our best to hide the fact that we are major nerds. Writing rock songs seems like the best medicine for that ailment.
RH: I think we focus on the music first, and lyrics second. Whether that’s typical or not, that's usually the way we do it.
Jeff Smith: We also make a conscious effort to avoid excessive repetition between songs. I’m not saying every song is 100 percent unique, but we don't want to make the same song over and over.
WVL: The Young Reptiles always choose interesting songs to cover live. How do you decide when a song is cover worthy?
CB: This is actually tricky for us. Each of us tends to suggest a ton of songs to cover and we stick with the ones that we find have opportunities to mold to our sound and lack of technical expertise.
WVL: What should we expect from this Friday’s show?
CB: Half of our set will be new material that is decidedly poppier and danceable. While we can't guarantee that you will shake your booty, we highly encourage it.
The other bands, Bells and Trophy Wife, are touring acts from Brooklyn and Philadelphia, respectively. Bells has a unique pedigree coming from former members of the bands Jawbox and Oxford Collapse to create technical, jazzy instrumentals that could be compared to bands like Battles or Dungen.
RH: I also think we'll see the manifestation of our eagerness to be back on stage. From us, I think we'll see some of the nervous anxiety that tends to lead to the excitement of a first show. At least, I hope so.
JS: I agree with Ricky. This is our first show in a while, so there is definitely some eagerness and anticipation.
The Young Reptiles are Chris Barr, Mike Janney, Ricky Hussmann, and Jeff Smith. See them live at 123 Pleasant Street on Friday, March 2, 2012, at 10 p.m.