Recently I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak with Matt, Mike, Shannon and Andrew, of promising new Chicago band the Peekaboos at their stellar show at Hostel Earphoria October 20th. Before their set I was able to pull them aside and discuss how the band came to be, their upcoming debut LP, Stay Positive, and puppies, among other things.
Heave: So the Peekaboos have only been around for a relatively short time, how did this band come to be?
Matt: A few years ago we were all at Mike’s wedding, and we were thinking maybe in two or three years we should start a band, and then we were a band. But the key factor was that we had to be at Mike’s wedding.
Heave: How does this band compare to any other bands you’ve all been in?
Andrew: I feel that the energy of this band is very different. The band is really positive and encouraging. We just legitimately like being around each other. And I think musically, we all got together and when we played together it jived so well and it just kind of clicked and worked.
Matt: I speak jive.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah you do. There’s an Airplane joke somewhere in there right?
Mike: What I was going to say about that is that we’ve all played in bands at various times together and it’s just about getting the right group of people together that clicks. It’s like my wedding, a celebration of love, and I think that that kind of has,
Matt: A celebration of love and love in the celebration.
Andrew: I didn’t meet you at your wedding.
Mike: I know you didn’t meet me then.
Andrew: Matt and I met at your wedding.
Mike: It’s the culmination of all of us meeting.
Shannon: That was the first time the four of us were together in one room.
Mike: I’ve played in bands with a couple of you at different times. It’s like out of the celebration of love and I think that carries on to what we do, ya know? Because we’re all friends, first.
Matt: Fuck you man.
Shannon: Friends first, bandmates second.
Andrew: And then lovers third.
Mike: Lovers first man. I love all of you.
Heave: So right now you only have a few songs out on your SoundCloud page, and your debut, Stay Positive, is coming out in January right?
Shannon: Yeah, January hopefully.
Heave: Can you talk about the record a little bit? How it’s coming along, the recording process, etc.
Mike: We’re actually going to start recording for that in the beginning of November at Two States Audio. Our friends in We Repel Each Other and The Day Lewis, they run that place, and so they’re the ones who are going to be helping us out with recording our full length. It’s pretty much most of the songs we’ve come up with over the last months or so? Since April.
Shannon: Almost a year. April was our first show. It was at the Multikulti. It was on Mike’s birthday too! Everything revolves around Mike.
Heave: So you’re the head honcho of the band?
Mike: No I’m not the head honcho, but there’s just a cosmic energy that surrounds this band. Yeah, it was Friday the 13th! Ya know?
Matt: And we’re planning on releasing our single on December 21st, 2012.
Heave: The last day of the world?
Matt: Yeah because we’re like, “Friday the 13th! Fuck the world! Let’s just burn it down.” I mean, positively though.
Shannon: Also we’re going to be making a music video for our song “Western Fall” pretty soon.
Mike: Those are things that are just in the works coming up, so we’ll spend some time recording, making videos, and then we’re hoping to press a full length record.
Heave: Is Stay Positive going to be released through any label, or is it all on you?
Matt: We’re going to be releasing that independently with help from our friends and family.
Heave: Is the record going to be released physically?
Shannon: It’s going to be released on vinyl.
Andrew: Vinyl and a digital download.
Shannon: When you buy the vinyl it’ll come with a digital download.
Heave: So no CDs?
Mike: That’s just like a dead medium. Nobody really buys CDs, and if you’re going to listen to it, it’s great to have a tangible copy of it, that you can really look at. Matt does all the artwork for the band, all the flyers, and he’s doing the album cover, stuff like that. To have something like that, that you can hold. But you can also get it digitally, which just seems like how everyone listens to music now.
Shannon: We hit both of them. The people who want something physical, where they can look at the art and the liner notes can buy the record, and the people who want to put it on their iPod can get the download, so both people can be happy.
Heave: And you do all of the artwork then Matt?
Matt: I do. I do all the flyer art for the band. I really like a lot of comic book writers, and I’m really influenced by Harvey Pekar and Harvey Kurtzman. I try to bring a kind of Peekaboo feel to what I’ve learned from those people.
Heave: So what can we expect from Stay Positive, in just a few words?
Matt: Ethos to live by.
Shannon: A super fun birthday party. A birthday party in music form.
Mike: I kind of view the album as like this dark comedy of sorts, where we see everything that’s going on in the world, and all that. But ya know, you can still laugh at it. You can create things outside of that to separate yourself from that. It’s what I love, so that’s what I’m gonna do.
Andrew: Love, pain, and puppies.
Shannon: All the things that are important to us, the most important to us.
Heave: Well what’s the order?
Matt: Puppies first.
Shannon: My song on the album is called “Let’s Pet Puppies,” the song that I wrote.
Heave: That seems to work well with your band themes.
Mike: And it’s brought us closer together in other respects. It got me into Lost.
Shannon: That’s right. There’s a lyric about Lost in “Let’s Pet Puppies,” so Mike started watching Lost to understand the reference, and now we’re bonding over it.
Mike: All of our songs bring us closer together as people and friends, and just human beings on the planet.
Matt: Many of our adhesives keep us closer together.
Heave: You already spoke about the album and music video, what are some other goals that you have for this year as a band?
Matt: The Peekaboos have a five year plan. It’s very true. I talked to my accountant, Morty, and a couple of our business associates, Reuben Guberman being one of them, and they’ve advised us on several different things; on an effective method to progress between the society of people, and effective weapons to use, and effective tools to constrain these people and steal their souls.
Shannon: Absolutely positively steal their souls.
Heave: That’s your biggest goal as a band, to steal souls?
Matt: Dude, you know why? Because other necromancers think they’re the shit, but guess what? This necromancer knows the most dark magic.
Shannon: Hold on, I want to add to that. So Stay Positive is more than just the name of our album, it’s also the way that we look at everything we do. We’re not too cool for school, we don’t want to shit on anybody, we want to be friends with everybody. If you think something’s lame, the Peekaboos fucking love it, and the Peekaboos just can’t get enough of everything.
Matt: Did you ever see The Muppets? It’s kind of like that.
Shannon: That’s kind of what we want to do. Bring really positive, enthusiastic, “fuck-yeah” kind of energy to everything we’re involved in.
Matt: To a dead scene that everybody talks about.
Mike: But that’s what things like tonight are. A bunch of people getting together to listen to some music at a house, with awesome bands playing, like Grandma vs. Grandpa, the Clams, Soft Candy, and Roaming Bear. But it’s things like that. We can steal the souls of the things we’re against, to transmit them to a positive atmosphere. We can redirect the negative energy. You gotta live for what you want to be, be the change you want to see, stay positive.
Andrew: You squeezed a little Gandhi in there.
Mike: Dude. Gandhi is applicable on all occasions.
Heave: Alright this is the last question I got for you guys here. It’s probably the most important of them all. Do you guys go on reddit.com?
Andrew: Of course, all the time.
Heave: Okay, you’re probably familiar with this then. Would you rather fight one hundred duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck, as a band?
The Peekaboos: One horse sized duck.
Shannon: That fucker’s going down.
Matt: Ducks are vicious, but we get that one wing cornered, we got the numbers. We thought about this before.
Shannon: It’s part of the five year plan!
Matt: Yea dude, you’ll have to talk to Reuben!
Make sure to check out the Peekaboos on Facebook, and Soundcloud, keep an eye out for Stay Positive, set to be released early next year. Also be sure to catch one of their live sets sometime in person! They play next October 28th at the Den Theatre, where the Peekaboos will play a mix of their original songs and some Moldy Peaches covers.