Okay. Now, before we even get started with this, I know what you’re going to say:
“But, Ri. The whole PREMISE of this blog is that we DON’T have to listen to kids’ music.”
Yes, I know, but what if the artists appeal to kids and simultaneously DON’T make parents’ ears bleed – in fact, are pretty dang good? Well, that’s a whole new genre as far as I’m concerned. A genre in which The Rattles Band fits quite nicely.
If you pay any attention whatsoever to our Friday Fivers, you may remember that we’ve heard from them before. I snuck “Wavy Lane” in on you and no one even suspected it was a band made up of a cat, a goat, a salamander and a hippo. So, there!
Now, I ask you – what good is having access to high-powered NYC music PR types if you can’t use your connections to impress your friends and family? EXACTLY. So, when my four year old son, Liam (who was an avowed fan from the word go) and I checked out all the new additions to The Rattles website, he had all sorts of excited questions.
Soooooooooo…Mama pulled some strings and got an interview with the band!!
(This made Liam very happy…)
See below for the Q and A, and when you’re finished, see if you don’t agree that Sal, Gus, Hal and Kitty – complete with costumes that are clearly an homage to Sgt. Pepper era Beatles – are refreshing new faces on the music scene, and a group that both parents AND kiddos can enjoy.
(Then comment below for a chance to win a RATTLES CD!! I’ll draw a random winner on Sunday and put the info up with the Scoop. 😉 )
1. How did you pick your name? Who thought of it?
That’s a great question! Funny you should ask . . . We got our name from our manager Benny (He takes care of us – makes sure we get to the shows on time, gets our musical gear all set-up and ready to play – he’s the best!) Anyway, Benny would jump in our van, Sweet Pea, and say “Let’s go . . . we need to Rattle and Roll!” We had no idea what he was talk’n about (now that we think about it, Sweet Pea does rattle a whole lot!) Gus thought “Rattle and Roll” was a great name for a song . . . but it was Sal who said that’s a great name for the band. Sal said, “Hey, let’s call the band The Rattles!” and the rest is history!
2. Kitty: Who taught you to play the drums? How old were you when you started?
I was just a kitten when my parents bought me a piano and wanted me to take lessons and play classical music. But I wanted to play the drums! They told me, “Kitty, girls don’t play drums!” I asked “Why not?!” They said, “I don’t know, they just don’t!” Well that was it! I told them “I want to play drums!” They could tell I really wanted to play and it was important to me. So they brought the piano back (that must have been tough, pianos are heavy!), and the next day there was a drum set in the basement waiting for me . . . aren’t parents great?!
3. Sal: What’s your favorite song?
Definitely “Get Back” by the Beatles. It was the first song I learned to play on the guitar. I practiced that one for a long time to get it right!
4. Gus: What do you like to eat for breakfast? Can you fix it yourself?
I like Froot Loops! They are sweet and colorful – like me! But they’re not really that good for you. There’s no real fruit in Froot Loops (that’s why it’s spelled funny!) So I try not to eat them all the time, I mix it up and have real fruit sometimes and maybe toast or something with it. Benny does most of the cooking for the band, but a good bowl of Froot Loops … I can handle that one on my own.
5. Hal: I know you like to sleep a lot. What’s your favorite bedtime story?
Liam, how did you know I like to snooze?! Wow, does everybody know that about me?! Hey, nothing wrong with a nap now and then! Bedtime stories I like . . . Hmmm, I like the book “Goodnight Moon.” It’s such a fun book to read before you go to bed . . . and it’s even better when someone else reads it to you! What’s your favorite bedtime story?
6. When I listen carefully, I hear a little of The Monkees, The Beatles and some Bay City Rollers flavor mixed into your sound! Who were your musical influences?
Wow – you nailed it Mom! Kitty here, and I grew up listening to everything! I listened to my parent’s albums and classic rock that my dad would play in the car. We would sing at the top of our lungs to all the best stuff from the late 60’s, 70’s and big 80’s too! I will let you in on a little secret if you promise not to tell anyone, but you’ve got to promise you will not tell anyone! Promise?! Ok – I love Karen Carpenter, OMG she was like the first girl rock and roll drummer! And she could sing! I tell Benny all the time I want to sing more, needless to say Gus is not big on that idea.
7. Kids really love your music, and being role models is serious business! What do you hope kids will learn from The Rattles Band?
Hey, it’s Hal, my turn to answer! Role models . . .Wooo that sounds serious?! I guess when it comes to learning something from what we do, I think the band would agree with me (well maybe not Gus – he tends to have his own ideas about everything!) that having fun playing music with your friends and getting people to smile and dance is about as good as it gets (add a nap afterwards . . . even better)! But the most important thing is that we all work together and share what we do best, playing music!
8. Are you planning to stick with only playing music, or do any of the band members have the urge to do movies or TV?
Hello there, it’s Gus, the band told me to answer this one. TV . . . did you say TV?! Who wants to have us on TV? Did you hear a rumor?! Movies?! I was made to be in the movies, I always knew one day I would be on the big screen . . . it was just a matter of time! I keep on tell’n Benny we are thinking too small and that we should get an agent and get ourselves out to California (I know some people out there – they could hook us up big time!) But Benny says we need to keep our cool and not get over exposed . . . I say there is no time like now! But I’m not going to rock the boat just yet. I’m new guy in the band so I’m laying low for now, (Kitty throws me dirty looks my way when I come up with these ideas and share them with the band) but I’ve got to leave my options open, know what I’m say’n?!
9. Benny, how does everyone get along when you’re on the road touring? Is it kind of like a family going on vacation? How do you all pass the time while you’re in Sweet Pea for long trips?
Oh . . . you have no idea! (Well maybe you do – you’re a Mom!) It’s like herding cats (Ooops! Hey Kitty, sorry about that, I didn’t mean it in a bad way!) Between the band and the roadies (Penguins – not a very focused bunch) needless to say, I have my hands full. Here’s how it usually works . . . I get the Elvis’s to break down the show and get the band’s gear loaded up in Sweet Pea. By about this time Hal wants to know when he can eat something, and we can’t find Sal, because he just likes to go wondering off somewhere (he’s kind of spacey like that). I have to deploy a few roadies to go find him. Next thing I know it’s an hour later, we have to get going and no one knows where anybody is! Gus wants to go talk to fans who are waiting for him and Kitty gets all worked up because Gus has more fans wanting autographs than her. . . get the picture?! But once we get on the road, everything’s all good . . . it’s the starts and stops that get complicated. Once we are on the road, cruisin’ along in our van, its all systems go! We chill with videos and snacks, but you have to watch your snacks with those birds around . . . turn your head for a second . . . snacks GONE! With that said, (and I will totally deny I ever said it), I love these guys (even the crazy birds). I think we’ve got something here with this band! Now aren’t you glad you asked . . .?!
10. What’s one thing you want folks to know about The Rattles Band?
Still talk’n to me?! Oh, I thought we were done? Is this the last question? Why do I always get the tough ones ?! Hmmm . . . what’s the one thing I want folks to know about the Rattles? We have a change of clothes other then what we wear on stage! LOL . . . No in all seriousness!
The band really wants to make good music, not just songs about clapping hands or washing your face (don’t get me wrong personal hygiene is important – especially on long road trips in the van . . . I hope you heard me Hal!) Seriously though, we want to do something a little more than that, like making songs about things that both parents and kids can rock out too! Is that asking too much?! We don’t think so!
(We don’t think so either, Benny!)