Our West Coast Entertainment Writer has a Q/A session with Michigan's The BangUps!
Q: How did you come up with the name the The Bangups? A: Joey Dornbos - The name came about mostly from the fight scenes in the 1960s Batman show. Whenever somebody was getting hit, this big colorful font would flash across the screen saying "POW" "BANG" or something like that. We wanted our name to have a similar feel.
Q: I read in an interview, you describe The Bangups as being punk rock. How did you come to that conclusion? A: Joey Dornbos - Because punk rock is about taking everything that is shitty in life and celebrating it. A lot of our songs are about the difficult side of life, or stuff that isn’t necessarily cool to talk about, but it’s who we are and we own it. It's about acknowledging the bad stuff but not letting yourself wallow in it. It's like saying "yeah this sucks but there's still something I want in life, and I'm gonna go get it."
Q: How did growing up in Michigan influence your sound and musical direction? A: Joey Dornbos - I love Michigan but I don’t know if I can sense specific influences on the songs. Brent and I were raised around religion and with a limited philosophy on life.
A: Brent French - Everything was either secular or Christian.
Q. Tell me about the record deal that fell through when you and Brent were in a band before The Bangups called The Vigilantes. How did that experience affect you? What did you learn from it? And how did it help you in forming
A. Joey Dornbos - I had some realizations about life and there was a
worldview shift for me. I got this deep down sense that I knew nothing and that I needed to shut up for a while. I also decided to stop expecting things to last forever, to not fight the impermanence of life.
A. Brent French - Joey is a very specific, creative person and he will
butt heads with a lot of people that will take on a creative
leadership type of approach. It will cause conflicts. That’s the reason The Vigilantes crumbled. We wanted a bass player in the beginning when we formed The Bangups. We only had one musician in mind but he didn’t
want to dedicate all his time to the band. So we realized we were the only
two people who can understand and take our music on and make it work.
Q. What are the current and future plans for The Bangups? How are you gaining exposure for your music? A. Joey Dornbos - We recently signed a management contract with some extremely awesome people that know the industry very well. We are writing, writing and
writing. The Bangups want to get as many great songs out as possible. We want to get to the point where we get 10 or 12 songs that just knock
people’s heads off. We couldn’t be more excited about the band and the things we see happening for The Bangups in the future. I think we are going to be a Top 10 Billboard band, make history and become the next Ramones. Q. How did “Tongue Ear” and “Sunburnt Love” get used on the TV show Bates Motel? A. Joey Dornbos - A writer for Bates Motel likes our band, and just thought our tunes were a good fit for the show.
-Harriet Kaplan, West Coast Ent. Writer for Punch Records US