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Want some Cheerleader? Ready – OK!

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This week, in the music section, we got to tell you about Cheerleader, this great new band that calls Philly home. They dwell a little on the shoegaze and stoner-y surf  tip of indie rock, finding good company with bands like Real Estate, Broken Social Scene or Beach House—or a more light-hearted spin on locals like Kurt Vile & his Violators or Swearin’. After their live Philadelphia stage debut last week at Kung Fu Necktie, we got a chance to sit down and pepper Chris Duran and Joe Haller with questions. They go way back and have been making bedroom recordings since before they could legally drink. You can read the full story here, but here’s a little breakdown of their call and response sound-offs.

On being a brand new band and having to start gigging somewhere, even if the sound’s not so hot:
JH: “We’re a new young band, and we can’t make demands. We were offered this gig, and we couldn’t deny it. We like Kung Fu, and we like the vibe here, and they’re willing to give us a shot.”
CD: “I was pretty pissed off at the feedback on that first song. But it’s fun too, because it has that house-show feel. It’s easier to get into it in terms of the connection to the audience.”

On who they like, who they listen to and who they consider their influences via a list of the bands mentioned in discussion:
The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile (“‘Red Eyes’ is so fucking good,” says CD.)
Swearin’
Waxahatchee
The late great J. Dilla (Donuts mentioned specifically)
Wu-Tang Clan (36 Chambers mentioned specifically)
HAIM
Deafheaven
The Pixies
Beach boys
Radiohead
Joey Santiago
Foxygen (”is the shit”)
The Preatures
MGMT
Phoenix

On being a fivesome (their three support guys are Paul Impellizeri on bass and backing vox, Josh Pannepacker on keys and guitar and some backing vox, and Carl Bahner on drums):
CD: “We love our lineup. They’re great dudes—we’ve been waiting and waiting for this mix. I love six. We wanted one more, but we sat down and watched Phoenix, Grouplove, MGMT, Passion Pit to see how they did it, and no one had more than five. Five is a good max. We can’t really justify more than five.”

On being cool—and the inevitable potential that they’ll make it to the holy grail, Pitchfork:
CD: “There was a point in time where all we wanted was to be a part of Pitchfork. Pitchfork, in our eyes, was the end-all and be-all. But at this point, we just want to make music all the time. Staying hip and staying cool can just be exhausting. We’re not cool dudes.”
JH: “We watch Battlestar Galactica. We’re not trying to be super-hip.”

On what they hope to accomplish in Austin when they make it to their first SXSW next month:
CD: “We’ve never been to Austin before. It’s just gonna be ‘Keep our heads above the sand, blow people away as much as we can, spread the word, and play some good sets.’”

On their agenda for the next few months:
CD: “We’re hoping to work pretty hard on the social media stuff, get our names out there, make an Internet presence and write songs that we’re really proud of.”
JH: “We try to be a little more light-hearted. We don’t want to take ourselves too seriously. We’re trying to create a friendly, happy atmosphere and get more people interested.”

Their next show’s at Kung Fu on March 3rd at 8pm. It’s $5 at the door.


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Actual Musician  says:

Why are you writing a third article about a band that has played one show for 50 people? and has no record? This is whats wrong with music journalism, ALL HYPE. Is this some sort of industry made boy band, because their lack of doing anything but getting press and doing SXSW sure sounds like one. Why dont you disclose who in the band is buddies with someone from the PW?

Feb 8 11:24 AM

Bill Chenevert  says:

Wow, ACTUAL MUSICIAN, tell us how you really feel. I got a demo from their manager, liked it, saw some good buzz, checked em’ out, and thought they were great. That’s about it. Send in your stuff?

Feb 13 3:37 PM

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cheerleader at Kung Fu Necktie, Schoolboy Q at The Trocadero, Robyn Hitchcock at Sellersville Theater and more | The Key  says:

[...] page, they’ve got something fresh to add to the local music scene. In a recent interview with Philadelphia Weekly, frontman Joe Haller says of the band’s mantra: “We try to be a little more light-hearted. [...]

Mar 3 9:51 AM

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