Sitting at the table with long, thick, blonde hair and a hint of Brad Pitt’s facial features sits Brian. He is a 17 year old high school junior, a guitarist in a local band, and he is my interview. He will begin nearly all his sentences with “uhh…” but then proceeds to long, interesting answers.
I started by asking him about when he became interested in music, and who his influences were. “I’ve always listened to music,” he said, “my first album ever was Nirvana’s Nevermind; it was a cassette tape. I also listened to a lot of Michael Jackson—don’t laugh, I mean like Thriller and stuff.”
What inspired you to play an instrument?
“The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ CD Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic was the first time I realized I wanted to play an instrument.”
What instruments do you play?
“I’ve played guitar for the last four years, saxophone for the last two—though only in the school band,” he said. “The keyboard, bass and drums I can ‘musically understand,’ though I don’t usually play them.”
So tell me about the band. What’s the significance of the band’s name, No Name Charlies?
“Uhh… well we had, like, 100 names that we had gone through and we didn’t really like. Then Greg, our former trombone player, said that whenever his teacher in elementary school would get an essay without a name on it, she’d call it a ‘no name Charlie.’ We all kind of liked it; it’s definitely grown on us since then.”
He told me the band came together in November 2001, and their first show was in spring 2002. There has been a lot of movement in terms of the band members: some have come and gone, some have come, gone and come back again, some switch instruments, and others have stepped in. The configuration, as i...
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...ur first one,” he says, referring to their 2003 demo Shut Up and Listen! They met Pat Kays, bassist for the band Catch 22, when they opened for his band last year. Kays told the boys he liked their sound, and was interested in engineering and, to an extent, producing. “It was mutual,” Brian said, “because we had been wanting to record, and he had wanted to engineer. It all kind of fell into place.”
Youthful endurance, continuing optimism and a small—but steadily growing—fan base have all contributed to the No Name Charlies’ local success. When asked whether the band would take the chance to become famous—if the chance was given—Brian said they would take it without question. However, he thinks balance is important, and would not sacrifice a college education for it. When asked if he thinks the band will make it big, Brian replied, “I’d like to think so.”
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