The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Noteworthy: a weekly music column

By Peter Walters

Last week I had the pleasure of sitting down with the members of the notorious Macalester party band that some of you may have already seen this year. You might even know some of the members too. The group is comprised of Evans Brown ’10 (guitar), Andrew “Pan” Rich ’12 (bass), Alex Liebman ’11 (sax), Adam Rule ’09 (drums), Phil Lee ’08 (lead vocals) and Max Kulicke ’11 (guitar). Since this interview was conducted, Jacque Kutvirt ’11 (vocals) has decided to leave the band because of other commitments, and we will unfortunately miss her added presence at Springfest. We talked for about fifteen minutes, had a few laughs and afterwards they showed me one of their new originals and a funky cover they have been working on.

How long have you guys been playing together?

Max Kulicke: I’d say… right around the start of Halloween, the start of November, does that sound right?
Phil Lee: The start of Halloween? [laughs]
Evans Brown: Yeah.

Phil: Towards the end of last semester anyways.


Evans: Um, I mean, in terms of influences some of my favorite bands are Radiohead and the Beatles… [laughs] …The Beta Band.

Max: Yeah, it’s a lot of blues stuff.

Jacque Kutvirt: The Black Keys.

Max: Yeah, the heavier blues-rock stuff, the Black Keys-earlier stuff too like Howlin’ Wolf. So a lot of that, but also the early 60s guitarists like pre-Cream Clapton, [laughs] like Bluesbreakers Eric Clapton and Hendrix and all that stuff.

Phil: Al Green…that’s all I need to say.

Max: Oh, Steve Cropper, just going to throw that one out too.

Adam: Hip-hop too.

Andrew “Pan” Rich: Notorious B.I.G.

Alex Liebman: Outkast, [laughs] you know.

I’ve seen you play in a couple basements around here, what do you like best about these shows?

Max: Well, for me, it’s kind of half-scary half-fun. I mean, not our last party but the party before it was really packed, and I was just getting a little bit nervous that if somebody fell over they would just get trampled-but at the same time that’s really cool.

Phil: That’s the best part. [Laughs.]
You’re pretty much guaranteed a crowd.

Phil: Yeah, you never have an empty location, it’s always packed which is…best. [Laughs.]
Max: [We] like watching people.

Phil: . drunkenly stumble.

Max: [To] have fun at what you’re doing, that’s really cool. Watching people make out to what you’re doing is also pretty cool.
Adam: We can play for a really long time and don’t have to worry about anyone else’s equipment.

Phil: And we can drink and smoke!
Adam: Yeah.

Phil: We attribute that one to me.

So have you guys had any run-ins with the law?

Max: Peaceful run-ins.

Evans: Yeah, our first show.

Pan: Thank God for the St. Paul Police.

Jacque: Both of the first shows.

Evans: Wait, are you sure?
Phil: They were just surprised that so many people had come to see us.
Max: Yeah they were pretty cool, they just came down to the basement to make sure everyone was gone and they were just chilling with us while we packed up our gear.

Jacque: Yeah, they were definitely here both times.

Every time then?

Phil: Every time we’ve ever played, except for once I think.

Max: That’s two out of three.

Phil: Well then my statement remains true.

What are you doing to get ready for Springfest?

Max: We’re practicing, writing some songs.

Adam: Evans has some originals.

Evans: Yeah.

Alex: We’re working on our partying game for Blackalicious backstage.

Adam: He’s going to come freestyle during our set.
Max: And we finally figured out a name; Springfest was really the impetus for that one.

What’s the name?

Max: The Muskies.

Pete: The Muskies? How are you spelling that?
Max: M-u-s-k-i-e-s

No Zs or anything?

Jacque: M-u-s-k-e-y-z-z-z
Phil: The Muskeyzzzzzzzzz.

So what were some of other ideas or suggestions you guys came across?

Max: 24 Hour Panda Cam.

Phil: Puh!
Evans: There was a battle between Phil and I for 24 Hour Panda Cam, or 24 Hour Panda Camp.


Yeah, you could have a 24 hour cam of something.

Max: That’s a real thing, it’s called Pandawatch, that was my suggestion.

Phil: I still think we made a mistake.

Max: We had the Barnacle Surveillance Project, I liked just Barnacle. Alex was a fan of Wark Rhyme.

What was the inspiration for that?

Alex: I think it’s a great name for a party band; it’s kind of edgy, slightly offensive.

Phil: Except we don’t do any rhyming.

Pan: Yes you do. “Seed 2.0”?

What’s the last song you listened to?

Alex: “Into the Coven” by Mercyful Fate.

Max: “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” [by] The Beatles.

Phil: Something by Ratatat.

Adam: Mountain Goats, on my way home.

Evans: My Morning Jacket, but I can’t remember which song.

Jacque: I was listening to Blind Pilot.

Pan: “Do It Now” by Busta Rhymes and Mos Def.


Do you have any words of advice for new or upcoming bands at Macalester?

Evans: Make friends with people with basements.

Phil: Don’t give a fuck-except for making music.

Max: I like the way we started with covers and now that we’re starting to do our own thing we have our sound kind of figured out, which is nice.

Is there a particular color of crayon that has always stood out to you more than the others?

Phil: Cerulean Blue.

Adam: Burnt Sienna.

Max: I’m more of a Royal Blue guy.

Jacque: Robin’s Egg Blue.

Pan: Red.

Alex: Spruce Green.

Evans: Forest Green.

The Muskies will be opening Springfest at 3p.m. tomorrow. You should also check them out tonight at 11p.m. at the Relay for Life benefit concert in the Leonard Center field house. The event will be geared towards celebrating the lives of cancer survivors and those lost to cancer, as well as raising money for cutting edge cancer research.

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