Chicago Band Questionare
In an effort to highlight some of the great bands and musicians that frottage the surface of Chicago’s varied, and often under-recognized, music scene, The Post Family is beginning to circulate something of a Post Family questionnaire. The questionnaire asks local bands to provide rudimentary details about the group’s origin and sound, while also providing a superficial character analysis of the band with the kind of questions you’ve come to expect from our music interviews—think child-molester-vs-Porta-Potty questions with a conspiracy theory twist, tongue-and-cheek randomness and Marcel Proust seriousness—all delivered with the utmost transparency and hyperbole.
The instructions are simple: Answer the questions as best a band can and pick the next local group to receive the questionnaire. There was some other stuff, but it’s not really important to mention here. For now, we’re keeping it to musicians, though that could change with the direction of the wind.
As with every other of our unpaid labors of love, it’ll be periodic; sometimes not appearing for months before several consecutive weekly posts. Some questions may be added, others discarded, but at its most basic we hope our questionnaire will provide readers and listeners an introductory and atypical look at Chicago’s music scene that cannot be found anywhere else. Think of it like a Post Family baseball card; only like a chain-letter complete with photos, video, a short bio and stats, but for hardly-paid Chicago musicians instead of over-paid goons. Also, look out for some dick jokes or other similar vulgarities that we'll slip in just to keep you honest and make sure you’re actually reading on the other side of this screen.
So, to kick the tires on this thing is Verma: a band whose nasty face-melting habit and eerie tape-loops are addictively sedate.
(Band Image Courtesy Matt DeWine of Pieholden Suite Sound)
Band name: Verma
Band members and the instruments each play:
TJ Tambellini – guitar, keys, vox efx
Rob Goerke – bass
Zach Corn – drums
Johnny Caluya – guitar, vox
Whitney Johnson – vox, keys, viola
Booking and Press Requests: TheBandVerma@gmail.com
Age: 1 year
Marital Status [Record label]: Plustapes and Priority Male
Place of birth [location of practice space]:
Ferdinand Street. Come by, we have Pacman.
Salted Earth - (Tape, Priority Male, 2010)
S/T -(Tape, Plustapes, 2010)
Dates [upcoming shows in Chicago]:
Art, Rock & Talk w/ Secret Colours & Verma
Saturday March 26, 7-11pm
Chicago Art Department
1837 S. Halsted
$7 suggested donation
Family History [origin]
What is the meaning of your band name:
The word exists in a number of languages - Italian, Latin, Hindi, old Norwegian. It means something different in each one, so it’s sort of culturally amorphous. It stuck with us because it was short and easy to say, also, there is something nice about the visual balance of the "V" and "A".
Why, and under what circumstances was your band conceived:
Emerged in the wake of the instrumental, soundscape, film-scoring project A Company and improvisational collective Remember the Maine.
What kinds of people listen to your music:
Travelers, Cosmic Juggernauts, Forklift Drivers, people who want to come down, people who want to go back up, anybody who has ever read World War Z or Dune, neighborhood kids... Really we have no idea. We just got a fan letter from Chile last week. He ended the letter with: "Very much good you vibrate for all you...we are in musical contact." - Best Internet translation ever.
How many records have you sold [guess or make something up]:
We only have tapes for sale and honestly, I would guess that none of us have any idea how many we have sold. It's more than a hundred; less than a million.
How many shows have you played [guess or make something up]:
We have always said that we don't want to be one of those bands that play so many shows it isn't fun anymore. We’ve been playing a couple times each month, so we’ve done an okay job of that.
Favorite venue to play in Chicago: Our practice space.
Best thing about being a Chicago band:
Chicago in the summer is like the Costco of inspiration. If you want to write an upbeat song just take a look around you. People move on the sidewalks with an upbeat feel. Everyone has grace-note skips in their step because they just endured a brutal winter and the summer wipes the slate clean. But winter plays its part too. When 4pm looks like midnight it isn't hard to write songs about the end of the world (which we do a lot). There’s so much going on here, if you aren't dynamic it's your own fault.
Worst thing about being a Chicago band:
With five people we have a lot of gear to cart around to shows. Moving gear—setting it up, breaking it down—is the only down side to being in a band.
Who is your number one fan:
That's a tough one. When we play, we're usually in the zone—focused on what we're playing—so it’s hard to see who is up front, rocking out, breaking bottles. Josh Howard from Chicago Tattoo Company has made a scene a few times and did a painting for us; so I would give the trophy to him.
How do you go about promoting your music: ESP.
Why should anyone listen to your music: To escape.
The Internet is… in my basement.
What happens in the meadow at dusk: What lies in the shadow of the statue?
Do you believe in UFOs: Yes. And we totally believe in the Florida Skunk Ape.
Favorite karaoke song: Neil Diamond’s Solitary Man and/or Queen’s Somebody to Love.
If your band was a dog, what kind of breed would it be:
If you could banish one band to hell and never have them play a song again, what band would it be: Steely Dan.
Lyrics or no lyrics: No lyrics.
Everything or nothing at all: Yes.
Art or entertainment: Art.
Bass or guitar: Bass.
Insane Clown Posse or Limp Bizkit: Wootwoot!
Hula-hoop or hacky-sack: Devil Sticks [Zach (see below)].
Constants or vowels: Vowels.
Blues or jazz: Jazz.
Which Chicago band is going to answer this questionnaire next: