The Realistics have been compared to everyone from The Jam to Elvis Costello yet these lads from New York City hammer out energetic rock that’s as real as their own sweat. With a wild mix of New Wave sounding keyboards and fuzzy guitars The Realistics are prepared to burst anyone’s bubble expecting another copycat NYC garage band. Last year saw the their first album, ”Real People Are Overrated”, released on Tiswas Records and they are currently selling a "limited edition" EP through their site. So how did it begin, what’s next and what’s this about underage blowjobs...
How did The Realistics start?
Mike: Will & I were playing in a band called The Charade and started writing
songs together for these guys. They weren't very receptive to the idea and
the tunes kicked ass so Will figured "Let's Do This."
We all knew each other from previous bands and playing the local NYC circuit
since High School. Dave & Will actually toured Europe only a few miles
behind Dennis whom was touring with another band.
Anyway, we all got together at a rehearsal space and by the end of that
session we had written our first two songs. We played our first show three
Dave: Why do you always leave out the part about the kibbutz?
Mike: We'll get to that next time.
With all the hype about bands from NYC, how do you intend to stay ahead
of the game?
Dave: With a time machine.
Mike: By writing better tunes and continuing to keep the live shows on 11. The problem with a lot of these bands is there all about image, fashion, hype & GIMMICKS. A good number of them simply can't write songs. That's where we step in, I'm not saying we're the Beatles, but we write some great fucking tunes. They just keep coming. We don't rely on gimmicks either, that crap gets old after a while. People aren't dumb, they eventually see through all that shit. 2003 is going to be the year we really step up to the plate.
How is the new album coming along? How much will it differ from "Real People Are
Mike: The new tracks all rock! The full length (I wouldn't call "Real People" our full length cause we
never officially released it) is going to capture what the band really sounds like. We want few if any overdubs and just a really bare bones recording, nothing we can't reproduce live. That doesn't mean we want a shitty garage
recording, we just want it to sound real. We recorded "Real People" when we were very young as a band and it shows. Don't get me wrong, the songs are great but I think it's a little scattered
and we had too many options in the studio. I'd love to have us go back and remix it one of these days, strip away some of the gloss. I could see us re-recording tracks like "Monotony," "Turning Around," & "Prettiest Idiot."
Dave: yeah, we reference ourselves now instead of referencing our influences.
Heard a rumor that you guys were really unhappy the way "Real People Are
Overrated" turned out, if so, what would have done different to change
Mike: Heard a rumor did you?...........(laugh) I think the songs are great. ‘X-Effect’, ‘Apartment Two’, ’Comedy of Error’......great tracks. The only problem was the production. I don't think we work too well with producers and other people's vision of what we should sound like, etc. We know what we want and how we want to do it. If we could go back I'd make it a shorter disc and have the band remix it. Like I said I'm sure we'll re-record "Monotony," etc.
Dave: i think we all like it but we've developed a lot since the writing and recording of that record and hired a studio band.
Was there any personal meaning behind the title?
Dave: I don't think i've ever given a straight answer to this question. Ok, I'll give it a shot. see, we're The Realistics, which means we're not real but we're sorta close. we're life-like, not alive. get me? like mannequins, or models. all of us have always thought that we've missed the point of being "real" people. we never really fit in anywhere and never went for the 9 to 5 living with crap jobs and boring lives. we always strived or more different, exciting living and doing what we want. stuff that can be perceived as unreal or fantastic. you know what i mean? i'm just kidding. our friend paul made it up.
What drives The Realistics? Where to draw from for your lyrics?
Mike: It's sounds corny, but we all drive each other. There's some days when
we're all in great moods hanging out and we just write. Songs come out of thin air. We want to keep getting better and write better tunes, we just keep pushing ourselves to the next level. Traveling helps too, playing in
different environments has been a big drive. As for lyrics we draw from experiences and observations. We're all people watchers.
Dave:Our manager drives us. he rents the van's too. when he's not around i'll do it. i don't like it but i'm the most responsible.
Whats story about "Its Alright, its Ok", heard it was about an underage
blowjob or something to that effect?
Mike: Oh boy, what can I say I told you earlier how we write lyrics, things
Dave: Nothing. No story. We're good boys.
You seem to turn your live act up to 11. What is your favorite song to
play live and why?
Dave:i like ’Fantastic Plastic’ and Go Ahead’. I like them all. they're all fun. Even the good ones.
Mike: The live show is so unpredictable, we never know what direction it's going to take. I think the general consensus in The Realistics is that we feed off the crowd's energy. The more they want it the more we feel it and it just keeps building till things start falling over. My favorite live song changes almost on a nightly basis. Again it depends on the vibe we're getting from the audience. I usually like playing the new songs, always a treat.
Is there a good deal of stress involved in preparing for the shows...
getting everything ready to go?
Mike: No, not at all. We usually hang out a bit, have a few drinks & talk
about what we want to play. Then we go and do it. No secret formula.
Dave: yeah, think that's where the unpredictability comes from. We don't stress out like other bands. We don't spend time worrying; we spend money at the bar.
You've toured with many bands, and favorites and why them?
Mike: The Mooney Suzuki are all good friends and a ball to tour with. The
Strokes were fun and my new favorite band is the Blue Sparks.
My favorite act to play with was definitely a throw up between Joe Strummer
& Blondie. I'm leaning more towards Strummer, that guy was the real deal.
We'll all miss him.
Dave: We've been fortunate to play with lots of great bands. We love touring with other bands. It forces us to listen very closely to what we're doing and we get better and better.
What do you do to combat boredom on tour?
Mike: Consult the "New Age" Rabbi about days to come.
Did you have that moment yet, the one when you know your a rock star?
Mike: When I met Weird Al Yankovich & Kid from Kid 'n' Play
Dave: Rock comet. Slammin' into shit. Gettin' crazy.
Do you guys still have day jobs?, If so do they get in the way with
Mike: No day jobs. That all ended early 2002. This is it.
Dave: Nah. Now we answer to a man named rabbi cash flow.
That's not all we talked about, be on the look out for Part 2 to see what Mike and Dave like, hate and can't live without.