Here is an interview I did with the band Nerds with Guitars for Almost Nerdy. Enjoy!
In the Venn diagram of comedy and music, you will find the band Nerds with Guitars somewhere in the intersection. Alex James and Sean May have been preforming together in the Toronto area as Nerds with Guitars for approximately five years, though they each have at least a decade’s worth of prior experience writing and playing music. They often collaborate with Nerd Mafia to play for audiences of local nerds.
As Alex divulges, “there’s no place I’d rather be than on stage behind a mic, in front of people.”
What Makes Them Nerdy?
Between the two of them, Sean and Alex have just about every area of traditional nerdery covered. Alex dabbles. “I game a bit (PC, not really a console guy), I read some comics, I watch a lot of movies, but I’m mostly a literature nerd.” Sean then fills in the blanks with his own interests. “I read, I drool over comics and movies now and then, but most of my geekery comes from tearing them apart and learning what makes each one tick.”
But nothing speaks more to their nerd cred than their music. Here are two examples:
One for the Whovians, Star Wars and Trek fans, and anyone who has felt like the bad guys don’t get their whole story told, the song Sympathy for the Daleks live at last year’s Fan Expo
With references to Zelda, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and more, here is Nerds with Guitars‘ song, Hero
Where Should I Start?
Go download their album For the Record on Bandcamp. The proceeds from For the Record are, in fact, for the record– an album that is currently in the works.
Sean explains, “as much as For the Record embodies a set of songs which are being sold to raise money for the real album, and as much as they’re trying to showcase what we would like to do with the album, the concept of a demo-tape itself is also about getting the music out there, and into the hands of as many people as possible.”
You can expect the full-length album to have both new tracks and fan favorites. “We’ve got some ideas that we haven’t really been able to do in a live setting,” Sean elaborates, “a Beastie Boys-esque rap song, and a few other oddities we’ve been wanting to try for years.”
The studio album will allow classic Nerds with Guitars songs to be recorded as they were intended to be. Sean gives this example: “Hero is intended to be an MTV-Unplugged version of a ‘90s grunge/alt-rock tune about ‘80s video game characters. It’s going to be a trip to go back and do a full-scale arrangement, with the ‘90s production values.”
Where Can I Get Their Music?
Get Nerds with Guitars‘ album, For the Record, on Bandcamp and iTunes.
A note from Sean: “Bandcamp offers a pay-what-you-can model that we support 100%. If you’d like to check us out for free, or for whatever you’re willing to pay, check us out there. We’ve found, thus far, that for every person who has run off with a free copy, there’s another person who’s paid at least 50% more than the suggested price. It’s a really cool position to be in: to give people the freedom to experience for free, but also give them the same freedom to pay based on their appreciation, or their respect for us or our ideas, or the ideal… Whatever it may be, we’re very grateful.
“We also have a pretty liberal Creative Commons license on our music. Please don’t sell it or put it in for-profit stuff without getting a hold of us. But DO share it. A lot. Word of mouth has been our most important distribution-platform to date.”
On May 19th, Nerds with Guitars will be having their EP release performance at Rancho Relaxo in Toronto, Canada. After that, they will be playing at the opening of ArtToronto, a local conglomerate of visual artists, in June, followed by a series of conventions throughout the summer.
Stay up to date on the band’s tour dates by following them on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Nerd Mafia.
[Photo credit: friend of the band, Nicole R.]