What are your favorite songs to play in Dudley Manlove Quartet and why?
Stefan Mitchell (vocals): I don't really have a favorite song, but what I love is the variety. It is fun to watch people respond to us playing Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow and the Ah-Ha. And that is all about playing with a group of fantastic musicians.
Jeff Mosier (drums): More Than This by Roxy Music and Don't Change by INXS are a couple of my favorites right now. We've been doing Suspicious Minds by Elvis for many years, but I never get tired of playing it because it has such a great energy and it's a lot of fun to sing. We did a bunch of Elton John songs for our Halloween show, so we'll probably play a couple of those on New Year's Eve. That's the stuff I grew up playing, so it's a treat to do songs like Philadelphia Freedom and Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting.
Steve Okimoto (bass): Copacabana is the one song that has lasted from the beginning that we still play to this day! It is great to see that some are still surprised and shocked that we do it. Try as they might they can't resist and hit the dance floor every time! I also really like Video Killed the Radio Star; brings back fond memories of watching MTV for hours and hours when they actually played music videos. Also, I love that the arrangement and the tempo is great for parading around onstage! :)
John Hendow (guitar and vocals): More Than This by Roxy Music. I love the texture of this song with the classic 80's guitar and keyboard tones and it really shows off Stefan's voice. Don't Change by INXS. New wave synth rock is a blast to play and this one is always a crowd pleaser. Piano Man by Billy Joel. I had to learn to play harmonica when we added this to the set list. DMQ throws some musical curve balls and I love it that we take on challenges with humor and musicality. I Wish by Stevie Wonder. This song has a wicked funky bass line and Steve Okimoto delivers it in a big way.
Chris Joss (keyboards) **: Anything that features me on the keyboards. I try to stay humble but it's not easy when you combine the virtuosity of a Rick Wakeman with the fashion sense and showmanship of a Liberace. I've taken to wearing a glittery cape onstage and have recently purchased a large and very attractive candelabra, which I have to duct-tape to my synthesizer to keep it from falling off.
What contemporary song or songs are you into right now?
SM: I generally don't listen to what is popular on the radio. My tastes are a little more in the area of IDM or Glitch music. Some of my favorite artists currently are Alva Noto and Lackluster.
JM: Although they're both a couple of years old, I guess Kissing Strangers by Cherry Ghost and Everybody Needs Love by Findlay Brown would qualify. I'm a sucker for sad songs with a great melody and melodramatic strings.
SO: Oooooh well I get most of mine from going to the gym. Have to say that Move like Jagger was stuck in my head for weeks on end! Love those catchy numbers!
JH: I am a big fan of Tony Levin. His recent album with the band Stick Men is terrific. The Aquabats album Charge!! is brilliant, silly fun. Tom Waits Bad as Me is great. Tom Waits paints a dark playful picture with his music. Ok, I'll let you in on a well-kept secret: I love rock music. The latest Rush album Clockwork Angels is a winner. The return of Soundgarden is a thrill. And, for the record, my mom was wrong all those years ago when she told me I'd grow out of my teenage love of KISS and Led Zeppelin.
CJ: I'm a big fan of Austin Moon from the Disney Channel hit series Austin and Ally. His energy is infectious, and I think his hair is really cute. My friends tell me it's kind of unusual for a single 40-something male to watch a show like his that's geared more towards, let's say, a younger, more female demographic, but they just don't understand. No one understands Austin the way I do, not even Ally.
If you could add one song to the DMQ repertoire, what would it be, and why?
SM: Freebird... because I get so tired of hearing people ask for it. In all honesty, the great thing about this band is that few things are off limits. We generally make an effort to let everyone have input into what we learn. I am leaning more and more towards songs like After The Lovin, because you just get that extra slice of cheese with your entree.
JM: It's hard to choose one, so I'd have to say either Breakfast in America or The Logical Song by Supertramp- flip a coin. I can't believe that in almost 18 years we've never done a Supertramp song.
SO: Hey Ya by Outkast. Fun, funny, funky, danceable and catchy as hell! I've also been known on occasion to shake it like a Polaroid picture!
JH: Tear the Roof off the Sucker by Parliment. Just listen to that groove! Steve and Jeff would put the hammer down on that percolating funk. Plus, I favor any excuse to wear platform shoes.
CJ: Anything by Austin Moon would be dreamy. Musically speaking, that is. Gosh, I'm sounding like a broken record aren't I? Let's move on.
Dudley Manlove Quartet is all about guilty pleasures, but are there any songs that you love that are too far over the line for you?
SM: Freebird, Brick House, Stairway to Heaven.... we really must have some standards even if they are quite low.
JM: Both the songs I just mentioned (Breakfast in America or The Logical Song by Supertramp) probably straddle that line, but part of the joy of being in this band is allowing yourself, and the audience, the freedom to surrender your cool to the allure of cheesy pop songs.
SO: Give it to me Baby by Rick James. Awesome hom sections, slamming bass line, funky as hell! Rick James talking dirty could be seen as over the line, but I'm ready to dance right over it baby!
JH: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. It's a silly joyful song, which is very much in the DMQ spirit. Unfortunately, I don't think we could pull it off without some professional wardrobe consultation.
CJ: I keep telling the other guys in the band that nothing is too far over the line; that certain artists have a much wider appeal than one might think, just because they're on the Disney Channel. But do they listen? No. No, they don't.
Join us and quintessential party band, the Dudley Manlove Quartet, in bringing in 2013!
7:00PM (all ages) $100 Dinner Package - includes cover charge, a sparkling wine toast, and $49 in food and beverage credit, tax and gratuity.
10:30 PM (21+) $70 Dessert Package - include cover charge, a sparkling wine toast, and $27 in food and beverage credit, tax and gratuity.
** Note from Jeff Mosier- Keyboardist, Chris Joss, was too slammed with other obligations to answer these interview questions, so I generously offered to supply his answers for him.