Saturday, The Friendly Beers headline THE GARAGE with their own blend of blues, rock, pop, jazz, and soul. Music is personal for performers, but The Friendly Beers seem to let down their guard more than other acts. It’s a big win for their audiences—like you’re sitting in their living room at the 1063 house on St. Paul’s East Side during band practice. It’s disarming and a huge reason to check them out.
2/11 Honey, Minneapolis
3/2 Wild Tymes, St. Paul
3/30 Jerseys Bar and Grill, Inver Grove Heights
4/6 Station 4, St. Paul
THE GARAGE: Name, instrument?
Alex Tulp; Guitar, Vocals
Tony Tulp; Guitar, Vocals
Rob Lombardi; Bass Guitar
Steve Bolin; Drums
THE GARAGE: What’s your sound and who are the artists that influence The Friendly Beers?
TFB: That’s a tough question; we’ve listened to lots of music over the years, and pull in inspiration from everyone. To hear our sound you just gotta listen to our music.
THE GARAGE: What should the audience expect from your performance this weekend at THE GARAGE? And is there a particular song you’re most excited to play? Why?
TFB: We want everyone to expect some great music! We love playing for people who has never heard our music before. We’ve been working on our new song ‘Mighty Mississippi’ for the past week, and this will be our first show playing it.
THE GARAGE: Here’s a big question: What makes a song good? What is your perfect song, or which one comes closest?
TFB: A perfect song to us is one that has broad appeal to everyone. If a song can make people get up outta their seats and dance, then it’s definitely good. If a new fan goes home after the show and listens to it again, and shows it to everyone they know, then it’s close to perfect.
THE GARAGE: What do your practices look like?
TFB: We get together a few times a week at Rob and Alex’s house. We’ve got a band room in the basement where we freeze our toes and try not to get hypothermia. We practice on our own. We pair up some nights, but its always best when all four of us can get together.
THE GARAGE: Excluding THE GARAGE, what’s your favorite venue to play? Why?
TFB: Wild Tymes in St. Paul is pretty much our home base. We’ve played there more than anywhere else, and the staff is really cool. Jerseys in IGH is awesome too because its in our hometown and everyone comes out to support us.
THE GARAGE: This is a different direction, but is there a piece of technology that’s indispensable to you (aside from the obvious, like mics, amps, etc.)?
TFB: The Internet, it makes it possible for us to get our music out to people. Facebook is pretty key for promoting our shows and merch. Without the Internet we would have to spend half our time just passing out CD’s…
THE GARAGE: Besides you, what local artist deserves more attention?
TFB: Garvin, he works super hard writing, recording, and promoting himself. Pretty great lyricist. Also, T.P. aka Tommy Platek, of 55th Hustlers…just a great dude, funny as hell.
THE GARAGE: What are you listening to right now?
TFB: Oddly enough, nothing haha. We just got done practicing, so it’s time for a beer and some peace and quiet!
THE GARAGE: Do you have any advice for a fan who wants to start a band?
TFB: There’s no reason not to start a band. The music has to be the most important aspect though. Write music that has truth to it. Don’t get caught up in creating an image, just focus on the music.