I had the pleasure of doing some Q + A with the wonderful and funny Paul and Storm. I first heard of these guys when i went to PAX East earlier this year. They have great sense of humor and they are the nicest guys to boot. You can check out what they’re all about at their website here. Much like their twitter account Paul’s responses are with a P and Storm’s responses are with an S. Here is our interview. Enjoy!
Me: What musician, band or comedian was your biggest influence?
S: If I had to pick one, it would be “Weird Al” Yankovic, who really is the one-man Beatles of modern comedy music. But I’ve been influenced by (or we, depending on if we’re aggregating our answers) many acts, including the actual Beatles, Monty Phython, Tom Lehrer, MST3K, TMBG, and pretty much anything that has harmony and/or is oddball clever.
P: From a performing standpoint, groups like Barenaked Ladies, The Bobs (an a cappella group from San Francisco), and Moxy Fruvous (a canadian pop/rock quartet) were all very influential to our particular improvisatory performing style.
Me: How did the both of you meet?
S: We answered an ad to become part of a doo wop a cappella group that lasted all of one summer. After that we formed a new group with two of the other guys, called Da Vinci’s Notebook, which we were part of until it broke up after about ten years. Because we didn’t want to get day jobs, we decided to form the duo, pick up instruments, and write brand-new material. So far so good.
Me: What interests do you have outside of music?
S: Tons of interests. We both enjoy pop culture, particularly movies and television. Science fiction, history, video gaming, eating good food, gardening, our families, and general do-gooding also leap to mind.
P: What he said. I particularly am a pop culture junkie (current music excepted; see question #6), and Nexflix streaming is my crack.
Me: Was music your first career choice? If not what was?
S: In hindsight music has always been our career, but when we first started Da Vinci’s Notebook Paul was doing help desk and graphic design for a law firm, and Storm was a financial analyst with MCI.
P: While I always enjoyed performing, I’d never *seriously* considered making a living at it. Our old band started out as a hobby group, and over the years, slowly grew more popular until it eventually become a second job, and then our only job.
Me: How did you get involved with PAX as well as Jerry and Mike?
S: Jonathan Coulton was the connection.
P: We’ve been appearing regularly as an opening act for Jonathan for the past four years or so. He, of course, became quite popular in the past few years, and played PAX several times.
S: We started not-very-subtly lobbying Jerry and Mike when they came to a JoCo/P&S show in Seattle three years ago. Then they decided they’d take a chance on us for ’08, and it was pure Win.
Me: What kind of music do you listen to?
S: I really don’t listen to a ton of music anymore. When I do it’s like comfort food--classic rock, 70’s and 80’s pop, TMBG, and a smattering of newer stuff. Every once in a while a new band will sneak in, like Tally Hall, but it’s a bit embarrassing how little I know about current popular music.
P: I am, ashamedly, much the same. I’ve become that old guy who doesn’t know most of the popular acts these days, the one I used to swear I would never become. I try to keep in touch with the particularly popular stuff, but am hopelessly ignorant of much.
Me: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
S: Toy Story. I wasn’t even close to being a kid when it came out, but it never fails to cheer me up when I’m bummin’.
P: It changes often for me; but it usually bounces between Singin’ in the Rain and Seven Samurai, depending on how cheerful I feel that day.
We also had a few reader questions!
Mary asks: What comes first when writing new material; the joke or the music?
S: Usually the joke, but not always. Sometimes we’ll start with the idea of doing a certain musical style, and then think of what would be funny to do in that style. But by and large songs grow out of a single funny inspiration.
George asks: Can God microwave a breakfast burrito so hot he himself cannot eat it?
P: Depends on the god. Kali? No. Anansi? Maybe. Zeus: RELEASE THE KRAKEN!
Here is the video for one of their songs “Nun Fight”