How Webcuts first encountered Knoxville, Tennessee’s COOLRUNNINGS could be best described as a lucky accident. And it’s no surprise that the best way to get someone’s attention is to slap a photo of some naked chicks skateboarding on the cover of your EP and let them sell it for you. The appropriately titled (and NSFW) Babes Forever was clearly the product of talented and warped minds. The creepy, schizoid mayhem of “Trippin’ Balls at Der Wienerschnitzel” and the inspired, almost unabashed, synth-pop of “When I Got High With You” sounded like they were made by some slacker Bill & Teds who’d already embarked on their own excellent adventure.
COOLRUNNINGS leave you shaking your head. Are they a band? Is this a shared madness or that of a bedroom Brian Wilson? Where are they from? Where are they going? Why are they giving away their shit for free?. With two EPs available to download at your leisure on their bandcamp page, the afore-mentioned Babes Forever and the equally impressive Buffalo , they’ve also recorded their own insane cover of Talking Heads “Road To Nowhere” that lays a fresh coat of asphalt over the original. With the John Hughes-’80s-teen-romance appeal of their non-EP track “I Am You” still in heavy rotation on the Webcuts stereo, we were left with no choice but to find out the who’s, where’s and why’s of COOLRUNNINGS. Brandon Biondo is the man with the answers.
01. Who are you?
COOLRUNNINGS, we are from Knoxville TN. Brandon Biondo, Forrest Ferguson, Dan Quirand, David Thomasson, and Elliott White. We started in December of 2009.
02. What do you sound like?
This is a tough question because we’re all over the place but I guess some of our biggest influences could be Glam/High Life/New Wave/ and ’70s punk rock.
03. What do friends say you sound like?
I dunno, I usually just assume that they are telling me what I want to hear…
04. Full-time musicians or wage slaves?
A couple of us work normal jobs, but I mean wouldn’t we all like to get paid for what we really like to do?
05. Current band highlight?
Dan Quirand and his intense dancing.
06. Favourite decade for music?
I don’t know how to answer this question, I will simply say that we like music that is timeless.
07. Should music be free?
Free music is great and there is no way to control it, so why shouldn’t it be? But if you like supporting a band then buy something.
08. Which 3 musicians would you invite round for dinner?
I’m going to guess for the other guys and say Forrest would answer Scott Walker, I (Brandon) would say Syd Barrett, and as a whole (Maybe 3 or 4 of us would say) Brian Wilson.
09. Preferred tour reading?
The only person I noticed reading a book on this tour was Forrest and I think it was Eugene Onegin.
10. Best mood for songwriting?
Whenever I want to rip off some trick I hear in a song.
11. Last record you bought?
It’s been a while but me personally was Beach House’s Teen Dream, but I didn’t really click with it the same way I did with Devotion. Last thing I remember Forrest bringing around was Crazy Rhythms by the Feelies.
12. Five favourite albums?
I’m not even going to guess with the other guys on this we’re all so different but I can give you mine…
1. Neutral Milk Hotel – In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (I know, but come on)
2. Crass – Christ The Album
3. David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust
4. Devo – Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
5. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion
13. Your biggest rock and roll fantasy?
I’ve already done it.
14. Goals for the next 12 months?
Tour tour tour tour, record record record record. I guess all of my real goals are for 2011, get shit done, collaborate, remix, take this band anywhere they will let us play.
15. First time listeners, where should they start?
Buffalo EP definitely, Babes Forever is more of a collection of demos.