May 7, 2009
Cover band gets original
Soundtrack to Monday focuses on fun with new EP
By Katie Beth Ryan firstname.lastname@example.org
Even the most notorious of cover bands have bristled at the thought of being labeled as such. Luckily for their fans, members of Manchester’s Soundtrack to Monday aren’t so sensitive.
“As long as I’m in a band and I’m playing music,” said lead singer Peter Higgins, “you can call it whatever you want, because I’m still going to have a good time.”
The-nine month-old group is taking a break this week from its ever-evolving cover list (“I won’t lie, it’s very shocking to look on a set list … and see ‘Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy,’” said guitarist Byron Marks) to record a yet-to-be-named EP consisting of four original songs. The band has spent the better part of the last year performing in clubs along the Interstate 93 corridor, including both ’80s ditties like “Always Something There to Remind Me” by Naked Eye and virtually the entire Van Halen songbook into their repertoire. Bassist Bobby Whitworth explains that the original EP will show Soundtrack to Monday’s already loyal followers, and those who know them as a local cover band, what they’re capable of creating.
“We write because it’s what we feel and what we love to do,” he said. “We love to play. We’d be perfectly happy playing 100 percent cover songs, but we’re even happier creating, mixing it in here and there, and getting people to love what we do and dance to our stuff. It’s definitely a really good feeling, but neither the covers or the originals is going to define us. They’re both extensions of who we are.”
“Bobby just went Obama on us,” declares Marks of his eloquent bandmate.
Soundtrack to Monday has existed in its current form since late last summer, though band members will tell you that it was an almost inevitable arrangement after years in the Manchester music scene. Higgins, Marks and drummer Dan George knew one another peripherally in their high school days, and Whitworth moved to Manchester after graduating from Oklahoma State. Soundtrack to Monday’s drummer, bassist and guitarist had already been performing for a few months when Josh Logan re-introduced the trio to Higgins last August at the now-defunct club Flambeaux. Nine months later, the bandmates have forged a sound and a tight bond, often finishing one another’s sentences.
“Bobby, Danny and I have played in a lot of bands together. The bands always sounded good, but there was always something a little bit off,” Marks said. “This has been the first band where just everything clicked from the first note we played when we rehearsed with Pete for the first time.”
“I didn’t even pay him for that,” Higgins insists.
The band has enjoyed a steady stream of shows at Martha’s Exchange in Nashua, City Sports Grille in Manchester and Forty’s Sports Bar in Leominster, Mass. Though they’re amping up their marketing efforts to generate interest outside the immediate area, Higgins says that Manchester is the group’s home base, and he gets upset when he hears other musicians belittle the southern New Hampshire club scene.
“I think a lot of bands get down on the area when it’s their own damn fault if they’re not having a good time,” he said. “The guys who are standing in the corner complaining about things should put a smile on their face and be happy that in this economy, people are still coming out to see bands. I think it’s the band’s responsibility as to what the scene is going to be like.”
In the next couple of weeks, Soundtrack to Monday will emerge from what Higgins deems its “bat cave” to play more shows, write more songs and promote the EP. Fame and fortune isn’t at the front of their minds, he says, but having fun is.
“I don’t think any one of us in particular are looking to be world-renowned rock stars. What we’re looking for is to grow up and be a band and have fun and enjoy what we do, and anything on top of that is just icing.”
Soundtrack to Monday
Keep up with the band at www.myspace.com/soundtracktomonday. Upcoming shows include:
• Friday, May 29, at the City Sports Grille at Stadium Ten Pin in Manchester
• Friday, June 5, at Martha’s Exchange in Nashu