Michael Ian Cummings, Noah Rubin, and Joshua Hubbard joined forces to start the band in the fall of 2011. After their EP, Schemers, received an impressive 10,000 downloads, the trio signed to Warner Bros. and has since released a 7-inch featuring tracks “I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How)” and “Armed.”
Their first full-length album was recorded this past winter at the legendary Electric Lady Studios and is due out in October. With festivals such as Lollapalooza on the docket, a healthy European audience, a self-published zine to highlight their friends’ artwork, and undeniably rad merch that seems to be popping up all over town, the band’s audience seems to be growing by the minute.
B + B met up with Cummings and Hubbard as they prepared for their show at Bowery, to discuss the pros and cons of the internet, getting beat up on tour, and dining with Warner Bros.
You guys just returned from a massive tour, any moments that stand out from it?
JH: I didn’t fight back either.
MIC: There was nothing to fight. Before you knew it you were on the ground getting punched and kicked.
MIC: It was down the street from the venue we played and there was a back patio. The intention was for us both to hop over the fence, but Josh went first. He hopped over into the patio and then “Pow!”
JH: Right in the kisser.
JH: Fresh Prince style.
MIC: He got thrown onto the sidewalk. And I was right there grabbing him like, “What’s going on?” and then I look at my arm and it was covered in blood.
JH: I didn’t drink whiskey after that night, apart from last night when we listened to the record.
MIC: We mastered [the record] and wanted to make sure it sounded awesome on good speakers, so we went to Electric Lady.
MIC: It was amazing. It was super laid-back because we had a full month, which I’ve never had before. Initially we didn’t want to record in a big name studio, but they gave us a great deal and the room was the coolest small room we could find.
MIC: Sunlight. And it had roof access in the wintertime — we were throwing snowballs at people. It was cool.
MIC: Yeah. The A&R guy literally came upstate to swoon us. There was another major involved, so he got nervous and came up and took us out to dinner.
JH: A bunch of coke. I mean, let’s not sugarcoat it.
MIC: We definitely did a lot of drugs and sang karaoke. We had a good dinner. I think we had the largest, most expensive, dinner that Warner Bros. has ever spent on a band. We went to Nobu and racked up a $2,000 bill. It was mental. The only thing we weren’t allowed to order was the kobe beef sashimi, which was like $40 an ounce.
JH: So we ordered six of everything else.
MIC: [Laughs] Literally, just sitting at the table like, ‘How much is this bottle of sake? Great. We’ll take six bottles.’
JH: The Internet. You can listen to music easily and lots of it.
JH: When we first started, it managed to get our music out to 10,000 people in a matter of months and that got us a record deal, so I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
JH: About the Internet? [Laughs] Having to pay for porn.
MIC: Least favorite thing about the Internet is that Josh doesn’t know how to get free porn — the only man in the world who doesn’t know how to get porn for free.
MIC: You know when you’re in a group of friends and you start saying shit over and over and you don’t even know how it came about. It just takes on a life of its own.
MIC: No, those are by a brand called Only.
MIC: Yeah, we ripped them off.
MIC: The connection is that we ripped them off and then became friends with them.
JH: They really like the “No Problem’” hat.
JH: We have 200 in the U.K. and 200 here.
MIC: He means 200,000. Right, Josh?
JH: Yeah, we’re going to give away 200,000 hats at the next show.
MIC: Yeah, if we sell out Bowery Ballroom, we’re going to give away a fuck-load of hats — just throw them at the crowd, so people should come.
MIC: Then you get bags of shit thrown at you [laughs].