Sometimes you find great music, and other times great music just finds you… through the world of social media, you may run into a fascination or two, which you probably would have never encountered if it wasn’t for this new world of cyber interactions. This happened to me recently, again, and this time I somehow bumped right into Firehead Jerry, while just schmoozing around on Twitter. Ben and Dan Lieberman, yes they are brothers, continue to produce, write, and perform their own original music under the band name Firehead Jerry.
It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Firehead Jerry… now join me, as we step into their lives and chat with Ben and Dan………
FTH(Felix The Hat): So who are you guys, where ya from, and how did you come to play music?
Ben: Well, I’m Ben, the older one. Both born and raised in New Jersey. Dan and I were writing songs together ever since we realized most items in the house could be used as a percussion instrument. Our older brother played music constantly as well, so there wasn’t a lack of inspiration…..or equipment to play with either.
Dan: I’m Dan, been getting noogies and wet-willies from my older brother, Ben, my whole life. We’re a brothers-duo from the suburbs of Atlantic City, armpit of America.
Nothing happens unless you do it, so we’ve been playing music seriously since middle school.
FTH: And where or how did you decide on the name FireHead Jerry?
Ben: We officially started a band when we were in 7th and 5th grade, respectively. Dan played drums, I played guitar, and our buddy Drew played Bass. I think our original name was “Schmork”, something horrible like that. Luckily for us, Drew’s 5-year-old brother bought a pet gerbil that he decided to name “FireHead Jerry.” We changed it that day, and 16 years later, we still use it.
Dan: Around 6th grade, our friend and bassist/keyboardist, Drew Palmenteri, had a hamster named “Firehead Jerry”. I did not know any Jerry’s at the time, except for Seinfeld and Jerry Rice, but it’s not named after them.
FTH: If you could describe your sound or genre (which I know is close to impossible these days), what would it be?
Ben: Psychedelic Pop- we use a lot of strange sounds, but always try and keep it in the context of reality. We will throw a thousand crazy sounds your way, yet have you singing the song the whole next week… that’s our hope anyway.
Dan: It’s trippy-pop music. Ben has great songs that he lets me destroy with noise. When we build them back up from the dead, they still have that great song but with this added layer of mud that I quite enjoy.
FTH: Who were your heros growing up?
Ben: Robert Smith (of The Cure), Kurt Cobain, Charles Barkley.
Dan: A lot of athletes. I was really into sports and competition. Also, Atreyu from The NeverEnding Story. The music from that movie is great too!
FTH: What sparked the idea to do an animated video for “Little Miss Nothing” and “Fly Like The midnight Sky”? They are awesome by the way…
Ben: Thanks man! I always felt our songs told a story, and what better way to show that by making animated videos. Anyone can set up a camera and dance around like fools, I just wanted to do something
fun, and different. Tony Peluce, who also did the video for “Little Miss Nothing” came up with the “Fly” idea. He kept telling me about this “piece” he had wanted to do with a moving bowling ball running into obstacles and other odd traps, I guess he couldn’t see it without our song guiding his art. He’s amazing.
Dan: Thank you, Felix. I wish I had more to do with it. Ben sets-up and labors all over the animation projects while I get to sit on my butt and enjoy them later.
FTH: Who are your biggest music influences?
Ben: Oh man, I’ll try and keep this list as short as possible; Nirvana, Phish, Pink Floyd, The Cure, Beck, Flaming Lips, The Beatles, NIN… I grew up listening to nothing but The Cure and The Beatles. Nirvana singlehandedly made me pick up the guitar and start a band; Beck and NIN inspired me to have as much control over your music as possible. Phish and Floyd taught me to be a better guitar player, and a better listener.
Dan: Chronologically: The Beatles, Nirvana, Zappa… nowadays, I try to let everything influence me equally.
FTH: Top 5 albums of all time? Any genres…
1. Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon
2. Nirvana- Nevermind
3. The Beatles- The White Album
4. The Cure- Boys Don’t Cry
5. Sonic Youth’s Dirty
Dan: I imagine desert island situation.
1. Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
2. Frank Zappa- We’re only in it for the Money
3. Beck- Mutations
4- The Beatles- Abbey Road
5- Mahavishnu Orchestra- Birds of Fire
FTH: So do brothers that are in a band together, still fight like brothers at home?
Ben: We have a great relationship and a very supportive family as well. Of course we had your normal, big brother beating down on little bro stuff. Problem now is though, he could probably take me. Haha. Honestly, making music as consistently, and as professionally as we have been doing, has made us the closest and tightest we have ever been.
Dan: Well, we don’t live near one another. The main reason we talk is because of the music. We don’t have obligatory family conversations… we want to talk to each other. This is definitely the best band I’ve been in because we know each other so well. Our delegation is equal and that always keeps the atmosphere fresh and buzzing.
FTH: What can we expect in the near future? Songs, albums, videos… shows?
Ben: We are currently working on our 5th album titled “All The Days Have Gone Away.” It is a post-apocolypic album in which a character, Jerry, is the lone survivor after certain events left him alone in a desolate world. We are setting this entire music to an animated movie as well. Tony Peluce and I are working storyboards in conjunction with the music. We hope to have the entire project out by Oct 2012. As for touring, kinda hard right now, as we both live in different cities. We used to play out a bunch and would love to again if the opportunity arises.
Dan: We’ve got a big studio-tan at the moment. As he just mentioned, Ben is spear-heading an animated movie to compliment our upcoming 5th studio album. With releases due around November, the winter should be an exciting time for the band.
FTH: Thank you guys so much for taking the time and giving us and fans the opportunity to get to know you a little better. Anything you’d like to add or say to you fans?
Ben: To any one who listens to us, even if it’s for a few seconds, thank you so very much.
Dan: We’ll be making music for a long time. It’s just what we do anyway for fun and sanity. I hope people will like one our songs and get something out of that.
Ben… Dan, thanks again… wish you guys the best of luck and can’t wait to spread and hear your music on a global level. You deserve it!
Listen to and get more of their music at fireheadjerry.com.