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Overlook to play in Ellington sharing benefit show with punk bands
With a population of under 12,000, Ellington, Conn. is no metropolis. Cows likely outnumber people in this farming community. This is not where the next big punk band would ordinarily hail from, but Overlook wouldn’t mind changing all that.
Overlook, a band made up of vocalists and guitarists. Alex Bars, guitarist Dan Herzog, drummer Matt Herzog and bassist Brendan Brown, have shared the stage with current premier punk bands. The Stryder, Midtown, Allister, American Hi-Fi, and a boatload of other punk rock favorites are on the list.
The quartet’s talent and popularity has increased greatly since forming as settle FOURNothing in 1999. Overlook has taken the Connecticut punk scene by storm and the borders of their popularity are consistently spreading.
Playing what they call “music that satisfies people of all tastes,” Overlook is best described like a mix of The Get Up Kids, Saves The Day, and the Ataris wrapped up in an upbeat emo package. Their second EP “From Here On In” on Right Eye Records was released last year and they plan on a full-length record to take shape in the Spring.
While sounding great on disc, an Overlook live show is where the true colors of the band are shown in full force.
Emotion, power, jumping around, comedy, and a whole lot of fun is guaranteed at any Overlook show. Expect to see a whole lot of Overlook in 2002 with upcoming shows planned with Saves The Day, The Sloppy Meateaters and the one-time Connecticut based Hot Rod Circuit.
On Feb. 13 the Overlook singer, Alex Bars and the North-Central Connecticut band sat down for an interview in their rehearsal space.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard of Overlook before?
Alex: Sincere, heartfelt, energetic, and original compositions of music. Music that satisfies people of all tastes.
Explain the reasoning behind the name change from settleFOURnothing to Overlook.
SettleFOURnothing was a different band when it came down to it, both musically and maturity-wise. We needed a new catchy name that went with new music.
Describe the punk scene in the state of Connecticut. What kind of shape is it in? Now that you guys have seen a decent amount of the country, compare the punk “scene” in Connecticut to other places.
We feel that there isn’t much togetherness in Connecticut. It seems like people compete with styles of music rather than giving support and listening to what sounds good to them. From what we’ve seen in other states, the kids seem united and more accepting.
What was touring the east coast this past summer like? What types of clubs and bands did you experience?
The tour really did a lot for us. Not only did it bring the band closer together, but it spread our music to a whole new audience.
We played at an array of venues, from candy shops to places that held 1,000 people. Just like the clubs we played with an assortment of bands. Overall it was an incredible experience for the entire band.
Will you be doing a similar tour this summer?
No, nothing close to it. This tour will be bigger, better and much longer.
You have shared a bill with some awesome national bands. How do the guys in those bands take to talented upstarts such as yourselves? Do they even hang out with you, or do they just hang out in their vans or buses and ignore openers?
The bigger bands seem to look at us and not pay much attention, but after we play, they are usually impressed with our age and our band status. Every big band we’ve played with we’ve really gotten to know and have hung out with them after shows.
I notice you guys have covered Pat Benetar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight.” Are you down with the 80’s?
Hell yeah we are. If it wasn’t for the 80’s we wouldn’t be here right now.
If you guys were on the bill of your own ultimate concert, who else would be playing?
Matt: Saves the Day and Get Up Kids.
Alex: Dashboard Confessional, Michelle Branch and Wesley Willis.
Brendan: Jimmy Eat World, Brandston — and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Dan: Guns n Roses, Jessica Simpson, Home Grown.
With college-aged band members, how does the band stuff interfere with school, or should it be the other way around?
Alex: It doesn’t really interfere. The band comes first with everything and we know what’s really important right now.
You guys ventured out to California this winter. How did that trip go? Any prospects of a label signing come out of the trip?
Dan and our manager/booker Sean actually went to Cali’. We went there to make contacts and meet people. We went to a lot of labels. We didn’t really go to get signed, but to get our name out there for when we tour in the summer. For the most part, it rocked. We met some awesome people, ate great food and saw some celebrities.
How did this benefit in Somers (Connecticut) with Saves The Day and Hot Rod Circuit come about? What is it benefiting and give some of the details on the show. Also, how did you get two of the hottest bands in the indie/punk scene to take part?
Brendan actually has been working on this secretly for months. He broke the news to Dan about a month ago and then told the rest of the band once it was confirmed.
The show is a benefit for a kid named Jon from Somers High School. He is good friends with Brendan and was in a real bad accident. He has some real high hospital bills and we really want to help him out, considering he is a fan. The kids of Somers have always been really supportive over the years.
The show was going to be at Somers High School and only Somers residents would be able attend. Now it looks like it might be open to everyone at another Somers location. You will have to check out our website (www.overlookonline.com) on occasion to get the full details.
Saves the Day and Hot Rod Circuit are great guys. We offered them a large some of money to come play. We told them why we wanted them to play and so on. They said they would play absolutely free because of the cause.
What has been your most memorable show to?
Our most memorable show would have to be the sold out show at Worcester Polytechnic with American Hi-Fi. We had our own dressing room and all the food we could eat and back-stage passes. We were all so nervous. Even after both guitarists broke strings we continued to rock out.
What can we expect from Overlook in 2002? Any new releases, shows, etc.?
You can expect everything from Overlook. We have almost enough songs for a full length that we plan to get ready for the summer.
The shows just keep coming in and getting better and better with some really amazing bands. For the most part Overlook will just keep rocking and playing for the kids.