Garage Punk Band Blankus Larry

The Blankus Larry Band
The Blankus Larry Band/Satellite Shrine

The Hollywood Press Corps’ new Music Department recently got a chance to interview the insanely talented Washington DC / Virginia Beach-based surf-rock garage band called Blankus Larry. They are currently set to release a new single, “Your Boy Is Bad Inside.” This will be a track from the band’s second album , “Problemo”,  set for a February 5th drop.

Hollywood Press Corps: Ok, without coming out and directly asking you how you got your band name, let me start by asking…who is Larry, and how many Larry’s are involved with this project?

DURDY: We are all Larries. And the number of Larry’s is growing! I suspect you’re now a Larry too.

BLOODY: Larry is a state of existing in our post-normal world. Larry is the tie that binds.

HPC: Do you recall the moment when Bloody Larry met Durdy Larry? Was it anything like when Paul Mccartney met John Lennon?

DURDY: I remember moving onto the same street as Bloody. I would go out on either the front or back porch to smoke cigarettes and would see him, three doors down — not the band — doing the same. We would always look over and nod at each other. After a couple months of this one day he asked if I played guitar while we passed on the sidewalk. I said yes, and he invited me over for a jam and beers ‘n stuff that night. The next time when we jammed we were pissed that we didn’t record it! Then the third time we played we recorded it on to a two track cassette player… and that was the Satellite Shrine EP, our first release in August of 2008.

Satellite Shrine EP link;

https://m.soundcloud.com/blankuslarry/satellite-shrine

Blankus Larry performing live
Blankus Larry performing live

BLOODY: Yeah, I was having some friends over for an acoustic jam in my living room, and I invited Durdy over to join us. He did things to a mandolin I’d never seen. I knew we needed to keep jamming together, and we just started spitting out these crazy DIY EPs. Is that like when Mick met Keith?

HPC: One of the burning questions I have is; who makes your cool music videos and how do you get away with using all of that copyrighted material?

DURDY: Our good friends Seana Carroll and Mathieu Ferguson have helped us with videos. With regards to copyrights, we go through painstaking efforts to recreate popular movie scenes. We go all the way in with it, with the best background and special effects artists that you can hire on a shoestring budget. We find the best body doubles. We spend one billionth of what Trump does for his campaign I might add.

Durdy Larry. Photo courtesy James Cullum
Durdy Larry. Photo courtesy James Cullum

HPC: I notice that you’re in the Washington DC area. Have you ever played at the White House? If you were invited to play in the East Room, who would you like to play with?

DURDY: It’s funny you ask, we declined an invitation to play at the Easter Egg Roll during the Bush years. We heard he was really bummed we didn’t make it, but I do like his paintings. With regards to the East Room… there is a Blue Room, and a Red Room, and a Green Room. We would like to play in the Green Room because it reminds us of Wizard of Oz and our complicated Oz set. As far as who we’d play with there, I guess a game of fetch with the presidential dogs, Bo and Sunny, would be appropriate.

HPC: Your track, “Scupper” might be described as a dark, garage, post punk anthem to …scuppers. I only know a scupper to be a hole that drains water in a boat. Your song seems to be about a girl. Do you care to elaborate?

DURDY: You are right! Scupper is about the water drain on a boat! And it’s about a girl! I’m not quite sure. Sometimes when I write a song I don’t yet know what it’s about. I think scupper is about four or five different things. I think it is about releasing things that you don’t need. It is about love, and it is about fire. Given the nature of fire, it is about the love of playing music and the love of the sunrise and the sunset as well.

BLOODY: Scupper is a beast of a song to perform live. Some of these songs we do are tough to reproduce considering the amount of rehearsal time needed and we’re all in different towns. I do look forward to playing that one again some day.

HPC: What makes you feel good?

DURDY: Rocking out makes us feel good! Playing and writing from our hearts and meeting great people who love music like you, that makes us feel good! Our loving supportive families and friends and Agents of Larry are amazing, and the tribe is always growing, that also makes us feel good and its keeps us going.

BLOODY: If the music stops feeling good, we’ll stop. Hard to imagine though.

HPC: Is there something that would surprise our readers to know about you?

DURDY: It might surprise folks to learn that Bloody is actually a very brilliant founder of a tech startup and has an MBA. Though I’m Blankus Larry’s frontman and songwriter, I am also the proud father of an unbelievably gifted teenage boy and a beautiful and creative young elementary school girl. While chipping away at my music dreams, I’m a stay at home dad while my lovely and brilliant wife manages a local retail vape shop and cranks out the daily grind until the world realizes daddy’s a rockstar… one Larry at a time.

BLOODY: Yeah, we’re both coming from very different places, different lives, different experiences. But we’re also brothers… aligned in our mission to rock out.

One thing that surprises even me is that we often finish production of a song without having been in the same room once. We live in different towns, so we have to do things differently than most bands. We just throw tracks back and forth until we have a song we’re happy with. Then we’ll get the full band together to rehearse it for live shows.

HPC: The new album, “Problemo”, were there any problems when recording it?

DURDY: Oh man, there sure were. Battles with the gas company, lotta drinking, lotta lost weed, tape machines breaking down so we tracked more digitally this time, girl stuff, money stuff, gluten problems, a squirrel invasion. Our infrastructures are improving though and notably there were less problemos then there were in Hell or High Larry times and tracking.

BLOODY: Oh yeah, the goddamn gas company. What horrible people! This band often feels like a rolling calamity. For Hell or High Larry we had ceilings caving in and home floods while tracking. Record a track, empty the buckets, repeat. We tracked one weekend on a single cake donut and some espresso. It was hell. When we name an album, we mean it. But Problemo was a better experience, gas company notwithstanding.

HPC: Could you describe your process for writing new songs?

DURDY: Usually it’s music first and then lyrics. Most the time I’ll get chord changes or a gibberish hook stuck in my head and start hammering those out. Then I’ll send a sketch to Bloody and he will make a rhythm guide bed. He sends back a beat, and I start laying out the guitars, basses, and then figuring out my vocal phrases and lyrics. I am usually more interested in plays on words or shapes of words than I am in a literal meaning of them or a story itself. Usually Bloody has a good helpful idea or two on an arrangement edit after I get an initial song crapped out and so we make a very good team creatively together keeping each other pushing forward without egos in the way. Marion Larry also helped me with a verse in “No Time No Money” and he is unbelievably gifted and a great addition to the live band! Sometimes, since I tend to mumble, the fellas will misunderstand a bit of my lyrics, but I will think that what they thought I said is cooler and will change the lyrics to that. And for this album San Pedro Larry has been recording us both… so he drives a lot.

SAN PEDRO LARRY: Yeah man (chuckles)

DURDY: Also many of our songs come from just straight jams or self-edited jams.

HPC: How do you prepare for a concert?

DURDY: Usually we do a few pushups together and then start drinking.

BLOODY: Yeah, we’ve gotten better about squeezing in some rehearsal time before shows, which is new for us. And the live band is really tight now, so things are going much smoother. I’m still getting used to all the pushups.

HPC: Have you ever been to Japan?

DURDY: Once again, it’s funny you ask. I kind of feel like you’re psychic or something. We have not been to Japan yet but I can’t eat American food and eat so much sushi that I am probably like 1/1000th parts Japanese fish at least.. we hope to bring our rock music there one day though!

BLOODY: Never been but a friend lives in Tokyo and says it’s the best city in the world. I look forward to going someday soon, hopefully to rock out.

HPC: How about Judy Garland?

DURDY: You must be referring to our Nassau music video. Once again, we go to great effort to find only the best body doubles and best artists for recreating famous movie scenes. We are glad you can recognize who we were going for!

BLOODY: Yeah, the Judy Garland body double was fun to work with… a real trooper. Her real name is Grace.

HPC: What is your definition of a Heatseeker?

BLOODY: When it comes to the music charts, I like to think all of our songs are heatseekers.

DURDY: When I think of a heat seeker, I think primal like a Cobra or a great white shark… Or like eating pussy and saying grace!

HPC: Is there anything you would like to add?

DURDY: Dustin, when we first met you asked us how many Larrys there were.. I feel like now we have one more Larry in the family. How have you learned so much Lore o’ Larry? We are very impressed with the homework you did before speaking with us. It’s like you already know us! Thanks so much for a great interview, we’ve had a lot of fun with you! Let us know what your Larry name is at your convenience.

BLOODY: When it comes to your Larry name, pick wisely. If the Board of Supervisors of Larry disapproves, they’re likely to give you a name you’re gonna hate. You have to live with it for the rest of your life!

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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