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Beep beep.

NO MATTER WHAT that storm watcher chap at the KETV-7 news desk relays, you really never know what may come falling out of that Omaha, Nebraska land nowadays. Leave it up to the mighty hand of Saddle Creek to forecast the winds and motions of the fields, and take forewarning from their East Coast affiliate as to the next major storm: Beep Beep. Pulling both from influences noted (Pink Flag-era Wire, XTC) and others yet to be determined (think reproduction replacing kickball as recreational sport at recess)--Beep Beep are set to unleash a psychosomatic stir at any given moment in any given state. Prepare.

Business Casual's cover art is misleading as to the disc's contents. What's the story behind the "one cup per fountain" cowboys?

Eric Bemberger: The cover only represents half of the complete image. The back cover continues the scene with a cowboy secretary arranging flowers at his desk while eavesdropping on the gossip exchanged at the water cooler. I find it emasculating to have cowboys trained to fill subservient positions. John Bankston is not only a brilliant artist but also happens to be internationally renowned. We are beyond fortunate that he enjoys our record enough to have produced its visual representation. I first saw his work at the SFMOMA, and it completely destroyed me. A single work communicates with elegant subtlety and wisdom, more sass, sexual deviance and inappropriateness than our entire record could possibly evoke. I can understand if you feel that Business Casual does not deliver on the erotic promise of its cover art.

What measures have you taken as far as becoming the new faces of indie rock?

Eric Bemberger: We're trying for a Best Buy commercial, obtained a sponsorship with Budweiser, and are on the waiting list for Last Call with Carson Daly We are the unofficially confirmed openers for the Good Charlotte, Jimmy Eat World, and Dashboard tour in the spring of 2005.

Chris Hughes: I cannot think of any major changes in our routine except that now we spend considerable time micro-managing non-musical aspects of Beep Beep (design, video, advertising, publishing, etc). My mom informed me someone in the Beeps was pre-med. Is she trying to get me in trouble with my circle or is there truth to this?

Chris Hughes: Eric is a chemistry major and has completed all of his prerequisites for the doctorate program in pharmacy; however, Beep Beep has been stunting his academic growth.

Eric Bemberger: Trust your mother. Was there any question as to what label would release Business Casual, given all the common ties to the land of Omaha?

Chris Hughes: We shopped around a rough mix of Business Casual to several independent labels and a few majors (for giggles). We honestly didn't expect Saddle Creek to be interested in the record.

Eric Bemberger: We were faced with a tough decision. We received committed interest from labels that we thoroughly respect and adore.

Chris Hughes: In the end, Saddle Creek was our best option for several reasons. We have a history with the label. We know they treat their bands very well. They have great distribution, a European label, and people who work hard at getting us licensed in other countries. Most importantly we respect their ethic. They are totally DIY and give us complete freedom.

Eric Bemberger: Not to mention the fact that the office is 10 minutes away from our homes, allowing us to be more hands-on with all elements. That's very important to us. Also, our music is out of place on Saddle Creek, which we hope will stir things up a bit.

So does everyone in the band reside in the Omaha area?

Eric Bemberger: I recently moved to Omaha from Lincoln, but Mike, Joel, and Chris grew up in Omaha. "Giggle Giggle" could easily end up in the same cell as say "Into the Night" by Benny Mardones or Union Gap's '70s smash "Young Girl."

What have you young boys to say for yourself?

Chris Hughes: I am not familiar with this Benny Mardones character, but I am a big fan of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. I find it flattering that you would make such a comparison. "Young girl, get out of my mind. My love for you is way out of line ..." That is some hot shift Anyone care to talk about musical influences?

Chris Hughes: Well, I already revealed Gary Puckett as a major influence. We listen to many things. We all have very different tastes. I must admit that I haven't been listening to music as much as I would like lately. I just don't have the time to spin records and I don't like to listen to music while I am driving. I hope to catch up on things with my iPod on those long tour drives/flights.

Have your friends started talking to you in double, like, "Hey hey?" If so, are they still friends?

Chris Hughes: What the hell are you talking about? Are you referring to requests for celebrity favors and name-dropping, or are you referring to word games inspired by our band name like, "Hey Hey, there's Beep Beep," or "I think Beep Beep sucks sucks." Neither has happened yet. Who will be missed more when the clock chimes to close the year 2004, Ronald Reagan or Ray Charles?

Chris Hughes: Ray Charles didn't covertly kill people in South America, so I will go with him.

What can be expected from Beep Beep live?

Chris Hughes: We get pretty sweaty. We're not very handsome live, our faces contort when we are screaming, cooing or giggling. We enjoy ourselves. I think this will appear obvious to the audience.

The Gabardine (self-titled) release is strongly considered by many to be one of Saddle Creek's most under-appreciated releases. What was the cause of the band's demise so early on?

Chris Hughes: In a nutshell, Gabardine had broken up but we all decided to record some of the songs on an eight-track for personal documentation of the band's existence. Robb heard the recording and wanted to release it on Saddle Creek. Since we were defunct there was no tour, no press, no distribution, and no jewel case. Bands break up. I don't think our reasons were interesting enough to talk about.

If a secret admirer wanted to surprise you post-show with a gift, what should that special someone have waiting for you?

Chris Hughes: A place for Beep Beep to sleep and a can of Diet Coke.

Eric Bemberger: A half-mask covering the bottom of my face to make my lips look like John Mayer's.

What makes you happy?

Chris Hughes: Getting to quit my job for tour. The eight-to-five cubicle confinement is making me crazy.
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Author:Gay, Kaleb
Date:Mar 1, 2005
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