The 88 is one of those bands you’re familiar with before you even know you’re familiar with them. With a multitude of musical appearances on prime time television shows, movies, and advertisements they are already a household mainstay. Having just released their third album “Not Only… But Also” and signing with Island Records, The 88 shows no signs of slowing down. The band members are pianist Adam Merrin, guitarist Keith Slettedahl, and drummer Anthony Zimmitti.
Read on and enjoy getting to know The 88 as Adam Merrin answered a few questions for Rocklopedia!
! How do you describe your music to people?
Adam Merrin: The 88 is influenced by music like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Band, etc… Those are the people that got us excited to start playing music. We listen to a wide variety of music so when we get together and play, the music goes in many different directions, which is what makes The 88 very unique.
! You’ve got a wide range of genres on the new album, “Not Only…But Also” (funk, R&B, ballad, pop/rock).
Adam Merrin: There’s a little something for everyone on this album. Whenever we are writing or recording, we just like to have a good time, stay true to the things that we love, and a lot of great things come out of that. That’s what we’ve always done, and what’s really important to us.
! Which song(s) do you enjoy playing the most?
Adam Merrin: All the songs are a lot of fun to play. Most of them were written with all of us playing live either at a rehearsal or a recording studio, which gives them that feel. “Sons And Daughters” and “Like You Do” are really fun.
! How did you come up with the name for the new album, “Not Only…But Also”?
Adam Merrin: “Not Only…But Also” was a British television series in the 1960’s starring Dudley Moore and Peter Cook. John Lennon made several appearances on the show. Keith saw it written in a Beatles book and thought it would make a good title. It fits the album because not only did we do things people might expect, but we also took some chances.
!Does the album cover art have any special meaning behind it?
Adam Merrin: Ok, class, get out your pencils and paper… Anna’s Eighty-eight (Diaethria anna) is a butterfly found in wet tropical forests from Costa Rica to Mexico. The underside of its hind wings is white, with lines that approximate a black-outlined “88,” giving this species its common name. We thought that this was amazing – another great meaning to the number 88.
! What are some of your passions outside of music?
Adam Merrin: We’ve been keeping ourselves busy making some short films. We’ve made about 7 in the past 3 months – all of which you can see on our MySpace page (www.myspace.com/the88). When we’re not busy with the band, we’re still always writing and recording music. It’s what we really enjoy doing.
! What’s the most bizarre thing to happen while you were performing onstage?
Adam Merrin: The first thing that comes to mind happened a LONG time ago when I was still drinking. That was when I thought that music, drugs, and alcohol went hand in hand. I know that if we kept going down that path, we definitely would not be where we are today. That being said, we were performing at a club called The Alligator Lounge in Santa Monica (which no longer exists). We were in the middle of an intense, high energy, jam song. The combination of me over-exerting myself, and the alcohol didn’t mix very well. I ran off stage to the bathroom to throw up while the band kept on playing. When I was done, I came back onstage to finish the song with the band.
! What should fans look forward to in 2009 and beyond?
Adam Merrin: We’re looking forward to playing these new songs for people and to not only tour the states, but to travel outside of the country as well. There’s always something exciting happening with the band and we’re very happy to share it with everyone.
! Do you have any plans to tour the East Coast?
Adam Merrin: We will be there before you can count to 88.
Thanks Adam! That was fun! We are looking forward to seeing The 88 in concert soon.