Poi oh boy,
Flys lovin it
The Flys, Jimmie's Chicken
Shack, Dave Wakeling, Lit,
Everclear headline fest
Four questions with Jimi HaHaBy John Berger
Special to the Star-Bulletin
SOME musicians are happy playing the same set for the same type of crowd day after day or night after night. Such regularity would be slow death for the four members of The Flys who have worked recently with groups ranging from Goldfinger to the Rolling Stones. Flys singer Adam Paskowitz says he and the band thrive playing for different types of people.
"A lot of bands are against this because its difficult to play to so many different types of crowds but we love it," Paskowitz said yesterday. "You get what you get and you have to work it."
The audience promises to be diverse Sunday when The Flys share the stage at "Poi Fest 2000" with Everclear, Lit, Dave Wakeling and Jimmie's Chicken Shack.
What: Poi Fest, with The Flys, Jimmie's Chicken Shack, Dave Wakeling, Lit and Everclear
When: Noon Sunday; gates open at 10:30 a.m.
Where: Turtle Bay Hilton
Cost: $19.75 in advance; $25 at the door
Charge by phone: 1-(800)-919-6272
Poi Fest is a homecoming for the 29-year-old Paskowitz. He's a former Maui resident who was born here but is now based in Southern California. He's bringing his boards with him and intends to renew his acquaintance with the local surf.
"There's not that much difference. Surfers and musicians. It's so much the same for me. My mom was a singer and it just came natural to me."
The Flys took their name from Black Flys eyewear, a company that Paskowitz's brother, Jonathan helped put together. Paskowitz says that, family ties notwithstanding, the band liked the gear and "It was easy to just use their stickers."
"Even until relatively recently within the last couple of years after our first single started to go, 'Got You Where I Want You,' we didn't have shirts (of our own)
"So we got a bunch of Black Flys shirts and nobody knew the difference. Not a single kid."
"I chose a shirt that was in Spanish," he said. "We used to cut the word 'black' off their sticker and say, 'Here's our new sticker,' " he says, adding that the band bought the shirts from Black Flys and sold them as any businessmen would.
With the steady success of The Flys' recording career -- "Outta My Way" is the band's third album -- the Flys have become the proud namesakes of their own line of FLYSGEAR surfboards, skateboards and related lifestyle items (www.flysgear.com). Flys fans can also find the group through Trauma Records (www.traumarecords.com).
Paskowitz says The Flys see merchandise as being about more than money.
"Our goal is not to be successful entrepreneurial mavens or anything but it is definitely fun to get involved with our friends who do things and to work with manufacturers making things that we like -- basically surfboards and skateboards and all that.
"I have a friend who makes monster trucks and he's got this rad new package that he calls 'The Fly Lift,' and it's great to connect him to our website."
The Flys are also looking at doing something special that ties into Paskowitz's long-time interest in auto mechanics. A "Flys version" of the new Ford Focus is in development. Paskowitz says he blew up the first one Ford gave him, but don't blame Ford for that!
"I told them I wanted to soup it up and see what it could do so I added nitrous oxide and blew it up instantaneously. It was a one-in-a-million error that had nothing to do with anything but caused a big fire in the studio while we were making the record.
"It slowed us down for about a week but it was tons of fun. Big old flames and fire and explosions. I wish I'd gotten it on video."
Paskowitz' diverse interests -- music, surfing, auto mechanics, business, artistic design -- reflect something of his eclectic education, having been home schooled with his sister and seven brothers.
"We didn't have organized home schooling, it was more like we assimilated from our environment," he says.
He inherited his love of surfing from his father, a doctor and avid surfer. who he describes as one of the first "white guys" to come out to Hawaii to surf and get to know the local surfers.
"He's really the classic dude, classic surf guru and doctor. One side of his shingle says 'M.D.' and the other side says 'Ding Repair.'"
Paskowitz shared his father's enthusiasm to the point of going the professional surfer route before getting into the Flys.
"Someone asked me to join a band and I did," he said.
Every song a newBy John Berger
world for Jimmie
Special to the Star-Bulletin
The name was inspired by a restaurant mentioned in "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" and the fact that three of the original members of the band were named Jimmy.
The sound is an eclectic mix inspired by such musically diverse elements and icons as the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Ministry, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley and Louis Prima.
The band is Jimmie's Chicken Shack -- currently Jimi HaHa (vocals/guitar), Double D (guitar), Che Colovita Lemon (bass) and Sipple (drums) -- and they are also on the bill for Poi Fest.
HaHa and the Maryland-based band are touring on the success of the second Rocket Records album, "Bring Your Own Stereo." A new single, "Lazy Boy Dash," is scheduled for release this month.
HaHa, who describes his songwriting with "being as essential as any other bodily function," answered four questions about music, life and his band.
Question: You've been touring for most of the past three years. "Bring Your Own Stereo" is a successful follow-up to "Pushing The Salmanilla Envelope." What else do I need to know?
Answer: I got a couple of Internet things that are kind of silly. We have threeaddresses. There's www.jimmieschickenshack.com which is a site that I designed with the people at Island (Records), where you kind of drive a cartoon car around like the one on our album cover.
We have fowl.com for the label we started when we started out and release a bunch of bands from around here, and that's pretty cool because we're always working with new people.
And then there's www.wrongwrags.com that's like an offshoot of our merchandise with a bunch of stupid ridiculous ideas ... and now we're being sued by Volkswagen, this multi-international Fortune 500 company, because our logo is these two Ws in a circle with "wrongwrags" around it.
Q: You bring a lot of different styles of music together and use some interesting terms to describe the result. Where do "hick-hop" and "slop pop" fit in your repertoire?
A: It's kind of a mix of a bunch of stuff. It's never one certain thing. We tend to say we do music for ADD -- Attention Deficit Disorder music. It goes a little everywhere and if you have a short attention span it'll probably keep your attention span. Every song is a different world and we treat it that way.
Q: Struggling musicians dream of success and record deals and touring. Now that you're doing all that, are there times when it starts to feel like "work" and just another job?
A: I'm sure there are characteristics of it but it always seems to be quite a privilege and I feel pretty damn fortunate. I feel like I haven't had a job in years and years.
It's been actually probably seven years since I've had a real job and even when I had jobs I wasn't working, I was playing music.
Playing Poi Fest with those guys is a party for us. It's either we're making a record or we're touring. I think in the past two years I've had two months at home. There's times when you'd love to be at home but overall (touring) is what the whole thing's all about. Anybody who would be able to complain needs help.
Q: "Do Right," the first single off "Bring Your Own Stereo" was inspired by your experiences with your now ex-girlfriend. Has she responded to it?
A: Actually she hasn't. We don't have mutual friends so she may not know we have another record out if she doesn't concern herself with it. I think she chooses to not want to me to exist. There are quite a few nice songs about her actually, but I think she could (not) care less.
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