Nerf Herder is back! With a brand spankin' new album called "Rockingham". And it's really good. That's basically all you need to know, but we went the extra mile and did a short email interview with vocalist/guitarist Parry Gripp. Read on to find out what these geek punk legends have been up to! (Photo credit: Dana Sherlock)
PRT: First off, a little bit of history... you went on a hiatus in 2003, got back together in 2005 and released “IV” in 2008. What has been going on since?
Parry: A whole lot of nothing! We'd play shows about twice a year and that's it.
PRT: Is it fair to say that Nerf Herder is just one of the things you all do nowadays and that the band occasionally jumps into action when you all feel like it?
Parry: That is fair! Although, now that we are in a habit of working on songs, we'd like to keep cranking them out. There are some extra songs from recording "Rockingham" that we'll finish up and release within the next 6 months.
PRT: Is that something you would like to see changed with the new album?
Parry: We like it! I wouldn't change a thing. Thanks to the remarkable skill of "new" members Linus Dotson and Ben Pringle, this is definitely our best sounding record.
PRT: You have a new album out now called “Rockingham”, which you financed through a PledgeMusic campaign. How come you decided to release it yourselves rather than signing with a label?
Parry: We decided to make a record just as something fun to do together. And doing the PledgeMusic seemed like an interesting experiment. It turned out to be a really good way to do it, although I wish we had finished the record on time. That was entirely my fault.
PRT: You raised the amount you needed in a week and ended up with almost three times as much money as you originally asked for. Did you expect it to take off like it did?
Parry: No, we didn't at all. We are actually very lucky we didn't stop at the initial amount, because everything turned out to be crazy expensive. We're still going to lose some money.
PRT: And did someone pay for the Nerf Herder house party?
Parry: No. It would have been great, though! If you were thinking about it and changed your mind, you blew it!
PRT: In “Ghostbusters III” you lament the fact that there will never be a third movie, but we do have that remake coming up. Any thoughts on that?
Parry: Drummer Steve had the idea of doing a song about Ghostbusters when we started working on this record, which was sooooo long ago that we really did think that there wouldn't be another Ghostbusters movie. It's a reboot, right? So we're not totally wrong about it.
PRT: Is it true you recorded “I’m The Droid (You’re Looking For)” at the Skywalker Ranch? And if so, how in the hell did you pull that off?
Parry: Skywalker Sound is a working studio. All you need is money!
PRT: Your lyrics are a big part of what makes Nerf Herder so great. I was wondering what comes first usually… the lyrics or the melody?
Parry: In the case of this record, the lyrics came much later than the songs. I wrote a ton of really terrible lyrics that didn't get used. My natural tendency is to be negative and depressing, which is why Nerf Herder IV is kind of a bummer. At some point I realized that I wasn't coming up with words that I liked, so we brought in producer Angus Cooke, who has worked on every Nerf Herder record as well as albums by LagWagon, The Ataris, and tons of punk stuff. He recorded me singing, and would help me a lot with the lyrics. If he didn't like it, we'd brainstorm up some better words. He did the same thing on "American Cheese", which I think is similar in fun-level to "Rockingham".
PRT: What’s up next for you once the album comes out? Any tours in the works?
Parry: We're having an album release show at the Troubadour in Hollywood on April 8. After that, hopefully someone will invite us to come play at their house!