Words and Photos By Alicia Maciel
Halloween – a time where music around the city consists of covers only shows, ranging from classic bands like AC/DC and David Bowie to more modern acts such as Radiohead, The Strokes, and even Paramore.
While most publications are showcasing the fantastic gigs happening at venues like Quenchers, Lincoln Hall, Hideout, and more – I decided to shine the spotlight on Knowhere, a DIY space hosting its 2nd Annual Halloween Spookshow. $7 for 7 acts, it’s an underground show full of locals you don’t wanna miss!
I chatted with My Bad (playing as Pixies) and Ex Okays (playing as The Doors) prior to this shindig, which will start at 7:30PM (no punk time!). Find out why they picked those iconic rock bands, a little bit about their originals, and what to look forward to at the show!
What led to choosing Pixies and The Doors, respectively?
My Bad: We chose Pixies cuz we all really like ‘em (except Dez) and thought we could jam on the songs really well.
Ex Okays: There was a lot of back and forth about which band because we all mostly wanted our respective favorite bands (The Smiths, Weezer, Pixies, et cetera). We figured it made sense to choose one that none of us are radically raving about, but is still very groovin’ and has equally cool parts for all the instruments in the group – especially now that we’ve got keyboard and all.
Do you like the tradition of covers only around Halloween? Why or why not?
MB: We do like the tradition of covers (except Dez), but we’ve never done any up until now – mainly because we’ve spent so much time on our original stuff.
EO: Yes, it gives bands a chance to play something different and have a little extra fun during the spirit of the holiday. It also opens up the show to more people.
What do you think was the most difficult instrumentation while learning the tracks for Pixies and The Doors, respectively?
MB: Vocals have definitely been pretty f*ckin’ hard for us because Black Francis’s vocal arrangements are very stylized and he puts things in weird places that took us a little while to figure out.
EO: Learning Doors tunes challenged all of us but especially the organ and vocal parts had to be the most difficult since Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison were such skilled musician.
Are you willing to name a track you’re covering? If so, what is it?
MB: We are willing to name a track we’re covering and it is “Monkey Gone to Heaven”.
EO: One of our favorites to play is “Roadhouse Blues”. All of us get really into the tune and put on our stank faces throughout the whole song.
How would you describe your original music?
MB: Our original music is a big mix of all of our individual music ideas/tastes/expectations. Our goal has always been to write songs people can jam to and it ends up creating a kind of alternative, classic rock, psych vibe. We’ve always been somewhat reluctant to declare a genre for My Bad as none of us really know – it’s kind of all over the place. We have songs that are short and fast called f*ck you, psych jams about knights, to a full EP of love songs.
EO: Maybe kinda like a fuzzy chorus-drenched melodic shitstorm but also the calm before it. We have a wide range of influences of older bands like The Beach Boys, The Smiths, Pixies and The Cure along with some more modern influences especially from Chicago (Twin Peaks, Smith Westerns, The Walters, Post Animal).
What are y’all working on right now?
MB: Right now, we just put out our Spooky Lovin’ EP so we’ll be getting back in the studio to continue working and recording. Hopefully by early next year get out the My Bad self-titled ep, which we’re really looking forward to.
EO: We’re currently recording some new tunes that we’ve been writing and plan to release an album soon. We’ve got a few singles on deck and have some shows in and out of the city coming up in the next month.
As the rest of the show includes covers of Townes Van Zandt, Marshmello, Dion & The Belmonts, Bikini Kill, and Nirvana – keep in mind that discovering and becoming fans of the bands is the priority at this all-inclusive safe space!
Mark the show in your calendar by RSVP’ing here. See ya there!
Alicia Maciel is a junior at DePaul University studying marketing, music business, public relations, and advertising. Immersing in photography, promotion, interviews, interning at Metro and Notion Presents, managing The Chicago Vibe, curating live music, and plenty more – she hopes to bring innovation to the music scene. “A Chicagoan gal making music personnel personal.”