TygerBurger Unabridged[ Posted 20 April 2012 in Streep by Simon Streep ]
We recently did an interview for the TygerBurger to promote our show at Theatre@Elkanah this Saturday. (Tickets are selling out fast, so if you’ve still yet to get one, be sure to click here.) Due to space constraints, almost all this interview wasn’t published, but thanks to the Internet’s infinite amount of space, if you’re not too busy wasting that space by looking at LolCats, you can waste that space by reading the whole interview here…
1) When and how did the Brothers Streep start?
DYLAN HICHENS: The Brothers Streep started in 2005 but was originally called the Meryl Streep Screechers and was just Simon and I recording awful covers of old church and campfire songs, inspired by the music of the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Our recordings made us laugh so we decided to write a few original songs – always from a quirky angle. Eventually we had an album’s worth of material and felt that we needed to change the name of the band from one that may invoke images of people screaming. Simon suggested keeping the Streep and pretending that we were brothers. Later we invited our good friends Rich, Tim and Timmy to join the band, carried on writing silly songs and the rest is history.
2) What music/comedy inspires you?
SIMON VAN WYK: Our music feels inspired from a wide variety of influences - old war songs from the 20s, rock n roll from the 50s and 60s, musicals, 80s pop like Tears For Fears, and 90s rock like Counting Crows. And whilst our humour probably has British sensibilities, it really derives from whatever is making us laugh.
3) What have been highlights for the band over the last few years?
RICHARD GRAHAM: We have been very fortunate to have had many fun and exciting opportunities with this band. There are the ones that really stand out: Playing "Anna Paquin" to Anna Paquin on The Graham Norton Show, rocking the house at the finale of SA Idols, taking the stage at Kirstenbosch at the Carols by Candlelight, writing a song for DSTV. But the biggest highlight has been having fun in everything that we do together as a band.
4) You are playing at Theatre@Elkanah in Sunningdale on the 21st of April. What can your West Coast and Northern Suburb fans expect from this concert?
TIM SMITH: It's an intimate venue, with a great sense of connection between the band and audience. Imagine us playing in your lounge, except your lounge is bigger. Streep are famous (or possibly infamous) for the on-stage banter that takes place between the band, and even between the band and the crowd. You can expect to hear our signature blend of planned or spontaneous comedy and catchy musical numbers that won't leave your head for days. First-time listeners will be mildly confused then delighted, and long-time fans will hear their familiar favourites with a few new twists thrown in.
5) How did your exposure on IDOLS come about?
SIMON: The producers saw our appearance on The Graham Norton Show and thought it would be fun if we did a similar thing on IDOLS. They said we needn’t hold back – so long as it was family friendly, we could poke fun at anything and everything to do with the competition. We couldn’t resist the great opportunity!
6) Tell us about your Anna Paquin song and how you eventually ended up playing it to her?
DYLAN: We wrote Anna Paquin in the early days of Streep. Simon, Rich and I were watching a film which starred Anna, and every time we paused on her face, she would be pulling an odd expression. And that’s literally all it took for us to write a chorus about it. We then researched her many film roles and filled up the verses. We always hoped that she might hear the song one day but after about four years after writing it, Simon got impatient. He wrote a blog in the form of an open letter to her telling her to listen to the song and asking what she thought about it. It was that blog that was picked up by The Graham Norton Show. The researchers called me up and asked whether they could play her the song, which then became that we could play her the song, which ended up being us playing the song live over Skype on the show. It was a fantastic experience and definitely a huge milestone for the success of The Brothers Streep.
7) Are you a music or a comedy band?
TIM PRICE: Both. We like to write songs that are both musically rich, and comical. The format of the band is also flexible enough to suit different audiences. Generally speaking, the duo format (just Simon and Dylan) works better for shows centered around providing pure comedy, whereas the full band format can hold its own amongst other bands in a music festival or music show environment.
8) What are the future dreams and aspirations for the band?
SIMON: I love the idea of performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe again, and I’d love there to be some sort of Streep TV show. But for now, I’m just really excited to start working on new material for our Grahamstown Festival shows later this year, and ideally that will inspire songs for a new album.
DYLAN: We often mention a full Streep musical. Hopefully writing for our Grahamstown show this year will get some of the theatrical creative juices flowing and we can make a start on that…
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