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Getting Basted

Q&A with The Turkeys

While I admit that I have seen alcoholic beverages in the Houston Press building before, they've always been as part of a staff party. I've never had a band bring beer to an interview. But there they were, three tall boy beers and three Turkeys. Sorry, that should be three members of The Turkeys -- lead guitarist Lucas Gorham, guitarist Joey O'Mahoney and drummer Nick Lombard. They were very polite and offered me a beer of my own, but I declined. Professional journalistic standards and all that. The Turkeys have just released their debut CD, the self-released Get Baste in the Face, a collection of seven original songs, including "Birds of a Feather Rock Together" and "Party Fowl."

Houston Press: How did the group The Turkeys start?

Lucas Gorham: We started it last year…

Joey O'Mahoney: …around the time of the pennant race, right?

Gorham: That's right, we would go and jam after the baseball games. That's how we started.

HP: How did you recruit the other members?

O'Mahoney: I knew that we needed some muscle to make it happen, so we went out and got our friends.

HP: How did you decide what your sound was going to be like?

Nick Lombard: Well, these guys were really loud. That's the first thing I noticed. When Joey told me this was going to be a party band, I thought that my drum set would have to be as trashy as possible. I brought this old, old set that I had. It had all these contraptions on it to keep it together, all the cymbals were broken. That's what it seemed that we were going after, loud and trashy.

O'Mahoney: The idea was just to make the band sound as awesome as possible by ripping off all the best bands in the world (laughs).

HP: How does the songwriting happen? Who does what?

Gorham: It's us three mostly. We don't do vocals; we don't write lyrics; but we do most of everything else.

HP: So all three of you work on one song, or does each of you work on a different one?

O'Mahoney: Mostly somebody will just bring in a riff and say, "Hey, what do you think?" Then all three of us work on it, adding pieces.

Lombard: Most songs are like a bunch of patches, stuff from each of us.

Gorham: The only thing we really try to do is to make sure that we don't have everything all nice and even. We try to compose our ideas in awkward ways and not have four of this, then four of that, and then a verse and a chorus, then a bridge. We don't want it to be normal like that; we want six of this and then eight of that, maybe we get a bridge, maybe not. I think that's really good; that's what makes us stand out.

HP: So that things aren't predictable?

O'Mahoney: Right!

HP: Who do you sound like?

O'Mahoney: We sound exactly like every other band, but a little different.

Lombard: We have a KISS song…

Gorham: …and Metallica, AC/DC, Motorhead.

Lombard: Oops! (He's knocked over his beer and it's soaking a copy of the January 4 issue of the Houston Press. I leave to get paper towels.)

HP: (Coming back in, I ignore the wet spot on the table and the strong smell of beer in the room.) How did you decide what to put on your new CDGet Baste in the Face? How did you come up with this order?

O'Mahoney: The songs are in the same order that we recorded them. When we went to mix it, [the engineer] asked me what order I wanted to put them in and I said, "Let's just go!" So, we just put them on the CD the same way we recorded them.

HP: So there was no planning out an arc or a concept for the album?

Gorham: Ah, no. No, there isn't.

O'Mahoney: Actually, there is. We started off making a concept album but then we forgot after the first song and so it got a little lost.

HP: You released the CD a little over three weeks ago; how has the reaction been so far?

O'Mahoney: Everyone loves it.

Gorham: We'll get you one.

HP: No, really, I'm okay, thanks(shaking my hand at his beer).

Gorham: No, a CD -- we'll get you a CD!

HP: Oh, yeah.(Slightly embarrassed.) That will be great.

Lombard: Ha, (laughs) like we're going to force you to drink beer with us!

O'Mahoney: Don't worry, we don't have any more beer with us; it's out in the car.

For more information about The Turkeys, visit www.MySpace.com/TheTurkeys666. Watch the HouStoned Rocks music blog for Part II of this interview, including The Turkeys' thoughts on why stealing music should be legal.

 
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