After touring with ex Kinks frontman Ray Davies, The 88 has set the rock music world abuzz. The Los Angeles-based band has performed on “Conan” and their songs have appeared on hit shows like “How I Met Your Mother,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Community.” Blast caught up with Adam Merrin of The 88 to get an insight into the band.
BLAST: How did The 88 form?
The 88: Keith and I recorded a song together on the last day of high school, and we’ve been playing ever since. We met Anthony through a recommendation from a friend. The first time we heard him play, it was obvious that he was the right guy for The 88. He’s one of the best drummers around. Todd was in an L.A. band called The Green and Yellow TV, who we used to play shows with. They had just broken up, and our original bassist, Carlos Torres, had just left The 88, so the timing was perfect. We asked Todd to join, and the rest is history.
BLAST: How did the name come about?
The 88: “Rocket 88” is a rhythm and blues song that was recorded in 1951, which has been claimed to be the first rock and roll song. There are also 88 keys on a piano, and since the instrument has always played an important part in our band, the name 88 seemed to be fitting in more ways than one.
BLAST: How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard you before?
The 88: Psychedelic, skygazer.
BLAST: How did the tour go?
The 88: Our last big tour in the U.S. was with Ray Davies. Not only did we get to open up for him, but we got to be his backing band playing Kinks songs with him for his encore. Here’s a little “behinds the scenes” clip of us playing “Animal Farm” on the tour bus from the tour.
BLAST: Favorite cities to perform at?
The 88: Eighty Eight, Kentucky.
BLAST: What goes into making a good live show, in your opinion?
The 88: Green M&M’s.
BLAST: You performed on CONAN, what was that like? What is it like performing on TV?
The 88: It goes by so quickly. You’re there from 8 in the morning till 5 at night, and the performance is only 3 minutes. It just happens so fast, and then it’s over. We had a great time, and I’m so proud that we’ve been able to accomplish these types of things without the help of a major label. Things are definitely changing in a positive way in the music business these days.
BLAST: “Love Is the Thing” was recorded entirely on an IPhone. What made you come up with that idea? Can you describe that process and will record any more songs that way?
The 88: We just wanted to try something different. We’ve been recording the same way for a long time now, so it was refreshing to approach the process in an entirely new way. Now that we’ve tried that, it’ll be fun to think of another way to record a song.
BLAST: Also, you chronicled the whole process on “Love is the Thing” on Youtube. Why did you decide to share that experience via Youtube?
The 88: I thought it would be a great way to share with people how easy the process is. You don’t have to be a professional recording engineer to do it. Anyone that owns an iPhone can record with the FourTrack program. It’s simple, and it’s another great creative outlet for anyone that’s interested in making music.
BLAST: Anything else you think I should know or what to share?
The 88: We just released a new album called “The 88.” It was one of the most exciting albums to record, and we hope you that you will like it!