by Joanna Orland & Isla MC
Watching the Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band perform live on stage at the o2 Music Wireless Festival, we hoped and prayed that their offstage personas would remotely resemble their on stage presence. This goes way beyond simply cranking out their tunes. They add cheeky banter, drum stick stunts, pyrotechnics and much much more. On stage and off they do not disappoint. In fact, this had to be one of the most highly energetic and accomplished performances ever, coupled with one of the funniest and most entertaining interviews ever. (The only one we’ve everconsidered putting on our iPods!)
As soon as the trio came over to talk with us, we knew by their cheeky smiles and quirky outfits that they’d be one for the books. Originally from Bergen, Norway, these blokes were in top form. I have to say we were utterly charmed by them.
First question was why Ralph had a giant pentagram drawn on his white and hairless belly? Well, apparently the band had made their first image decision the day before, and now Ralph is styling himself as The White Angel. Hence the white suit that he wore on stage, and the pentagram, which is the new symbol of ‘Ralph the White Angel’. Band members describe this new look as a cross between Barry White and Motley Crue. I was thinking more Har Mar Superstar.
So the next question was whether Ralph had drawn the pentagram on by himself or had received assistance? We didn’t really get any straight answers on this one, merely an overly intimate chat about how the band like to touch each other – “It’s not too often we get to touch each other’s bodies”. All in the name of art.
We wondered about the great pyro the band included in their show, and how this came about. It turns out that when they were touring with Royksopp a few years ago, they were so jealous of the machines and other apparatus that Royksopp brought on stage with them that they decided they needed a gimmick of their own. So they decided -FIRE!! The band believe that the pyro is starting to get a little ridiculous now in it’s sheer volume and craziness, but that it definitely adds a little something to their show. Unfortunately, it’s a rare treat.
To be honest, we came away from this interview knowing little more about Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band than we did when we started (apart from the fact that Tarjei thought Topshop was called Hot Topic), but with bellies hurting from laughing so hard we weren’t really bothered. (Pictures and audio clips speak louder than words)
However, we did learn two things about Ralph Myerz & the Jack Herren Band:
1) Bizarre things happen to them in interviews. For example, Thomas got stuck to a chair when speaking to Loose Lips – “Just a day in the life of the Ralph Myerz & Jack Herren Band” according to their manager. There was that, and just before we got hold of them, Tarjei mooned the crew from T4.
2) When asked for their single words to sum themselves up, the replies were “Sexy” (Thomas), “Thunder” (Tarjei) and “Belly” (Ralph). From this came the decision to name their next album “Sexy Thunder Belly”. (Of course, they’re also noted for their sexy belly thunder.) So there’s a finger in the eye to all of you non-believers – Loose Lips is changing the face of the music industry! We expect royalties boys!