White Denim’s bassist Steve Terebeki just threw up on the coffee table at Mohawk. Everyone stops. I jot downstairs to get some bar towels. He makes it to the bathroom but not soon enough. It’s only around 9pm and the band doesn’t go on til midnight.
In Steve’s, defense he was sick. He had a migraine most of the day and hadn’t moved from the couch in the green room the whole time I was up there. The show was in jeopardy, but the band waited longer to see if he would start feeling better. While Steve hid under a blanket on the couch, the drummer Josh Block and singer James Petralli took advantage of the goodie bag I brought and we chatted about actual white denim and bunny rabbits.
Hey Josh last time I saw you, you were drunk and squirting mustard everywhere at the Wall of Sound Festival.
Josh Block: Yeah, they had free tequila in the artist tent.
But you put on a good show.
JB: That was a show we decided to have a lot of fun at.
So you guys must be working on a full-length album.
James Petralli: Yeah, we actually did the final mixes today and there will be two mixes released, one UK and one US.
Did you know that you have a big following in Lubbock, TX?
JB: Really? That’s awesome. This next tour we thought about doing Texas only and traveling the state in the shape of a star.
JB: Steve mapped it out and everything, but it’s just and idea nothing for certain.
JP: One time while on stage Josh told the crowd I went on tour with Phish and my name was James Patchouli.
JB: James was on “tour” with Phish, he followed them all over the metroplex.
Is this true?
JP: Yeah, I did. There’s nothing wrong with me liking smooth music.
You know Pimp C of UGK died, any feelings?
JB: His heart stop from the sizzurup?
No, well they said natural causes.
JB: I’m sorry I shouldn’t have said that.
It wasn’t like a million other people weren’t thinking that.
JP: I bought a pair of white denim jeans and honestly tried to wear them, let me just say it took more courage than I had to wear that.
So it was a no go?
JP: I took ‘em back.
What are your South by Southwest plans?
JB: So far we have showcases at Big Shot and Fulltime Hobby, but there will probably be some house gigs we do.
I pull out some multi-colored pipe cleaners from my backpack and asked the two to make something. They giddily get to work. James seems to be concocting some kind of glasses while Josh had the beginnings of an animal.
JB to James: You see what I’m making and it scares you because it’s awesome.
Josh comes out with a bunny rabbit and tries to put it in James’s face.
JB: Here just touch it.
JB: C'mon just hold it.
JB: Why are you denying my bunny access to your heart?
Steve is still asleep on the couch by the time Josh and I make a whole battlefield scene out of pipe cleaners and little green army men. James is looking up tabs for Melanie’s high-pitched “Brand New Key” and singing it surprisingly well. There is still talk that the show might not go on but not that much later Steve gets up and does a karate kick off the coffee table. Everything works out.
White Denim plays a stripped down carnal garage rock set to a very excited crowd. The band is very real and it makes their fans dance spastically. This isn’t the type of band you’d forget, but having said that, be sure to check them out wherever they cause spastic dancing next.