Interview: Thee Idea Men

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Thee Idea Men Are (band members & the instruments they play): Matthew Jurasek / guitar, lead vocals; Matthew Raspanti / guitar, vocals; Kris Pirnat / bass; Tyler March / drums, back up vocals

We’re Based Out Of: Philadelphia, PA

We Formed In: 2012 – Tyler and Jurasek formed the band during Tyler’s senior year while they both attended Drexel University.

The Story Behind Our Name: Funny story. We originally wanted to be call The Idea Men, and then some band out of “Chicago” decided to have their “lawyer” send us an email a week after making our Facebook page stating they had rights to the name and that they sold their “tapes” all across the country. We asked if we could add an “e” to The, making it Thee Idea Men and they said “OKAY!” We will haven’t been able to find anything about that band online other than a MySpace page from 2002.

Other Bands You’ve Seen Us In: Tyler and Kris were in a band called Jester that was from the Manasquan, N.J. area, Matt Raspanti was in multiple bands from Jersey including Tequila Mockingbird and MoreorLess. Matt Jurasek used to be in a metal band back in high school and played bass in various bands at Drexel (most notably Matermathu) before forming Thee Idea Men.

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Any New Music Coming Out? Hopefully yes! We just released our sophomore album last May (2014) and we’re gearing up to record an EP sometime this summer. We’ll be playing a brand new song at the Happy Monday’s gig!

You played Radio 104.5’s Live at 5 – that’s pretty big, how has this impacted the band – increased exposure, more higher profile gigs, anything? Also, some people are kinda down on radio these days – can you talk about the experience of hearing yourself on the radio?

The crew at 104.5 is incredible. They get such big bands to come through there and play live on the radio, that it was an honor for us to be selected as well. We definitely saw our social media go up from that. The week after we opened up for the Canadian band July Talk at Boot and Saddle in Philly, and we had a ton of new fans come out who heard us on 104.5.

Radio is a funny thing. A lot of people think it’s just for listening to classic rock (i.e. the same Journey and Foreigner songs over and over again), or for the top 40 hits that get overplayed constantly until you never want to hear them again. But there are some great radio stations across the country that are giving local and smaller touring bands the opportunity to be discovered by fans that truly love music. We’ve played on WXPN (UPenn’s radio station) before and some college stations in the midwest while we were touring, but there was something different about being on 104.5 and hearing our music there. We’re just happy people liked it!

You also just opened for Pete Francis of Dispatch – how cool was that? Have you guys opened for other national headliners like that in the past?

He’s a great guy. We’ve opened up for a lot of national acts in philly, and we have to say Pete was one of the kindest people we’ve played with. He actually was there to see our set. In the past we’ve opened up for Hacienda, July Talk, Filligar, The Silent Comedy, The Dough Rollers, and Jesus on the Mainline.

What do you love about being in this band?

Hmmmm, the half-priced drinks at our shows.

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No, but pretty much everything. We’re all family at at this point. We wouldn’t have stayed in this band or lasted almost three years if we couldn’t yell at each other and treat each other as a family. It’s just a matter of being comfortable and relaxed around each other.

You play Philly a ton, can you compare the Philly scene with the Asbury scene?

It’s very very very similar. We all grew up back in Jersey – Manasquan, Brielle, and Point Beach areas, and the first thing we noticed when playing down in Philly is that it’s very much so a family like it is back there. All the musicians and bands support each other, whether that means doing show swaps or just coming out to each other’s shows – or recommending bands to play other gigs that someone can’t do. We’ve been fortunate to come up with some really talented people in Philly.

What do you think separates you from all the bands performing in Asbury right now?

Well, we’re all equally talented I believe. We just played a house party in Philly with Deal Casino, and those guys bring it hard. It’s hard to compare us to other bands in the sense that we all come from such unique musical backgrounds. We all have a shared love of metal, classic rock, jazz, folk, punk and everything in between. But if you come to a show, you’ll definitely figure out pretty quickly that we love what we do, and we put every ounce of energy into every single performance we have. If we’re having fun, you sure as hell will too!

For those who’ve never heard the band before what song would you recommend that truly captures the essence of the band?

Just listen “She’s Got The Wand” or “All The While.” You can stream all our music for free on Soundcloud or our latest album New Level Shoes is available on iTunes and Spotify!

What do you have on the horizon for the rest of 2015?

Playing a lot more shows, writing a lot more music, and making as many new fans as possible. This year has already been awesome, and we just want to keep the momentum going!

Thee Idea Men perform tonight at Happy Mondays at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, NJ along with Morningside Lane and Ocean Heirs.

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Bill Bodkin is the owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites