Interview: Fun While You Wait

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Fun While You Wait Is: Devon Moore (vocals & ukulele), Kevin Newcomb (bass), Keith Leming (drums)

We Formed In: October 2014

We’re Based Out Of: Freehold, NJ

The Story Behind Our Name: It’s funny because one time, Kevin and I were out with our bandmate Frank from our other group in Red Bank. We were at this pizza place and they had place mats on the tables that said “Fun While You Wait” – It was essentially something for kids to do while they waited for the food. Fun While You Wait was nameless at the time and we had such a hard time trying to come up with one, but Frank said “that would be a cool band name” and Kevin and I pretty much just ran with it. -Keith Newcomb

You’ve Seen Us Before In Other Bands:

Devon: Keith & Kevin have been around the block but this is actually my first band! Before this, I mostly played solo covers of silly pop songs on YouTube and at open mics.

Keith: I played drums for a reggae/punk band called Slick Mick and the Dirty Dales for about five years prior to FWYW, and me and Kevin have both recently played in a few bands together – a metalcore band called Liars & Legends, and a folk-rock group called Frances Jones and the Saviors, which went on to become our newest side project, The Usual Unusual.

Kevin: As well as Fun While You Wait, Keith and I both currently play in the band The Usual Unusual. In the past, I’ve also played bass in two metal bands, GlassHouses and Liars & Legends. The members of FWYW get together with our buddy Joe Miller AKA Relms – he is usually an acoustic act, but brings us in when he wants to get a full band thing going on.

New Music Coming Out: We released our debut EP back in April, but currently we are working on some new material for a full length album that we will be recording next year! -Devon Moore

Our Sound Has Been Likened To:
Keith: We have a bunch of weird influences, everywhere from She & Him and Ingrid Michaelson to The Beatles, Sublime, and Cake.

Devon: Most commonly, people tell me that we sound like Florence + The Machine. I don’t really see it, but that’s what they tell me. We’ve been calling our genre “folk pop” or “indie pop”, depending on the mood of the day, but we are open to suggestions!

Kevin: Oh man. I’ve been told we are “folk-pop” with a hawaiian flavor…? But I really don’t know what to call ourselves honestly, I just love what we are doing.

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You guys opened for both moe. and Ballyhoo! this summer. Which band were you most nervous for? Did either of the bands hang to see your set?

Devon: The first time we played with Ballyhoo! back in March, I was so nervous. It was our first legitimate show, and my first time being on a stage like that. As far as I could tell, neither moe. nor Ballyhoo! caught our sets, but we chatted with Ballyhoo! a bit after the show in July, and they were super nice guys.

Kevin: moe. for sure – they are one of my favorite bands ever, so opening up for them at the Pony was an awesome experience for me. I’m not sure if any of them saw our sets or not. I was just happy to be there playing!

Keith: I was definitely nervous about the moe. show as it was our first Stone Pony appearance with this band…but the Ballyhoo! show was what had me going. It was our second time opening for them this year so I was pumped. They’re such an awesome band and very humble people. All of their fans are really friendly, too. I’m not sure if they caught our set that time, though.

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What’s been your most proud moment as a member of this band?

Kevin: Either opening up for moe., or asking Devon and Keith to start a band with me

Keith: I think it would be the first show we played with Ballyhoo! in March of this year. We had just recently put our songs together and our only other performance prior to that was a small basement show we hosted, so our first actual “show” was opening for Ballyhoo! at the Stanhope House. It was packed and we received such positive feedback afterwards and it felt really cool. It was a good time, I think we’ll all remember that one forever.

Devon: The act of creating our own songs and releasing an EP still sort of blows my mind. I’ve never worked collaboratively like this before with anybody, and I’m super proud of what we’ve created together.

There’s so many bands playing in the Asbury scene right now – what separates you guys from everyone else?

Keith: I think what makes Fun While You Wait the most different from other bands is the ukulele aspect. We’re kind of just doing this thing that we never really thought would work, but it ended up being a lot cooler than we imagined. The female-fronted, ukulele driven sound is our thing and once bass, drums and even sometimes trumpet come into play, it really fills it out.

Think about to your first show as a band – how have you guys have evolved as a band since then, and what mistake have you learned most from?

Kevin: Our first show out was opening for Ballyhoo! so that itself was pretty surreal, and that was only like seven months ago. We definitely have been tightening up our sound since then and we sometimes include our friend Bruce from Backyard Superheroes to play trumpet on some songs, so that adds another element to the sound. Mistake I’ve learned the most from? Make sure your bass cab is all the way inside the car before closing the trunk door and shattering the back window … because that sucks.

Keith: Oh, man…we’ve definitely grown as a band between our first show and now. Our sound has definitely evolved and our newer material is much more experimental, with different styles of music. I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is…always have a drum rug on hand. Seriously.

Devon: As far as our music goes, our existing songs have definitely developed, and our new material is a bit more complex as well. For me personally, I don’t know that I’ve learned from any specific mistake, but I have certainly developed less awkward stage bantering skills.

What do you love about being in this band?

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Keith: I love the music we make, honestly, it’s really fun and catchy. Being able to work with Devon and Kevin is amazing in itself, we all have awesome musical chemistry. It doesn’t even feel like a band sometimes… sometimes we’re just a bunch of weirdos who play music and laugh at each other, it’s great.

Devon: We just work well together. Keith and Kevin are the two most talented dudes I know, and they’ve become like brothers to me over the past year. I couldn’t be happier to be making music with them!

Kevin: I just love playing music with my two best friends. We meld together well musically so its easy coming up with ideas for songs and then expanding upon them.

If someone has never heard your music before which song would you recommend for someone to fully get what the band is all about, and why?

Devon: “Target.” It isn’t on our EP, so we only have live recordings of it, but I think it really captures our vibe. It’s upbeat, but mellow.

Keith: “Mountain Song” because it’s a very calm yet energetic song. It captures our more folky side, it’s really lyrical, and Kevin has a killer bass solo in the bridge. A lot of our music is carried by his bass lines, so this song is definitely one of the coolest ones.

Kevin: Oh, this is a hard question, but I would probably tell them to listen to “Peace of Mind”. I think I would also suggest to come out and see us live, as our sound is always evolving.

What are your plans for the rest of 2015?

Devon: We’ve got a couple of awesome shows coming in September – Souper Groove Music Festival in Freehold on Labor Day Weekend, and Asbury Park UkeFest at The Saint on September 12th. We’ve been playing shows pretty much non-stop since March so I think we are going to be slowing it down a little bit after that and working on some new material.

Fun While You Wait performs at Happy Mondays at Wonder Bar next week along with Semiotics and Western Star.

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Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named 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