HomeInterviewsLiving in the Moment: An Interview with The Weeklings

Living in the Moment: An Interview with The Weeklings

There are bands that wear their inspirations on their sleeve, and then there are The Weeklings.

Lefty Weekling (Glen Burtnik), Zeek Weekling (Bob Burger), Rocky Weekling (John Merjave), and Smokestack Weekling (Joe Bellia) — are music industry veterans who joined forces and took their love of The Beatles and turned it into something magical.

The band went from just covering the Fab 4 (and doing it awesomely) to recording original music at Abbey Road Studios in London, and performing those at renowned venues across New Jersey (and the U.S.).

We caught up with Smokestack Weekling, and Zeek Weekling to talk about new original music, their love of The Beatles, and more.

You dropped a new single ‘In The Moment’ — can you talk about the inspiration behind the song?

ZEEK: Musically, we were very inspired by an outtake of “And Your Bird Can Sing” from the Beatles anthology. Also, the lyrics try to capture some of the Revolver era Lennon/Harrison attitudes about consciousness and universal love…

Since this is a new song — can we expect a new record from the band in the near future?

SMOKESTACK: We are releasing singles every two or three months. Eventually they will be compiled into a CD Release along with a few extras, sometime in the first half of next year? The next album will be from the second set of songs we recorded at Abbey Road.

The Weeklings mix original tunes and Beatles songs in their set — do you find it hard to get audiences into the original tunes as opposed to the Beatles covers?

SMOKESTACK: We’re happy that audiences have been very responsive to our originals. We see people singing along all the time. So, no, we don’t find it hard to incorporate our original songs into the set. They fit seamlessly with the Beatles material. We perform them with energy, commitment to the melody and lyric, belief in the quality of the writing, the arrangement and our ability to “sell” them to our audience. The audience has to believe and relate to what you’re saying, and they do. I’m happy to say, our songs really work.

You guys channel The Beatles in a lot of your music — maybe this is an obvious question — but what is it about this band specifically that inspires and influences your sound?

SMOKESTACK: We just love the Beatles. It was, for most of us, the reason we started playing our instruments. Great songwriting. Perfectly crafted pop songs and amazing vocals — very inspiring!

The Barefoot Strings are working with the band on a number of holiday shows — how does this string section change up your live show?

SMOKESTACK: The Barefoot Strings allow the Weeklings to dig deeper into Beatles catalog with songs like ‘She’s Leaving Home,’ ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ and also with more accurate versions of “I Am The Walrus,” and “Glass Onion” to name a few.

What’s your favorite Beatles song of all time?

SMOKESTACK: I always loved ” Happy Just To Dance With You” and “Yes It Is”…. That’s two…!!!.. It’s impossible to pick one, two or twenty, for that matter…

What are you most excited about for the rest of 2018/early 2019?

SMOKESTACK: We’re doing some cool holiday shows through the rest of the year:

  • Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park on Dec. 9.
  • The Weeklings’ holiday show at The Manor in West Orange on Dec. 17
  • Our first show at the Rusty Rail in Mifflinburg, PA on Dec 21st
  • The Dec 22nd show at the new City Winery in Washington DC
  • The Hope Concert at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank on Dec.23

Bill Bodkin
Bill Bodkinhttps://thepopbreak.com
Bill Bodkin is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break, and most importantly a husband, and father. Ol' Graybeard writes way too much about wrestling, jam bands, Asbury Park music, HBO shows, and can often be seen under his season DJ alias, DJ Father Christmas. He is the co-host of the Socially Distanced Podcast (w/Al Mannarino) which drops weekly on Apple, Google, Anchor & Spotify. He is the co-host of the monthly podcasts -- Anchored in Asbury, TV Break and Bill vs. The MCU.

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