threefifty duo, you is awesome!

Update: The Yes headband/No headband vote on I LOVE Your Clothes will be closing on Monday, giving all you trytophan-laden (and for us vegetarians, tofurkey-laden) folks a chance to vote over the Thanksgiving weekend. Yes and No are pretty much neck and neck, so vote to make a difference! Not to sound ominous or anything, but the future of Geremy’s forehead depends on it…as does your CD collection. After you vote you’re automatically entered to win threefifty’s first album and a headband!

Have a good holiday!

What do you get when you combine two really exceptional person/musician hybrids? The sheer awesomeness that is threefifty duo. That’s right, You is Awesome got our hands on the fabulous boys Brett Parnell and Geremy Schulick that make up the coolest thing just this side of full circle.

Not only do they play classical guitar and play it extremely well, they’re about to embark on a pretty darn cool cultural mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. They’re playing on November 26th at Zebulon before departing for Sarajevo to play for the entire country, so please, really, don’t miss out on your chance to catch these guys before they become world famous stars and play in venues we can actually get to, but can’t go to because they’re too expensive. Whoa. Did that make sense?

As per usual, drop by I LOVE Your Clothes to catch some photos of these guys rockin’ something other than a mean classical guitar. And while you’re there, leave your vote for Yes headband/No headband in the Comments section and be entered to win our very first ever sweepstakes!


YouIsAwesome: What’s your least favorite curse word?
Brett: You could pretty much copy and paste Dave’s answer from your first interview right here and it would be almost word for word what I would say. I guess it doesn’t bother me as much when other people say it, but I don’t think that I ever would. This is saying a lot for me because on occasion I have been know to have the mouth of a sailor, especially when G and I are rehearsing.
Geremy: I’m gonna pull a Sarah Palin here: my favorite color is blue.

YIA: Would you rather never touch a classical guitar ever again or never get a haircut again?
G: Well, if it were up to Brett I’d never get a haircut again anyway so I’d at least be satisfying him if I opted for that. This decision would also mean that I could continue to be able to play guitar and thus keep our duo going, but that’d probably be secondary to him. I personally get annoyed when my hair gets too long and starts getting in my eyes and flattening out. At a certain point my fro stops growing vertically and just grows out horizontally, thus giving me somewhat of a resemblance to Larry from The Three Stooges and I don’t know what kind of fashion statement that would be. I guess it could be fun though — if we both did it we could be like ZZ Top except on classical guitars. So I’ll choose never getting a haircut again.
B: I look like a complete idiot with long hair! I went through the whole “I am rebellious. I refuse to cut my hair.” phase when I was in high school. There is a great picture of me and my bro from my senior prom where I look straight out of Interview with a Vampire because of my flowing locks. I also had a rabbit head cane in that picture…blackmail waiting to happen. Even though I know how completely ridiculous I would look with my crazy long hair I would much rather just let it grow than stop playing my classical guitar.

Editor’s Note: We know, the whole “rabbit head cane” sounds made up but we assure you, it’s not…unfortunately…

YIA: What is your favorite scale?
B: I’d have to say the pentatonic scale, not necessarily because I love the sound, but because that is what I use to improvise the worst sounding crap I can come up with while G is trying to play something profound. I am a jackass in rehearsals. Imagine G’s tune Touch the Ground [from the forthcoming album] with a completely inappropriate blues solo on top of it. Not to mention that I SUCK at improv.
G: Pretty much anything with a minor 3rd. I’m a deep, dark, tormented, disturbed individual and I like anything that sounds deep, dark, tormented, and/or disturbed so I’d say I’m a minor key kinda guy. Did I mention that I live in Williamsburg too?

YIA: Marry, sleep with, kill: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart.
G: I’ve always said that if I had one composer’s music to bring with me to a desert island it would unquestionably be Bach. Bach is basically the closest tangible thing I know to God. So I’d definitely marry Bach. He also had like 30 children so he’d probably know how to deal with the kids. Mozart very rarely writes in minor keys — too happy, so he’s gotta go. I learned from Immortal Beloved that Beethoven certainly had a way with the ladies, so I imagine he’d probably be pretty good in bed.
B: Yeah, and Beethoven was deaf so it’s no problem if you accidentally call out Bach’s name.

YIA: Ten minute rock songs: masterpiece or masturbatory?
G: Well I’d say it just depends on the song — there’s good long epic rock songs and there’s also bad ones. I still say that Stairway to Heaven is the greatest rock song ever written (closer to 8 minutes than 10, but still). I think it actually takes a lot of balls to write something unabashedly long and epic because admittedly it is hard to pull off and you run a higher risk of sounding cheesy and overwrought. However, if you can pull it off you can really make a powerful statement. Basically with longer pieces I think the stakes are just higher — people are more likely to REALLY like it or REALLY hate it because if you’re enjoying it you get to enjoy it for a long period of time and if you don’t you get increasingly more pissed off with each passing minute. Also my favorite classical piece (and Brett’s too) is Bach’s Chaconne for solo violin (often transcribed on guitar) and that usually runs 15 minutes or so. The producer of the album we’re about to release (how’d you like that smooth segue to self promotion?), Dominic Frasca, wrote a 23 minute piece called Deviations, which I believe to be his masterpiece. A good example of a long rock song that I don’t care for, though, would be Freebird. Wanking around on pentatonic guitar solos for 10 minutes just doesn’t appeal to me any more, though I’ll admit I loved that song when I was in high school.
B: BOOOOOO on epic rock songs. I usually find them pretty pretentious once they pass the 10 minute mark and they almost always descend into some sort of guitar solo that just noodles around aimlessly in order to show off the guitar player’s chops. I want epic energy and songwriting, not epic length. Paranoid Android is epic and it stays well under 10 minutes. Hell, Queen got it done in nearly half that time with Bohemian Rhapsody. It doesn’t get much bigger than that.

YIA: If on a flight to Bosnia, would you rather sit in between two crying babies for a nonstop flight or have 6 layovers?
B: This is a tough one. G and I are so excited to have this show I don’t think that either of the options would even faze us. I’ll take the layovers and the babies, plus I’ll throw in a chronic snorer sitting behind me and an entire row of people who have been eating nothing but beans for a week in front of me if it means that we get to play a show in the National Theatre in Sarajevo.
G: Well I’d definitely choose 6 layovers because that’d mean that we’d have all the more time to play our Nintendo DSes! We made a pact that when we got our first gig overseas we’d have to buy Nintendo DSes so when Brett first heard about this opportunity in Bosnia and Herzegovina all he told me at first was “Well, it looks like we’ll have to go buy Nintendo DSes now.” However if there were crying babies next to us that would obscure the brilliant music that always accompanies the video gaming experience. I guess I don’t have to mention that because it seems like people already know we like video game music (I have no idea how word could’ve spread about that though).

YIA: Why do birds suddenly appear, Brett, every time Geremy is near? And Geremy, same question to you, except vice versa.
G: We’re the greatest married couple ever. We’ve always said that if in the scenario that we ever get drafted, we’d be able to make a pretty convincing gay couple — we play classical guitar, have long nails and Brett wears ass-tight pants.
B: Birds always appear when G is around because he loves birds! Loves them so much that he wanted to profess his love in the liner notes of our first CD. Seriously. He wrote almost an entire page about the beauty and wonderment of the chickadee’s bird song. I think that the birds love him back because of that. Also, we live in NYC so there are freaking pigeons everywhere.

YIA: Is grad school all it’s cracked up to be?
G: Grad school for me was overall a really great experience — I learned a ton, worked hard and made some of my strongest friendships then, even though that’s unfortunately where I met Brett and thus doomed my life forever. Grad school definitely wasn’t as much pure fun as college was though; it felt just more like really hard core work in preparation for one’s career. It was in part stressful because I was surrounded by people far more experienced and advanced than I was (I started playing really late in my life compared to most classical musicians) so I felt a great need to catch up. For that same reason though it was also extremely inspiring because it was such an amazing opportunity to be surrounded by such expertise.
B: G pretty much hit the nail on the head with that one.

Editor’s Note: Just so you folks know, the boys of threefifty duo attended Yale together, making them two of the many notable Yale alumni. Ahem.

YIA: What do you do when a nail breaks on your dominant hand?
G: Cry like a baby. I’m actually lucky that hasn’t happened to me too many times because I’m fortunate to have pretty strong fingernails. I even take a calcium supplement for them. : )
B: I am not so lucky. I am a terrible klutz when it comes to my hands. I bang them on things all of the time so I actually have to have a plan of action when such things happen. I actually used to go to a salon to have a fake one put on. I would always get some great looks when I would walk in and ask for one fake nail. Now I make my own when I break one. They look hideous. If I want it to look better I ask my friend and fellow musician James Moore to help. It’s a manly bonding thing.

YIA: What is the way to a girl’s heart?
B: My sincere hope is that it has something to do with music. If not then I am screwed.
G: Long fingernails on the right hand, clipped ones on the left hand. That’s the real reason why we do that — girls love it. I’ve never gotten the comment “Eww that’s weird” or “you look like a coke addict or something” from a girl when they notice that. Nope, they just instantly swoon upon first glance of my manly nails.


~ by youisawesome on November 17, 2008.

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