"The morning benders" band name was recently changed to POP ETC
"The youth is wasted on the young", I once read George Bernard Shaw say, and many times over I am disappointed with how the whole world seems to revolve around teenage sensations and the next big thing. The good news is that there is still hope, and this year's version of something to hold your breath and pray is a quartet known as The Morning Benders. Just in from a lengthy tour with international pop group The Kooks, The Morning Benders were billed as the opening act for British power pop kings Supergrass on a night at the world famous Avalon Theater located directly across the street from the iconic former Capital records building now serving as a high rise condo for the uber rich. In talking with the lads you get the honest impression that these guys are in love with music and their reference to classic artist listed as influences ranges from Neil Young to Radiohead. "We listen to a variety of great artist and hopefully you can here them in our own songs", says lead singer/songwriter Chris Chu standing with his band mates in an ally just off of Hollywood Boulevard. It's always interesting to me, how folks meet and make the transition to playing music together. Musicians are an interesting breed of people; they live their lives by the guitar. The good news about the Morning Benders is they write and play their own music. This is a dying art form in the 21st century where most bands are cast on television shows or produced by record labels to sell t-shirts. "We all kind of met through a small social network up in Northern California and had a common interest in music. It really happened organically, which is always the best way." Says, Chris.
The best part of their live show, for me, was listening to the very melodic vocals of Chris Chu juxposed to the manic guitar work of Joe Ferrell. Joe's guitar was weeping like a scorned lover at the same time Chris was singing joyfully and it was the perfect one-two punch that most bands don't have and certainly not at this stage in the game and will prove to be their lasting impression. What's so wrong with a good pop song, nothing, and The Morning Benders are in search of the next big one. I must say that I am tired of watching tired old veterans playing tired old songs to a tired old crowd. The Morning Benders write good pop songs like Cheap Trick did before them and Squeeze did before them and a little band called The Beatles did before any body thought it was cool and we all know what happened to them. The Music business can be a tough gig for any body, but as long as The Morning benders are in it, I think things will work out just fine. Pop music, yes, but not kid's stuff. The music business can be a tough one, filled with people that have no clue what they are doing and people like Lou Perlman who is being ordered to pay more than 300 million dollars in restitution for his part of a major music scam that involved pop music and I am reminded that this is a business not meant for everybody. The Morning Benders, however, remind me how much fun it can be. Chris says," We drive all day to some of our gigs, spends loads of time in our van and the joy of our lives is when we pull up and plug in. We love to play live and live for it. We also know that we are very lucky to be playing music for a living." It's also that kind of humility that separates these guys from Northern California from the overnight sensations that come and go like the wind. Their album is out on plus 1 music entitled "Talking Through Tin Cans". The Morning Benders are back in town for a one night only engagement at the El Rey Theater on August 7 in support of the Airborne Toxic Event. Get your tickets now as this show will sell out and the next time around they won't be supporting anybody but themselves. - Giulian Jones