Boris Smile

Written by Mary Dean

Posted Jul 5, 2006, by Mary Dean.


Genre: Alternative;

Who are you? Who does what? A. Wesley Chung: lead singer and songwriter, also acoustic guitar and keys. Jon Palsgrove: drums/djimba/beat machine. Jason Chung: electric bass. Heather Robertson: vocals/tambour-ine/midi keyboard. Alan Archambault: electric guitar/lap steel. Abigail Davidson: clarinet and some vocals. We have a bunch of friends that play trombone, flute, sax, and violin from time to time.

How did you form together? I (Wesley) was playing in a band in high school that wasn't going anywhere, so I quit to do my own more acoustic stuff (and this is 2003-beginning of 2004). Once I got a show I got Jon and Jason to play with me. Soon after we got our friend Chuck to play electric guitar for some shows, then we asked Heather to sing with us, there you have it, we were a band. And the only reason we started getting shows was because two nice guys from Burnt Toast Promotions (Mike and Brian). And at the beginning of summer of 2005 we got a new electric guitar player named Alan, he's been great. Oh, and Abby has been a friend of ours who plays clarinet at some of our shows, she is a big fan and a member, we like to get our fans really involved. So, now we are just playing when we can and really enjoying each others company. The band has been a real blessing to each of us and we have grown a lot from it.

What made you all decide you wanted to play music? Wesley: It is just the best way I can express myself sometimes, and I like the attention too, but only on occasion. Jason: I started because it was fun and I like the lower instruments, also because most of my friends were playing guitar so I didn't want to compete. Jon: I started playing because it was an easy "A" in school, the band needed more drummers, so there was a raffle, and I was placed playing drums. Allan: It’s just in me to rock. Heather: I love listening to music, very fascinated with the concept of creating music. I love creating and getting a good product out of it.
What is your main influence? I (Wesley) don't know if we have a main influence. If you are talking genres, we all like most genres of music. Each member is influenced by different styles and artists, but as for me, since I write the songs, It probably effects the music the most. I have really been influenced by Pedro the Lion, Damien Rrice, Fielding, The Rocket Summer, The Beatles, The Books, Death Cab for Cutie, Aaron Copland, Eisley, Jessica Dobson, The Sea Monsters, and Stevie Wonder, and so many more I can't count. My music is very much affected by some of the local bands we love and play with like Andy Roo, Go Mordicai, Lightmusic, and Inner Beauty Contest. The bands that are our friends and spend time with us, those bands become very influential in my music.

What bands do you relate to? I have been told we sound like Damien Jurado, or kind of like Ben Folds Five with guitar. I don't know if those are right, but I love when people give us such nice compliments. I can't really think of who we sound like, not because we are that original, because I just can't think of any one band right now.

What is it that you love so much about your music? Hmm... That's a good question. I love that our music is heartfelt. And I love that it is so silly and other times so serious. And love that it can sometimes capture what I want to say. That I can be reminded of certain events in my life by the songs I wrote. I love that kids like the music, especially the silly ones, I like the fact that Jr. High kids listen to it, that makes me laugh.

What would you say to convince someone of listening to your music? It’s got some pop sensibility, funny at times, and it’s got heart.

What are your shows like? We try to make each show different. Sometimes we will bring in some orchestral instruments. We like to have fun when we play shows, sometimes I (Wesley) will tell jokes, if I’m nervous I won't, if I’m nervous I won't move around much. But the shows are usually fun.

Do you have a cd out? Right now we have a three song EP. It has 3 songs and a music video you can play in your computer. We made this CD so people could listen to something while we make our full length album, we recorded the EP under our label, Toy records, which is a great label by the way. You can buy it at our shows for $3.

Advice for bands just starting? Practice, practice, practice, get your act together first. Sometimes we would play shows without practicing, it wouldn't always turn out so good. Makes sure your band mates are quality people, make sure it’s something you look forward to. If playing in a band is always drudgery, even playing shows (the fun part), then maybe it is time to stop playing.

Funny stories? One time we got a gig playing in the alley of Chain Reaction, so when bands were setting up, people would come and listen to us play. It was very dirty in that alley. And they didn't have enough wrist bands to let all of the band in.. This was our third show ever. It was a big defeat for us. And so that is our funny story, it’s a bitter sweet kind of funny though.

Do your families support the band? Yes... Very much. We are all really big on family. Sometimes my family will have the band members for dinner. All of us are real tight. And are families are all very nice about the band. We have had a least one family member of each band member come out to see us at lest once. And in our community of bands there is a lot of support, the guys and gals of Andy Roo and Go Mordicai are very supportive of us as we are of them. They are like family, heck, The Sea Monsters (a great band from long beach) let us play in their garage... Now that is family.

Anything you like to say to fans reading this? I thank all of you for your wonderful support, thanks for being apart of all of our lives, for being so involved in the band, and for being apart of our band's community.

Any last shout outs? The Pierce Sisters (merch and media), Paul M., Jason P. (you crazy man), McKenzie’s., Andy Roo (and the gang), Louie H, Go Bordicai, Werner R, Kurt S, Micah L, Drew, and Meagan. And thanks again Mary, Thank you so much for this opportunity to be in this magazine.

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