"We are 'Fresh and Tasty' and we are bigger than Oasis." This belief, voiced by senior drummer Dani Komlos, is the general consensus among the other members of the newly formed band -- freshman lead singer songwriter Isaac Sprachman, sophomore bass/guitar player Tom Deis and eighth grade guitar/bass player Owen Susman. Fueled by this confidence, the band, in the three months since it has been together, has written 14 songs, performed live at local coffeehouses and gatherings, and recorded two of their songs.
Their most recent successes were at the Choir Talent Show, at Indigo Jones in New Brunswick, where they performed on two Amateur Nights, and at the Dead Center sponsored Coffee House Rock, where Sprachman read lyrics to recorded background music. Their inspiration? According to Sprachman, the source is cereal, "We eat a big fat bowl of Lucky Charms and jam away."
Perhaps due to this motivation, the band has grown much in the past three months, starting out as a funk band, and evolving into punk. Explaining the difference between their two styles, Deis says, "Punk is Mr. Parks, funk is more George Clinton." More recently the band has begun to play a new style that Sprachman describes as "spoken word with instrumental background" which is what was played at the Coffee House in December.
Because of the wide range of music, the band had originally intended to name themselves "Variety," but later opted for Komlos's suggestion of "Fresh and Tasty." Sophomore Rebecca Bergknoff commented that they "should have been 'Tutti Fruiti'; no actually 'Fresh and Fruiti'," and freshman Noa Yachot added her own suggestion of "Fresh and Cool." But "Fresh and Tasty" was retained as the group's name. According to band members, it originated from Komlos's description of a certain girl at HPHS, which begins to explain his commonly used stage name of "Mr. Horny." the band members use stage names during their performances, for instance, Susman is known as "Smoker Boy", and Sprachman, simply as "Isaac."
The band's demo tape is expected to be out this month and will include songs such as "George of the Jungle," "Good Things to Life," and "Tribal Song." Although all of the members have been in other bands, "Fresh and Tasty" is their first experience with lyric and song writing. Said Deis, who was in 40 bands before settling with "Fresh and Tasty," "If we couldn't write our own songs, and if we played cover songs, we'd be any other band in any other high school." Komlos adds that, "Original music is what makes 'Fresh and Tasty'." The general theme of the lyrics, written by Sprachman, are injustices in society. One example of such a theme is "George of the Jungle" [note, really "Good Things to Life"], a song based in a small Washington town [Walla Walla] where nuclear warheads were planted underground to test the effects of radiation. The band is also open to turning others' poetry into music, as well as writing their own.
The music, written by Deis and Susman, is described by all the band members as loud. For this reason, the band prefers Indigo Jones to other locations. The band hopes to be able to perform there on a more regular basis in the future. After its amateur performances in January, Indigo Jones offered the group members a contract and if "Fresh and Tasty" is successful in attracting a crowd, it will perform there on a monthly basis, receiving 80% of the 2 dollar admission fee. Although they have not yet heard from the manager, the members remain optimistic. [Next performance March 21] Pictures of this recent performance, as well as individual pictures of the band members, can be seen at Fresh and Tasty's web site, which can be reached through Deis's father's Rutgers site [ http://www-rci.rutgers.edu/~deis/band.html]
"Fresh and Tasty" also hopes to gain followers by playing at open nights at high schools in the area, as it did at the Talent Show. Accompanying the band at performances as well as practices is the self described "Fresh and Tasty" groupie, eighth grader Miles Lewis. In what could be interpreted as an admiration of their musical abilities, he comments that, "It's a good thing they have a band because they're not good at anything else."
Until recently, the band was practicing three to four times a week for two hour sessions in Komlos's attic, and conflict readily followed this commitment. Deis admitted that much of the practice time was spent in argument, and Komlos, said "For every five minutes we spend playing a song, we spend fifteen minutes yelling at each other." The disagreements, which stemmed mostly from conflicting ideas on what to perform and when, also involved the levels of commitment within the band. Komlos, interested in more serious practice, quit as a drummer during one practice session, only to come back on the same day with an agreement of increased commitment. "Fresh and Tasty" has switched rehearsal location to Susman's garage.