Q&A with The Ideal Fathers

Categories: Profiles
Photo by Jerry Goff

The Ideal Fathers are four guys (singer Jesse Hunsaker, guitarist Adam Rojo, bassist Michael King and drummer Michael Perfetti) who play gloriously chaotic, hyperkinetic dance punk with verve and abandon. If you haven't caught one of their sets or heard any of their songs on one of the fine radio programs featuring local music, you are missing out on one of the most exciting bands in Denver. Tomorrow, the group releases its debut EP, A Complete Waste of Time Travel, at the Larimer Lounge, with Accordion Crimes and the Get Down opening the show. Also, they have a button with a picture of a baby with a giant beetle's head (you should ask them for one when you see them). To find out what makes the Fathers tick, here's a Q&A with Jesse Hunsaker.

Westword (Cory Casciato):How many of you are actually fathers?

Jesse Hunsaker: None of us are actually fathers. Ideal Fathers actually came from Vinnie (Wray), our original bass player. He was in school while he was starting the band and I think there was a lecture or paper he read about the ideal father throughout different sects of society. We liked the ring of those two words together. We checked it out and there were no other bands with that name. That's where it came from, it was all Vinnie's idea.

WW: How did the Ideal Fathers come to be?

JH: It started a couple years back as a project our guitar player Adam, Vinnie, who was the former frontman of band that was going for the worst name in Denver - Puke Mop - and Paddy (McDonough), our original drummer. They wanted to do a project and originally Vinnie was supposed to sing but he was finding it difficult to sing and play bass, so they wanted to add a singer. Fortunately they found me, and I joined up in February 2006. I shared Vinnie's declining interest in the stagnant punk scene. We'd all been in kind of crappy punk bands and wanted to take it tot the next level. We played out for a while, eventually started losing everyone in the band. It was basically me and Adam left. Vinnie left the band because he severed tendons in his hand and literally couldn't play the bass for a while. There was only one person that we could get to fill Vinnie's shoes as far as technicality of the bass lines and zaniness of how they sound and Mike was that guy. Paddy left for financial reasons and we found our current drummer. I think we're the strongest right now we've ever been instrumentally

WW: Musically speaking what is the make up of the ideal fathers?

JH: Definitely post-punk -- early '80s, late '70s English post-punk, like Gang of Four, Wire. For me personally, the Pixies have always been one of my favorite bands, but then I started listening to Big Black and more edgy post punk bands that were pushing the edge as far as subject matter. For me, Big Black almost started the industrial sound, because their drum machine is so heavy and their bass is so fuzzy and they got all that going for them, plus the sparse guitar, but not at the same time. Those are bands I admire. I know Adam's guitar hero is Andy Gill from Gang of Four - that's Adam's personal hero. As far as influences on the band go, Dead Kennedies, Fugazi, Q and Not U, Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu.

WW: Your song names are pretty clever, are there any interesting stories behind those?

JH: The "Complete Waste of Time Travel" came from us jamming and talking about doing covers. We were talking about covering Romeo Void, "I might like you better if we slept together" - that song (Ed. Note - "Never Say Never" ). Then we started talking about traveling back in time and having sex with the singer of Romeo Void. I don't really remember why we were talking about sleeping with her, because she's not the most stunning. It actually just came out of my mouth, I really didn't realize the words I'd strung together. I just said, "That would be a complete waste of time travel." I just imagined someone harnessing the power of traveling back in time for the sole purpose of sleeping with Romeo Void, not to end world hunger or stop war, just sleep with the singer of Romeo Void. So, a pretty pitiful use of one of the most sought after powers..

Me and Adam work together at this company that makes day planners for businesses and the majority of business comes from the fast food industry. One company's motto is "Be fast, be courteous and failing at friendly is not an option." Adam saw that and thought it was pretty funny and we thought we'd pay ode to the place we work and the corporate fast-food joints and call a song that. Not as interesting a story as the time travel title. Generally when naming our songs we just try to think of something weird. Sometimes its books or art or other times it's just a weird conversation while we're playing around and we'll say something funny and it will stick. Our song titles generally have nothing to do with the songs, but I kind of like it that way.

WW: Anything else you'd like to say?

JH: I would just like the world to know that truly we are doing it for the love of the music and in the process we may alienate some people since its not the most accessible sound out there but that's kind of the point. I don't want to make mellow music, I don't want to make music that people can listen to in an elevator. I want to shake the scene up a little bit and give people music they can bang their head to and shake their ass to at the same time. I don't think there's anything wrong with being a dance band but still being hard or dangerous or trying to draw on numerous influences and try to make it tangible and listenable. To the average person we're probably not that easy to listen to, but I think that's what separates the people that really enjoy your music from the people that just kind of put up with it as well. I'd rather have a fan that really wants to hear the band and hear the music than someone that heard the band in a Grey's Anatomy commercial and wants to see the band because we're handsome.

We're always getting better. We've got material we're dying to record and I'm excited for that because I can see what's coming up. The new songs we're working on I think are taking us to another level of songwriting and being musicians and challenging us

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