Photo by: Carolyn Lederach

Photo by: Carolyn Lederach

The rules are simple...there's a hat, this hat is filled with many questions ranging from the personal to the off beat.  We pass the hat, each band member gets a chance to answer the question they choose from the hat.  Fun is had by all.

We met up with NYC's Strange Names in Philly before their recent show.  The four piece released their debut album Use Your Time Wisely earlier this year and since then have been releasing several delightfully odd but lovable music videos, which you've probably seen around our site a few times. It's hard not to catch on to the infectious new wave/synth-pop sound these guys put out.  So without further to do, here's Chat in a Hat with Strange Names.

Francis Ximénez (guitar/vocals), Liam Benzvi (vocals), Fletcher Aleckson (drums), and Lawnmall (bass)


Francis: Would you rather never be able to speak again or always have to say everything on your mind?

Never speak again.

Lawnmall: Yeah I don't think people want to hear what’s on your mind

Francis: ouch!


Liam: What is your guilty pleasure song?

I've got a lot.  Probably that Frou Frou ‘Let Go’ song from Garden State.

Lawnmall: Why is that guilty?

Liam: It’s so closely associated with the cinematic moment

Lawnmall: But why should you feel guilty about it?

Liam: Well I guess that’s a question we need to ask the question 


Fletcher: You’re granted a once in a lifetime chance to travel into space.  You’re allowed to bring one item and one person.  Who/what would they be?

Well, no one or anything here.   I'd bring Steven Hawking.

Lawnmall: He’d appreciate that!

Fletcher:  and then his wheelchair


Lawnmall: What are you going to be for Halloween?

My partner is being Audrey Horne from Twin Peaks and I’m being Agent Cooper after he gets fired from the FBI and he’s wearing his flannel stuff and out in the forest. 

Francis:  So you’re going as that episode for Halloween?

Lawnmall: Yeah that particular episode, just because it’s easier than getting a suit.


Francis: If you could invite two people to a dinner party who would they be?

My mom and my estranged father.  I’m kidding, my parents are still together.  I would be there, so I’d say myself and me.


Liam: Do you have any tour souvenirs?

In Chicago there’s this amazing store called kokorokoko and they have all kinds of things.  I got these trading card, they're robot girl pin-up trading cards, and Cyndi Lauper trading cards.  This is actually guiltier than my last answer, but some Spice Girl photos.  Some candids like Posh on the toilet.


Fletcher: Whats the stupidest thing you did in your teens to look cool?

Liam: [in his best old lady smoker voice] SMOKING

Fletcher: I guess he answered that.  A friend and I once paid this one kid to…never mind.  Khakis were maybe involved.


Lawnmall: Favorite scary movie.

My answer is probably also going to be about David Lynch because I love Mulholland Drive, and that’s horrifying, at least that one scene.  I’m not going to say which one.  I’m going to let people imagine which one scene that is.


Francis: Give me your best door to door salesman pitch for your album:

This album is amazing.  Was that good, is that alright?

Liam: Hey you, please listen to it.  Please, we worked so hard on it.


Liam: Give one of your bandmates a review like you would on Yelp

Lawnmall - sugary sweet and the service was delightful.  A little expensive sometimes, depending on the weekend.


Fletcher: What do you do to pass the time on the road?

I sleep while driving.  I drive.

Francis: We’ve got a PS2 in our van so we’ve been playing the Sims.  We’re making all of us.

Lawnmall: I’ve been sleeping on the couch for a couple months.

Fletcher: We’re going to see who dies first


Lawnmall: What is your favorite song and/or album right now?

In the most vanilla way possible I like the new Grimes song, ‘Flesh without Blood’.  I like the new Deer Hunter record.  I never do year end lists so I’m just doing that now.  The newest Beach House is pretty good.  Katie Day put out a record earlier this year that everyone should listen to!  


Be sure to catch Strange Names on the road over the next couple of can't go wrong!  If you need further convincing, check out our review of the Philly show HERE.