Rock-star dreams smack of hubris. To actually bank on your band making it big is as foolish as cashing out your 401K to buy lotto tickets. Somebody's gotta win, but even with lots of effort, the odds still aren't in your favor.
Even so, don't all bands secretly fantasize about a sweet ride from the shadows to the spotlight?
"Gah!" groans Alex Devereaux, bassist for San Diego's Swim Party. "How do you answer that? I was once misquoted as saying I wanted to be a "financially successful rock star.' Noooooo. I just said that we don't think we're going to make it big, but we wouldn't mind if we did."
What the band is really about, agree all three members of Swim Party, is loving music. That and having fun.
Rico's Taco Shop in Encinitas is where the fun is at every Tuesday night before practice. Without glancing at the menu, the bandmates place their orders and slide into a booth. Before the food is at the table, they start firing off an endless round of one-liners that ricochet around the table, rat-tat-tat.
"Have you ever noticed that people in California blame the Santa Anas for everything?" poses drummer Petro Halkowycz, a New Jersey transplant who used to play Cuban jazz. Devereaux and singer/guitarist Eric Tremblay-whose day job is working on a doctorate in Engineering at UCSD-come up with a list of scenarios in which such an excuse might be useful, giggling at every idea.
Swim Party met through craigslist. ("Not," Halkowycz adds, "the Casual Encounters section".) Halkowycz and Tremblay connected first and, after comparing lists of favorite bands, decided to give it a go. They practiced in Halkowycz's tiny Pacific Beach apartment with guitar turned low and a "miniature drumset." Then they posted an ad for a bassist.
Devereaux had just undergone back surgery but responded to the ad: "Give me six weeks to recover and I'll rock out!"
Quips Halkowycz: "I wanted to write back and say, "That's cool-I'm getting my hip replaced tomorrow.'"
But Devereaux was worth the wait, and the band has been happily together since. They may not be getting shout-outs from Zach Braff just yet, but San Diego has taken notice. The band's melodic indie rock, influenced by the usual suspects-Modest Mouse, Pinback, Yo La Tengo-earned the group a Best Alternative Album nomination at last year's San Diego Music Awards.
"We want to be friends first, bandmates later," says Tremblay of the band's future, which includes an opening gig for Calla on Sunday and a new EP later this year. He looks around the table and the guys nod in agreement. "Oh, we gotta high-five each other now!"
And so they do.
Swim Party plays with Calla and Sputnik Monroe at The Casbah on Sunday, March 25. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. $8. 619-232-HELL.