Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pheaturing Christian Cawley

Hello, everybody, welcome to another entry of the Phile. It's Memorial Day Weekend, kids! I am working tomorrow, so do you know what that means? Holiday pay and time and a half. Woo-hoo! Anyway, it's Memorial Day weekend and who do I interview? A Brit. That's okay, I'm British as well. Happy Bank Holiday Weekend. The world was supposed to end last Saturday but at the last minute, it was picked up for another season. Harold Camping has shifted his prediction of the apocalypse from May 21 to October 21, which is great because now I don’t have to buy a Halloween costume. wait a minute, I don't celebrate Halloween. Never mind. Anyway, apparently the rapture is being produced by the same people that produced “Spider-Man the Musical.” Did you watch Oprah's last show? Oprah just had her last show. Everyone got a car and a Stedman. Oprah’s show will be on reruns until September, and then she will be replaced by Ashton Kutcher. A world without Oprah is like a doughnut without jelly. I like to think Oprah will be like Batman, and that we can shine a spotlight into the sky and she’ll reappear when we need her most — like when we can’t figure out what to read. Actually, you have the Peverett Phile Book Club for that. Who needs Oprah and her book club. One of Sarah Palin’s supporters is about to release a documentary about her called “The Undefeated.” That’s like a documentary about Arnold Schwarzenegger called “The Faithful.” Someone made a two-hour documentary about Sarah Palin’s political life. In case you’re interested in watching a movie that’s longer than Palin’s actual political life. By the way, I still want to interview her for the Phile, so go to her Facebook page and post on it she should be interviewed by me. Donald Trump now says he may run for president as an independent. And when Donald Trump says he’s going do something, Donald Trump... says he’s going to do something. Rudy Giuliani is apparently thinking about running for president. Wow, that would bring us to, like, seven candidates — and about 35 ex-wives. There are rumors that Sarah Palin will run for president. It’s a big decision. On one hand, running for president is a long and grueling process that goes on for months and years. But she could just quit halfway through, right? So, a lot of kids are going to their proms around this time of year. I graduated in England, and we don't have proms there. Which was probably for the best because the only person who would've asked me to go would be the janitor. Subway sandwich shops are testing out several upscale restaurants called Subway Cafes. They feature wood paneling, lounge seating, and other things to distract you from the tuna fish being served with an ice-cream scoop. At Disney's Hollywood Studios (the greatest theme park to work at ever) Star Wars Weekends is going on. Today Darth Vader didn't show and was M.I.A. But here on the Phile, I know where he went. Check it out.

As I said, it's Memorial Day tomorrow, and I love the new Memorial Day inspirational posters they are selling. Check this one out, kids.

They even have Memorial Day in the Star Wars universe, believe it or not. Take a look at this for proof.

Well, it's Sunday, so it's time again for a...

And now for some sad news, kids.

Jeff Conaway
October 5, 1950 - May 27, 2011
Gil Scott-Heron
April 1, 1949 - May 27, 2011
The Funeral Will Not Be Televised.
Macho Man Randy Savage
November 15, 1952 - May 20, 2011
Snap him into a bin, Jim!
Harmon Killebrew
June 29, 1936 - May 17, 2011
Hall of Famer with 573 home runs, including a 520 footer in 1967 - and I still thought he had something to do with beer.

From the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Ten Reasons Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger Are Separating
10. She finally saw Jingle All The Way.
9. Maria's nightly refusal to "pump him up".
8. The 25-year cross-species study had concluded.
7. Turns out Maria is actually a girly man.
6. One of 'em kept leaving the cap off the Weider supplements.
5. She got tired of the interpreter in the bedroom.
4. Testing new tag line: "I won't be back".
3. She wouldn't lose that dang accent.
2. Action hero on the silver screen. Action zero in the bedroom.
And the number one reason Maria and Arnold are seperating...
1. Shouldn't we be trying to think of ten reasons why they were ever together in the first place?

Today's guest is the editor for one of my favorite "Doctor Who" news websites and is the author of the "Ultimate Regeneration", the 15th book to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Book Club. Please welcome to the Phile... Christian Cawley.

Me: Hello, Christian, welcome to the Phile, and congrats on having your book "Ultimate Regeneration" the 15th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. How are you?

Christian: Hi, I'm well, thanks, and it's very nice to be featured here. I'm among an illustrious group and it's quite humbling!

Me: Is "Ultimate Regeneration" the first book you have written?

Christian: "Ultimate Regeneration" is the third book that I've written, in fact, but the first to be published, thanks to various issues.

Me: You are working on a Beatles book, right? There are so many books about the Beatles, Christian, how is it gonna be different?

The Beatles book was in fact the first book that I wrote, and for reasons I won't go into here went into what I believe was very limited release overseas. It's different in that it attempts to tell the story of the Beatles in contemporary terms - they were just 4 boys who formed a group and got very lucky, and you know if they had been around to day they would have been just as cool, just as well loved and just as boy next door as they were then. Quite different to how the Beatles themselves became of course, in many way separated from their fans...

Me: Let's talk about your present book, as that's why you are here. It's a book with articles that you have put up on your "Doctor Who" website Kasterborus, am I right?

Christian: It's a selection of articles and every review from running from "Rose" through to "The End of Time, Part 2". I think there have been several "Doctor Who" websites or blogs that have decided to publish books and it's a tricky deal - you want to offer more than just "a blog in a book". So we added in some extra stuff.

Me: I was thinking of putting together a Peverett Phile book pheaturing all my interviews but then thought why would anybody buy it if they can read it for free on the web. Did that cross your mind as well?

Christian: I think if you put together a book with interviews from the site as well as additional content, perhaps follow up interviews with the same subjects, that doesn't appear on Peverett Phile, then you get something that is unique. "Ultimate Regeneration" is around 40-50% original content - there is a running narrative throughout from before "Rose" right through to the end of "The End of Time, Part 2", covering form time to time press reaction, fan reaction, etc. Also a small number of reviews were unsuitable to be featured as originally presented, so we substituted these, as well as adding in some additonal material concerning Torchwood, Mickey Smith, Donna Noble and more. Additionally it isn't just me writing the reviews, we've got contributions from Kasterborous Associate Editor Brian A. Terranova, Kopic's "Doctor Who" News administrator Simon R. Mills, and Gareth Kavanagh of "Vworp Vworp!" So it's more than just a "blog in a book" which is why I think it's done so well - we've sold just over 100 copies so far which I'm delighted with.

Me: Christian, I have to ask you about the cover... who did the drawing?

Christian: The design genius that is Anthony Dry is responsible for that very striking image. You might know his work from the "Doctor Who" DVD boxsets, and he was a founder member of Kasterborous.

Me: Was it your idea or Anthony's to make it black and white?

Christian: Totally Anthony's: I wouldn't dream of making such a major design decision! I know my place...

Me: I was surprised Matt Smith is not on it instead of David Tennant. Was the cover designed before Matt Smith was the Doctor?

As we don't cover the Matt Smith era he doesn't appear on the book cover; I think Anthony's idea was to link the original series with the Russell T. Davis era, hence the images of the Hartnell and Tennant Doctors.

Me: I read a review of the book and it said there was a few typos. I HATE typos when I post my blog, Christian, did you edit the book yourself? I would of done it for you, y'know. Was it hard getting the book published?

Christian: HAH! Yes there is a very particular typo that occurs twice in just a few lines which is hugely embarrassing, not least because of the number of eyes it has passed in front of. Hopefully by the time your readers see this the book will be available on Amazon with little to no typos. I do feel, however, that the reviewer you speak of was a little unkind: the introduction does make it clear that various Americanisms and inconsistent grammar between U.S. and U.K. English and so on appear in the book, as that is how they appeared on the website. It's not my place as editor of the book to divert from what the original contributors were trying to say.

Me: I mentioned your website, which is one of my favorite "Doctor Who" news websites by the way, and you have been a supporter of the Phile when I posted "Doctor Who" themed interviews. How long has the website been up, Christian?

Christian: I'm delighted to count you among our readers! We started off in mid-to-late 2004 with a full (but muted) launch on January 1st 2005; it all came about thanks to a chat Anthony and I had in the old Outpost Gallifrey forum. He wanted somewhere to showcase his artwork and I fancied becoming a writer.

Me: Tell the readers where the name came from, and how you came about it?

The name Kasterborous comes from classic "Doctor Who", and is the name of the constellation in which the Doctor's home planet Gallifrey is found. I'm not sure if the actual physical mechanics of this is accurate, but it's a great word and when we were thinking up a name we discarded loads of others (including some that have since been used with some success!).

Me: Have you been a "Doctor Who" fan all your life? My first Doctor was Jon Pertwee, who was yours?

I grew up in the 1980's but I was born in 1975 so while the law sort of says Peter Davison should be "my" Doctor I was quite precocious at that young age, and as such Tom Baker is the one for me! He was my very first, and I remembered various moments from episodes from 1978 and 1979 when I first caught them on VHS and DVD. The first episode I really remember well, however, is "Warrior's Gate".

Me: "Doctor Who" is not the only thing you write about, right? You write about classic rock as well?

Christian: I did have a blog back in the day that focussed mainly on Led Zeppelin, but this fell by the wayside as Kasterborous grew. So far my only real work in that direction is the Beatles book. I do earn my daily crust as a freelance writer, however, mainly in the mobile, office and domestic technology areas.

Me: Speaking of classic rock, my dad was the lead singer in he classic rock band Foghat, Christian, have you heard of them?

Christian: I must confess that I haven't but I've just looked them up and I do know Savoy Brown with whom it seems they're related, "Rock Family Tree" style. According to Wikipedia they're a blues rock/boogie blues act so I'm off to find some stuff and buy some albums! Right up my street!

Me: What other things do you write about?

Christian: Other than the daily grind of Windows 7, Mac OS X, Android, Windows Phone and "Doctor Who"? Little else it seems! I am working on a couple of comic strips (one of which is for Kasterborous) and I've also started a novel. I know most of how it goes, it has a pretty definite beginning, middle and end, so we'll see how that goes. I also write a few gags from time to time but they don't get used that often (ie, never). Although I have had a short sitcom script performed as part of a competition, which was very interesting.

Me: I read somewhere that you don't like Russell T. Davis. Is that true? I have been trying to get him on the Phile for the longest time. Have you met him, Christian?

Christian: I have never met Russell but I would love to. I certainly wouldn't say that I don't like him - as I say I've never met the chap and have no idea what his small talk is like! I'm sure he's a very nice guy, but clearly very determined and focused and clear about what he wants - all very admirable traits. I think it's fair to say, as anyone reading "Ultimate Regeneration" will find, that initially I wasn't convinced by his vision of "Doctor Who", and by the time of Series 2 I was extremely doubtful. However whether it was a case of me getting used to it or the series moving in a more favourable direction for me (probably a combination of both) I think I got to be a "sort-of" fan of RTD, particularly episodes like "Turn Left" and "Midnight".

Me: Christian, thanks so much for being on the Phile, for your support, and for letting your book be in the Book Club. Will you come back if your Beatles book comes out?

Christian: Hah! It's been a fraught and drawn out process - should it ever see the light of day, however, I would love to!

Me: Go ahead and plug all your sites, and I wish you will keep on writing, sir. Thanks again, and keep in touch.

Christian: Thank you for having me here, it's been an honour! I would really just like to give a mention to Cult Britannia, a Kasterborous-like website that focusses on British cult/sci-fi/fantasy/horror TV, audio, movies and books. It's a new site we're growing in audience daily and you can find it at

Well, that about does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Christian for a great interview and I hope he comes back when his novel or Beatles book comes out. Have a safe Memorial Day tomorrow, kids. The Phile will be back next Monday with Alumni The Whiskey Saints, and a brand new pheature I think you guys will like. Until then, spread the word, not the turd, don't let snakes and alligators bite you, and always let the Wookiee win. Bye, love you, bye.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pheaturing Shirli McAllen From The Leftover Cuties

Hello, welcome to the Phile for another entry, thanks for stopping by, I am your host Jaspe Halon Ttejetta of Excedrin. That's my Star Wars name. A few days ago at Disney the new ride Star Wars: The Adventures Continue opened, and guess who I met? His initials are G.L. No, not Geddy Lee, not George Lopez, and not Green Lantern, even though that would be cool. Speaking of Disney, the greatest company to work for ever, they are trademarking the phrase “SEAL Team 6,” after the team that took down Osama bin Laden. Yeah, cause when they shot bin Laden, captured his wives and found his porn, I was like, “This would make a great Disney movie.” In a new interview, President Obama said that killing Osama bin Laden does not secure his 2012 re-election. Yeah, that’s been taken care of by the current field of Republicans. On their first day in Italy, the cast of “Jersey Shore” got $375 worth of traffic tickets. The cop was like, “Do you know the speed limit?” And they were like, “Yeah, yeah, he’s friends with The Situation.” They just taped the final episode of the Oprah Winfrey show. It was a day of tears and sadness — and that was just me when I couldn’t get tickets. A police officer in San Francisco was busted for running a brothel. They became suspicious when he would only handcuff people that paid extra. Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a lovechild back in 2003. He’s been taking care of the child financially, providing healthcare and education — the same stuff he took from every other child while he was governor of California. Arnold is already coming up with excuses. He said he was just auditioning to be the next head of the IMF. The members of the family that owns the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus are suing each other in federal court. There are wild charges and outbursts, and the judge said, “This trial is becoming a three-ring... never mind.” I like Cirque du Soleil better myself. They don't use animals. They exploit a group of creatures even stranger than animals: French Canadians. Officials at the Secret Service had to delete a tweet from their official Twitter account because they made fun of Fox News. Knock it off, Secret Service! That’s my job. What is the Secret Service doing with a Twitter account? Isn’t it their job to keep stuff secret? It’s easy to pick the Secret Service guys out of the crowd. They’re the ones talking into their sleeves. They’re either Secret Service or they’re insane. Have you been watching "American Idol"? 50 Cent performed on “American Idol” and not one person got shot. He’s slipping a little. “American Idols” are idols the same way that American cheese is cheese. Well, the world was supposed to end on yesterday. It would really be bad if we only survived three weeks longer than bin Laden. This just in: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have put their former mansion on the market for $23.5 million. It’s not that clean though, because they had a maid but she was always busy doing other stuff. Dick Cheney is releasing a memoir in August about his personal and political life. I’m not going to say reading it is torture. It’s more of an enhanced interrogation technique. A new study found that long-lasting marriages are on the rise in the U.S. In fact, most marriages last for more than 10 years, or however long it takes to learn about the secret love child with the housekeeper. A $215 million theme park is opening in China, dedicated to Hello Kitty. It’s right next to that famous Chinese restaurant “Goodbye Doggy.” Well, I mentioned Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, the new ride at Disney, right? Anyway, they are selling inspirational Star Wars themed posters and I was so excited, Like this one...

People are still talking about the royal wedding. No, really, they are, and I was thinking the other day the Windsor's must be Disney fans. They copied the movie Cinderella for their wedding. Look what I mean.

Well, I have been really busy at my new job at Disney. I can't tell you where I am working, but let's pretend it's called Start Ours. Anyway, I have not had a day off all week, so I am kinda out of the loop on what's been going on. So, I thought I would once again ask someone who could fill me in. So, once again, it's time to...

Me: Jeff, thanks for being back on the Phile. I hope you are glad to be back.

Jeff: Jason, you know it's always good to be back on the Phile.

Me: So, what's been going on with the NFL? Are we gonna have any football this season?

Jeff: Football did a naughty thing and made it look like they would be coming back. But a judge put the lock out back on so football is still not looking good for right now.

Me: Anything going on with TV? I haven't watched a lot of TV this past week.

Jeff: A lot is happening in TV. "Smallville" ended an up and down ten year run, but it was the longest running Sci-fi show in history with an epic finale last week. Most shows are doing the season finale shows right about now, making it a good time to watch TV as well. "Celebrity Apprentice" is down to the final two people being country star John Rich and Oscar winner Marlee Matlin. The finale airs live tonight. It should be an epic fight. They even got Dee Snider on the show, in full Twisted Sister makeup. The networks are announcing their new shows for next season, hoping for a big hit. For the most part there was no major hits of the season this year, but a lot of new shows will return next season.

Me: And movies?

Jeff: As far as new movies, well it is once again the summer of the Sequel. Starting with Fast Five. There is also Pirates 4 as well as a lot of other sequels that should make this summer an exciting popcorn eating time.

Me: And I have been away from Epcot for almost two months. What's been going on there? Any gossip you can fill me in on?

Jeff: Epcot is the way it always was. Nothing to exciting happening, not like Disney's Hollywood Studios these days.

Me: Thanks, Jeff, for being on the Phile again and helping me out.

Well, it's Sunday, so here's another...

This is the 15th book to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Book Club...
The author, Christian Cawley, will be a guest on the Phile next week.

Okay, today's guest is the lead singer for one of my new favorite bands out right now. Their debut CD "Places To Go" comes out on May 31st, and will be available on iTunes. They'll also will be playing at Bardot Hollywood in Hollywood, CA on June 2nd. Please welcome to the Phile... Shirli McAllen.

Me: Hello, Shirli, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Shirli: I'm well, thanks.

Me: I have to say, I LOVE your band the Leftover Cuties and your new single "Places To Go". Where are you from, Shirli?

Shirli: Thanks so much. I was born and raised in Israel.

Me: Wow. So, how long have you lived in America? You kids are based in California, right?

Shirli: Yeah, most of us are in Venice California, I moved to the states about ten years ago.

Me: Growing up in Israel did you know you wanted to be a musician?

Shirli: Well, I started singing since I can remember my self, and at 14 when I picked up the guitar, the first thing I did was write a song. So yeah, I always loved making music, but back then I don't think I was thinking of a career just yet.

Me: What kinda music did you listen to growing up? I imagine you listened to a lot of Billie Holiday, right?

Shirli: Actually no, Billie came into my life much much later. I grew up listening to a lot of israeli music, and as a teenager I loved grange rock. When I was a little bit older I got into Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchel, those two have inspired me the most as a songwriter. A few years ago when we first started working on Leftover Cuties material, people started commenting about my singing style, and how it was nostalgic to them in a way. That's when I started digging into music from the 30's and 40's. I loved how pure and simple it was back then, yet with such strong melodies and lyrics that stand the test of time.

Me: When you came to California, that's where you met Austin Nicholson and formed the Leftover Cuties... did you guys strike up a friendship right away?

Shirli: Austin played bass with me when I was still doing my solo thing. He was brought on by the drummer I had at the time. The moment Austin started playing I knew I wanted to make music with him. We became really good friends and one night he showed up at my house with a ukulele. He played a beautiful chord chance and I had written some lyrics that night at the bar I was working at. I started singing and we wrote "Game Called Life" in about 5 minutes. The next day we made a home recording of it and forgot about it for about two years.

Me: Who else is in the band with you, Shirli?

Shirli: Stuart Johnson is our drummer, Ryan Feves plays Bass, Mike Bolger plays horns, accordion and piano, and off course Austin who plays ukulele.

Me: Where did the name come from? I don't know about the leftover part, but you definitely have the cute part down.

Shirli: Thanks, Jason! The name came from the bar I was working at. Some co workers/friends had recently quit their jobs, and so my friend Josh came up to me and another friend and said "you guys are the leftover cuties". I instantly thought it would be the perfect name for the new project I started with Austin.

Me: Your new album "Places To Go" is not your first release, am I right? You had a few other releases as well. Did your music stay consistent the whole time?

Shirli: We released an EP in 2009 titled "Game Called Life". The title track from that EP ended up as a theme song for a show time series called "The Big C". Other then that we released a few covers and a fun Christmas EP. We are so excited for our album release next week! It's been a long time coming. I think performing live so much and working with Tony Berg on this record had made us mature and evolve, and the result is a much bigger sound then where we started.

Me: Your new album was produced by Tony Berg who also produced Bob Dylan. Are you or anybody else in the band a Dylan fan? I am. Did he have any good stories to tell?

Shirli: I'm a huge Dylan fan, he is simply the best. Tony didn't have any crazy stories about him, he just said that it was a treat working with him, and that it's was one of the highlights of his career.

Me: I downloaded a lot of your music from iTunes and one song you have is called "Poker Face". That's not the Lady Gaga song, is it?

Shirli: It is. It's our own spin on it. It's actually a very well written song. It proves itself when you take it somewhere else and it still works. Lady Gaga liked it enough to Tweet about it.

Me: You also did a cover of "You Are My Sunshine", but most of your music is original material, Shirli. Do you and Austin both do the songwriting?

Shirli: Most of the songs are written by Austin and I as a collaboration, yes. We have a great chemistry writing together, though sometimes I write on my own and so does Austin.

Me: Shirli, you have an amazing voice, but do you play any instruments as well?

Shirli: Thanks so much! I do. I play ukulele, guitar, percussion and a little bit of this and that.

Me: You mentioned a show on TV called "The Big C", which I never heard of... what is the big C anyway? Oh, it's on Showtime, which I don't get. No wonder I never heard of it. And for those of you that don't know, it stars Laura Linney. Anyway, you guys did the theme song for it. How did that come about? That is so cool, Shirli. Do you watch the show?

Shirli: Yeah, "The Big C" has been such a great opportunity for us. We were lucky to have our music in the right hands at the right time, and for that song to be such a perfect fit for what the show is about. The C stands for cancer. It's a dark comedy about living life when you've been diagnosed with cancer. It's a great show. I watch it and I look forward to second season starting in July. We get really sweet comments from fans from all over the world on a daily basis, and it's been especially humbling to get e mails from cancer patients who were inspired by the song.

Me: I love the video for the song "Game Called Life", and it looks like you really had a good time making it. Was it a fun video shoot? Do you play pool?

Shirli: It was so fun! It was my first experience doing something like that so there was also a nervous side to it. We did play a little pool and that last shot where the ball turns perfectly to reveal our band name was the lucky moment of the day. We're about to shoot another video for our album's title track "Places To Go", I can't wait!

Me: Shirli, thanks so much for being on the Phile. I hope you keep making music for a long time, and in the same style as well. You are one of my new favorite bands! Go ahead and plug your website, and please come to Orlando to play.

Shirli: My pleasure, Jason. Thanks so much for having us. Our website is We really hope to visit Florida sometime this year.

Me: Thanks again, and tell the other Cuties I said hello. Thanks again!

Shirli: Will do. Thanks!

There you go, kids. That about does it for another entry. Thanks to Jeff for answering a few questions. Check out his own blog at Also, thanks to Shirli for a great interview. Check out the album when it comes out next Tuesday on iTunes. The Phile will be back next Sunday with Peverett Phile Book Club author Christian Cawley. Until then, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pheaturing Natalie Gelman

Okay, are you ready? Phive, Phour, three, two, phun! Hello, thanks for stopping by, welcome to the Phile. How are you? People are still talking about bin Laden's death. President Obama admitted he was very nervous while watching the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. And it didn’t help that every two seconds, Joe Biden kept saying, “Are we there yet?” Al-Qaida released a statement saying the United States will pay for Osama bin Laden’s death. I’m pretty sure we did pay for it. We even took care of the funeral arrangements. For years, the CIA thought bin Laden was sick and on dialysis, but one of his wives said he recovered from two kidney operations in part by eating watermelon every day. I knew watermelons were against us. Hey, Beatles fans, Paul McCartney is getting married again. The couple plans on having an intimate ceremony, which is a nice way of saying that Ringo is not invited. Doctors say that 2011 will be the worst year ever for allergies. Before that, they said 2010 would be worst and before that, 2009. I’m starting to think these doctors may work for the allergy companies. Did you guys, and when I say guys, I mean mother's, have a good Mother's Day last Sunday? I felt bad, because I forgot to say Happy Mother's Day in the last entry. Anyway, I always think Mother’s Day is funny because all of the mothers I know just want to get as far away from their children as possible. Simon Cowell started shooting his new TV show, which explains why Baby Gap is sold out of black T-shirts. The royal couple is finally heading to their honeymoon for two weeks of living in pampered luxury, followed by a lifetime of... the same. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver are separating after 25 years of marriage. Arnold issued a statement saying, “Hasta la vista, half of my stuff.” They were married for a quarter century. In Hollywood, a quarter century is like being married for 200 years in the real world.
What would happen if the Obamas split up? Would Barack have to move out of the White House, into a one-bedroom with 27 Secret Service men? If my wife and I ever split up, I would be dead. Have you heard about Mel Gibson’s new movie? It is about a man who is so emotionally damaged that he can only communicate through hand puppets. It’s called The Jason Peverett Story. CBS has offered Charlie Sheen’s role on “Two and a Half Men” to Hugh Grant. I wonder what the thought process was there: “Where can we find another actor who has been busted with hookers?” There’s a company in Los Angeles that’s selling a bottle of water for $2,600. You know what’s just as ridiculous? A $2 bottle of water. A Dairy Queen in Canada broke a world record this week by creating a 10-ton ice cream dessert. Or as we call that in America, “a medium.” Well, it's Friday, or as I like to call it Phriday, and I was thinking, did you guys see the ad for the new Ice Cube and Rebecca Black movie? Here it is in case you didn't.

Wait a minute, not only is it Friday, it's Friday the 13th! Did you see this poster?

Thor is all self-congratulatory thunderclapping, strutting around his space kingdom of Asgard like a pretty boy badass pro wrestler before the match has even begun. Then he pisses off his dad Odin and both he and his mighty Mjolnir (that's the hammer) are banished to Earth, where he has to learn all that stuff about honor and worthiness and humility and respect in order to regain his strength and hammering abilities. He also has to hang around some Earth humans and repeatedly freak them out until they get that he's THE Thor. Once that's established he can go back to taking care of smashing-everything business and battling his evil brother, the smaller, un-blond, non-hammering, duplicitous Loki, who's trying to take over Asgard. It's nothing close to a spoiler to tell you that that wicked sibling is going down.
What's The Deal: When you tell a child the same bedtime story over and over (or let them watch The Lion King DVD a hundred times in a row) the story becomes a template for how they'll see the world later in life. There aren't really any surprises to be had on that 87th trip down the same road, but you still get satisfaction from taking the journey. So yeah, nothing in this movie is going to shake your expectations. In fact, even though everything I knew of Thor before seeing it involved his Elizabeth Shue-saving abilities in Adventures in Babysitting , I already understood that these two hours of origin story were going to be about how this one obnoxious musclehead who grows up and becomes destructive to all wrongdoers. And that's what I got, with some cool robot-fighting, freeze-rays, floating space bridges and neck-kicking thrown into the very loud mix. I can't honestly say I'm overwhelmed by his magnificence but I'm still pleased to meet the next Avenger tag-team partner. It was a very cool move to get Kenneth Branagh to direct this. He's best known for Shakespeare, not superheroes, so he gives the Asgard scenes a kind of regal, stately feel that other filmmakers wouldn't bother dealing with. And best of all he's not afraid to streamline, simplify, and take his time. That probably sacrifices some of the thunder you might be hoping to witness, but he still succeeds in turning it all into a huge, glittering, digital entertainment machine, one that needs the biggest screen you can find to watch it on. Sorry purists, the dialogue is straightforward English with the Asgardians sporting Brit accents and there's not a "thee" or "doth" in the entire film. But that's American culture right now, nothing but people who didn't bother to read "Romeo & Juliet" in ninth grade. Getting angry about it will only give you a headache. From 1 to 10, it gets an 8, and yes, I will get it on Blu-ray when it comes out.

This is the 15th book to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Book Club, kids.
The author, Christian Cawley, will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is a singer and songwriter who is quickly gaining acclaim and recognition for her music. Her passionate songs and voice have brought comparisons to Sheryl Crow, Joni Mitchell and Jewel. Upon releasing her self-titled debut album which is available on iTunes, she rollerbladed 1500 miles up the East coast from Miami, FL to NYC raising money for charity in concerts along the way. Shit, I get tired just sitting here doing this blog. Anyway, please welcome to the Phile... Natalie Gelman.

Me: Hello, Natalie, welcome to the Phile. How are you? Are you in New York City right now?

Natalie: Thanks! It's great to find new blogs and be interviewed! I'm doing pretty well. Just had a show this weekend in northwest Mass., it was in a really artsy town called North-Adams. Right now I am heading back to New York City on a train.

Me: I just finished watching your video for the song "Never Had You." Nice song, and beautiful video. Was it fun to make, and are you doing any others?

Natalie: Thank you, I got really lucky with the video - I saw an add on Craigslist that a film student was looking for some music to make a music video for someone. He chose my music and we met a few times to go over ideas. I had done one music video before that one also for a film student (he found me playing on the subway) but the director of "Never Had You" and I spent some time looking around possible locations and working through ideas together. He also had a team working on it, everyone was so professional and creative it was a great experience and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. The scenes at the piano and in the window are all at the first music school I ever went to: Greenwich House. We filmed during the winter and there was icy snow on the roof and freezing temperatures. You can actually see my breath in some of the shots! There was a lot of discussion and testing stuff before we actually shot it because they were using actual 16mm film which gets pretty expensive, I work well in an environment like that where you feel like you can make some mistakes on your journey to find what works and your in good hands but then you just have to make it happen. I will be making more in the future when I put out my next CD. They are a ton of fun to make and I think the visuals can make a song even better for your listeners.

Me: Okay, I have to put this on record... you are nuts. What were you thinking inline skating 1500 miles? What kinda skates did you use?

Natalie: I got the idea almost two years before I actually set off from Miami. I never liked college and every summer I would search for things I could do so that I didn’t have to go back. I decided after my sophomore year that I should rollerblade to every state in the continental US and play a show for charity. I was in Austria at the time studying opera and I had really decided classical music wasn't for me anymore. I got back home and explained this tour idea to my family, which of course didn’t go very well. But, it actually looked like I wouldn’t be going to back to school. After a few weeks and about 5 days before I was supposed to start classes I either got cold feet or got tired of being told it couldn’t be done and just went back to college at U. Miami. I didn’t let the idea go though, it morphed into why don’t I do it as the culmination of me graduating and moving back home to NYC. The next summer I was working on the streets of NYC getting children sponsored through Children International. I started sponsoring a child at that time and became really passionate about the charity. That’s when I added in the charity element and got even more serious about it. I went back to school for my senior year, a friend I
had told about the tour decided to help me for her internship. She was going to help set up tour dates, press and be my tour manager and some other friends who had been recording demo's for me wanted to record a full album. In the end it was a LOT to take on. You have to realize that while I was doing all of this I was still working part time, in a church choir, taking about 22 credits (but probably in classes or the practice room for about 50 hours a week like a lot of music students) and memorizing an hours worth of classical opera music for my senior recital (I had decided before I went back for my junior year that I was already mostly done with it and would just finish it up). The tour was successful in that I finished it but there were so many things that could have gone better if I had the right kind of support and if I had some financial
backing. In the end I finished it with the help of extended family and without my tour manager who got stressed and bailed on me half way through. I was in a lot of debt on top or my student loans and I was a little depressed that it was over even though it hadn’t gone so well towards the end. I have read about other artists having a hard time coming home after being on the road for so long and that was my longest tour so far so that’s probably a lot of what I was experiencing. You are so used to being in a new place everyday that suddenly staying put feels very sad. The skates I used were AWESOME they are called Landrollers. The wheels are a lot larger and have a very unique design compared to other inline skates. Check out their website

Me: Where exactly in Miami did you start from and where did you end up in New York? How long did it take?

Natalie: I left from my tour managers apartment in Coral Gables, which is its own little city within Miami. She lived just outside of campus on US1 and I had been staying there for a few days while I moved out of my apt. I ended at my home in the West Village, NYC. It took 48 days from June 1st through July 17th, which was also my birthday. I probably could have done it a lot faster if I had been just rollerblading but I was doing shows, press and we had scheduled all of this before we even left. I had also worked in a lot of rest days which was necessary incase any major things happened.

Me: Please tell me you didn't get hurt, and was Children International aware of this?

Natalie: They were really difficult to get a hold of and to get them on board with the idea. I wish I could say they were a better partner but the truth is that they weren't. I was happy with how individuals were moved though to action. I think its so important to give back even in a small way to your community and I met a lot of people who came out to shows who were moved by what I was doing and seemed enough so that they were going to take up volunteering or sponsoring a child themselves. I didn’t get hurt, it was really just a daily wear and tear on my body which I probably will feel as I get older. I was hit by a car the first day I went out in Miami and again in Virginia.

Me: Would you ever do that kind of thing again? How about swim up the East Coast
next time?

Natalie: I have thought about doing something like it again, I was thinking about a bike
tour of the perimeter of the U.S. or something similar to the Rollerblading tour on the West coast. These are just ideas though. I'm not sure how much I am willing to put my own self at risk physically like that again. I think it was awesome and even knowing how it turned out and what I know now I would do it all over again when I did but I'm not sure I would do it again at this point in my life.

Me: Speaking of you being nuts, Natalie, you play a lot in the New York subway. Have you ever been in danger with that?

Natalie: Yea, I love playing on the subway and street performing in general, it's always
an adventure and you never can really predict how a night will go. I haven’t ever been in real danger I am pretty smart and though I look small people don’t realize that I am all muscle. If I did feel a sign of danger I would pack up and go home but if someone were to start to fight with me I can stand up for myself. I also really believe in the people that are there listening to me. I think people respect that someone is making their commute a little easier and they would stick up for me. I also think it just takes one brave soul to reach out and you see everyone around them become a little more fearless and brave in a good way.

Me: What do your parents think? You are so lucky I am not your dad, my dear. Do you get good tips?

Natalie: My mom is a bit worried for me sometimes but in general she knows that I have to
do what I need to so I get my music out there. My dad is really supportive and has asked if he can come hear me down there, I constantly run into people I know but I don’t want him down there it would be too distracting. I am so appreciative of the tips I get - they helped put my CD together in the first place. I also think I get the most interesting tips. This past year has brought in a crazy assortment of weird things being put in my case, from drugs to phone numbers to underwear - none of which I have kept! You can read about it on my website in the subway section.

Me: Have you ever had a creepy dude come up and bother you?

Natalie: Of course, but I usually find that if I don’t back down and show that I am annoyed or a little scared of them if I instead get closer to them and act a little creepy myself they usually back off. It can also be kinda hard to differentiate between someone who is creepy and someone who is just standing there because they really love the music or my voice. I have had both men and women skip trains for almost an hour never having heard me before. My favorite are the drunks. They are usually really bold and dorky at the same time. Lots of times coming out of a Knicks or Rangers game they are drunk and excited from the game. If they ask me to sing for them specifically I will always play a song I wrote in college called "Blues No. 2," Its basically about a girl who is breaking up with the guy because he doesn't do it for her in bed - I wrote it for a class! It’s so funny to see them excited that I am singing for them while everyone else (including their friends) realizes what the song it about and is hysterical.

Me: So, is it safe calling you a busker or is that a bad word? Where do you normally perform?

Natalie: Yea, I generally call myself a street performer. But I'm fine with any terminology. I take it really seriously though. I have to warm up and prepare like I am going to perform at a venue. That’s partially because I have noticed people respond to me better but also because I just feel better about myself and put on a better show. In New York and anywhere your street performing you have to be totally on, giving 150% or people won't give a damn. I call it street performing because I am performing. I'm always out there trying to give out a certain amount of cards to a show or get a certain amount of people on my mailing list. It’s very much just another stage for me. I normally perform underneath Madison Square Garden at 34th street Penn Station on the 2/3 express platform. Sometimes I'm at 42nd street Times Square on the uptown 1, 2, 3 line or at 14th street Union Square on the uptown 4, 5, 6 line.

Me: Have you heard of a singer named Patti Rothberg? She was a busker as well.

Natalie: I haven’t heard of her but there are so many famous and professional musicians
and performers who used to be buskers. I think it really helps you get your chops down.

Me: Okay, I won't give you a hard time anymore. I always support the people I interview and I purchased your CD off iTunes. It's very good, and reminds me a lot of Jewel's first album. Did you write all the songs on it?

Natalie: Thank you, it’s funny you say that because Jewel was my main influence as I started playing guitar and writing. I listened to "Pieces of You" way more than normal. I wrote all the songs except the first one, which I co-wrote. My co-writer Allan Douglas is the best, I played the first song I ever wrote at a contest U. Miami had called UM Idol. I made it to the top 10 and played my song during sound check and it sounded great. When I played it that night it was the
first time I had played one my songs in front of an audience. I don’t know what my voice was doing but it was horrible. He came up to me afterwards and introduced himself and told me the song was great. We started writing together and still do till this day. We also wrote "Run Away" together which is on my Myspace and Website pages and will probably end up on my next CD.

Me: Are you currently working on a follow-up CD? If so, how is it gonna compare to the first

Natalie: I am working on my next CD. I really want to take my time and put out something
I am incredibly proud of. I think it’s going to be a lot more focused than my last album was. I actually had some bluesy and basso nova stuff that didn’t make it to the mastering that I may one day put out on an EP but I think the next CD is going to be a bit more acoustic and definitive. I am also going to have a few happier songs on there!

Me: Tell me about the CD "Tracks For Change". One of your songs is on that CD as well,

Natalie: A friend of mine who is a painter started a fundraising group called Art for Fire after one of the devastating wildfires in California. She has a lot of interest from musicians to help out and after a trip to Louisiana to volunteer she decided to put together the CD to benefit New Orleans musicians that have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina through Sweet Home New Orleans. The CD features some incredible talent and all proceeds go to the charity. I hope to make it down to New Orleans one day soon and it’s just a small way to make sure that the core of its culture stays intact for future generations. If anyone wants to pick up the CD it’s at and on iTunes.

Me: You played Austria and the Caribbean, Natalie. How did you get those gigs? That's more like it after playing the subway. Where did you like playing better?

Natalie: In Austria I played at a pub down the block from the university I was studying
opera at. I think I was just walking in there a lot with my guitar and I noticed they had a stage so I asked if I could play there. It was a lot of fun and all the people who heard me in the program singing opera could see why I wanted to do my own music. I was a bit tipsy on stage though, I had a glass of hard cider and it was really strong… you don’t taste the alcohol in that and ever since then I rarely will have any alcohol before I perform. The Caribbean was earlier that year, I was on a cruise and spent every night in the karaoke lounge. The host asked me if I would perform in the talent show the next day, I said yes but asked if I could play my own music and guitar. He was reluctant but agreed and I played my song “Take Me Home” to almost all the people on the cruise a bit over 1,200. I got a standing ovation and then in my interview they asked me to sing opera and I got another standing ovation. It was a ton of fun! I woke up the next morning and turned on the TV in my room to see myself on it! They had the show replaying for the last two days of the cruise. I had lots of folks asking me for my autograph and telling me they loved the song, it was really special. I also just recently had a great gig at Bally’s Casino in Vegas, I performed for the New Media Expo as part of the Coverville 500 concert. They are a podcast and put on the show as part of the convention. It was a great size crowd and it’s always nice to be taken care of and be able to prepare to go on stage. All of that said, I think I like the subway the best. It’s just unpredictable and fun and I’m an explorer. I like adventure and the journey of all of this. The subway and street performing is where you really get that and you get those stories. I think I may have to find a way to incorporate the subway stuff into a
live show. I do a bit because in most of the venues I sing people can still hear me singing when I step away from the mic but I have to figure in some more stuff like that.

Me: Tell me about Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art... man, that's a long name. How long did you go there? Was that like the school in Fame?

Natalie: I LOVED that school, I actually wanted to go there when I was about 5 or 6, my
mom was an art teacher in another High School across the street and one day after going to work with her she told me the students there got to sing all day, that’s all I needed to hear! It wasn’t quite singing all day but it was such a creative and incredible 4 years of my life. You are around so many other people who are excited and fearless about music, dance, acting or their visual art. I was almost always involved in something after school that was rehearing or practicing so quite often I would be there, along with a lot of other students, from 8am till 8, 9
or event 10pm. I personally never got up on a table in the lunch room dancing like they do in
the movie but there def were some students on special occasions who did. I did sing, and dance in the hallway and our huge stairwells, which always had a nice echo. It was just such a spirited school, in the sense that there is something larger than you that you’re a part of and that you or the person next to you could be one of the next great actors, dancers or singers of our time. I think that’s what the movie based on LaGuardia represented too. It wasn’t about the individual but about how the whole body of students were connected through their artist mediums.

Me: Ever think of doing "American Idol"?

Natalie: I have thought about it, I tried out a few years ago and didn’t even make it past the first round. Just that process alone took 3-4 days of waiting around, that’s a lot of time to give up. I saw them pass through so many people that were just there to get on TV and it was really frustrating for me. For every 20 over the top TV personalities that goes through only 2-5 real singers were put through. I might audition in the future for the show but only if I have nothing
else going on. Also, the contract you sign is really limiting even if you don’t go through to Hollywood they still own you if you make it because of the show. I think watching show is fun and I actually was just in a commercial for Garnier/"American Idol" that they are going to use at the season progresses. It’s just my silhouette so it will be hard to tell it's me.

Me: What about Carnegie Hall? Is that a dream of yours to play there? Wait a minute, did you play there already?

Natalie: I have been so lucky that before I even went to college I performed in Carnegie Hall twice as a soloist. Both times were with a choir I was in at the time. The first was in 7th grade so I was pretty young, its interesting to think that about 6 years before that was the first time I ever sang and I was crying that day to my choir teacher because I was so scared just to sing in front of our church. The second time I sang at Carnegie Hall my name was in the program as a soloist and it was even more exciting because the music was so timeless. Even though I don’t want to pursue a career as an opera/classical singer I still have a real passion for some composers music. We sang Leonard Bernstein’s "Chichester Psalms" and I still love that piece.
I do hope to make it up there again with my own music. You know, most of the concerts at Carnegie are actually put on by people renting the hall so the phrase: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice.” isn’t quite true… at least not always. It should be “Practice, Get Famous or Pay.”

Me: You lived in Miami for a few years, right? Are you from New York originally though?

Natalie: I lived in Miami during college but I mostly lived on campus and didn’t venture
off of it much because I was so busy. I am from New York originally. I’ve always lived in the West Village and enjoyed getting out into the city to see something new everyday. My parents are artists and so are a lot of my friend’s parents so it’s a little sad to see what it’s becoming.

Me: Are you planning a tour anytime soon? I am sorry, but Orlando doesn't have a subway system. We do have a lot of Subway restaurants you can play at though. And go ahead and plug your websites if you want.

Natalie: Sure, you can find my CD at itunes, CDBaby and at, I’m
also on of course and regularly update and At the moment I am just getting started in the college market so I will be touring more and more as I schedule dates around the college dates. I will be touring into the mid-west this Spring but the path is still not set just yet. I love eating at Subway, it’s the healthiest option for fast food! And, I wouldn’t be opposed to a tour to them. Maybe they will sponsor a tour to their shops - that would be funny! I would do it and hopefully people will come out to the “Take the Subway to Subway to see Natalie…”

Me: Natalie, I hope this was fun for you. Be safe, okay. All the best, and I wish
you continued luck.

Natalie: Thank you! It’s always fun and I appreciate the opportunity!

There you go, that's about it for another entry. Thanks to Natalie for a great interview and to you the reader. The Phile will be back next Sunday... which means there won't be an entry posted next week thanks to my job scheduling me seven days. Thanks a lot, Disney. The guest on Sunday will be Shirli McAllen, the lead singer for the very cool band The Leftover Cuties. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pheaturing Max From The On Fires

Hello, welcome to another wonderful entry of the Phile. How are you? Of course the big news everyone is talking about this week is the death of Osama bin Laden. If for some reason you don't know, he was killed by U.S. forces. Everyone on TV has been really happy. Glenn Beck was crying — and then he found out about Osama. Politicians on both sides are equally happy. Dick Cheney said he hasn’t been this happy since he saw the YouTube video of the girl throwing puppies into the river. Apparently, members of al-Qaida are online slamming the U.S. I don’t understand why they’re so upset. Everyone in al-Qaida just got a promotion. President Obama must be very happy because he finally took down his arch enemy: Donald Trump. The bin Laden announcement interrupted “Celebrity Apprentice.” After all the talk about caves, bin Laden was hiding in a million-dollar mansion in Pakistan. The CIA became suspicious when they learned there was a million-dollar mansion in Pakistan. He was buried at sea, and I just want to point out that “buried at sea” means “dumped in the ocean.” This could be the best Shark Week ever. Between the death of bin Laden and the royal wedding, it’s an exciting time to be in the commemorative plate business. The initial reports said that Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs, but now it appears that he was killed by actual seals. This is the best time ever to be a Navy SEAL — or a guy in a bar claiming to be a Navy SEAL. The CIA says bin Laden’s last words were, “Are you guys here about the dishwasher?” There’s one thing we should thank bin Laden for. Because of his death, for one whole week, we didn’t talk about Charlie Sheen. As we speak, Osama bin Laden is living with SpongeBob in a pineapple under the sea. He’s up to 2,000 friends on Shot-in-the-Facebook. Some top Republicans are giving most of the credit for killing bin Laden to former President George W. Bush. It’s kind of like when someone opens a pickle jar and you say, “Well, I loosened it.” Bin Laden was living in his compound with nine women and 23 children. It sounds like he was shooting a reality show for TLC. There's other news going on apart from bin Laden's death, kids. A 93-year-old woman and a 100-year-old man have become the world’s oldest newlyweds. After a brief honeymoon, they plan to reside in heaven. Congratulations to Animal Kingdom for winning the Kentucky Derby. My money was on Epcot though. So, let's talk about Prince Andrew and Cate. Have you seen the posters they are selling of them in England? No? Check it out here then.

Speaking of those two, Britain's sweethearts, I was watching the Royal Wedding again I DVR'ed and I couldn't believe who I spotted in the crowd. Take a look, I circled it so you can see. By the way, "Doctor Who" is on tonight.

I heard those two are coming to America soon. They plan to wait 4 hours on line for the opening of the new attraction at Disney... Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. Did you guys go see the new movie Thor that came out yesterday. I wanna see it, but I am not sure who they picked to play him. What do you think? Here's a screenshot...

Why is he wearing a t-shirt like that, with sunglasses and why is he at a toy store? Anyway, I hope to see Thor in the week and next week's entry post a review. And now for some sad and happy news...

Seve Ballesteros
April 9, 1957 - May 7, 2011
6 under.
Jackie Cooper
September 15, 1922 - May 3, 2011
Great Caesar's ghost!
Osama bin Laden
March 10, 1957 - May 1, 2011
Good riddance you worthless, pathetic, cowardly scumbag.

This is the 15th book to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Book Club...
The author Christian Cawley will be on the Phile in the next few weeks.

Today's guest is the lead singer from the hot Australian band The On Fires. They have a new CD out called "Betrayer" and tomorrow they will be playing at AD Bar in Foshan, China. Please welcome to the Phile from The On Fires... Max.

Me: Hey, Max, how are you? Welcome to the Peverett Phile.

Max: Hiya PP. We're great. Just finished a 6-week tour in Canada & the US which was absolutely fantastic. So many good people!

Me: So, first things first, what's this you went to China to play? Whose idea was that?

Max: Yeah, we just landed in China & start a month-long tour in a couple of days. It kinda happened after we met a punk band from Beijing (PK14) last year at SXSW in Austin. Our guitarist Marty bought their t-shirt, wore it on 2 tours, and then I accidentally threw it out in Brooklyn.... I was determined to get a replacement t-shirt & started firing off emails to every person in China. It so happens one of them was a promoter and one thing lead to another... and here we are!

Me: You guys have been all over the world to play, haven't you? Ever played here in Orlando?

Max: Yep, we've played some amazing places: Ukraine, a Pacific Island (with the Australian Army), Turkey, the UK, Canada, Slovakia, of course our own country (Australia) & yes - even in Orlando! (We played a house party during our 'Kangaroo Punk' tour last year.)

Me: Okay, now we got that out of the way, you guys are one of the most colorful groups I have ever seen. Tell the readers who is in The On Fires.

Max: There's three of us. Me (Max) and Marty (the guitarist) started the band some years ago. We're currently working with an awesome drummer from Atlanta GA - so we're 2/3 Aussie now!

Me: The name is appropriate with your red hair. Is that where the band name comes from?

Max: Not quite... We started off with another name. In hindsight it was pretty crap. For starters it had the word 'asleep' in it. After a show in Poland at the start of last year a sweaty fan came up to us and said, "You're not asleep, you're on fire!" And that was the turning point for us to change our band name!

Me: I was thinking you guys are the first guest I have ever interviewed from Australia, but I interviewed a country singer named Jasmine Rae from Australia a few years ago. I should invite her back. Anyway, what part of Australia are you from?

Max: We're from Melbourne in the south. Sydney is more well known (it's such a spectacular city!) but it's actually Melbourne that's the 'cultural capital' of Australia. So much music, theatre & art of all forms. Melbourne's a huge rock city - home of AC/DC (in fact Marty went to the same high school as Angus Young).

Me: Being from Australia, are you guys fans of Keith Urban?

Max: Um, no offense to Keith (I hear he's an awesome performer) but I don't think anyone in Australia had heard of him until he married Nicole... Australians tend not to take any notice of their own artists until they've been somewhere else and got famous there. Then we lay claim!

Me: You know, we have a Melbourne here in Florida as well, did you know that?

Max: Yes! We took lots of photos of the freeway signs!

Me: I downloaded your new album "Betrayer" from iTunes and really liked it. That's not your first release though, is it?

Max: No. Our first album 'Sky Caves In' came out in 2004 (under our old band name). We've had several releases between the 2 albums, but as with most muso's the one we're really excited about is the next one!

Me: Was the album recorded in Australia? You had a very good and well known producer for it, didn't you?

Max: "Betrayer" was actually recorded in LA. We had the opportunity to work with Rick Parker, who's produced for Dandy Warhols, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and (he didn't tell us this!) did the soundtrack for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers! He was fantastic to work with. My favourite time was when he drove in a Hammond B Organ on the back of a tiny pickup truck.

Me: What's with the album cover though? It's very creepy.

Max: We wanted it to reflect the subject matter of the album - betrayal, murder etc.

Me: You guys have been described as the bastard child of the B-52's and the Sex Pistols. I take it you are fans of said bands. What other bands are you kids into?

Max: Being described as being like someone doesn't necessarily mean you're a fan... Someone compared us to Lynyrd Skynyrd once & I'd never heard of him (excuse my ignorance!!). But actually I have big respect for the Sex Pistols and they way they challenged the 'old school' although I'm not a fan of spitting on audiences!! The B-52's must've been really out there when they started performing too - so post-punk & colourful and quirky; kinda like New Zealand's Split Enz (whose members went on to form Crowded House). I love bands that aren't afraid to express themselves in new & interesting ways!

Me: Lynyrd Skynyrd is not just one guy, Max, it's a band. Anyway, you guys are in a very cool band. How long have you guys known each other and when did you first get the band together?

Max: Marty (the guitarist) and I met on a swimming camp when we were 15. Not that I could swim, but he certainly could. We've been friends ever since and we formed the band after Marty had filled in for a former guitarist of mine and my manager at the time said, "You two should work together". It's been amazing. We're a great team. Neither of us would probably be touring the world playing music without the other!

Me: So, what's next for you? Any chance you'll be coming over to the States again to play?

Max: We just finished our 3rd tour of the US on April 17th! Right before we came over to China for this current tour. So yes, we'll be back. We've made lots of wonderful friends in your incredible country!

Hey, I have to ask you about the song "When Monkey's Turn". What is that song about?

Max: Absolutely nothing. We were fooling around trying to come up with the most stupid and meaningless song titles we could come up with. Blame Marty's warped sense of humour.

Me: Thanks so much for doing this interview. I hope it was fun, Max. You guys are a very cool band, and I hope you'll come back. Go ahead and mention your website.

Max: Yep, thanks so much for the fun and thoughtful questions. We love sharing our lives with people and have an amazing bunch of people that support us in our world travels. We've very active on our Facebook & website. If anyone wants to get a feel for touring in China, visit us at or - tell us you heard about us via The Peverett Phile!

Well, that about it for another entry. Thanks to Max from The On Fires for a great interview, and to Christina Duren from Ariel Publicity for hooking it up. The Phile will be back next Friday, or Phriday as I like to call it with singer, songwriter Natalie Gelman. Until then, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.