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Afresh: What is your name, and name your group/band/act?

The Electric Pear

Afresh: Where are the artists from?

Joey – Punxsutawney, PA   Dave – Pittsburgh, PA

What is their talent in the group?

Joey Troupe – guitar, vocals & Dave Neuhart –drums, tambourine

Afresh: How did the band get the name?

It took a while for us to come up with a name. Since we’re a two-piece, we were thinking the name should relate to “duo” or “pair” or “two”, but almost every variation of those words was taken, even in different languages, including ancient Greek and Latin, someone had already used the names…so we finally decided on The Electric Pear, “Pear” being a play on the word “pair”

Afresh: What (who) does your act/art consist of?

Frenetic drums, fuzzed –out electric guitar, and bluesy vocals

Afresh: How would you describe your music/art/entertainment for the public audience if they have never seen you before?

Raw, primal, garage rock n’ roll.

Afresh:  If you had to describe your music in three or four words, what would you call it?

Raw, distorted, garage, fuzz

Afresh: Give me some details about the group/act/art?

We just got together and played and clicked right away, like kindred spirits musically.

Afresh: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Ostrich mating habits, The Amish methods of butter churning, and kidney stones.

Afresh: How long have you been performing live or making art?

We have each been in other bands around Pittsburgh for years. We started this project eight months ago.

Afresh:  If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit?

(Name up to three)
Garage rock/21st Century Blues

Afresh:  What do you feel distinguishes “an artist” from just a musician?

I would say the difference is, a musician is like a session guy who remains anonymous and plays for different artists for a living, or maybe plays in a wedding band for money, but never really creates something unique.
….whereas, an artist seeks to create something new and fresh, to push the envelope, to advance the art form in some way.

Musically, it’s about trying to do something that hasn’t already been done and putting your stamp or your own unique twist on a genre. For me, an artist can combine visual elements and showmanship in the live performance, and most of all has that intangible – that charisma that great artists are born with. It’s that fine line between genius and insanity.

Afresh: Where did you meet your group and how long have you been together now?

We met via Craigslist. We were both looking for “adult services” and accidentally contacted each other. (just kidding) but we did hook up via CL.

Afresh: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)

Dave- Finish our new EP and shop it around. Continue to build a following regionally, and write a rock opera concept album about Pee Wee Herman.

Joey – play the Super Bowl halftime show.

Afresh: What has been the biggest challenge for you or the group?

Not having money for much needed equipment, and difficulty networking with other bands.

Afresh: You’ve heard of the term “starving artists” before, how do you cope with major obstacles?

Dave – I donate plasma and semen to earn extra money for the band, until we get a record deal.

Afresh:  Do you feel the economic crunch has hurt the industry, or do you have some other promotional tips to help support your music?

Dave -Between the recession, file sharing, new digital download/MP3 formats, and the availability of “bootleg” live performances of bands filmed on camera phones on You Tube, the music industry has drastically changed in the last decade or two.  It seems to me like a double edge sword, because the changes seem to make it harder to sell music or tickets to your show, but on the other hand, the internet makes it a lot easier and more efficient for bands to get exposure via My Space and You Tube…My only advice is to put in the work spending time on the internet networking and promoting your band. The more you put yourself out there, the more likely someone will notice.

Afresh: Art & Music has an impact on both young and old.  Everyone loves a celebrity, so what advice do you have for the youth of today?

Dave – First of all, just because you hear something on the radio or MTV, that doesn’t mean it is good. In fact, most of what you hear on commercial Top 40 radio and at the clubs is uninspired, un-original, cliché garbage. Meanwhile, there are literally thousands of fantastic bands out there, 99% of which sadly will never get heard. I’d encourage anyone who loves music to research and dig and surf My Space and find new music, or discover some old obscure 60’s psychedelic music at your local record shop. Second, please stop trying to bring back the 80’s. The musical “synthy” style and bad fashion sucked then, and it still sucks now.

Come up with something new and original…we need a new scene that is about something more than just rehashing a prior decade’s styles. I’ve been really admiring what Joaqin Phoenix did with his whole ‘performance art’/’hoax’. Even if people don’t get it, and even if his ‘documentary’ flops, he had the balls to do something bold artistically, and to push the envelope.

Afresh: What does your family think of your performance and do they support you?

(Dave)-Yes, my Dad was in a band in high school, so he is supportive and comes to shows occasionally. My mom is into Barbara Streisand and Kenny G, so she doesn’t care for my music.

(Joey) My family puts 110% support behind me in everything that I do, and my parents and sister have really great taste in music.  I attribute my entire musical foundation to listening to the radio, cassettes, and CDs with my parents growing up.

Afresh: What is your stance on how to get the public to support “live music” and see the shows?  Any ideas?

If I had that answer, I’d be a genius. Ideally, sheer talent would draw crowds by word of mouth and reputation, but often that just isn’t enough, especially in a blue-collar town like Pittsburgh where people spend their leisure time and money on our sports teams rather than arts or music. I think it’s important for bands to stick together and try to start a “scene” or a buzz in their city, much like the grunge bands did in Seattle, for example, or the Indie bands like At The Drive In/Coheed & Cambria/And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead…/Explosions In The Sky all did in Austin.

Afresh: Thinking back, did your family carry on the same musical/artistic interests?

Dave-yes, as I mentioned earlier, my father played electric organ in a band in the 60’s, and both of my parent were in the church choir.

(Joey) -My dad plays the guitar from time to time, and my sister and I learned to play the piano together which was the seed of my musical creativity.  I took music most seriously as an art form, but my dad and sister are great artists in their own regard when it comes to painting and drawing.

Afresh: Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?

Dave -Professional Badminton

Afresh: What has been your strong influence to continue performing?

Dave-The absolute love for the adrenaline, energy, and magic of connecting with another musician on stage, live. It never gets old, whether there are 5 people or 500 people in the crowd.

(Joey) – To avoid stagnation and embrace creativity in its rawest form.

Afresh: How do you rate your live performance ability?  Do you feel better performing live or in the studio?

Dave-I prefer live because it’s fun. It’s a rush to play on stage for people. When I’m tracking in the studio, I’m very, very perfectionistic and picky, and never satisfied.

(Joey) I hate the studio.  I am not a sound nerd.  Actually, I could probably benefit a lot by learning more about sound and spending less time on Twitter.

Afresh: Does anyone in particular influence your artistic/musical talent?

Dave-yes, boy bands and bad hair metal bands, because I strive to not be like them

Afresh: Who does most of the song writing/art/literature?

Dave- Joey writes all of the lyrics. He usually comes up with a riff or two on guitar, or a song idea and then we try to collaborate on the changes, intros, bridges, etc. It usually goes smooth, like butter, but if we get stuck on an idea, we’re careful not to force it just for the sake of finishing a song. …which is why we have several incomplete songs on the shelf, for now….but more often than not, we are able to incorporate each other’s ideas and finish a song we start writing.

Afresh:  What image do you think your music conveys and why did you choose this type of image for your music?

Dave- The independent, do-it-yourself spirit. Non-commercialized, non-conforming, and passionate about playing well. Neither of us are huge fans of the club scene or Top 40 popular culture. I think we both favor more of the underground/indie/college radio scene…it feels more comfortable, and not trendy and superficial like the whole MTV image is.

Afresh: If you had to change one thing about your music/group what do you feel would be the best change to benefit the group overall and why?

Dave-I wish I could grow an afro.

(Joey) I think thinks would go a lot smoother in all regards If Dave had more hair.

Afresh:  Where would you like to see yourself within the next five years as an artist?  What are your long-term career goals?

To gain the respect of other musicians and artists who I respect. To have fun and meet and do shows with some bands I admire. To continue to write and record music I’m proud of.

Afresh: Have you ever had any strange or stalker type fans that you are aware of?  How does it affect the closeness you have with your fans, media, etc. now?

Not yet

Afresh: While getting ready to perform have you ever been interrupted by fans who snuck in to the dressing room/rehearsal?  How did you handle this?


Afresh: What are your up-to-date performance plans?

Regional shows throughout October & November

New releases?

We hope to finish and release our new EP by Christmas.

Tours? News?

Check our My Space page for upcoming shows.

Afresh: If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead, alive, or broke-up who would it be? Why? (Name up to three)

Dave-The Who (with Keith Moon) circa 1969

(Joey) – If I could just shake a tambourine on stage with Zeppelin while wearing an open-chest jumpsuit circa 1970, I think that would be nice.

Afresh: What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?

Dave-Atlanta, GA

(Joey) – I once played a show that was broadcast live over the web, so I’m sure someone in New Zealand was watching it.

Afresh:  How do you feel about file swapping?

Dave – it’s here to stay

Afresh: Have you been involved in any benefit performances?  What was it and how did you become involved?

Dave-In my previous band, we did a few benefits for Haiti and for a battered women’s shelter.

(Joey) I’ve played shows as entertainment for Relay for Life and for Animal Rescue shelters.

Afresh:  How do you think you would like to be remembered by everyone if something were to happen to you suddenly?

Dave As a kind, selfless person and a talented artist. (Joey) For having sweet hair.

Afresh:  Thinking back to the very beginning of the band, how do your feel about your performance today and it is much different for you now than when you first started performing?

It has improved and progressed.

Afresh:  When things seem to go negatively at times, how do you turn things into something positive?

Dave- I think we are pretty good at stepping back and taking a breath, or shelving things if we get stuck or disagree on something.

(Joey) – Check my fantasy football team.

Afresh:  What do you attribute to your “drive as an artist”?

Dave-I absolutely love music and I have a strong ambition to create music I like to hear, and I thoroughly enjoy performing.

(Joey) I’d like to make the most of my limited time and do something memorable both in the present and to look back upon in the future.

Afresh:  As an artist, how would you define SUCCESS?

Dave – making a living at it without compromising your values.

Afresh:  If you had to think of a slogan that could leave a positive impact for everyone what would your slogan be?

Dave – Just make love

Afresh: Do you currently have an agent, endorsement, record label, sponsor, etc.?

No label or sponsors yet….any takers out there?

Afresh: Is this your first on-line interview or do you have some other articles/stories about you posted somewhere for public viewing?  Have you had any previous print or broadcast media exposure or reviews?

Dave – I had some regional press and internet press like this with my previous band, called Dawn Canon

Afresh:  Do you have a demo or press kit, (including an Electronic Press Kit …an EPK), or any other promotional materials that you could send to us for a future review also?


Afresh: Do you have any video links where people can see you?

Coming soon…

Afresh: Do you have a website of any type?

Just for fun…..fill in the blanks!

Without music, I would be__Dave-emotionally shallow/ spiritually hollow__

____Joey – bored____.

Music is ___Dave – an absolute necessity__

____Joey – the most universal form of expression____________.

My music makes me feel _(Joey) useful________________.

___Dave – blissful, melancholy, euphoric, depressed, disgusted, impressed, in love…and every other emotion a human can feel___

I write the songs because (Joey) it is therapeutic for me__Dave-ditto_________.

Support music because ____Dave -It is one of the truest most innocent forms of human expression__& it’s better than watching sitcoms or Jerry Springer____.

Afresh: We want to extend our warm wishes for your success and thank you for the awesome interview.  We hope we can attend one of your shows soon so keep us informed on your updates! Thanks guys, for doing an exclusive interview for Afresh Annie of Afresh Entertainment Magazine.  Thanks for your support, and we hope you will tell everyone to read this article.

Support live music in your area—get out and see a band perform live!

Thanks for “Keeping it fresh, live, real & rockin'”….to all great things


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