The Playing Favorites

The Playing Favorites
The Playing Favorites are:
Joey Cape (Lagwagon, Bad Astronaut)
Luke Tierney (Penfifteen Club)
Marko DeSantis (Sugarcult, Bad Astronaut, Popsicko)
Mick Flowers (The Rentals, The Lapdancers, Popsicko)
Tim Cullen (Summercamp, Popsicko)

There’s an ongoing joke: When musicians get too wasted they start side projects. These grandiose schemes usually fizzle as attention spans are rerouted to deal with hangovers and coming back down to reality. Occasionally there are exceptions to this rule…

Enter The Playing Favorites, a band born out of an idea conceived on a drunken night in Japan when old pals Joey Cape and Luke Tierney were on tour together in their respective bands (Me First & the Gimme Gimmes and The Penfifteen Club). Caffeine and/or alcohol-assisted brainstorms ensued with more good friends; Tim Cullen (a solo artist and former singer/guitarist of Summercamp); Marko DeSantis (guitarist of Sugarcult and bassist of another Cape band, Bad Astronaut); and Mick Flowers (who had played in Tim and Marko’s early 90’s band Popsicko, and bands such as The Rentals, and The Lapdancers). The five of them originate from Santa Barbara, CA but have all carved out new lives in different cities. They have such an intertwining history of musical relationships that a family tree would look more like a family forest. Soon after, the concept of making a record together grew into a plan.

Everyone synchronized their calendars and found a week of time to meet at The Sandbox Studio in Los Angeles. With Rick Parker (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Shore) behind the glass they rolled up their sleeves and got right to work. Time and money were of the essence the so process was as follows: set up the gear, throw up some microphones, learn a song, record it, pass the mic to the next guy that had a song, and do it again. 3 songs a day were recorded over a period of 5 days (the final 2 days were used for a few basic changes), resulting in 14 inspired-by-the-moment songs; diverse in style, but united by mutual respect. The raw tracks were then fermented for about a year; the elapsed time providing a fresh perspective on the songs. Final touches were made and the record was finished.

There’s a refreshing honesty and authenticity to The Playing Favorites that can’t be fabricated. Their debut album “I Remember When I Was Pretty” plays like a tribute to a collective and possibly checkered past of a circle of friends.