The Selfies are a relatively new Boston based band comprised of five local musicians who have seen their fair share of life on the road.
The band plays 1960's and 1970's hard rock and mostly covers for now. Their repertoire includes such artists as AC-DC, Cream, Kiss, the Who and David Bowie. They’re just getting started here in the local club scene and are proud to have Boston as their base.
They give you some razzle dazzle when bass player Bill Duncan takes over the lead guitar playing for Jimi Hendrix's "Dolly Dagger." Percussionist Andy Keane takes over bass playing and Dave Bauman joins in on guitar with Duncan, on the Beatles’ “And Your Bird Can Sing.” Dennis Foley has recently been wailing away on the harp, on such tunes as Led Zeppelin’s “Bring it on Home." Drummer Matt Brennan has them all working hard on the James Gang Classic "Funk #49."
So who are the players? Foley in the late 1980's and into the 1990's was the lead singer in the Band Snidely Whiplash, a local Boston band that had nominal success in the area. Several of their songs made it onto many local radio shows and even ranked high on the WAAF local top 10 list from 1990 to 1992. One of their songs even made the number 1 slot for several months in 1991.
Foley took a hiatus from music for a number of years, and then he emerged again in the local Boston music scene in 2003, with the band the Fade-Outs. Although the band was prolific in the studio, their live performances were a rarity. The Fade-Outs did release an album with Naked Ear Records which did get them some attention in the digital upload world.
During this time Dennis was working with a group of friends who took part in the Fade-Outs recording sessions. One of these friends was someone Dennis had known for a long time, Dave Bauman.
Bauman played lead guitar in the band Liquid Kaos (also from Boston), for almost 15 years starting in 1989. They also had nominal success in the local Boston music scene, having their songs played on many local radio shows. Bauman had helped write a couple songs with the Fade-Outs and appeared on many recordings.
Years after the Fade-Outs project ended, Bauman and Foley worked together on a group of original songs that were meant to be the starting point of an original project. This was the start of "The Selfies." They both decided that it would be a lot easier to just start a cover band, and then if it seems right, start playing the original material.
The first person they added to the band was Bill Duncan who attended the Berklee College of Music where he studied guitar performance. Duncan has been in many bands over the years such playing both originals and covers. He first crossed paths with Foley when the Fade-Outs were performing at a series of coffee shop type open mic jams. At this time, Duncan was increasing his songwriting output, and it came to a head in 2011 when he released a CD of his original material called "The Dark and the Light"
Duncan came in as a guitar player and helped out on keyboards. After many failed attempts at getting a bass player to fit in, Duncan decided to run out and buy a nice little Ampeg amp and Thunderbird Bass. So he became the principal bass player.
Drummer Matt Brennan has been a part of the Boston music scene for many years both as a drummer and a successful DJ. He owns and operates All-Star Productions, out of Boston and appears in many of the local clubs and is the house DJ at the Baseball Tavern. With the addition of Brennan they were ready to start forming a sets worth of cover music.
They weren’t going to be a tribute band or anything like that, so the tunes could be a little different from each other. But as they started to pick their songs one thing became apparent: they were not going to be playing the normal top 40 type of pop music. Most of the songs were album tracks like David Bowie’s “Queen Bitch”, or The Cream song ‘SWLABR”. The Selfies decided to embrace this as their de-facto style. Over the past several months they have developed a couple hours worth of material and have taken their special brand of music to the local Boston clubs.
Andy Keane on percussion has played with Folley since they were very young. He brings a great sense of timing to the percussionist roll as well as his fantastic voice lending to the vocal harmonies. Keane can play both guitar and bass, which allows Bill to play guitar and even lead guitar on some of our newer songs. One of these is the Queen song “Keep yourself Alive”.
Examiner spoke with Foley about the selfies.
Examiner: For the time being, the selfies are doing covers of some great bands, any plans to bring in some original material?
Foley: "Actually yes! Bauman and I were recording a bunch of demos, of original music, just before we started “the selfies”. We’re not sure if we are going to just try to slip them in to one of our sets, or whether to do a full set of original material. Bill also had just finished an album of original material a couple years ago, so we have a lot of options when it comes to that.
Examiner: What's your song writing process? Some musicians write the lyrics first and others, the music comes first.
Foley: "At this time we don’t really have that type of process in action. From my standpoint, it is usually best to have the music worked out, and then I can write lyrics, vocal melodies and harmonies over the basic tracks. That’s pretty much how it worked when Dave and I were recording the demos. However, I think when it is a band like “the selfies”, it’s more likely we will write some stuff on the fly as we are rehearsing."
Examiner: Tell me about the bands first show?
Foely: "Our 1st show was at the Midway Café in Jamaica Plain. It pretty much went off without a hitch. They gave us a Sunday afternoon/evening slot and we had a friend of Duncan's, Andrew Lewis open the show for us. He worked out great because he had his own brand of cover music as well as original music, which complimented our stuff nicely."
Examiner: Who has influenced your music the most?
Foley: "That’s an interesting question, and I intend on answering it in an interesting way:
I actually haven’t written music of my own in a few years. I may have written parts on other peoples (like Dave) music, but not my own. So I would have to say that Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys fame would be the biggest influence on my music, but that really dates back to when I was in the Fade-Outs.
Now, I have written lyrics on many different types of music over the years. And yes when you write lyrics there is a form of music or melodic intent that goes with it, but there are times when it really can’t be classified as music per say, especially the method that I use to write my lyrics. What I do for the most part is write poetry, and usually while I am listening to the music it will accompany. Then I will go back and see how well it works melodically and phasing wise. And then I will edit the poetry down so that it will work with the music."
Examiner: If you weren't a musician, what would you be doing?
Foley: "Well, I suppose I would be playing hockey a little more often. A good friend of mine, Jim Dennis of Draw the Line, and I are becoming quite good beer brewers these days, I could see myself taking that a little further. But the reality is, being in a band is really the thing that keeps my youthful blood flowing. There was a time there in the 90s when I was sure that I would never again be in a band. Now however, I know I will always be involved one way or another in music."
Examiner: Tell me something that you've never told anyone else?
Foley: "Once as a child I had a very vivid dream, that I was St. Joseph."
Find the selfies on Facebook with upcoming dates.