Frimp, framp and frump
The Stately Gentlemen
In the four years since they’ve been together, The Stately Gentlemen reluctantly have matured into sincere, clever songwriters who know how to use their collective talents to construct catchy, emotional musicscapes with songs like “Behind a Smile.”
The guys in the Americana-styled band know exactly where they stand, with an introductory warning on their Myspace page. “We don’t want to give any false impressions or anything, so let it be known that none of us are stately, or even gentlemanly. We are a lot of crude and crass bastards who want nothing more than to frimp, framp and frump.”
Still, they’ve managed to grow some and to put some things in proper perspective.
“I think we take more drugs than we have sex,” says The Stately Gentlemen’s drummer, Austin Boren.
“Or rock ‘n’ roll,” says guitarist Jesse Kapeghian.
When they’re not in L.A. recording, The Stately Gentlemen are surely doing some crazy shit—like stuffing their pants while playing at Mormon sock hops, doing a striptease for the local labor union, or playing onstage with characters from the TV show Reno 911.
When they are in L.A., these 19-and 20-year-old Reno natives are either hitting the strip clubs on Sunset Boulevard or throwing shopping carts off of eight-story buildings.
Anthony Cacibauda, guitarist, back-up vocalist and the only 20-year-old in the band; lead singer Joe McMahon, and bassist Jim Fletcher, complete the five-man band.
Kapeghian and Boren, however, seem to be the rebellious ones.
Mormon sock hops?
“It was great,” says Fletcher. “When we got there, they had orange drink and Rice Krispy treats.”
Boys on one side of the room, the band explained. Girls on the other. Dancing was OK. Touching was not. Kissing was verboten.
The Gentlemen were booked to play some Beatles’ covers.
As luck would have it, the 13-year-old Mormon kids greeted The Stately Gentlemen with a mirror-like disdain.
Kapeghian explains that he took a sock, put a cucumber and his cell phone inside it, then put the sock inside his underwear.
“I would walk to the front of my stage and put my leg on the amp,” says Kapeghian.
“We were cracking up about it before the gig,” says Fletcher.
Of course, the cell phone starts ringing while Kapeghian is onstage.
“It was on vibrate,” he laughs.
It was also Kapeghian who decided to start undressing during another cover gig for a bunch of middle-aged labor union members during a luncheon. Boren insists, however, that he played equal part in throwing the shopping cart off their producer’s eighth-story apartment’s balcony. (How the shopping cart got there is a mystery to Kapeghian and Boren.)
The Stately Gentlemen put out an EP called “Hyperion Session,” last November. Their producer, Reno-born James Fogul, had so much confidence in the Gentlemen that he put up all the cash needed for the project.
Nearly three years ago ,the guys rehearsed in Kapeghian’s bedroom.
Nowadays, they’re rehearsing their own material, in their own house—near the University of Nevada, Reno, among half a dozen fraternity houses.
Their sound has evolved.
McMahon, who stayed long enough to perform a couple songs but couldn’t stay for the interview, sings in a raspy but pleasant voice.
“I’ll gladly take the wheel, but you’ll have to steer,” he sings on the song “Visions of Emily,” a slow-paced cut with mellow guitar breaks.
The song “Maybe it’s Love” has more of a bluegrass feel to it.
“We only have so many of our own songs right now,” says Kapeghian. “And they’re so different from each other.”