The Canadian band Of Gentleman and Cowards haven’t played much outside of local coffeehouses and parties -- they're still college students -- but they'll be ditching their Shakespeare classes next month when they fly to New York City and take the stage on "The Late Show With David Letterman."
The quartet earned the coveted spot by winning a contest on Red Bull Soundstage, which worked with Rob Burnett, the executive producer of "The Late Show," in creating the soundtrack for his feature film directorial debut, "We Made This Movie." Their song "Save Me" (streaming at bottom) will also be featured in the movie.
We recently caught up with Of Gentlemen and Cowards guitarist Christian Fedele and found out what it’s like to go from house parties to network TV.
So, how does it feel knowing you’re going to be playing Letterman?
Pretty surreal. The first thing that comes to mind is the history of the venue and the caliber of musicians who've been on it. I don't want to gush about the Beatles because everyone knows their significance to the theater, but I feel one of the real treats about the stage is that a lot of artists who normally wouldn't be the most popular for TV still go on "The Late Show" to play -- Tom Waits, Chris Botti, the Mars Volta...
How’d you feel after you won, and what did you do right after getting the news?
After running up and down the street while shouting in a pseudo-manic manner we each eventually regained consciousness and just took in what the win really means. Up until the phone call we refused to even think about the show, but after we got the results we spent quite a while talking and dreaming about what it's going to be like when we get there.
What did you guys do as far as social-media outreach during the contest to set you apart?
With the voting process being organized through Facebook registration we immediately set our sights on trying to use the site itself as a communication medium for our campaign. We set up an event on Facebook and with the help of our friends and Twitter we rounded up a few thousand people to get involved and kept up daily attention to remind people about the daily voting.
We really drew upon our local community for support and are still pretty flabbergasted and completely humbled by how positive of a response we got. Our university and the clubs and faculties associated with it, friends and family all over the world, the local Hamilton [where the band lives] community and local news all had our backs for this campaign and we plan to make 'em proud!
"After running up and down the street while shouting in a pseudo-manic manner we each eventually regained consciousness and just took in what the win really means."
Has anything changed since the announcement? Are you getting more gigs?
With any development in a career, artistic or not, everything that you are presented with is just another step you take in that story. This step, albeit the biggest one we've taken thus far in our musical careers, for us means that a number of new doors are opening up that we plan to tear through.
When we get back from New York, we're going to keep playing as many shows as possible just as we have been so far with the addition of some new opportunities that were presented to us after our win was announced, like new gigs, art festivals, beer festivals -- and even a wedding or two!
How are you getting ready for Letterman?
To prepare for the performance on the show, we're going to do some slight tweaking of our song "Save Me" and just hole up in a rehearsal studio until the song becomes complete muscle memory to the point where we can prepare meals for one another while playing it flawlessly.
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