Friday, December 19, 2008

Meet Bill the band

The Boston Globe had a story recently about director Michael Neel and producer Greg Ansin shooting their film ''Drive-In Horrorshow" in Medford, Mass. They were shooting at the apartment of John Gage, who serves as soundman on the movie.

Gage mentioned his band, Bill, which performs on the soundtrack. It is named for Gage's brother, Bill, the lead singer, who has Down syndrome (pictured).

You can hear Bill's music on the band's MySpace page.

Here's what their page says about the origins of the band:

BILL are a rock band, started in 1987 in New England and fronted by Bill Gage, a singer with ds (down syndrome). The group was named after one of the few words Bill can write, making it simple for him to create the logo. Bill Gage sings surreal, ever-changing lyrics in a wide variety of styles... bluesy yowls, soulful moans, punky shouts, romantic crooning, throat-singing and more. These different approaches reflect Bill's reactions to the diverse sounds his bandmates provide him: spacey art-rock, thundering heavy-metal, acoustic folk ballads, stuttering industrial riffs, etc.

BILL's approach to songwriting is always in flux. The first album BEATLES CHINESE was shaped by a series of challenges the band gave Bill: first to name the songs he wanted to do, and then to sing them, as the band figured out what to play behind him and each song was quickly recorded. The backing tracks for BILL's second record BAT MAN were recorded in advance. Bill listened to the tracks, sang over them, and then named the songs (and the record).