HJ: How did you two meet?
Dave: We met at a Salvation Army Summer camp that is no longer open in Upstate NY. I was fifteen and worked in the kitchen. Brian was twelve, and his mother was on staff at the camp. We really hit it off there and throughout the next few summers, we would do stupid things on stage. Little did we know that it would become a career years later.
Brian: I wasn’t old enough to get paid at the camp legally, so I volunteered on the maintenance staff. I cleaned toilets all summer and got a gift certificate to K-Mart. I like being a comedian better.
HJ: Which came first, the singing or the humor?
Dave: Both. Brian was always interested in music and participated in punk rock bands as a teenager and college student. I always loved making people laugh and did stand-up in high school and college.
HJ: The blend of the two doesn’t work for everyone. What makes it work for you guys?
Dave: There seems to be an unwritten rule out there that if something is musically good, it can’t be funny and if it is funny then it can’t be musically good. We are out to change that.
HJ: What’s the funniest thing that ever happened on stage or at a performance?
Dave: Once at a show they had a “brick wall” backdrop. It was really just a plastic sheet that looked like brick. Most of the time these are covering actual walls. We were unaware that this particular one was draped over an opening into a room that had various speakers and other sound equipment. Brian was rocking out in the first song and leaned back in to the “brick wall.” Now I was singing and heard the noise behind him and judging from the audience’s reaction, I knew what had just happened. I didn’t turn around, though, for fear of laughing. The best part is that Brian never stopped playing. He didn’t miss a note, so I just kept singing and Brian was back to the mic in time to sing his part. It was the stuff of rock legend and Brian had the biggest bruise to remember it.
Brian: I don’t let little things like that affect my work. I’m a professional.
HJ: Where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
Dave: Life, Pop Culture, Danny Glover.
HJ: Which one or two of them are your favorite, or have the most significance to you?
Dave: We both really like “All Of This Novocaine,” an Emo song about the dentist/patient relationship, and “Red Rover,” a pop culture-ridden song about getting your heart broken in the third grade.
Brian: We also really enjoy the last song on our “Put on Your Fancy Shoes” album. It’s called “Vincent” and it’s about a waiter at a Chinese buffet. The waiter is real, but we definitely took some artistic license on his backstory.
HJ: What does it mean for you to make good art?
Dave: Something that is uncompromised in quality and integrity.
HJ: What is comedy? What does it mean to the two of you to be funny?
Brian: If people are laughing, that is a good indicator. It’s really that simple. It’s incredibly subjective. Sometimes Dave and I will find something funny, and it won’t get a huge reaction on stage. Other times, we will tell/sing a joke that I don’t think is our strongest, and the audience will go crazy for it. I think people who perform comedy for a living have a slightly different sense of humor than most, because we are very analytical about it. I also really enjoy dry humor with a bit of sarcasm. That’s my personal preference.
HJ: How do you guys determine what’s appropriate to include and what should be left out? What makes comedy clean?
Dave: This is tough. Unfortunately, when you are performing comedy, especially for Christian crowds, you are going to offend somebody. If a comedian is joking about themselves within reason (the definition of this statement is up for debate) and are comfortable with doing so, then that really shouldn’t offend you. If someone can’t laugh at themselves or have to nit-pick every little thing that is said, then they don’t belong at a comedy show. If there’s anything we think may be questionable, we’ll run it by some people we trust to tell us what they think.
Definitely no profanity, or lewd sexual humor. I don’t want to say that no one should use sexual humor at all, because if tastefully done at a couples retreat or something there are some things to laugh at when it comes to sex.
Brian: In our show, we also don’t have any racist humor. I think that should be avoided by everyone. Of course not all references to cultural differences should be considered racism. I think sometimes when people have accused certain comedians of being racist, maybe they actually need to go and research exactly what that word means. Referencing cultural differences is not the same as making a statement of racial superiority.
HJ: Besides entertainment and laughs, what do you see is the purpose of your act? What are you teaching or sharing?
Dave: We see our act as a means to open the door for building relationships. We see it as a means to let people know that Christianity isn’t about rules, regulations, or Republicans, but about relationship. If God can use our stupid comedy show to make people laugh and forget about some of their problems for a little bit, imagine what He can do if you accept His Son. We try to let Christians know that Christianity isn’t a genre but our faith.
Brian: At the same time, it’s no secret that we are Christians, so it’s even more important that we put on a quality show. We don’t want to give people a reason to equate Christianity with sub-par entertainment. That’s been done.
HJ: What’s one message that you’ve always wanted to share from the stage but have never had the opportunity to?
Dave: Any movie referred to as Home Alone that came out after Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is a fraud. Thank you.
HJ: What other media catches your attention and shines a little gospel into your life (television, music, movies, comics, sports, etc.)?
Dave: We don’t really search for the Gospel in every little thing, because that’s not always the intention of the artist/creator. We’re not saying you can’t but let’s face it, sometimes people tend to force the Gospel out of things. The Bible is very helpful in this area for us. This sounds a little facetious, but seriously. Too often I hear people quoting to me everything but the Bible about Christianity.
Brian: I agree with Dave about the Bible. I think that’s the best access to the gospel. I also enjoy reading books written by Christian writers such as C.S Lewis, Rob Bell, and Donald Miller (just a few common examples) as a means of hearing someone else’s take on the Bible/Christianity. I don’t particularly enjoy watching Christian television or movies. I’m just being honest.
I think people watch/listen to some pretty filthy stuff and then use the excuse that they are looking for spiritual themes. For instance, I don’t think there is any reason to view a film like Jennifer’s Body for ministry purposes. You can say that you are trying to relate to people by watching stuff like that, but sometimes people take this concept too far. Where do you draw the line? I consider myself fairly liberal compared to a lot the Christians I know, but I tend to avoid stuff with crude sexual content (and somehow I am still able to relate to non-Christians). I think people tend to value authenticity more than they value obvious/lame attempts at relating to them. Christians are human just like the rest of the world. We are already going through so much of the same stuff in this life. I’m a bit off topic, but I had to say it!
HJ: Thanks for your time, guys!