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EYEBALL SKELETON are a band from Edgewater, Maryland, fronted by the highly caffeinated Brown brothers: JJ (guitarist, age 8) and Charlie (bassist, age 10). Backed with beats by their dad, Bill—drummer for Spoils of NW—EYEBALL SKELETON‘s music is as pure as your mind was before sex entered the picture. With a single microphone and a rickety four-track cassette recorder (sans pause button), the Brown boys record bouncy noisepop heavy on hooks and goofy goth imagery. A musical mix inspired by Guided by Voices, the Misfits, and Dead Milkmen, their songs tell of unibrowed vampires and a turtle whose shell sizzles as he dances the Chihuahua tornado. Kiddiecore releases tend to have an engaging, naive sensibility that pleases on various levels, but few children have the exuberance, talent, and desire—witness the Shaggs, who had none of these—to transcend mere novelty status. But this is precisely what separates EYEBALL SKELETON from other ‘tweenyboppers.
1 Why do you make music? JJ: It’s fun recording and playing concerts.
2 When did you start playing? JJ: I started playing guitar when I was like two and three-quarters. Charlie: When I was three.
3 How did you came up with the name Eyeball Skeleton? JJ: I thought of “eyeball” and Charlie thought of “skeleton,” so we combined them.
4 How do you write your lyrics? JJ: Uh—we sit around and drink coffee and eat doughnuts and think. Charlie: We draw pictures and then we come up with names and lyrics about what we draw.
5 Who are your favorite recording artists? JJ: Weezer, Beatles, Beach Boys, the Monkees, and the Cure. Charlie: Beastie Boys, Daft Punk, Beck.
6 What would you like to be when you grow up? JJ: An artist, a guitar player, or a pro skateboarder. Charlie: A judge, a mountain climber, a blacksmith.
7 Have you ever performed live? If so, where and how did it go? JJ: Yes. At my cousin Emma’s birthday party, Pancake Mountain, Princeton University, and Rock-n-Romp. The first time was bad, but the other times were really fun. Charlie: It was awesome!
8 What do you like to eat for breakfast? JJ and Charlie: We eat pancakes, doughnuts, waffles, Toaster Strudels, Danishes, eggs, bacon, rubber, cords, people, dogs, paper . . .
Eyeball Skeleton’s debut, #1, is out now on My Pal God (mypalgodrecords.com).