So wrong they're Righteous

By BRETT MILANO  |  July 25, 2007

“Jake is way too poppy for his own good, and I’m way too not poppy,” Koepke notes. “That’s how we get the best out of each other.” Hall: “We live together, which makes it easy. I’ll come home and find Max in a loincloth with his eyes rolled back in his head, doing some kind of guttural noise. I’ll be writing a song and he’ll say, ‘What if we do this instead of that? Let’s put it in extra time and make it go out of key.’ And I’ll say, ‘But that doesn’t make any sense. Great, let’s try it.’ ” The two writers split the vocals equally, and they’re easy to recognize: Hall has the sweeter voice and Koepke sounds a bit like J. Mascis. Told of the resemblance, he points to a horizontal scar on his neck — the remains of an operation he had last year to remove an aneurysm from his left vocal cord: “It’s where I get my Mascis from.”

Also indicative of the band’s philosophy are the references to drinking that occur throughout the disc. Alcohol did play a part in bringing the two songwriters together. “I met a girl at a party who told me that her boyfriend needed a drummer,” Hall recalls. “She was cute, I was tanked, so I said yes. When we play now, it’s also supposed to be fun; we don’t want people coming to shows to be impressed by our musicianship. We’re rocking out, you’re getting drunk, hopefully we’re all enjoying ourselves.” And the band is still young enough to be un-jaded at the prospect of local success. “You want to know how pathetic we are?” Hall asks. “I saw our album on sale at Newbury Comics, and used my cell phone to take a picture of it. That’s where we’re at.”

Then there’s their odd name, an invitation to a lawsuit if there ever was one. And any representatives of the original Righteous Brothers should be glad to hear that the Self-Righteous Brothers are ready and willing to be dragged to court. “If we have to change our name, that means that somebody’s heard of us and that’s great,” Koepke says. “And I’d love it if somebody came after us, two guys sitting in their apartment watching the Red Sox.” Besides, he adds, they already have another name picked out. “If we ever get into trouble, we’re changing it to the Whateverly Brothers.”

Self-Righteous Brothers | Baseball Tavern, 1270 Boylston St, Boston | August 1 | 617.867.6526
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