What happens when a group of musically trained Southern California, self confessed brats, get together to blast out big guitar driven rock? Hmmm… fun? Yes. Volume? Yes. Energy? Yes. Intensity? Yes. Irreverence? You bet.
But… The real answer is: You get… LIQUOR BOX
LIQUOR BOX is a bunch of school friends, all in different bands, who got together “just for fun” to play loud and hard on Sunday afternoon’s at the local middle school gym (Ty’s mom is a teacher there). They found that they liked the same kinds of music and that they all had a like minded attitude toward rock music, that it should be brash, loud, witty, fun, and most of all to rock the house. They sounded great and started playing parties to make extra money. A girl named Mary saw many shows and it turned out she was a classically trained pianist and sometime singer. She was invited to play and has participated on and off ever since.
The band really had something and got paying gigs to the point where they were playing clubs nearly every weekend throughout all of 2007. Liquor Box always drew a crowd and a good time was had by all. The band was invited to play shows and festivals and played out every chance they got.
In 2008 they decided to make a record, scraped up the money themselves, and went into Electropolis Studios in North Hollywood California to knock it out. The result is : Guilty Treasures, which accurately captures the whole point of the band and the record, that is: great songs, pure fun to play and listen to, with style, wit, and power, by musicians who can really play.
Producer Michael Albarian put it all together and made it happen for them. Albarian says, “these guys, and lady, are great. They take the music and playing very seriously, but it’s all in the name of fun. They are a blast to be around”. He adds, “I basically just recorded their live set and tried to capture the power and strength of it without losing the wit and charm and comedy. You’ll see what I mean”. And, “The record is packed with 16 great songs and it rocks from beginning to end. It’s great party music, it’s great driving music, and it puts a smile on your face and stomp in your foot with every track. The personality of the band really comes through.”
They’re still playing clubs and shows whenever possible, still in various bands, and who knows what will happen with “Guilty Treasures”, but for now, they’re just playing hard and having fun.
Lead singer Ty Webb says, “You gotta hear this CD, I guarantee you haven’t heard anything like it, but it will feel like you have”.
The band is:
Ty Webb: Lead Vocals, Guitars
Morgan Stanley: Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Mary Lynch: Keyboards, Vocals
Guy Gadois: Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Dick Standen: Bass Guitar
Q: So what’s the deal with the name?
Guy: What do you mean?
Q: Come on, Liquor Box?
Ty: Once we all turned 21 we needed a place to keep all our booze.
Dick: It’s a very nice box.
Guy: Very Nice.
Morgan: And you know about boxes?
Guy: I’m and expert and I’m telling you that this is a very fine box.
Q: Can we move on?
Ty: You asked.
Q: Who put this together?
Ty: Zeus himself.
Q: I mean, who’s idea was it to start playing together?
Guy: Actually, Ty’s mom. Me and Dick were in band together in middle school and high school and we knew Ty since we were 12. We were over at their house a lot because they have a basketball court and because Ty’s sister has awesome boobs.
Ty: He’s right.
Dick: She got ‘em when she was 11.
Ty: She was very popular.
Guy: I totally pulled a “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” scene in Ty’s bathroom one time ‘cause Lynn was in the pool with her friends.
Ty: You never told me that. I thought we shared everything.
Dick: Oh man I can’t even count the times I fantasized about doing Lynn.
Ty: I don’t blame you.
Morgan: As long as we’re confessing, (to Guy), I wanna do your mom.
Guy: Not cool.
Ty: He has a point, your mom's hot.
Guy: Not cool.
Q: Uh, we’re off track a little bit. So you’re hanging out at Ty’s house…
Guy: Yeah and we’re all in different bands and we’re always talking about equipment and playing and songs and Ty’s mom keeps saying we ought to play together so eventually we did.
Ty: I knew Morgan but he was like an untouchable mysterious guitar god by the time he was 16. Everyone was too intimidated to ask him to jam.
Morgan: Untouchable mysterious guitar god? I like that.
Q: Why did you have that reputation?
Morgan: I kept to myself a lot. My parents split up when I was 9 and I pretty much only did school work and play guitar in my room for many years. I got the guitar bug and I liked having one thing to focus on for hours, it filled a lot of time.
Q: What are you influences?
Morgan: Well, they change, but I listened to a lot of music when my mom and dad were splitting up and I found that hip hop didn’t really do much for me, and the soft rock of the time was pretty lame, but when I heard Aerosmith I was like, whoa, this I like. I was also into the Gin Blossoms. So from Aerosmith, I thought the whole Joe Perry thing was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. My mom is the greatest and bought me a guitar and I mostly just posed and jumped around in the mirror for about a year.
I started lessons at 10 years old and pretty soon I was working my way back through the Aerosmith catalog, which led me to the ultimate, in my opinion, Led Zeppelin. That was a few years of work in and of itself and the best training any rock guitarist could ever have. AC/DC has also been a big influence on me. Now I’m interested in anyone who is making cool noises with a guitar in any way.
Q: What’s your background Guy?
Guy: My dad says I was beating on things since I was born.
Dick: Yeah, like in Ty’s bathroom.
Guy: They got me a set of drums and it just seems like I’ve just done it like it was pre-ordained, just ‘here’s what Guy is about’. I got in band at school because it was an easy grade and the drums could always screw around while the teacher was working with the other instruments.
Dick: Guy isn’t very complicated.
Guy: (Imitating Jeff Spicoli) All I need is a cool buzz, some tasty waves, and I’m fine.
Ty: And some willing girls.
Guy: Why yes, that too.
Ty: Guy is a frustrated lead singer, he keeps wanting to put the drum kit out front.
Dick: But that’s one of the things that makes him a great drummer, it’s always like ‘hey look at me’.
Guy: Most definitely. My all time hero is Tommy Lee. You gotta have the chops, you gotta have the attitude, and you got have the monster schlong, I have all three. The only thing I don’t have is Pam Anderson, but someday I will.
Dick: Yeah but by that time she’ll have to put her teeth in a jar on the nightstand before you do it.
Guy: Works for me.
Ty: You forgot one thing, you also have to have a self made video. You’ve got that too.
Guy: Yes, quite a few.
Morgan: You’re a freak.
Guy: Not at all. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley kept polaroids of every groupie they had over 30 years. I’m just doing it in full motion HD video.
Morgan: Oh ok, you’re not a freak then.
Guy: I have appetites.
Ty: Just to let you know, his other hero is Keith Moon, just so you know what Guy is really like.
Guy: Yeah, I wish I could play like him, but I’ve had too much actual training.
Q: What do you mean?
Morgan: I’ll take this. Rock, well the rock we love, was made by guys that were self taught and just played what sounded cool. They had no pre-conceptions, no boundaries, no self editing like, ‘hey this isn’t proper’, they just did it. You have to work hard to keep that wide open sense of ‘no rules’ in your playing. Mike (Albarian) was a great producer in that way, he always pushed us to ‘just play’, and often we’d keep takes that we thought weren’t refined yet. He’d always say ‘perfect, that’s the point’.
Dick: Yeah there are lots of mistakes on the record.
Guy: By you.
Dick: Dumb ass.
Guy: Butt munch.
Dick: Turd burgler.
Q: Ok ok. To my ears, I didn’t hear any mistakes.
Dick: Dill weed.
Guy: Dill hole.
Ty: Can you see what I’m dealing with?
Q: To think I actually went to school for this.
Dick: Butt nugget.
Ty: The point is, we wanted to just capture the energy and fresh feel of our live shows and we never play the same thing twice, so Mike didn’t allow us to over think it.
Morgan: We’ve played these songs a thousand times so we just did takes until we liked it and went back to fix obvious screw ups.
Ty: That’s why it sounds so high energy and ‘in your face’.
Q: Tell me about some of the cover tunes.
Ty: These are all songs we love and we just put the Liquor Box twist on them. We’ve tried lots of songs and we just couldn’t make anything memorable out of them, but these are really awesome, in my opinion.
Q: How do you get the ideas for the songs?
Morgan: It’s pretty democratic. Someone will say ‘we ought to do this or that’ and we’ll try some arrangements and we pretty much agree whether something is worth pursuing or not.
Guy: Dick’s suggestions always suck.
Q: I really like where you mash up songs like “What I like about Cherry”.
Morgan: Yeah well people don’t realize how similar some songs really are. In guitar based rock bands pretty much everything’s already been done, so when two songs are pretty much the same, it’s easy to do a mash up. So if Neil Diamond and the Romantics had a baby, what would it sound like? Now we know.
Dick: Yeah we could do a whole album of mash-ups.
Q: I love the duet.
Ty: Having Mary in the band really gives us a lot of options, if we could just get her to sing more.
Q: Mary, we haven’t heard from you, what’s your story?
Mary: What do you want to know?
Q: Start from the beginning.
Mary: Well in the beginning, the earth was a gaseous cloud of super heated elements….
Q: No, I mean, your musical background and participation in the band. Jeez, this is like pulling teeth.
Mary: No it isn’t, my dad’s a dentist.
Ty: He threatened to drill us if we touched her.
Guy: (to Mary) so by that logic, if I drill you, he’ll touch me?
Dick: So why didn’t he drill Ty?
Mary: We were kind of together at the time and he didn’t know.
Ty: He will now.
Mary: He knows.
Mary: It’s fine.
Q: Seems like you two have something to talk about, but back to the band….
Mary: Yes, well I was a total geek and took piano lessons since I was like 1 month old it seems like. I hated it. That, and the flute.
Ty: Yes but the flute was excellent training for later in life.
Mary: I thought you were worried about my dad.
Ty: I meant musical training.
Mary: Right. Anyway, kinda like Morgan I kept to myself and plus my parents are both sort of hippies, my mom more, so I wasn’t cool or popular and I didn’t try to be. I’m very comfortable with myself, got into herbal refreshments in my teens and sex too. Not much to say. I saw these guys at a show and thought they were great so I went out of my way to see them a bunch of times and one thing led to another with Ty.
Dick: Then Ty pulled a John and Yoko thing and brought her into the band.
Ty: It wasn’t like that.
Morgan: We didn’t like it at first, but she turned out to be totally cool and really added a lot to our sound. Now she’s one of us whenever she wants to do it.
Guy: Plus she willingly fellated all of us whenever we wanted.
Mary: You’re gonna need dentures by the time my dad gets done with you.
Guy: Just kidding, she’s rejected me so many times I feel like Omarosa.
Mary: No relationships inside the band, that’s a rule.
Guy: That’s fine, I don’t want a relationship either.
Mary: Shut up.
Ty: One big happy family eh?
Q: You guys goof around a lot, the liner notes are particularly interesting, but the sound on the CD is from people who care about being good.
Dick: Absolutely. We grew up with bands that couldn’t play and couldn’t sing.
Q: Do you think that’s still true?
Dick: It’s hard to say. There’s so much production now, auto tuning, computer editing, session players, lip synching. I will say this, music is boring now and totally limited to what they want to shove down your throat.
Guy: Do we need another baby voice girl singer singing goo goo ga ga?
Morgan: Really there’s only hip hop and pussy rock.
Q: Pussy rock?
Morgan: I’m not gonna name names, but I wouldn’t care if James Blunt and Maroon 5 disappeared from the face of the earth.
Ty: I’d say the the main driver of this is that we’re all pissed about how crappy bands have been for the last 10 years. We’d rather rock and play what we love really well even if the crowds aren’t big. Basically we want to be Spinal Tap.
Morgan: I worked for thousands of hours to get good at guitar and to know what I was doing. It made me sick to hear all this junk making big hits. You know, there’s a reason why ‘Guitar Hero’ and ‘Rock Band’ are so popular, because there’s something in the Homo Sapien that responds to the beats and the guitars and nobody is making music like that anymore. I’m hoping ‘Guitar Hero’ and ‘Rock Band’ will create a new generation of real rock players .
Dick: He said Homo.
Morgan: The only reason I’m in this band is because these guys are all really good players and they feel the same way I do. These guys actually like guitar solos.
Guy: Gotta have smoking guitar solos.
Ty: We love blowing people away with how good we are musically. People just don’t see great guitar players anymore.
Dick: Our generation didn’t grow up with accomplished players in our popular music, for the most part.
Ty: Listen to Dick’s bass work on this record, you never hear stuff that good anywhere.
Mary: And Morgan’s guitar work will blow people away. Big ups.
Ty: Definitely, this is a guitar band first and foremost.
Guy: No it’s not, it’s a drum band.
Dick: The bass makes it.
Mary: Bunch of babies.
Q: I must say, huge guitar is the fundamental sound of the band, but everything else has a unique style and sound and every element is important.
Ty: Oh yeah, if you take out any element, it wouldn’t sound the same at all. You can’t just plug in another bass player or another drummer, or guitar into this band.
Guy: Yeah but we could pretty much use any singer.
Morgan: I’d go along with that.
Q: Are you going to do a tour for the record?
Ty: We have no plans to tour yet, we’re all committed to other things, but we love playing live together so it would be a rip to go out and play this record, we’ll see.
Morgan: I’d love to.
Q: So what do you want readers to know about the band and about the record? Serious answer please.
Guy: Butt dumpling.
Ty: Ass goblin.
Q: You too?
Ty: Sorry, had too.
Mary: Come on, we finally get a serious interview. This is going out all over the world.
Q: So let me ask again, why should the world care about your band?
Ty: Because we’re good and you’ll feel good listening to us.
Q: I agree wholeheartedly with that. What else?
Morgan: If you want to hear great songs played by people who play their assess off, Liquor Box is your band.
Dick: Look, we take this seriously, you can hear it in the sophistication of our arrangements and quality of our playing. Flat fact is, there’s nothing out there like Liquor Box.
Guy: The CD is fun, it’s funny, it’s great sing-a-long, great air guitar, it rocks hard, and you’ll love every single song on it, 16 songs, no fillers.
Ty: Yeah it’s a great party record, great beats and riffs all the way through.
Morgan: Also, the producer, Mike, was always saying, ‘each song has to keep the audience entertained”. So we put in a lot of interesting changes and arrangement twists and turns so each song is a journey with surprises.
Q: You can see that in the CD package too, very intriguing.
Mary: Yes, there’s definitely a story with those two people isn’t there?
Q: Yes it’s very evocative, makes you want to open it and find out what’s going on.
Mary: “Keep ‘em entertained”
Ty: I’d like to say, ‘hey everybody, we just added a spicy dish to the menu, you don’t have to order just hip hop or pussy rock anymore’.
Q: Well you have put a lot of thought and talent and skill into this, it’s very clear when you hear it. I hope it’ll be a big hit for you.
Guy: Then we can get chicks!
Dick: Yeah, we’re gonna score!