Damian Fanelli (guitar), Tony Fanelli (bass), Drew Paradine (drums)
Feature for August 2013
Mister Neutron revisited
Name: Mister Neutron
Genre: Heavy-trad instrumental surf rock (formerly Surf / Instro Rock)
Geographical Area: New Jersey / New York
Interview with: Damian Fanelli by email on 7/31/13
Last Interview date: 2/26/07
Band formed: 1998
NESMA member since: 2005
3. Since your last interview has your music taken on new or different directions? If so, how?
Let's see … the last interview was in early 2007, long before our third album (‘Nor'easter’) came out in mid-2008. However, I wouldn’t say our direction has changed at all since then. Before March 2007, we’d play some tunes with vocals, and maybe even some blues or rockabilly, but Mister Neutron has been a pure instrumental band for many years. So, despite the longwinded start of this answer, no.
4. What NESMA bands have you had an opportunity to perform with, or share a show with?
6. What is the break down of cover vs. original material in your live shows and/or recordings?
Recordings: 90 percent original, 10 percent covers. Live, it’s more like 50/50. I think it's inherently fun to play other people's songs — and even more fun as you get older.
6a. Has this changed since your last interview? If so, how?
Yes. In olden times, we had many more originals in the set. I still like to tell people that our set is mostly originals, but I don’t think that’s exactly true anymore.
7. What recording have you done since your last interview?
8. Where does your band typically practice?
When Mister Neutron is taken out of its protective carton once a year, we rehearse at Drew's house. It's always been “wherever the drums are,” which makes perfect sense.
9. What does your band typically wear for a performance?
Jeans. Shirt-wise, I think all three of us alternate between T-shirts and buttoned-down, short-sleeved shirts, either vintage or bowling style. I’m pretty much done with T-shirts on stage. I can’t stand to see photos of myself wearing a T-shirt during a gig.
10. Do you ever have additional performers on stage with you?
Not since one night in 2006, when he had a trumpet player. Sometimes I think it would be cool to have an acoustic guitarist to help the live versions of songs sound more like the studio versions of songs. Maybe we’ll do that.
When we feel it's time to wake up Ol' Man Neutron from his slumber, we'll typically write to Unsteady Freddie to see if he has any openings at Otto's Shrunken Head in New York City. We’ve always loved playing there.
12. Approximately how often do you perform out?
About once a year.
13. What have you found to be the single most effective promotional tool you’ve used to further your band’s musical path?
Facebook is No. 1 by a mile. After that, Twitter and word of mouth, like they did it in 1861.
14. What’s the most interesting performance experience you’ve had since your last interview?
15. What have you gotten out of being a NESMA member so far?
I've met a lot of great people.
16. Have you had opportunities to promote NESMA? If so, what have you done?
Not so much lately, I’m sad to say.
17. Do you have any suggestion on how NESMA can grow?
As someone who runs a major website pretty much alone, I can imagine it must be difficult to run NESMA with only two people, both of whom have jobs! I guess somehow finding assistants, helpers, interns, even — anyone willing to lend a hand who might have a unique skill or talent — would aid the cause and help NESMA grow.
18. Anything else?
Thanks for this opportunity!