PerFect ThYroID (Skunk)

Interviews | Feb 24th, 2005

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Who are you and what do you play in the band? Who are the other members and their instruments?
I am Chris Hanson (AKA “Skunk”) and I am the lead singer for PerFect ThYroID and I play trumpet and various percussion. Also in the band are Chris Snykus on drums and vocals, Jon Stern on 6-string bass and vocals, Joe Brooks on guitar and vocals, Jennifer Polcari on keys and vocals, Sam Lapidus on trombone, percussion, and vocals, and Sean McLaughlin on sax and vocals.

What can we expect to hear on the upcoming album “sticktuitiveness” and what’s behind the name?
You can expect to hear very diverse, high-energy, fusion music on the new CD. We have always been influenced by all kinds of motivating music (from ska and reggae to funk, rock, and jazz). “Sticktuitveness” is just the next evolutionary step for us with those same elements. Whereas on our older albums, we would kind of go back and forth between ska songs and funk songs and whatever – the new songs tend to have all those elements fused into them at once. I think our sound has developed to a point where we are more true to the PErFect ThYroID musical melting-pot manifesto. The name “Sticktuitiveness” represents the fact that no matter how many times the music business keeps kicking us in the head with an iron boot, we keep coming back for more. We love playing music and maybe we’re even getting used to the abuse too.

Is the band a full-time job? if not…. what else do you do to put the food on the table?
The band is a full-time job as long as we are on the road. However, between building our own studio and recording this CD, our touring schedule very pretty meager for a while. So we have had to find other ways to pay rent and eat over the past few months. For me, this meant getting back into the ring as a professional wrestler. Quite honestly, I didn’t have enough time to get back in shape for that and I got beat up pretty badly! Please come see us play and buy our new CD – because I don’t think I can take getting hit with another folding chair by some dude that weighs 200 pounds more than I do any more! Not even once more!

What is the best show you have ever played and who was it with?
There are a lot of things that can make a show good. Maybe the crowd just kicked ass that night, or maybe the sound was really good and the band could really hear each other and the music vibe was really on, or maybe the bands you play with that night are really cool. But, if I had to pick one show that consistantly has all of these elements, I’d have to say that my own personal favorite show is The Grass Roots Festival of Music and Dance. It happens in Central NY State every summer, has like 65 bands of all different styles, good sound, good catering, it’s outdoors, and huge, diverse crowds that are ready to participate positively with every band that plays. What more could I ask for?

What’s behind your band name… perfect thyroid?
Ah, yes, the most frequently asked question! The band name started as just a joke, but it stuck around because we decided it actually fit what we are. The thyroid is a gland that regulates energy and growth. That sounded like something cool to us, so we kept the name.

What was the first show you ever went to?
My father owned a bar when I was a little kid, so the first bands my brother and I saw were local bands – usually friends of my father (who also played guitar). I think the first “big” show I went to was Jethro Tull at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center with my father and brother when I was like 11.

What type of ska would you consider yourselves…. poppy ska/psycho ska/two-tone etc…..?
First let me say that we love and respect ska. But we are also influenced by many other genres of music. Although ska has always been an important part of our music, I wouldn’t really call us a “Ska Band”. We are of the philosophy that it takes many colors to paint the best pictures, all kinds of people to make Humanity, and all kinds of music to motivate us. We respect it all because it all comes from us. Unity through Diversity baby!

What’s the craziest experience you have ever had as a band?
I think that would have to be the time we played at the White House for “Christmas at the Capital” and President Clinton jammed with us. What made that experience really crazy was that he came to our next 7 shows and sat in on a couple of songs. The audience was like one third secret service agents – it was very strange. Finally, we had to tell him not to show up any more because he was neglecting his duties as President. That’s when he started hanging around with Monica (which we told him was probably not a good idea – I just want to go on record with that!) and things just got a little out of hand. Being in this business is hard enough without having the burdens of the President’s personal crisis thrown in the mix. Anyway, that was a crazy experience.

What’s in your CD player right now?
In my CD player right now is “Sticktuitiveness” by PErFect ThYroID. Right after we finish an album, I like to play the shit out of it so I can think about all the things I could have done differently on it. This is my way getting really psyched at first and then slowly becoming dissatisfied with all of our albums. You musicians out there know what I’m talking about.

Are there any bands you can’t stand to listen to……. if so.. Why are they so bad?
There’s only 2 things I absolutely cannot stand to listen to. I can’t stand bands with hateful messages or racist lyrics (life is too short for that shit) – and I guess I just can’t really enjoy artists who just go through the motions and do what they do without their soul in it (life is too short for me to listen to someone who doesn’t care).

tell me about the lyrics of your songs…… are they personal or what do they relate to?
The lyrics of our songs are usually about trying to get to the purpose of being alive. They are about introspection, motivation, ignorance, racism, unity, communication, awareness and accountability, and, yes, even personal relationships… you know… just like N’Sync.

What would I find you guys doing on a Friday night if you didn’t have a show?
I would probably be trying to spend time with the people I care about outside of the band – the ones I don’t get to see when the band is on the road. …and I might not have clothes on, so it might be best if you DON’T find me that night.

Where are you from?
The band hails from the mighty Hudson Valley of Southeastern NY. In all fairness though, most of our time is spent hovering over the region in our blimp – which we practice in and record in. It has a video screen on the side and huge speakers through which we blast the ThYro-sounds down at our fellow Hudson Valley residents.

How did you get on the “meet the deedles” soundtrack?
I don’t really know. We never found out exactly how it all went down. I do know that Mercury made a deal with our old label (Shanachy) to put one of our songs on the soundtrack and we didn’t even find out about it until we heard it on the radio. We were never even notified – and were never paid a cent… ain’t the music industry the best!?

What keeps you going as a band?
Our fans have been the single biggest factor in keeping this band going. We love playing music and our fans kick ass. It makes all the other shit worth it.

Lastly…. if you could choose a candy bar that expresses your personality what would it be and why?
I would have to say a POWERBAR. It’s not sugary sweet, it’s an unusual taste, but it has real substance and nourishment… AND if you get the berry kind, you can hang it out of your mouth and it looks like a giant tongue!