The Situation I'm in the back bar of Mama's Mexican Kitchen in Belltown with the pop-rock quartet Consignment—Andrew Greager, who's working at the bar; lead singer/guitarist Matt Nyce; drummer Dena Hampton, Nyce's wife; and Ryan Thompson, who eats an entire basket of tortilla chips in less than nine minutes.
CONSIGNMENT With Strap Straps, Loose Values, Universe People. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave., 374-8400. $6. 9:30 p.m. Thurs., Nov. 17.
How They Got Here Nyce and Hampton's relationship unfolded in this order: They started Consignment, they started dating, they got married. I ask Nyce how he proposed. "I don't remember," he says. "It was on Valentine's Day," interjects Hampton, "which is really surprising, because we're not super-romantic. We had steak and mashed potatoes for dinner, and then he got down on one knee. We also ended up watching The Wedding Singer, which is totally ridiculous."
Consignment soon added Thompson as a second guitarist, and Greager, a bassist, joined a few months after that. "When we played live, it was way too mellow," says Nyce, referring to the band's origins as a duo. "There wasn't enough punch."
Shop Talk On Thursday, Nov. 17, Consignment will release a full-length called New Low on local label ggnzla records (ggnzla's Trent Coahran was Hampton's high-school homecoming date). Nyce used to refer to his band's music as "bummer country," but says he spiffed up the sound—the songs on New Low jangle along at a brisk pace. "I've always thought we were more of a recordings band," says Nyce. "There's bands that are really awesome live, every single time . . . With all these new songs, I tried to make [us] more of a band to see live."
"A lot of our new stuff is more danceable and fun," agrees Hampton.
BTW: Nyce doubles as Hampton's husband and drum teacher. Hampton picked up the drums by playing Rock Band, and then, she says, "I wanted to make it real-life and not just video-life."
"[When we first met,] she knew how to play Weezer's 'Say It Ain't So' and Radiohead's 'Creep,' " says Nyce, "which are the easiest songs on Rock Band." Of Consignment's songwriting process, he says, "Everyone makes their own parts. Except for drums. Usually I'll tell Dena what to do."
"Like any good marriage," says Thompson.