Q&A With Front Man of The Dan Band, Dan Finnerty"/>
Yes he is that guy who specializes in those awkward yet hilarious covers of female pop songs. Not sure what I'm talking about? Well, you may have seen him in movies like Old School, Starsky & Hutch and most recently, The Hangover. If you still aren't familiar with funny man Dan Finnerty, front man of The Dan Band, take the time to laugh your sox off at their cover of "Genie in a Bottle" or original "Please Don't Bomb Nobody This Holiday."
The Dan Band
Pausing from his west coast tour, actor and comedian Finnerty took the time to chat with the Seattle Weekly about astronauts, Kaiser rolls, Michael Jackson and his role as director Todd Phillips' good luck charm.
I hear you are coming to the Showbox on Friday, so what can Dan Band fans look forward to?
Um, the best night of their life. Have you seen the show? Well it's funny and I would like it if I wasn't in it. It'll be an hour and a half of stupidity. It all started out as a drunk karaoke joke where I got up and sang "I Am Woman." I slowly keep adding woman songs and bad choreography and it kind of exploded from there. Guys singing girls songs -- what's not funny about that?
Speaking of guys singing girls songs, I noticed on your MySpace that you love the "ladies who don't take no crap." Are there specific female pop stars that you idolize?
Yeah that's a good question. I guess it would start with what's her name? Janis Joplin. She didn't take any crap, just a lot of drugs. And I guess Amy Winehouse. She also takes drugs and no crap. And then I'll take an occasional Salt n' Pepa or TLC.
You most recently won fans in Todd Phillips' The Hangover. But do you think the movie is as hilarious as everyone is hyping it up to be?
It's definitely hysterical. I saw an early screening of it. But I knew it would be funny because Todd Phillips knows what's funny. It actually got even better from the screening to the premiere, which I took my mom to because she really wanted to go. I was like, "Mom I don't think this is your movie." She literally shuttered out loud a few times. She was horrified. If you have a 68-year-old mother maybe leave her at home.
How do you feel about being called Phillips' good luck charm?
Yeah I'll take it. I like that. I like being a charm that is good luck. Believe me I'll do anything he says. I just sit around waiting for him to make a movie so I can try to get in it.
In terms of past Phillips' movies, who in The Dan Band is Frank "The Tank" from Old School?...Let's be honest someone has that role...
You know, there is one back up singer who definitely could fit that description and I'll let the audience try to figure that out at the show this Friday.
I am excited for the show but I am just shy of 21. Any way you could sneak me in?
(Laughs) That's so dumb; they should just have wristbands at these shows.
I agree, but in case I can't get in, any plans for future albums?
Well we did an album called Ho: A Dan Band Christmas and this summer we are going to do some actual Christmas covers to add to the album of Ho because it was all originals. We are also working on a wedding album that we will start working on in the fall and will probably come out some time next year.
A wedding album? Do you play a lot of weddings?
No we don't. I played one wedding even before we did Old School as a favor to a friend who does a lot of stuff at our shows. It was horrific. Again with the grandmas. You know, those poor grandmas go get their hair done and pick out their dress a month before and they sit at eight in the morning with their purse in their lap waiting to go to their grandchild's wedding. Then a band like us starts jumping around and swearing and stuff.
The more horrified the grandma got at this particular wedding the more nervous I got, and then whenever I get nervous I grab my crotch and swear. Then I was literally like a Tourette's self-groper who was causing her to choke on the chicken that she waited all day for. So now I just tell people to play the MP3 of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" when their friends are all drunk and the grandmas have gone home. It's to protect the grandmas.
Yeah, maybe you shouldn't be playing weddings. What is the most ridiculous thing that has happened at one of your shows besides the grandma incident?
So many things have happened, but recently I had a show in L.A. where there was a policeman in the audience who I guess was off duty. He got wasted and flashed his gun and people freaked out so he got kicked out of the club. There is no good ending to that apart from watching a policeman get booted.
Nice. And now for something completely different: What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be an astronaut.
So if you could be any mystical creature what would you be?
Interesting...back to doing covers of female pop stars...are there any god-awful covers out there that you think you could do better?
What's funny is I started out doing girl songs - "Total Eclipse of the Heart," by Bonnie Tyler, obviously a girl song, and in Starsky & Hutch "Feel Like Makin' Love" by Roberta Flack, which Todd actually picked out because it was a little girl's Bat Mitzvah and he thought that would be funny- but for The Hangover he wanted something more hip-hop based. I wanted to do Missy Elliot's "Work It" because Todd wanted something kinda raunchy. But then there was a clearance thing so we ended up branching out to the guy music with 50 Cent's "Candy Shop" because I love that song.
Are there any guy songs that you want to do a cover of in the future?I dunno, I think I could rock "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson. Is that so wrong? It is a lofty goal. I could do it as an astronaut. That would be even better.
How do you feel about Michael Jackson?
I feel sad for Michael Jackson. I just did one of those rapid fire questionnaires and I picked Prince over Michael Jackson and it made me feel bad. I mean poor Michael Jackson -- everything went wrong. Prince has kept his cool. He didn't let all his inside feelings come outside. He hasn't let us all see them surgically or legally.
Is there anyone you are dying to perform with?
I would love to do a duet of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" with Bonnie Tyler. That would be great.
I'm surprised you haven't done that yet.
Well I don't know if she hates me or not. Now I think everyone swears when her song comes on.
Have you ever talked to her before?
No I haven't. Do you have her number? Can you hook that up for me? I mean it's probably a long distance call on account of her British accent and all.
I'll see what I can do. So who is your comic idol and have you gotten to talk to them?
I was an acting major in college so I loved Waiting for Guffman. Christopher Guest pretty much made fun of both my worlds by making a rock band mockumentary and a theater mockumentary.
I got a call like two years ago saying Christopher Guest wants to meet you about a web movie he is doing. I was like, "What does that even mean?" and they were like, "We don't know." Then I got there and it was a web commercial for Intel. But it was Christopher Guest and he talked to me for 10 minutes and I sang a little something and so that was a personal thrill. And then I asked him to be in my Christmas video "Please Don't Bomb Nobody This Holiday" and he did. Plus, everything he says is funny.
Well I'm glad you got to meet him so I don't have to hook that one up.
Yeah you are off the hook on that. But seriously if you don't have Bonnie Tyler by this weekend I'm not sneaking you into the show.
Aww man. Well do you have any favorite restaurants or hangouts?
Well I am a sad slave to the Quiznos. I freakin' love Quiznos. They aren't lying when they say "mmm toasty." I like anything with bread really. You can stick anything between two slices of bread and I'll eat it, as long as there are no bones or veins snapping me in the lip.
No bones or veins?
When I was little my mom made boiled chicken and I was eating the leg of a chicken and it snapped me in the lip. I said, "What was that?" and she was like, "Oh just a vein." I almost threw up. That's my thing, I don't want to hold on to some bone while I eat. Just take it off and put it in some bread and I'll eat it. I'll eat my mom's heart if you put it in a Kaiser roll. That's pretty much my prerequisite. Mask it and I'll eat it. Man I don't know what I'm talking about right now.
One more question: If you could do any show in the world with any audience what would go down?
It would be to perform at the Showbox Theater in Seattle with The Dan Band on Friday night.
Thanks and see you then Dan!