Happy Nerf Year! – Nerf Herder reunites for a New Year’s Eve party and Parry Gripp talks about a 2014 album

Dana Sherlock photo
Dana Sherlock photo

‘I don’t know the last time we played in Santa Barbara,” says Nerf Herder lead singer Parry Gripp, when asked to lay down some timeline for this very nebulous band. Yes, he says, there was a gig at the Mercury Lounge two years ago, but that was in honor of his wife’s birthday and it was free, so … is that official? Regardless, the Goleta band’s gig at the Mercury Lounge Tuesday is not just official, but is going to see out 2013 and usher in 2014.

The evening will feature two sets by the pop-punk rockers, one early in the evening “because one of the problems of getting old is that none of your friends want to come see you after 10:30” and then another that will blast through midnight with a rocking “Auld Lang Syne” and more. In between, one-time Nerf Herder and sometime manager, music journalist and now DJ Marko DeSantis (aka Marko 72) will spin tunes.

But what of the band itself, famous for the singles “Sorry” and “Van Halen,” who haven’t released an album since 2008 (“Nerf Herder IV”)? The Internet is full of rumors that a new album is being recorded.

“We are officially recording a new record,” confirms Mr. Gripp. “We did some initial recording at a studio in L.A. that was Elliot Smith’s, so it’s full of all his gear. The soundboard that he had is the one that was used to record a lot of Rush albums, and the Police, and Cat Stevens. We wanted to record through that board because it was a neat thing to do. The magic may not work for us but it worked for those guys.”

This time around the band — with stalwart Steve Sherlock on drums, Ben Pringle on bass and Kevin “Linus of Hollywood” Dotson on guitar — is going to put out the album through a Kickstarter-like fundraiser site called PledgeMusic.com. The first music was recorded for the initial promotional video, “to have music for the trailer,” but right now songs are still being written.

Since 2005, Parry Gripp has had a nice side career as a one-man band. He first put out an album on parody commercial jingles called “For Those About to Shop We Salute You,” which turned into his “Song of the Week” website, short one-minute or so songs based on silly Internet memes like cats flushing toilets or monkeys riding backwards on pigs. It was a hit with kids and most recently he’s been writing a song per letter of the alphabet for StoryBots.com.

After years playing and singing everything himself, he says it was a relief to play with the band.

“It’s nice working with these guys because you can (give them an idea) and say, okay, now you guys work out the music,” he says. “Also, if I’ve been hired by a company to write some music, if I do a terrible job I will get fired. But in the band that pressure is not there.”

Mr. Gripp laughs. “How can I put that so it doesn’t sound bad? Those guys are so much better than me in doing what they do. It’s cool just to hear them play.”

Nerf Herder
When: 9 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Mercury Lounge, 5871 Hollister Ave., Goleta
Cost: $20 (21+ only)
Information: www.facebook.com/events/677750725603267/ or 967-0907

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