Deli Magazine


The Deli Philly's Featured Artist(s) Poll Winner: The Stammer

- by The Deli Staff

Coming up with a name for your band can be one of the most difficult things to do when your starting to play out and record. There are plenty of famous musicians who really HATE their band’s name. But they are stuck with it. While it might have taken a threat of arson for our Featured Artist(s) Poll Winner to finally settle on The Stammer, it also seems the name YEAST still lingers in the minds of its band members. We sent the fledgling local indie rock outfit a list of our get-to-know-you questions. You can check out what they had to say below. The Stammer will be performing next in Philly on Friday, March 30 at JR's.
The Deli: How did you start making music? 
Brian Brotman: I started playing clarinet in 3rd grade. I still play it sometimes. Just a few months ago I got a bass clarinet after getting into Eric Dolphy. I can sort of play it.
Zach Zimmerman: I took piano lessons as a little kid but didn't like it because I was a little kid. I started playing percussion in middle school concert band because I didn't want to read music.
Gavin Landesberg: I played alto sax in the school band for about 9 years and I played bass in an indie-rock band called Moat throughout high school.
TD: Where did the name The Stammer come from? 
BB: We couldn't think of a band name and kept changing our name every week. Finally, our friend Amanda told me that she would burn down my house if we didn't settle on The Stammer. I believe her.
ZZ: I don't think I know that answer to this. I think Brian suggested it after months and months of not having a name and not being able to settle on one. I was and am still pushing for the name Yeast. Or YEAST in all caps. 
GL: We didn't have a name for the longest time. For our first gig, one of our friends from Polar Ice Cap put us on the bill as Hiroshima Party Time. After that, I think we knew it was essential to find a real name ASAP.  Out of a huge list of names, it came down to The Stammer or YEAST. The former didn't make people gag, so we kept it.
TD: What are your biggest musical influences? 
BB: Lou Reed, Pavement, Spoon, and some Joy Division.
ZZ: I think I'm most influenced as a drummer by friends of mine who are better drummers than I am. Shout out to Dani Buncher from the Pittsburgh band Big Hurry. She's just one of many. 
GL: Trevor Bolder & Tony Visconti (David Bowie) and Peter Hook (Joy Division/New Order).
Alex Munter: As told by Don Vliet: Thelonious Monk had a performance where he arrived late, struck a single note, threw a flowerpot into the piano, and left. I'm sort of going for that.
TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?
BB: Frank Sinatra - Only The Lonely. I've been watching a lot of film noir movies and I think they go together really well. Also, The Walkmen - A Hundred Miles Off. They just recently played an insane version of “All Hands and the Cook” at their anniversary show at Union Transfer. 
ZZ: Listening to Islands and telling anyone who will listen how I think Nick Thorburn doesn't get enough respect. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I'm getting on a Lifter Puller kick. “Nassau Coliseum” is just about a perfect song. 
GL: I'm listening to Gil-Scott Heron as I type this up, but in general, I've been really into the music my friend has been making out in Oakland under the name Michael Stasis. Check him out.
AM: Polar Ice Cap - these guys rock hard.
TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
BB: The first album I ever bought was Aerosmith. I'm pretty happy about Steven Tyler being on American Idol.
ZZ: I saw Yes and Kansas before I knew who Yes or Kansas were and before I knew why anyone would want to go to a concert. The first CD I bought was the Spin Doctors album that had all the hits on it. 
GL: The first real concert that I remember attending was Bon Jovi at the Tweeter Center with my dad. I think we had free tickets because a friend of his knew Bon Jovi's masseuse or personal trainer or something. The first concert I went to on my own was Anti-Flag at The Troc.
TD: What do you love about Philly?
BB: Red Bricks.
ZZ: I know my way around now.
GL: The food and beer scene.
TD: What do you hate about Philly?
BB: Violence.
ZZ: It can be a real turd sometimes. 
GL: Litter.
TD: What are your plans for 2012?
BB: I'm really bad at making plans.
ZZ: Hopefully get some recording done.
GL: Play shows, take the GREs, apply to grad school, play shows.
TD: What was your most memorable live show?
BB: We just played a show on a Sunday way out in Manyunk to room of maybe 8 friends and this great psychedelic band named The Highway. We mostly just played sloppy covers, and it was a lot of fun. Although, I was black out drunk for most of the set so maybe that disqualifies it from being "memorable."
ZZ: One of our first shows was at John and Peter's in New Hope with a couple of our friends' bands. There was no sound or door guy so they pretty much left us up to our own devices. The highlight of the night for me was doing lights for Polar Ice Cap. 
TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?
BB: I'm beginning to think all these interviews go very similarly.
ZZ: Good chicken salad. 
GL: Rueben.
AM: Hot Rueben.






The Stammer
The Stammer