Every Friday, we bring you Local Band Q&A via The Oklahoman.
This week, its Hosty Duo.
•Why: Catch Mike Hosty tearing through his guitar, singing and stomping bass lines with foot pedals all at the same time. Just to keep it interesting, he blows in some baritone from a kazoo taped to his microphone while Michael “Tic Tac” Byers plays his three-piece drums.
In various incarnations, the Norman-based band has opened for Fiona Apple, Chainsaw Kittens, Hank Williams III, Leon Russell and others.
Humor is always part of the show, and their Oklahoma roots emerge from many of the songs. Lyrics from their favorite song: “The wind is hangin’ Pontiacs in trees … Hear me knockin’ on your door. You’re gonna find out what a fraidy hole is for.”
On their MySpace site, here’s how they describe the way the band sounds: “an old freight train the engineer keeps pouring the coals to with the boiler about to blow.”
•When: 10 tonight
•Where: Mike’s College Bar, 319 S Washington, Stillwater
How did your band get started?
Hosty: I had several bands, Heater for one in the ’90s, and when “Tic Tac” moved back from Austin, we started playing gigs. The band evolved from trying to find bass players and finally discovering the bass pedals in 2000.
How important is the band name? How did you come up with it?
Hosty: I had had so many band names that came and went. “Tic Tac” suggested we name the band after my last name so no matter what happened, I could still use the name and build it.
What is the most time-consuming part of music? Travel, writing lyrics, writing the music?
Hosty: Travel. Riding in the van takes the most time. Songwriting is spur of the moment and out of nowhere. Riding in the van, though, is like training to go on a mission to Mars.
How do you arrange your set?
Hosty: I usually listen to what the folks in the crowd are yelling out and wanting to hear. You are there for them.
As a working musician, how do you get paid?
Hosty: Every place is so different. Some you fill out W-2s, and others you get ribs and beer. You hope to make your travel expenses and try to sell some merchandise.
What’s the story behind your band’s favorite song?
Hosty: “Fraidy Hole” came about after the second wave of twisters from the Moore tornadoes a couple years back. As Gary (England) was telling everyone to duck for cover, an older guy turned to me and said, “Best get in your fraidy hole.” I immediately wrote it down thinking it would make a great song, and lo and behold, it did.
How do you hope to inspire future musicians?
Hosty: I teach guitar lessons, and today I saw a student play with his own band at the Groovefest. That is where it is at. Teaching several guys around town who are playing some indie rock and to see them out playing is rewarding indeed.
What is your dream music venue? Where would you like to play?
Hosty: We played Lloyd Noble with Fiona Apple, so that one is off the list. But I would like to play old theaters, the vaudevillians, the 100-year-old places with history. I also like to play in smoky holes-in-the-wall and mini-malls. … In mini-malls is where I really shine.
What band would you most like to tour with?
Hosty: Any of the legends, those who have been at it a long time, with staying power. B.B. King, Tom Waits, even Widespread Panic.
— Chris Colberg