Hank > When I was 18 and about to be incorporated for the IDF (It’s mandatory in Israel which is where we’re from…). I was confronted with the thought of not playing my bass for 3 years and realized that thought was unbearable.
Cupcakes > I was always interested in performing arts whether singing, playing piano, acting or dancing but honestly when I met Hank I was inspired by his complete dedication and I started to focus in on music.
What was the first album you purchased and how do you rank it today?
Hank > My parents gave me Abbey Road when I was about 13 and it’s still is one of my top 5 today.
Cupcakes > I think it was an Israeli artist called Eviatar Banai, I haven’t heard it in years so I’m not sure where it would rank today but in my memory it’s pretty good!
How did you two come together to form Hank & Cupcakes?
We had just come back from a long stay in Havana Cuba in late 2007 and decided to wrap up our life in Israel and relocate to NYC in late 2008. We had a full year of limbo and were bored silly, to the point we actually said let’s jam together and see what happens. And then all these songs started coming and it was fun and made sense!
What’s your role in the songwriting with the ‘band’?
Hank > The songs are written by Cupcakes, usually on a piano and I contribute on the arrangement / productional side. I also started writing recently so maybe we’ll have some of my songs on the next record.
Cupcakes > Some of the songs have come about from jamming together in the studio, some from combining ideas (like in the song “Cocaina” for example, Hank came up with the chorus first and I later wrote the verses) and many from the piano as Hank
Do you write music for the iphone, walkman or the live performance?
Hank > We make no conscious effort to write for anyone, just try to have fun and keep it real.
Cupcakes > I never used to confine myself when writing but recently I sat down at the piano and asked myself “now what would I want to be playing on stage?” and a really groovy high energy song came out which we’re both super happy about so I might continue to “lead” myself that way!
What are your musical differences?
Lets see… We argue during rehearsals sometimes, it’s usually some stupid argument about a part or something of that sort that gets blown out of proportion because we are so emotionally intertwined… It’s not so much about the differences but more about the amount of passion invested meeting the occasional frustration.
What are your earth signs and how do the movement of the moon n’ planets affect your ability to work together as a team?
Hank > We’re not heavy on astrology… I’m Scorpio and Cupcakes is Virgo, I phoned the moon but got the answering machine…
Cupcakes > Yup, not strong on the star signs… I try to let my inner voice lead my actions. As far as working as a team, it’s really about knowing how to communicate, listen to each other and always remember that we’re both striving for the same goals.
If you had to choose, what are your personal & band theme song(s)?
Hank > “Enter The Ninja” by Die Antwoord
Cupcakes > hmmm…that’s a tough one, all I can think of right now are really cheesy 90’s songs.
Whats the best / favorite gig you have ever done?
Hank > I don’t know about best / favorite, we don’t look into the past with longing… We had 2 amazing shows this weekend at Nashville and St. Louis Pride events right after the supreme court’s decision to legalize gay marriage. It was very emotional and we felt lucky to be a part of these events at this time in history when progress and justice were glorious.
Cupcakes > Yeah last weekend at Pride was amazing. I also love the show where people start taking their clothes off and throwing them on stage. We tend to encourage releasing the beast within!!
Your next album goes all the way to #1, whats your essential backstage rider wishlist include?
A helium container, two full body rabbit costumes, mini golf, live flamingos, 4 palm trees w/ 2 hammocks (Parallel) and a Magician. Thank you! – Hank & Cupcakes