THE ART DEPARTMENT
As much as I wish it were true, the Art Department is not a lost indie gem from Carson City. No fat Native Americans, no girl drummer.
At age 14, Jonathan Ehrens was inspired by a CitiBank commercial that featured a lone ukulele player singing a simple tune. The high-pitched chords that the player was plucking caused Jonathan to attempt to recreate the sound by placing a capo very high up on the neck of the guitar. After a couple of one-off recordings, this idea was forgotten.
That is until the winter of 2005, when Jonathan desired to come up with a fictional band and record songs for them. The idea was to create distinct styles of playing for each fictitious member and never stray from them. The guitar would finger pick, with the capo on the 9th fret. The bass player would seldom venture below the 7th fret, and would never linger on one single note. The drummer would rarely use fills, and the fast beats would be accompanied by the tambourine. The singing would be high-pitched, so as to make the music sound as if it were being played in fast forward. After developing this formula, Jonathan recorded the first Art Department album in a weekend. The album was created conceptually as the lost demos of an overlooked band.
Due to the appreciation from friends who claimed it was the best Mobile Lounge band, Jonathan decided to make a live lineup, thereby destroying the fašade of a forgotten band. Other ideas were thrown around, like having our live lineup actually be a tribute band to the lost group, but the gimmick is to never override the music.
So, thanks to Michael Meno (drummer) and Jason "Peggy" Howe (bass) the music has come to life. Our rotating cast of tambourine players have helped as well. So the band is not a legend, and not a spoof for audiophiles. We're just a band.