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Boom Chick to bring ‘honky-tonk surf’ to Columbus

Courtesy of Gregg Little

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Getting its start from an apartment in Brooklyn and now sharing even closer quarters in tour van, Boom Chick is almost always in its “own little world.”

Boom Chick is scheduled to perform 9 p.m. Wednesday at Rumba Café. It will be the band’s second show in Columbus.

Comprised of Moselle Spiller on drums and Frank Hoier on guitar and vocals, the duo met while living in the same apartment building in the neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn and started playing music through a shared mutual love of early rock ‘n’ roll, Hoier said.

Combining danceable reflections of rock ‘n’ roll, surf guitar and blues, Hoier said, “Somebody told us we were honky-tonk surf … We liked that a lot, that was really cool.”

Through it doesn’t travel as lavishly as some musicians, Hoier said loading their own gear and merchandise into a tour van, which they drive themselves across the nation, has brought the duo closer together.

 “Boom Chick is kind of like our own little world,” he said.

Hoier said being on tour is a hard life, but the most exciting part is the people you connect with.

“The nature of getting to see all the different parts of America, that’s definitely our favorite part of it all,” Hoier said. “And the different food and meeting other musicians is really fantastic.”

The band found its name when Hoier was teaching Spiller how to play the drums four years ago in Brooklyn.

“I invited her to sit on at a drum kit and said ‘tap the hi-hat and go one, two, three, four, boom chick, boom chick,'” Hoier said. “That was like the magic words. Boom chick, it’s the simplest beat you have to pay respect to when you’re creating art. The most simplistic beat is also the most powerful.”

After Spiller learned the drums, Boom Chick played its first show at a loft party in Brooklyn for a few friends.

“We had written maybe four songs and we played four other songs that we loved,” Hoier said. “It was just like an outrageous dance party that I had never really done up to that point. I’ve never made a whole room of kids dance like crazy (before that).”

Gregg Little, management at New Frontier Touring, which works with Boom Chick on commercials, public relations and touring, said some people aren’t use to the blues music Boom Chick plays.

“They’ve got this different kind of thing going on than a lot of the stuff we hear. They do a lot of old-school ’50s tunes, maybe some Buddy Holly tune,” Little said. “Their goal is to have everybody up front dancing, not just hearing somebody wailing blues riff the whole time. It’s a fun thing to go see, it’s like a big party.”

Little also said working with Boom Chick in the past year has been a pleasure.

“Both Frank and Moselle are two of the nicest people you’ll ever met,” Little said. “Frank is just a phenomenal guitarist and songwriter, and Moselle is just great on drums and a sweetheart too. It makes our job a lot easier when the artists are so great and such great people.”

Little said there is a running joke around the office that it came as no surprise when Spiller mastered another talent.

“Of course Moselle was a downhill skier, of course she was a top graphic arts designer,” Little said, jokingly. “Of course she learned how to play the drum in three days.”

Spiller said at certain points in her life she considered herself both an athlete and an artist.

“I was more of an athlete in my teens,” Spiller said. “I was a competitive downhill ski racer and I also jumped horses.”

Spiller moved to New York City when she turned 18 to study industrial design and landed a job designing toy packages for a company out of China. Adding that she likes to sew, Spiller said art is something that runs in her family.

“I make a lot of my own clothes,” Spiller said. “I try to make Frank something to wear on stage, either hand-made t-shirts or tie-dye stuff.”

Hoier said fans can expect to hear a score of different genre at live performances. He said the duo will even play a 1950s slow-dance tune sometimes to give fans a chance to slow dance if they’d like.  

“We wanted to bring it to like a joyous rock ‘n’ roll that’s like dance music,” said Hoier. “We just kind of make a big beat out of it and make it something joyous and dance oriented.”

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