Many of you are probably already familiar with Nicholas Gerlach.
And you may have seen the post I wrote a few weeks back during Super Bowl Week when Nick and The Twin Cats were the house band for SportsNation in Indianapolis, which featured this awesome video of Herm Edwards and Michelle Beadle getting jiggy with it.
Herm, Beadle, and Colin Cowherd enjoyed The Twin Cats’ brand of face-melting funk so much that they asked them to come back on the show, which they will be doing late in April.
Since Nick and the band got to have such a one-of-a-kind experience during Super Bowl Week, I wanted to get his perspective on it and share it with you. So we sat down over goblets of gin and juice and a Google Doc, which resulted in the following several weeks long exchange, as you’ll be able to tell from the tense of the first question and answer.
Jerod: Nick, first off congratulations on your band The Twin Cats being chosen as the ESPN house band during Super Bowl week. How did that come about and what will it entail for you and the band? Where will people be able to see you and hear you live and on TV?
Nick: ESPN contacted us to ask us if we wanted to be a part of their show as the house band during the week leading up to Super Bowl 46 here in Indianapolis. We will be performing as the warm up act before the show and as the house band during the show playing in and out of commercial breaks. It is similar to the role the bands play on late night talk shows like Leno and Letterman. I’m really excited about the opportunity as a musician and a huge sports fan. The show is live on ESPN 2 every day at 5 p.m.
Jerod: And how did ESPN know to contact you? Some of our readers may not be familiar with The Twin Cats. Provide some quick background on the band and how you developed the stature for ESPN to get ahold of you.
Nick: Honestly, we are not exactly sure how they found us in the first place.
Jerod: Well clearly it had to have a lot to do with the following you’ve gained in Indy and throughout the Midwest, and the respect so many people have for your music. Give us some background on The Twin Cats. How long have you guys been together? How would you describe your music? And what impact has your epic beard had on the band’s burgeoning popularity?
Nick: We have been together in this incarnation for around 7 years. I was actually the last person to join the band. The guitar player and the drummer (Seth and Adam) are identical twins and have been playing under that moniker since their early days in high school bands. Phil, the keyboard player, went to high school with them and our bass player, Cameron, joined the band through mutual friends.
Our music is a combination of funk, electro, prog rock and even a little jazz fusion. It is high energy music designed for big parties. We also have a great light show thanks to our lighting designer Brent Nixon. (See here and here.)
My beard has had little to no impact on the popularity of the band. I feel like it has had a much larger impact on society as a whole.
Jerod: Describe an example of how your beard has impacted society as a whole. Then let’s discuss your recent experience at the Super Bowl, which I think can safely be described as every musician sports fan’s dream. What were your overall impressions of Michelle Beadle, Colin Cowherd, and Dancing Herm Edwards?
Nick: Because now everyone wants to have a beard…they are all the rage now. I’ve had mine since I was 8 years old.
Yes, it was a dream come true. I was actually already a fan of the show, so I was really excited when I found out that they asked us to play on it. I’m also a big fan of Kevin Wildes and his half-baked ideas podcast on the B.S. Report. It’s one of my favorite segments on that podcast so meeting him was cool.
Colin Cowherd, Michelle Beadle and Herm Edwards were a lot nicer to us than they really even needed to be. They seemed to sincerely enjoy having us on the show. Music and sports pairs well and I think we were the right kind of band for the show. High energy and entertaining but not overly polished.
A lot of people told me all of these horrible things that they wanted me to do to Colin Cowherd because they don’t like what he says on the show and his radio station. What I think a lot of them don’t realize is that you are not supposed to like him…it’s his role in the show and part of what makes it so entertaining. He was really friendly to the band the whole week and definitely is one of the hardest workers I have ever met.
Michelle Beadle was very friendly as well. She is also one of the wittiest people that I have ever met. It’s amazing the amount of stuff she has to deal with while she is trying to do her job. There are constantly guys yelling “Marry me Beadle!!” and things like that while she is trying to do the show. Some people went over the line with what they said to her during the show and for that I apologize. (jk)
She told me the first day that she plays the saxophone. I tried all week to get her to play with us but she would not do it. That would have been crazy…unless she was better than me…that would have been bad. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was a good musician as intelligent, witty, and charming as she is…those are three qualities that any good sax player must have….present company included.
Herm Edwards did dance with us and even played the maracas on the last day. It is crazy the amount of energy that he possesses. I can see where he would be a great motivator as a coach. He literally does not stop. No matter how tired I thought I was I would always spark up a little bit when Herm came around.
He seemed to really get a kick out of “being in the band” on the last day. He even carried his maracas with him throughout the show and would chime in a little during our breaks. Beadle said we helped him “live the dream”.
Really all the hosts as well as all the producers, directors were great people. I have to mention how Pete Lion, Gabe Goodwin, and Therese Andrews were extremely accommodating and easy to work with. They are a huge reason that what could have been a very stressful week ended up being a successful experience…at least for us. I know that the band and I’m sure the show were trying new things and for SportsNation to take a chance like that during Super Bowl week says a lot about that show and why it’s one of the best shows on ESPN.
Jerod: Sounds like a hell of an experience. Now let’s go back to the band, which has been featured on numerous MSF podcasts. What’s next for you guys?
Nick: That’s sort of the eternal question with any band. We will continue to tour regionally and play as many festivals as we can this summer. This was definitely a great start to the year as far as exposure is concerned. Especially for late January/Early February which is generally a slow time for us. It’s like we went on a national tour without even leaving our home town. We do have some big things in the works that I can’t reveal right now.
[Editor's note: he was likely referring to this.]
Jerod: And as for your sports interests, you are a fan of the Ohio State University and the Cleveland teams. Do you think you’ll ever see a Cleveland professional team win a championship in your lifetime?
Nick: Well…I guess that just depends on how long I live and what developments take place in the the medical field in the coming years. Actually, I’m so worn down by being a Cleveland fan that I don’t expect anything anymore. One positive is that I get the same joy over an October win against a non-divisional opponent that other football fans get from playoff wins.
The worst thing is how close some of my favorite teams have come to winning. Like the Indians losing the World Series to the Marlins on the final at bat. To answer your question, I guess I can imagine a Cleveland team winning a championship before I die…I just don’t know which one.
I really hope it’s the Browns though. That would mean the most to Cleveland fans, I think.
Follow Nick on Twitter: @NicholasGerlach