Streams of vodka are flowing

Superhopper talks about life, liquor and Laraine Newman.

Keri Carlson

There will probably never be a straight-laced interview with Superhopper that seriously focuses on the band and their music. Maybe if you sequestered each member away from any distractions such as each other, music, food and alcohol, and shouted at them Sipowicz-style, you might actually get some answers. But that’s too much work. Therefore, all Superhopper interviews will consist of endlessly winding tangents.

This particular interview was especially doomed to wander off track, taking place the morning after Halloween. Each member was still recovering from their evening – drummer Nick Shuminsky still in his eyeliner – attempted to fight grogginess and hangovers with bottles of beer, “sex on the beach” and sundry other vodka and fruit juice combinations. Bassist Bob Muller, who unintentionally fell asleep early the night before, had a good 15 hours of sleep on which to run. Lead singer Kermit Carter joked that this was planned so that Muller would be “a motherfucking quote machine!”

The first “real” discussion of the band centered around the opening track on the band’s new album, “Does This Sound Exciting Yet?” The conversation segued to discussing whether a pro-Midwest music movement exists. “It’s us and Atmosphere,” Carter said, laughing. “But we haven’t formalized that yet.” The conversation then jumped through a series of hoops from Minneapolis being voted the “funnest” city to the TV show “Trading Spaces.”

In an attempt to again get back to business, Carter said the meaning behind the lyrics “blame it all on Chevy Chase” on the song “Laraine Newman.” Carter blames “Saturday Night Live” actor Newman’s cocaine addiction on Chase. As the band puts it: “Chevy Chase hasn’t been funny in the past 15 years.”

“Laraine was an unsung hero,” smiled Carter before loudly proclaiming, “Laraine Newman is the St. Paul of ‘SNL’!”

Of course, this spiraled into topics of Bill Murray, a song on the next Superhopper album named after Garrett Morris (another forgotten “SNL” alumnus) and the anticipation for Will Farrell’s new movie “Elf,” which opens the same day as Superhopper’s CD release show. The interview somehow ended with talk of Outkast’s “Hey Ya” and Friendster.

These wild goose chase conversations say a lot more about the band than if they were forced to ramble on about their own significance. It illustrates the rapport with one another that carries over into their music. And when one talks with Superhopper about nothing in particular, you can still get a sense of what the band is about.

“Does This Sound Exciting Yet?” is a rowdy punk rock stomp – exactly the kind of album made by 11 a.m. boozers with a wicked sense of humor who say they love St. Paul and think Minneapolis is OK.