On the Hairbangers Ball music-filled MySpace page, their description of ‘sounds like’ is summed up in one simple word: sex. Even though founder Jennifer Remis is not exactly too proud of that phrase—“Maybe it’s time to call on my employees to take that down”—she admits in a phone interview that “at the shows there’s lots of high-pitched screaming and moaning going on. And listening to eighties hair rock makes you feel good and happy—just like sex,” she says.
Hairbanger’s Ball began nine years ago both out of Remis’ frustration with working a day job and her love of eighties rock. “I started to look around at what cover bands were doing and I went for it,” Remis explains.
This band, though, is not just about playing three-decade-old songs, she says, and ultimately that attitude contributes to the band’s following, which ranges from frat boys and college kids to slightly older folks who actually lived during the era. “It is completely spread out—we are really fortunate,” Remis explains. “We do play to a lot of college students, and they are coming out because they either had parents, older brothers or neighbors that grew up with this music, so they’re coming out to live a scene that they were too young to live at the time.”
“But then we also do get the thirty- and forty-somethings who want to relive what they lived. Anything goes at our shows; it’s a really good energy, a good vibe,” Remis says.” I look into the crowd from the stage and I see a young girl rocking out with a 35-year-old guy wearing an original Iron Maiden concert T-shirt.”
Remis endeavors to keep her band relevant. “We first start [making up the set list] with songs that made the top 10 or top 20,” she explains. “The ages of the people in the band varies from 22 years of age to, let’s say, 35, so when I pick a song for the band I ask the 22-year-olds to make sure we hit as much of our demographic as possible.
“I custom-make each show to be different each time we play a venue, so we’re able to never bore our crowd,” she says. “We have two lead singers, so we never know which one is going to show up, and we plan each setlist to be different each time.” (Ernest Barteldes)
Hairbangers Ball plays the St. Michael’s Fest and Andersonville Midsommarfest this weekend. Visit their web site at hairbangersball.com for more summer dates.