Opening for Sugarcult
With: Damone and Meg & Dia
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: The NorVa, 317 Monticello Ave., Norfolk
Cost: $15.50 ($18 day of show)
Details: (757) 627-4547 or www.thenorva.com
The question: What’s the most rock’n’ roll thing to happen to you since you started this band?
What could be the most rock’n’ roll answer?
“Honestly? You won’t be able to print much of it.”
Jon Decious, bassist for the power-popping Pink Spiders, makes this declaration. He gamely manages to work up a print-friendly alternative: “Playing Dodger Stadium in front of 10,000 people.”
A healthy L.A. buzz enabled the Spiders to pull off that headlining feat before the August release of their new major-label debut, “Teenage Graffiti.”
“[L.A. radio station] KROQ just really loved our band and asked us to come play after a Dodgers game, so we said OK,” Decious said. “And we also sang ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’ on top of the dugout.”
After forming in Nashville several years ago with Decious, singer/guitarist Matt Friction and drummer Bob Ferrari, one particular action seemed to make Pink Spiders beloved figures on their home turf: leaving town.
“Three weeks after we started the band we went on tour, and we’ve rarely been home since,” Decious said. “We came back and they were all our biggest fans, so it’s kind of weird how that worked.”
Through endless road work and the indie-label recordings of the 2004 EP “The Pink Spiders Are Taking Over” and last year’s “Hot Pink” album, the band honed its live show and its power-pop hooks, and when the dust cleared from the industry interest, the guys found themselves signed to Geffen.
Decious recalls with great relish the label meeting during which the Spiders were asked who they wanted to produce their album.
“Everyone’s instincts said, ‘Oh, well, Ric Ocasek, of course,'” Decious said. “And what does the president do but call him up on the spot?”
The former Cars leader was overnighted a copy of “Hot Pink,” and Ocasek responded by leaving multiple phone messages at Geffen on a Saturday, making it clear he wanted to be involved.
If that wasn’t flattering enough, the trio was also courted for production duties by ex-Talking Head Jerry Harrison after he caught a Hollywood club show.
“He said, ‘I just want to say I worked with this band, honestly,’ so he did our demos for free. That was just as big as an honor to us.”
The Spiders’ pop is twisted tight on “Teenage Graffiti,” but the audiences the band sees make one thing clear: when it comes to power pop, your fans could be anyone.
“If you come to an actual Pink Spiders show, it runs the gamut. Hank [Williams] III comes to our shows, Shooter Jennings, older folk, country folks, teenage girls, teenage guys, rock snobs — every kind of person,” Decious said. “It’s kind of weird.”
And Decious would know weird. But that’s another, unprintable story.