Interview

Ricky Reed of Wallpaper

Rachel Mooney
Being born of the generation of excess, it’s no wonder Eric Frederic's boozehound alter ego Ricky Reed flourishes performing on stage as part of Wallpaper, a satirically based yet uber talented band out of Cali. With album Stupidfacedd dropping in July, Wallpaper has begun a tour with Gym Class Heroes and Dirty Heads, a slightly contrasting lineup, perhaps. This fact only exasperates Ricky Reed's point that pop music has been reduced to Wallpaper, making it blatantly clear that yes, this is tongue in cheek, but more than that, it is a pointed finger back at the masses, one that makes you cringe and laugh alike as if duly noting his points. In the words of Ricky Reed, pop music has become simply wallpaper, and if nothing else this band has the clever candor to call a spade a spade, and do so with such high production value, hysterical lyrics and unrivaled stage presence so that you're slightly more willing to allow lyrics such as, "I go ham and cheese on rolls. "


AltOhio: Wallpaper, what were you thinking when you named it?

Ricky Reed: That all the shit on the radio today, pop music, as we know it, has kind of been reduced to Wallpaper. It kind of surrounds our life in this weird decorative way, so originally it was like okay, I'm going to try to question that music.

AltOhio: Well you're music is obviously very tongue in cheek, very satirical, poking fun at pop culture.

Ricky Reed: People do say that.

AltOhio: You have serious talent but your music is not serious in the least. What do you hope people will get out of it?

Ricky Reed: I mean, at the end of the day if people feel good about my records; they get something positive out of it, it’s really about people getting out of it what they want to get out of it. Like art - REAL art- is all about the user interpreting it their own way, or digging into it their own way or experiencing it their own way.

AltOhio: This isn't real art?

Ricky Reed: It's real art's connection to my fake art.

AltOhio: What makes it fake art?

Ricky Reed: People are going to experience things the way they are going to choose to experience them. If somebody derives pleasure from my music, or pain, that’s good. I'm going to keep making it because it’s what I have to do. Why is it fake art? I mean....

AltOhio: It’s clever, it’s well written, and it’s well-produced...

Ricky Reed: oh no, I’m not trying to take anything away from it, I mean who says Warhol or Picasso or anything is real or fake or half real or sort of fake or satire, tongue in cheek, I mean what I do could be the realest or it could be the fakest; it’s kind of in the eye of the beholder.

AltOhio: Do you have any influences when you write? You have a throwback feel, some funk and horns.

Ricky Reed: When I'm hungry it’s a little faster, when I'm full it’s a little slower.
::Laughs::

AltOhio: And what can people expect at a live show? Obviously your music is dancy, what else?

Ricky Reed: We bring a high energy show, we have records like Stupidfacedd and The Fucking Best Song Ever which are bigger high energy records. You might expect us jumping off the table and kicking you in the head, or you might expect to meet an attractive member of the opposite sex, or maybe you'll be throwing up in the bathroom because you got too faded before you came and somehow snuck past security, it’s different for everyone. We bring a house party scene thought, for sure.

AltOhio: It does seem like a blur, like a lot of excess. Do you guys get stupidfacced before the shows?

Ricky Reed: It varies but I would say before shows is the one time of the day that I don’t drink because I can't jump up and have my throat be all haggard but Post show is fair game. Up until showtime, we have a really nerdy warm-up that we do, but its secret. It’s like a magician telling you how he turns a bunny into a dove.

AltOhio: And what about pre-show non secret rituals?

Ricky Reed: I honestly can't think of anything that’s good enough to divulge... but I do typically take a solid 2 or 3 minute piss.

AltOhio: That’s obviously crucial.

Ricky Reed: I also like to eat some baby carrots and try to punch a hole in a wall and chew on aluminum can to get the blood flowing. I can't tell you the other things because I would be arrested. ::laughs::

AltOhio: You should be arrested for that alone haha. So what is one thing that people need to know about Wallpaper right now?

Ricky Reed: One thing to know? That I am the greatest entertainer in the world and that Wallpaper is the best live band in the world.

AltOhio: Is this Ricky Reed Talking?

Ricky Reed: Of course, and you can verify that here shortly... were actually probably 48th best band in the world.... Maybe 329th. ::Smirks::

And with a shit eating grin, Ricky Reed sauntered off backstage before a show that I can vouch was everything he said, promised and delivered in pseudo house party fashion.