They call themselves the Unextraordinary Gentlemen. None of that is true. They are quite extraordinary and they aren’t all gentlemen – one is a gentle lady. I discovered them via friends and heard their music for the first time on a local internet radio show that happens (mostly) every Friday afternoon on Theory Radio presented by MP3JSark. Even in their rough cuts of music it became apparent to me that they had something. More to the point – they had a lead singer (Malcolm Schreeck) with a powerful and unique baritone voice to front the magical world of Victorian intrigue they weave within their music.
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with the mysterious front man and pick his brain a little bit.
VL: So, I think I heard you created your band as a result of karaoke at Andrew’s Monday night alternative karaoke Ground Control.
MS: Well, that’s where Richard aka Prof. Mangrove approached me, yes.
VL: Serendipity. I assume he’s the tall drink of water I see out at the gothy events.
MS: Symmetrical Chaos. Yes, tall drink of water.
VL: You do have a fantastic voice.
MS: Thank you!
VL: Where did your alter ego come from?
MS: Well…Richard and I batted around some ideas. Originally, we were going to be more raggatatter and influenced more heavily by Terry Gilliam’s art and films…but eventually we modified that and went with the Victorians meet the 1980’s shtick we have now.
VL: You’ve created a relatively three dimensional world that people are responding to.
MS: We’re exceedingly grateful that the band has gone further than the confines of our respective bedrooms.
VL: It’s no small feat to get people to create within YOUR creation. I have been told you don’t have very lofty goals for UXG. Is that true? You just want to keep it small and local?
MS: Want and need are two very separate things.
MS: Of course, we would lurve to have full orchestration and guest stars and a row of showgirls and so on…but I’m not sure we could be “that” band for every show.
VL: So, in an ideal circumstance, you’d like to be a high production spectacle?
MS: I may be exaggerating a bit. Ideally, I would enjoy some combination of visceral and glamourous on a large but intimate scale…I suppose I want my cake and to eat it as well. Now all we need is a mysterious and extremely wealthy benefactor to help us realize our silly dream!
I put far too many “u”s in glamorous for an American just there, didn’t I?
VL: I spell it that way too. But I revere the glamour.
MS: That’s what I’m all about — too many “u”s.
Personally, I want all the best bits of a Kurt/Bertold production with all the torch and glamo(u)r of an Annie Lennox or Marc Almond solo show. With a dash of the Stooges and the Cramps.
At least today.
VL: That’s a tall order. And, yeah, your vision will change weekly if your imagination is as active as it seems.
MS: It’s a curse! I have no focus. When I do actually have a creative epiphany, I wear myself out very quickly. I need discipline. Er, you know what I mean.
VL: Oh yes, I do. Your next show is coming up at The Knitting Factory with Jill Tracy.
MS: Indeed. The small stage. We’ve wanted to play there for awhile and have had a couple of chances that fell through.
VL: This must be very meaningful for you.
MS: It’s cool to finally be able to have it actually happen, yeah. We play the main room in, ah, May.
You can check out more about the Unextraordinary Gentlemen here. Or you can come out Thursday night to the Knitting Factory to discover them live in an evening presented by Church Of The 8th Day while also partaking of the impishly wicked Jill Tracy and the diverse mix of DJ Xian.
Tickets are $12. The door opens at 8 pm. Expect lots of upscale vintage goth attire.