Jukebox Heroes – The fine, maligned art of the cover band. (02-20-2003)

Salt Lake City Weekly

Jukebox Heroes – The fine, maligned art of the cover band.

by Bill Frost

But the best local tribute band working in an oddly wide-open field is Sons of Nothing. If your only live experience with legendary space-rock pioneers Pink Floyd has been through late-night laser shows and/or headphone sessions accompanied with a bong, the Sons of Nothing’s spectacular FloydShow is nothing short of a revelation.

“The great thing about doing a tribute to this particular band is that the members of Pink Floyd have always been fairly anonymous,” says bassist Thom Bowers. “Their show wasn’t ever based on ‘rock star’ personalities, so we’re not—unlike, say, 1964 or The Atomic Punks—required to ‘be’ Floyd or look like them. As long as the music and the special effects are convincing, we’re free to be ourselves onstage. We do get some pretty intense reactions from the audience, though, especially when we’re playing the older psychedelic tunes, and they’re ingesting the appropriate chemical stimulants—not that we would endorse that sort of thing.”

Despite the workload of producing semi-regular FloydShows, Sons of Nothing are adamant about recording and performing their own music, as well. Fortunately, the band’s two sides compliment one another. “We were apprehensive about it at first,” Bowers admits. “The original plan was to keep them completely separate, with different names. But we found that the more attention we get for the tribute, the more people become interested in our original music. The FloydShow has turned out to be a great advertising tool, as well as a way to raise extra cash to fund our original work.

“We’re always trying to make sure we get enough ‘popular’ tunes in the set so the casual fans will enjoy it as much as the diehards. Right now, we have nearly five hours of music under our belts. We’re just a few more tunes—and a massive theatrical budget—away from performing The Wall in its entirety.”

Whoa. Any chance of getting too wrapped up in the tribute? “There was one time we opened with ‘In the Flesh,’ and when Tim [Hollinger, guitar] came out to front the band, he had completely transformed into Bob Geldof’s ‘Pink’ character from The Wall film—quasi-SS uniform, shaved eyebrows, the works—and he really leaned into the part. No one, including the band, had any idea he was going to go that far until we actually saw him onstage.”

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