The Odd Numbers
Interview by: Jason “The Kid” Adams
I've always been curious on the year you guys formed and the story behind the formation? (Even though one of you probably told me late one night, or early morning) we may have partied a bit back then?
When we started out we actually had a different bass player. His name was Stan Botkins. He was one of the punkest guys at our high school. He actually kind of formed the band, he knew everybody in the downtown punk scene and he got us our first gigs at these ragging parties.
He only lasted about 6 months though, he was a super high strung guy and just couldn't stick with one thing for long. I remember he started rebelling on us, he started showing up dressed like a hippie just to piss us off so we all agreed Miller should learn the bass to keep the dream alive!
What's the story behind the name?
Miller actually came up with it.We didn't have a name for a while, we just couldn't settle on one. The Who were called the High Numbers in the early days for a while so Miller Just said one day how about the Odd Numbers? And we were like yeah there's three of us, and we were really into the mod thing at the time so that was it!
This is all while he's still just a roadie mind you.
Who was heavier for you guys? The Beatles or The Jam?
Good question Kid! The Beatles are what came first and all three of us were obsessed with em. I remember thinking as a little kid, man that looks like fun to be a Beatle, plus they teach you how to write a song. then comes the Jam and I remember the first time I really discovered the Jam it was (Video Snap) and it blew me away! It changed my life. It was everything I've ever been into wrapped up into one gnarly little three piece. It gave us the template. I can't speak for the other guys but I can tell you my favorite band is The Jam.
What kind of reaction did you guys get from the New Deal videos?
It was and is huge! Those videos really got into peoples heads and got us a lot of fans for life! This band hasn't always had the best timing as far as how our career goes but with the New Deal stuff that was all timed perfect. I think in some ways it may have kept us together over the years. It created a very loyal, dedicated fan base for us.
For some reason I've always wondered the inspiration for the song “Little Kings and Queens”?
I wrote that one early. I think I was still in high school. I don't totally remember what inspired the kings n queens line but its about us learning early that we don't wanna play by there rules and were gonna get around it by using our amazing artistic abilities LOL...
All the years, why stay in SJ?
I love my town. I know it sucks, but I love it! I think every town has or should have a band that's associated with it and I’ve always wanted that band to be the Numbers for SJ.
Suite night years?????
Amazing...quite a site! I guess I should elaborate. Back in the early days of the BMC when the Numbers would play, some times it would call for a suit night. Imagine 100+ dudes in suits on bikes rolling up to the club! Chicks loved it!
Most memorable show?
Thats really hard, we've played so many rad shows... but I think maybe it was the second or third sofa fest in SJ and We were playing the Cactus Club and it was more packed than I'd ever seen it and it was total mayhem! Everyone ended up on stage with us, it was like a Specials show!
(Inside angle) who stole yer travel blanky Baisa??
That would be you asshole! and Reeps...Second day of a month long tour for us and these guys jump in the van and steal my road blanky. I had to curl up on peoples floors for a month in me parka.
Talk about the TV 20 night, and the school bus?
TV 20 used to have a late night movie show on Sundays where a band would play in a bar setting during intervals of the movie. And it was late night on tv20 so they'd get a little loose on there. The bands could bring there fans and everyone was aloud to drink, our night was actually sponsored by Mickey big mouth!
Well we rolled in hard! We used to tour in a school bus back then so we packed that full of people and caravans of people came up and we just took over! It was full punk mayhem. The host kept on going "we've lost control, we've lost control."He thought Crazy Eddie was gonna kill him! And after that they stopped doing it.
Baisa, Tell the folks about Winnie soup?
When I was a kid I was really picky and all I'd eat was hot dogs. So when I started going to school my Mom started taking the the water she'd cook my dogs in and putting it in my thermos and packing it in my lunch for school, she Called it "Hot dog soup". I thought it was delish! Throw some croutons in there...
Any way at the first annual BMC Winnie Roast I made up a big pot and the guys seemed to love it!
What numbers record are you most proud of ?
I was all set to say our latest one (the Oddyssey) because I think its our most complete record and it felt great to make, but I've been forced to hear the first record a lot lately and all the songs are really strong on it. We were just teenagers then so I'm going with "About time".
I love you guys! I hope you keep the dream alive! What's next for The Numbers?
We wanna get out and play live more in the future. Do some small tours. Continue our rock n roll Oddyssey!
Kid we love you too! I'm glad we got to grow up together!
Last question, 30 years for New Deal its seems like they are going for it, any big plans in store for the Numbers and the New Deal?
Yes there are loads, there is a Special edition DVD boxset with many extras are planned with us included. Next year there is talk of a Numbers / ND collab capsule including decks, Printables and even a New Deal limited edition Numbers CD with all the tracks we have had in the videos. Lastly there is a big 30th new deal launch party on the 28th Sept in LA and we are playing so that will be fun. Can’t wait, fun stuff ahead...thanks Kid
About The Odd Numbers
THE ODD NUMBERS (Dave Baisa, Dave Miller, John Cummings) began in 88' hailing from San Jose California. Straight out of high school they began playing a mix of sixties beat, 70s punk, soul and powerpop. Playing the local colleges and parties for a audience of mostly punks, mods and skaters after a year or so they moved into the clubs where they were discovered by Ray Stevens II (of THE FACTION) who began managing and producing them. By 1990 they'ed released their first LP About Time which was featured heavily in skateboarding videos put out by The New Deal and Santa Cruz.
The next record Retrofitted For Today was embraced by the country of Sweden when it was given a 5 star review by the country's top music magazine. This led to a headlining tour of Scandinavian summer festivals and a Swedish and a Spanish record deal. The trip ended unfortunately When drummer John Cummings was injured in a motorcycle accident that left him in the hospital for months.
The Numbers returned to the studio with new drummer Dave Conrad for the third record Guide To Modern Living which was received well in Sweden and got some mainstream airplay but didn't really do much.
By the time of the fourth record 2001s The Trials N Tribulations Of Cummings was back on drums and the band was on a new label (Coldfront Records) but by this point the band was tired and disillusioned with the music industry. By 2003 THE ODD NUMBERS had stopped touring while remaining a unit for the occasional show.
Flash to present day. THE ODD NUMBERS (Dave Baisa, Dave Miller, Dave Conrad) have released their first record in 16 years The Oddyessy and have signed to Beer City Records which is set to reissue their first record About Time for the first time on vinyl. THE ODD NUMBERS still perform live and may be in your town soon!
The Odd Numbers:
About Time CD/LP
“Produced by LOS OLVIDADOS and THE FACTION’s Ray Stevens ; this classic was originally released in 1990 on cassette. Now for the first time it will come out on vinyl and has been restored and remastered to sound even better!
In 1990 San Jose’s the ODD NUMBERS made their worldwide debut when their songs became the soundtrack for the ‘ New Deal – promo ‘ video that was put out to introduce this new skateboard company and showcase their riders and products. As it played in skate shops all across the world it also introduced millions of skateboarders to the mod/punk/soul sounds of the ODD NUMBERS. Which immediately gained the band many fans on a global basis! Not content to sit home and rot the ODD NUMBERS began playing out throughout the US and eventually Europe attracting skateboarders, punks and mods wherever they went.”