Recently, The Holy Boys Danger Club was nominated by a prominent music blog in a unique band-name contest. Pitted against more worthy weirdness like Uncle Bad Touch, the guys just had to laugh and enjoy whatever extra attention they could grab. The band just returned from the massive CMJ artist showcase in New York City, so a little added shine is never a bad thing. HBDC and its rockin’ EP, “The Boo Box,” has already made a big enough splash to make for major Maine momentum.

Now, as the boys come home for an exciting local opportunity at Empire Dine & Dance (9 p.m. Saturday; $6 cover), they’re ready to show their heartened Portland faithful how the road trip has sharpened their edge. Frontman Miek Rodrigue recently took time to chat with GO.

What a time you guys have had since the record dropped. Give us some highlights from the wild ride.

We’ve been working pretty steadily since the release of “The Boo Box.” We’ve done a bunch of really cool shows in Portland, including headlining Port City Music Hall’s Two series, Alive at 5 in Monument Square and The KahBang festival. That show was a nightmare for us. Everything that could’ve gone wrong did, but we came out of it with some new friends, fans and, we don’t know why, but people genuinely enjoyed the show! We’ve hit NYC a couple times as well. During our last trip, Nate (Cyr) and I saw Tom Selleck on the street prepping for a scene. That was a serious highlight for anything having to do with us.

How does New York compare to Portland as far as a performing environment?

The rooms we play in Portland are generally nicer, the sound is better, and we have a decent following. In New York, we’re always playing in different parts of town, so we’re performing for an entirely different crowd every time, which is equally exciting and nerve-wracking. There’s a contagious energy in New York. Whenever we play there, we know there’s probably 100 other bands in the same boat as us playing at the same time, so the goal is to play our songs in top form so people leave the show feeling like they saw something special.

You guys were the SonicBids Spotlight Artist at CMJ. What does that mean? did a feature on us that was on their front page. also had a link to our EPK on their front page, which is how we got on one of the CMJ Showcases to begin with. We got a good deal of press from it, and our EPK views shot up tenfold. In a nutshell, some really great exposure came from being a spotlight artist.

Were you able to shoot the breeze with any artists you admire at CMJ?

I met Alexa Rae Joel, Billy Joel’s daughter, during our first showcase. She was very nice. The bands we played with at the ReThinkPopMusic Showcase were all pretty amazing. Emily Long and her band were a highlight; we’re definitely going to try and play with them again. The Excerts, Miniboone and The Reckless Sons were all really great. The cool thing about CMJ is that there’s stuff going on all day, all week, so you can check out a really great variety of things.

Did you catch any of the other sets from Portland artists? What was the Portland showcase like?

I think Dominic (from The Lucid) put it the best — we literally saw everyone at that show play their best set ever. Everyone was in top form, and the sound was great. The Trash Bar had a similar feel to Geno’s or the Big Easy, so I think everyone felt pretty comfortable. Also, all the bands watched and genuinely enjoyed each other. It was nice to see people like Lyle Divinsky and Billy Libby, who’ve both moved to Brooklyn, come and watch the show, as well as people who just wanted to see the show who had no real knowledge of who they were watching.

What’s the band’s biggest weakness?

Time. We’re four busy guys who have lofty ambitions and little time to work on it together in a given week. One of our weaknesses is also one of our strengths — the intensity of our shows. We play so passionately that technical mishaps are almost unavoidable. We’ve learned to prepare for these things as best we can, stay calm and roll with the punches if necessary.

What are you guys working on right now? Will the next record be different?

We have two releases in the works. The full-length is a given. The songs for that are being written and demo’ed, though its taking a while for each one to get finished. We’re also working on a download/drop card EP with a few jams we’ve had in our back pocket for a while and just want to record and release, sort of as an appetizer for the LP. The next record will be different in the sense that it will be a full-on showcase of what the band can do. I don’t think we even know what that is yet. What we’ve got so far plays on our strengths, but there are some tunes being worked on that have a completely different feel than the last two EPs. We’re definitely excited for it to exist!

 Mike Olcott is a freelance writer who lives in Portland and Boston.


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