The Person & the People: This is a summer record out in the winter

Adam Mallory, Sam Sanford, Andy Sanford, Nick Costa
Adam Mallory, Sam Sanford, Andy Sanford, Nick Costa
Photo by Dana Maltby

The Person & the People's infectious indie rock is heating up this winter season. The Twin Cities band is set to release their first full-length album Big Whoop, a collection of the smartest and catchiest songs brash enough to snag your attention.

Before their album release at the Kitty Cat Klub on Thursday evening, the Person & the People (formerly known as Messenger) sat down with Gimme Noise for some drinks and to share their influences on the new record.

Sweeney's is a regular hangout for the band, which is evident when many patrons stop to say hello to the four friends. An evening with the quartet is essentially hanging out with a group of people that have known each other for most of their lives. The band pulls you into their lives, sharing stories and, more importantly, laughter in between philosophizing about music.

The conversation is peppered with, "This is off the record, all right?" After ordering his drink, bassist Andy Sanford delightedly shares, "We have shared the stage with Grammy award winners!" talking about the time the band opened for Fun. at the Triple Rock to a crowd of 20 people. "It," he continues as the band laughs at his joke.

This humor was brought out on the new album, much of them from stories that Nick Costa, who also writes for his solo project Me As a Pilot, creates in his head. He shares, "I see these scenarios that happen in real life and think, 'That's gonna make a good song.' Sometimes it's things that happen to somebody I know. It's cynical, but I know it's a good song! If I was writing songs about how my life was, it would be about hanging out with my cat." Guitarist Sam Sanford urges Costa, "Dude, you should write a song about that."

The most serious of the group, drummer Adam Mallory, reigns the conversation back to the making of the album, voicing how eager he felt in getting the album out. Mallory says, "We were finally at a point where I felt we could release this record. A lot of the people who have played with us and who we've met over the years never really expected us to put out anything -- hence the name Big Whoop. 'Here it is: big whoop.'"

Not everything is a joke to the band; some of their songs draw from a darker side, often with traces of '90s grunge rock laced with '60s pop such as in "I Don't Need to Know" and "I Was Wrong." The band grew up on Blink 182, but not much of Blink is heard in the music. The group is surprised people voice the Beach Boys as something they hear in the music. Sam laughs, "That's the second time I've heard that. That's wild, because I don't hear it, but I'm honored." Costa adds, "We listen to a lot of different music, and we love reverb -- maybe that's why people think Beach Boys. This is essentially a summer record that's coming out in the winter. It definitely has that vibe."

Onstage, their camaraderie is clear and potent, brought out by years and years of playing together. Nick shares, "We were all friends in high school, and that vibe never went away. We're still a bunch of friends hanging out and making wiener jokes." Sam counters with, "I like to think of it the other way. We were never meant to be high school friends; we were supposed to just be good friends. You can print that."

The Person & the People will release Big Whoop at the Kitty Cat Klub on Thursday, December 19, 2013 with Deleter and Queen of France.
21+, Free, 9 pm

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