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Q&A With The Hundred Days

Napoleon Dynamite!

With regular gigs in Los Angeles and other regional locales, San Francisco’s The Hundred Days are cultivating a following with indie rock songs made for the dance floor. You won’t find a room full of stiffs standing attentively in place at their gig at Bottom of the Hill with Scissors for Lefty on April 3rd. Taking a break from his “jobby-job” doing marketing for a high-tech company in Silicon Valley, Jimmy Chen (guitar/synth) took a moment to chat with SF Station.

SF Station (SFS): Is your band name a Napoleon reference?

Jimmy Chen (JC): It is a Napoleon reference. We are all kind of nerdy.

SFS: What’s the story behind the name?

JC: We were all in different bands before, and when I met up with these guys, I had stopped playing for a while and had sold off all of my gear. A couple of us were in that mode. We were kind of jamming together at a party and it sounded really good so we decided to meet up and play again. When we met again, it clicked so well; we realized it wasn’t just an average jam with guys getting together and having some beers. We decide to write some songs, and once you get to that point it’s like, “This again! Time to buy some more gear.”

It’s not as dramatic as napoleon but it seems like that is the way he felt — but on a much grander scale, of course.

SFS: How long ago was that?

JC: It’s been about five years. We are like an old married couple now.

SFS: And now you are touring and gigging often. Is it difficult to hold down a job and the band?

JC: It’s next to impossible. You get put in kind of crazy situations, and then you have to figure out how to make the finances work with touring. It’s pretty crazy, but touring is almost like a good dream. It’s a lot of fun — almost too much fun.

SFS: Yeah, your last tweet from the road had something about drinking for twelve hours, a drunken haircut, and raw chicken…

JC: Yeah, it really was like that movie The Hangover. Our manager woke up and saw six inches of hair on the ground, and then she realized it was her hair. She told us to cut it the night before. And our drummer Colin, every time we go to LA — it’s like our other home because we are there so often — he somehow manages to step in dog excrement.

SFS: That’s not the best thing to wake up to, but it’s better than a missing tooth and a newborn baby.

JC: Exactly! We all still have our teeth, so we have that going for us.

SFS: How was your trip to SXSW?

JC: We actually had to bow out of those shows because we are focusing on going to the UK. Everyone says we will do better there because our kind of music is a little more mainstream over there. We only have so much financing for touring, so we had to drop out of the SXSW shows at the last minute. We are kind of bummed out about it because we always have fun there and we had some pretty good shows lined up.

SFS: Recently, the band performed at benefits for all-ages venues in SF that have faced some legal challenges, and the show at Bottom of the Hill is all ages. Do you go out of your way to perform those kinds of gigs?

JC: Yeah, it seems like only in America you have to be 21 years old to be able to go out and have fun. Before I was 21 is when I was going crazy over music. I started playing guitar when I was 15, so it kind of sucks that you can’t go see shows until you are away from home in college.

It’s something that we really believe in. On top of that, what’s a city without live music? And if all-ages venues are not around, it’s one less option for bands. The whole arrangement just seems so backward.

The Hundred Days performs at Bottom of the Hill on April 3rd. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Doors open at 8:30pm and the show starts at 10pm.