(Regular interior story for the 9/7/17 edition of STYLE in the MS/KJ)

I’m a huge fan of the band Talking Heads, in fact I listen to them regularly as I walk on my treadmill in the wee hours of the morning. So when I discovered a tribute band, Start Making Sense, was coming to the central Maine area, I tried to set up an interview to let you know about it. I received a call from Jonathan Fadem, lead guitarist and backing vocalist for SMS. I began by asking him where his band was performing up here, at Mainely Brews possibly?

Fadem: I don’t think it’s Mainely Brews. Are you talking about up in Waterville, Maine?

Q: Yeah.

Fadem: That’s the Proper Pig; that’s where we’re playing on the 15th of September.


Q: Have you ever played this particular venue before?

Fadem: No.

Q: Do you get up to Maine often to perform?

Fadem: Yeah, we do actually. We play at Port City (Music Hall in Portland) a lot; we love that place.

Q: It’s a great venue for shows, for sure. Now, at some point I heard that your group does a re-creation of the “Stop Making Sense” show the Talking Heads toured with back in the early 80s. Is this the case?

Fadem: Well, we do a full show with material ranging from throughout their whole career. We usually put a set list together a week before the shows so that we can distribute them to everybody in the band so they can be ready to play those tunes.


Q: Are you out on the road a lot?

Fadem: We play mostly on the weekends, but we’re out almost every weekend on the road. During the week we are at home. A lot of us teach music in music schools. There are two down here that most of us teach at.

Q: Where are you calling from?

Fadem: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Q: Are there any periods of the Talking Heads musical catalogue that you like more than others?

Fadem: Personally, I like the more afro-beat kind of stuff that they did, because my favorite albums would be “Remain In Light” and “Speaking In Tongues.” I like the second disc of “The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads” the most because it was the live band they had from 1980 to ’81.


Q: How far afield does your band travel?

Fadem: Well, this weekend (Aug. 31 and Sept. 1) we’re in Asbury Park and Rhode Island, then Maryland. Next is Greenfield, Massachusetts, and then Waterville and Fredericton, Canada, the next night — the 16th — then Missouri and Illinois for two nights. After that we’re off to Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado, then Syracuse, Jim Thorpe and then Burlington, Albany, Buffalo, Portsmouth, Rochester and Hamden, Connecticut.

Q: You are all over the country and out of it with that gig in New Brunswick.

Fadem: (Laughter) Yeah, if you click on our website you’ll see all of those dates. There’s also some videos and stuff like that there, as well.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the folks reading this article about your Waterville show?

Fadem: Just that we’re really excited to come up there to play for them, and I hope everybody enjoys the show. It’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re looking forward to playing Talking Heads music for the people up there.

Lucky Clark has spent 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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