Breaking Laces frontman Willem Hartong is an all-around friendly guy, but you don't need to interview him to know it. It's in the affable approach to songwriting on his first major release, "Sohcahtoa" (co-produced by Sidewinder Records founder and Orchard Park native Chris Liberti), and also on what he calls his "testament to absurdity," the hilarious mockumentary "Olympic Greasy Watermelon," which he co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in.
Breaking Laces' live show is an exuberant acoustic attack of Hartong's impressive original canon, along with some intriguing covers -- the band's brilliant rendition of Radiohead's magnum opus "Paranoid Android" is alone worth the price of admission. The relentless road warriors (Hartong, bassist Rob Chojnacki and drummer Seth Masarsky) will make their third trip in four months to Buffalo with a double dose of shows Saturday -- they'll play a 4 p.m. set in New World Record (883-DISC), and come 9 p.m. they'll rock out the Tudor Lounge, 335 Franklin St. (855-9643). We spoke with Hartong during a rare respite at his home in Brooklyn.
It seems you guys are always touring -- how's the road treating you?
It can wear on you, but the body and fatigue are second to spreading the Laces love. The band gets along almost too well. I mean, we have our arguments, but usually it's over something like, "Who took all my Big League Chew?"
What's the language of the Laces love?
I like to think of our music as underdog rock. It can get a little ways out there, but it belies what it looks like -- it has a good heart. It's three-piece, so it's barebones, but big. Our other name for it is punk rock for losers.
You've logged some good time in Buffalo now. What's your take on the City of Good Neighbors?
Buffalo's fun. I used to come up and play with my old friend (local musician) Greg Klyma at Spot and the Coffee Bean near (the University at Buffalo). And Niagara Falls is great. There's lots of cheesy shops and such, but it really is something to see. I went on the Maid of the Mist by myself, as pathetic as that sounds, but I have the poncho to prove it.