By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
"We've got about 20 songs recorded, and we've given some homemade CDs out to friends and family," Wheat says. "We would be interested in getting a label to help us put this stuff out."
This stuff, on this particular evening, moved an inebriated and foul-mouthed photographer friend to loudly whisper, "What the fuck is this?" When informed that it was a band called When Babies Eat Pennies, she crinkled her nose and with a perplexed expression flatly stated, "It's weird and fucked-up." Maybe that's why Wheat laughs when, referring to the band's busy recent schedule, he says, "Well, we are working quite a bit, but mostly we like the mystery, the intrigue." You say mysterious and intriguing, someone else says "weird and fucked-up." Potato, potahto.
That, perhaps, is the band's best asset: its willingness to do whatever it wants to, as long as it sounds good to them. When Babies Eat Pennies allows each person onstage to be themselves, in their full and total individual state, without having to compromise their sound, water it down to the lowest common denominator for commercial means. Each note so determined, so emphatic; each musician in his own zone, hitting varied and different frequencies. And when it works and when it's on, it's a once-in-a-lifetime performance, each different than the last.
"The thing that's so great about this band is the musicians involved," Wheat says. "They understand what the music is all about. Someday, it would be great for us to make a living out of music. Some bands, you get a sense this is the one, and that it's going straight to the top. I certainly had that feeling in Bedhead, a band that lasted for more than seven years. Yet, it doesn't always work out that way. Our focus right now is to make music as good as we can without becoming rock stars on the way."