If you were ever take the time to contemplate the life of an NFL punter, you would probably consider the following aspects: living life on the periphery of an NFL team, those old one-bar helmets they used to wear and why they don’t sport them anymore and how they spend their spare time playing bass in a rock band.
Perhaps that last one isn’t applicable for every NFL punter, but for Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, playing bass in the band Tripping Icarus is simply a small part of the glamorous life enjoyed by punters. But before Kluwe and the Vikings attempt to remain undefeated on the season when they take the field in Pittsburgh on Sunday, his life will get even more glamorous when Tripping Icarus takes the stage tonight at the 7th Street Entry, the “small room” of renowned Minneapolis club First Avenue (hey! Prince played there!).
The estimable Michael Rand of Randball caught up with Kluwe recently to discuss what may be a breakthrough gig for the band.
Q Do you think you guys will ever get a star on the side of the First Avenue wall?
A That would be pretty sweet. There’s a lot of music history in that building. Maybe one day.
Q So you finally settled on a name?
A Yeah, we were at practice space and we were going to record at Pachyderm the next day. We decided we can’t be “that band” that shows up to record without a name, and we said we weren’t leaving without everyone agreeing on it. At that point, we were trying to find something not taken by a crappy metal band. Tripping Icarus sounded kind of cool, pretty unique.
Tripping Icarus is a cool name and all, but it just reminds me of how much time I wasted trying to beat Kid Icarus. Ahh, good times. Lofty times. I’ll say one thing: it was easier to beat than Metroid. Damn you, Mother Brain!
And a little side note: Pachyderm Studios, located in southern Minnesota in the city of Canon Falls, is a first class recording studio. In fact, Pachyderm was the studio where Nirvana recorded In Utero. So that’s like, pretty cool and stuff.
Kluwe also is quite the Guitar Hero player and he has mentioned playing the game is what prompted him to take up the bass guitar.
Rand asked Kluwe how his Vikings teammates feel about him playing in a band.
Q Do you talk to guys on the team about your band a lot?
A Longwell and Loeffler hear about it all the time. I’m sure they’re sick of it by now. I figure some of the guys might like the style of music. If guys like it, hopefully they’ll be fans and come to a show or two.
Ah yes, the kicker, punter and long snapper. They always stick together. Probably because no one else ever talks to them, but you know, it’s cool.
RandBall Q&A: Chris Kluwe, Vikings punter and occasional rock star [RandBall]
Vikings Punter Chris Kluwe is Guitar Hero All-Star [Deadspin]
Tripping Icarus Official Site [MySpace]
Chris Kluwe unplugged [Access Vikings]