A year ago, most people would have laughed at you if you proclaimed that the most popular new band in heavy metal would be a Vermont thrash outfit featuring five women dressed as Bob Newhart. Even though the possibility of a conversation like that actually taking place is roughly equivalent to the chance of the entire human race spontaneously sprouting noses on their stomachs…those people aren’t laughing now!
“…And My Other Brother Darryl” has taken the metal world by storm with crushing riffs and folksy, New England humor. Their first record “Newhart Attack” came out in 2013 and barely registered on the collective radar of music critics and fans alike. However, in January, the band released “Newhartwork” to rave reviews and huge album sales.
Many critics believe that the bands unique mixture of thrash, John Denver-ish guitar solos and hardcore (referred to by the band as “Newhartcore”) has led to their dramatic uptick in popularity. Their power ballad “While Newhart Gently Weeps” began receiving widespread airplay on both rock and pop stations in March. By May, their were reports of hundreds and thousands of people in the Midwest who dressed, looked and sounded exactly like Bob Newhart.
After headlining a small club tour last year with “Straight Outta Mypos”, a Perfect Strangers themed band where all five members dress up as Balki Bartokomous from the hit 1980s sitcom, they have moved to playing bigger arenas. Their United States tour, featuring “What’chu Talkin’ Bout Willis”, a Diff’rent Strokes themed metal band where all five members dress up like Gary Coleman’s lovable Arnold Jackson character, will be taking place throughout most of the Fall, including a 4-night sold out concert series of concerts at Madison Square Garden.
Joan Pleshette, the band’s lead singer, has not been very surprised by the band’s overnight stardom. Before she started “…And My Other Brother Darryl” she was in a highly popular death metal band called “Cats For Breakfast” in which all five members dressed up as ALF.
According to Pleshette, “We knew that millions of Americans were waiting for a gimmick they hadn’t seen before. We also knew about the underground VHS tape smuggling rings that have helped make Bob Newhart one of the most revered people in the heavy metal community. We didn’t really have time to focus on songwriting or actually learning to play our instruments or anything like that, but we all have had experience working in advertising. In retrospect, I’m surprised more bands haven’t done the same thing.”