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NESkimos Danny--- (phone)1/9/04 Justin Tuesday 05 April 2005

Ashley: Introduce yourself.
Danny: My name is Danny Lippi. I'm 23 years old. I'm the drummer for the NESkimos. AKA Mario, that's who I am.

Ashley: Give me the history of the band in the form of a brief faerie tale.
Danny: There was a prince by the name of Dan (AKA Dr. Wily) and he had a donkey for a best friend named Danny, me, Mario. Dr. Wily said, "hey Donkey" and I was like, "yo, wassup?" and he was like, "let's form a band 'cause I'm bored" and I was like, "OK" and I was like, "what do you want to do?" and he was like, "well, let's do Nintendo songs" and I was like, "hey, we could rock this out" and he was like "excellent". So we were like, "OK, what are we gonna call it?" He was like, "Well, I've been thinking of these names and this and that. How about NESkimos?" and I just started laughin. He was like, "That work?" and I was like, "hell yeah, that works. We gotta spell it N-E-S-k-i-m-o-s." So that worked out and we were like, "we need to find a bassist." He's like, "I know this princess in this castle"... (fairy tale, fairy tale...) and I was like, "OK, excellent. What's his name?" "Ross." "Oh, I know Ross." So we got Ross. We got our stage names. I'm Mario because I'm half Italian. Wily is Dr. Wily 'cause he's all smart and it was basically his idea. Belmont... it just sounded cool. So it was the three of us. That was two summers ago. When the summer had ended, we had done a bunch of songs, played a couple shows, and soon we'd all go back to school and decided to record. Dr. Wily was like, "Hey, I'm doing computer stuff at school. I think I can do a website. Just put songs up there for the hell of it." So we were like, "OK, cool". So we made a halfass website, put our songs on and somehow/somewhat got really, really popular and two years later, we're on MTV. ...and then the dragon came and burned all in damnation.

Ashley: Was deciding to do Nintendo covers a random idea?
Danny: Yeah, totally just random. I've been in bands where we did covers of like whatever stuff. I'm full of whatever kind of music. Dan, the guitarist, he's into all kinds of music as well. He just had this idea and we were like, "yeah, excellent". We both like really heavy music. I used to be way into death metal when I was in high school, so we were like "we can make these songs so heavy". Nintendo is just nerd. That music is just total nerd, but if you make it heavy, it just becomes cool.

Ashley: Were you a gaming nerd in high school?
Danny: Actually, a little secret, is I never had a Nintendo. I had a Sega Genesis. I was a Sega kid. Then we actually got Super Nintendo and I played Super Street Fighter 2 religiously. So yeah, I was a video game nerd. Not as much as Wily. He was pretty nerdy.

Ashley: What are you listening to now?
Danny: I really liked Smashing Pumpkins. I've got like all their albums. I really like them a lot. Their drummer's insane. I'm a huge Soulfly fan. I've seen them three times. I like blues a lot. I like bluegrass. I guess a lot of stuff. Wily and I both love the Cure. Always have, always will. We both like Alice in Chains a lot. He likes Radiohead and Tool a lot.

Ashley: Have you been playing a lot of shows lately?
Danny: No. We're all at school and we all live really far apart from each other while we're at school, so like one show ever three to four months.

Ashley: How is a typical show turnout?
Danny: We have pretty good turnouts. It's strange because we didn't know what kind of crowd we were gonna get because we play faster, heavier kind of music, even though it's Nintendo. So we're thinking about our age group. Teens and early 20's. It's weird. At every show, we'll have like two or three adults that are like 40+ year old people. As soon as they hear Mario or Zelda or one of those really popular games that everybody in the world literally knows, they'll just start rockin out. We're like, "this is cool. This is weird, but this is cool". I've never been in a band that's kind of transcended generations like that.

Ashley: Talk about your MTV experience.
Danny: That was interesting. They contacted us. Actually, it was the second time they'd contacted us. The first time they contacted us was to be in MTV magazine. That just came out in November. They did this little piece on us like, "There's this Nintendo band called NESkimos, blah blah blah". They contacted us the second time to see if we wanted to be on the show, Ultimate Video Game Countdown. I just happened to get the email first, so I immediately called them up and talked to the guy and made him laugh 'cause he was like "why do you guys do this?" and I was like, "basically 'cause we're nerds and we're bored". He was like, "HAHA, that's hilarious. We're just testing waters, seeing what's out there. We'll get back to you if we think it'll work out". So about a month later, he calls us back and is all like, "we've talked to the other bands and we think you're the one we'd like to work with. Would you like to be on the show?" We were like, "hell yeah!" We worked it out to where he'd come in mid November, fly down from New York to St. Augustine, FL. We booked a show and he came down with a camera guy and a sound guy and they videotaped us recording and kind of hanging out. Interviewing us, then interviewing me. They kind of centered it around me because that's how they do that documentary stuff. They have one person kinda be the storyteller. I guess because I was the one doing all the contact stuff, they chose me. Then they videotaped us playing the show and it was really fun. The camera guy's really cool. He started rockin out. He was an older guy and he started really getting into it heavy. It was fun. The MTV guy was a really nice guy. I think we all were a little awkward and uncomfortable being on camera. Like this is gonna be on national television. We've never done anything like that before. That was interesting. I don't know that I'd do it again, though. Our fifteen minutes of fame, there it is.

Ashley: Where do you want to go with the band?
Danny: If we weren't in school, I personally would be happy with us just doing an independent tour, going from place to place and getting just enough money to get to the next place and rock out. I have fun playing for anywhere from nobody to a lot of people. I really enjoy the music and I have a lot of fun playing. Dan (Wily), he wants to really be a rock star. He really wants to make it work. I think he wants to be a little more ambitious with the band and make it a business and really try to get it going because we've become so weirdly popular. Right now, our priorities are school. In the future, we're gonna try and do a tour and see where that goes.

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