The guy in the blond wig? That’s Robby Wingfield He plays keyboard (and sings) in the '90s cover band Empire Records. You can catch them this Friday at the Las Vegas Country Saloon. And you can read the following mini-interview to determine whether you want to catch them:
Cleverboy: Why does everybody love the '90s all of a sudden? Weren't we just making fun of the '90s, like, 3 years ago?
Robby Wingfield: Everyone loves the '90s because that's what we, people 24-35, grew up on. People thought the '80s would never end, and now it seems like the onslaught of '80s nostalgia will never end. Empire Records has accepted the burden of progressing nostalgia. (No that isn't an oxymoron.) Seriously, my Grandma has '80s parties. Even the lamest person at work will dress up for your '80s party. That's when you know the cool ship has left the harbor.
Cleverboy: What makes a cover band great?
Robby Wingfield: Our goal is for everyone in the room to have fun. Nobody in the band takes themselves too seriously, and we appeal to a wide audience. We play every song exactly like it is on the CD. We play "Hit Me Baby One More Time" with the same intensity that we play "Plush" or "This Is How We Do It."
Cleverboy: How do you pick your songs?
Robby Wingfield: We only play songs that were smash hits in the '90s. Genre doesn't matter. We play grunge, pop, R&B, hip-hop, dance—everything that isn't on the "No Play" list.
What’s the "No Play" list? Hootie, "Macarena," "Mambo No.5," Chumbawumba, anything slow and or depressing. The jury is still out on whether we will do a Spice Girls song.
After gigs, people will sometimes tell me we should do some Alice In Chains song they absolutely love but wasn't a radio hit. My response is always this: "I want to appeal to people who will swing by Savers on their way to our show, pick up a flannel shirt and some ripped jeans, or maybe a tennis skirt and a cardigan, and dress up to have fun. I don't want to appeal to people who are still rockin' the flannel shirts non-ironically."