Exclusive: The Beelzebubs on Their Post-‘Glee’ Plans & More!
Now that the announcement has been made that their very own Glee the Music: The Warblers CD is being released on April 19, we thought we’d give you a little more insight the voices behind Glee’s latest sensation.
We chatted with three members of the Tufts Beelzebubs, Evan Powell, Kent McCann and Eli Seidman and got the insight on the crazy year they’ve had since appearing on the hit NBC reality competition The Sing-Off, their plans post-college, and much more!
So all three of you were on The Sing-Off last year, right? How was that experience?
Evan Powell: Yes, not everyone in the current group was, but all three of us were. It was awesome. It was a crazy month. We got to live out in LA for a month, it was a lot of work. We would end up doing like 12 hours days [of rehearsing] but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It was crazy because we were missing school while we were out there and we were missing school. So we’d finish up rehearsing at like midnight, then we’d have to write a paper and email it back. It was a completely insane month but definitely a once in a lifetime experience that we all really enjoyed.
Check out a medley of their performances from The Sing-Off (stay tuned for their epic Flo Rida “Right Round” cover!):
Do you all want to pursue music after college? What do you guys hope to do after college?
Eli Seidman: I’d say it varies from person to person, for some guys who had kind of been toying with the idea of pursing music, and so much has fallen into our laps the couple years. So in terms of that, if you’re looking at someone’s resume who is trying to get into the music industry, you see “runner up on The Sing Off” and part of Glee cast. It’s really trippy to think about, but since we’re on Glee the Music: Volume 4, and “Teenage Dream” was on that and that album went gold, technically, we’re all gold selling artists. Which is absurd and hilarious and so cool. But you can put that on your resume and it’s become this crazy kind of second life when you consider we’re here to get college degrees. And then you get all this really cool stuff out of it, like all the connections we’ve made, I definitely think that some guys who were just kind of toying with getting into the music business or acting after college are really considering it, because when does an opportunity like this present itself? And when it does you have to grab it. But in general, most guys are pursing something else post college. The random assortment of guys here, I want to get into the culinary industry, Evan wants to get into business and run the world, and Kent is pre-med, so he wants to be a doctor. So random stuff but what we do in the Bubs definitely does relate to working in a group and running a business and having fun.
It sounds like you guys have had a lot of life experience in the last year.
Kent McCann: That’s one of the best thing about the Bubs, is you get to experience so much that college wouldn’t normally have in store.
How do you think recruiting people for this next year will be? Do you think you’ll have to turn lots of people away?
EP: Because we’re such a small group, it’s always an unfortunate part of auditions every year, that there are some people that don’t get in. I think this year there were 45 people that auditioned and we took three, so it’s not something we like to do. We wish we could have a 50 person Beelzebubs, but we don’t think everyone could fit into the room, let alone a van. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when this next year’s freshman class comes in.
ES: The beauty of this is increased exposure will, hopefully, lead to more people wanting to try out, expansion all around. It doesn’t hurt to have our name out there a bit more. But personally, I want to make sure people are getting into it for the right reasons and don’t expect to get into the group and be on Glee or The Sing-Off, or anything like that. Because just a few years ago when we joined, it was because we saw the group on campus and thought it would be a lot of fun and that’s something we’ve worked really hard to maintain through all of this, even though we’re signing contracts and all that kind of stuff. It’s still a ton of fun, so I hope a tons of people come out and audition but I hope it’s for the right reasons and want to have fun and sing.
KM: And not using instruments.
What’s your favorite song to perform?
ES: Our rep changes a lot every year. On any given year we’ll learn around 18 or so new songs and we have a handful that we carry over year to year.
EP: I’d say this year it’s a mash-up of “One Day” buy Matisyahu and “Waving Flag” by K’naan. We just learned about a month ago and that one has been a lot of fun. It’s both original version and Kent arranged that. There are songs that you wouldn’t naturally mash up because maybe they don’t have the same words, and that’s how most mash-ups go, but it’s been ton of fun to sing and lot of energy and really good message and the audience has seemed to have a good reaction to it. So I’d say that’s my number one. What about you guys?
KM: Earlier this year we did “Give it to Me Baby” by Rick James. That was so much fun. Slightly inappropriate but in the best way.
ES: I’ve always loved performing “Teenage Dream.”
EP & ES: Cop out!
On that note, how does it feel to do versions of popular songs that trump the original?
ES: Thank you very much, but I wouldn’t say that we trump them. I think they come out sounding really cool and what I do really like is that you get a different spin. It always sounds a bit different than what you imagine in your head, and I think that that’s hopefully what a lot of people are responding to, putting a little more texture and a little more emotion in some places. I’d say in general one of the coolest parts of the process is that the songs they bring us we wouldn’t really sing it on our own. Like if someone were to approach us to sing “Teenage Dream” we probably would laugh at them, because we’re an all male a cappella group, it wouldn’t sound good if we sang it. Then when we hear what the arrangement is and how fun it is to perform and how the audience lights up when we sing it. Part of it is the Glee effect, obviously, but part of it is it’s just a fun song to sing and people just love it. So it’s had this cool side affect where we’re doing these songs we would never do that we love to sing and the audience loves to hear, so it’s pretty cool in that respect.
KM: Yeah, it’s fun to take these songs and put our own little flair into them. It’s been a great experience.
Don’t forget to pick up your own copy of Glee The Music: The Warblers when it drops on April 19, and if you want more Beelzebubs, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter! And for all your Glee music, follow the official MusicFromGlee Twitter!