By: Ryan Tse
What do you do when you’ve been watching The Simpsons since childhood, have two Simpsons tattoos, know Simpsons music inside and out and have some newfound free time? You start a band covering Simpsons music.
At least, that’s what Adam Carter did by creating the Be Sharps, a rock tribute to the music of the beloved cartoon series.
The four-piece rock outfit is made up of: Carter on guitar and vocals, Andrew Bartle on drums, Andrew Rous on bass and Arturo Fuenmayor on guitars. The band was formed by Carter after his former act disbanded.
“The band formed as a project that I’ve had in mind for a couple years that I wanted to get off the ground,” said Carter.
“The drummer from that (previous) band and some other friends all got in a room and said, ‘hey, let’s try jamming through this stuff and seeing if it would work.’”
“It’s one of the few shows ever that has an orchestra and actual score for the music, and the time and effort that went into it was insane,”
The Be Sharps
“It’s difficult to kind of explain to people, because when I say, ‘I play in a band that only plays Simpsons songs, those people tend to go, ‘What?’”
Carter hasn’t found another band that plays actual songs from the show, which he claims is rich in musical complexity.
“Some of the stuff that [original series composer] Alf Klausen wrote was out-of-this-world good,” said Carter.
“It’s structured really well. It’s one of the few shows ever that has an orchestra and actual score for the music, and the time and effort that went into it was insane.… There are so many songs we haven’t touched on yet.”
The Be Sharps named themselves after the barbershop quartet that Homer Simpson formed alongside Barney, principle Skinner and Apu. The popular season five episode followed the career of the band that mirrored the story of the Beatles, Yoko Ono and rooftop concert included.
Carter’s love for The Simpsons started at a young age.
“Strangely enough, as a kid, I wasn’t allowed to watch the show… which I guess made me want to see it more,” explained Carter.
“Even as a young kid, I really connected with it… I mean, I just love the characters, I love the humour, I love the depth that went into writing the jokes, so many different things.… It’s really cheesy, but I guess it’s something that helped shape me as a person.”
Cover and tribute bands like the Be Sharps are often a vital part of fandom culture. Carter himself doesn’t have too many concrete plans for the Be Sharps but is instead focusing on enjoying the experience on stage in front of fellow die-hard fans. They come with Simpsons t-shirts and tattoos, shouting quotes at the band as they perform.
“I remember looking around at one point and thinking, ‘This is excessive. This is a lot.”
Yet Carter is satisfied with going all-in and embracing this passion, tapping into a show that has been embedded in his generations’ culture and consciousness.