Josh Dawson, bassist for McMaster band Of Gentlemen and Cowards, said his father gave him an important piece of advice for the group’s Sept. 17 appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.
He asked Dawson if he knew how Hootie and the Blowfish first rose to popularity. Dawson didn’t.
“Letterman,” said his father, “so don’t fuck this up.”
Of Gentlemen of Cowards is a young band. The current McMaster students got the opportunity to take their act to the New York talk show by winning a contest hosted by Red Bull Soundstage and by Rob Burnett, producer of the Late Show.
The original contest, which received applications from emerging bands from across North America, was to get a song into Burnett’s film We Made This Movie. After becoming one of the four winning bands, they were entered into a contest with the other finalists to play on the Late Show.
Through persistent and widespread promotion, Of Gentlemen and Cowards won the online voting contest.
They’re set to appear on the show on Monday, Sept. 17. It will air at 11:30 p.m. that night.
They fly down on the Sunday. At 3 a.m. Monday morning, they’ll be at the studio for set-up. They’ll then head back to the hotel for a little sleep, and then back at 2 p.m. for rehearsal, hair, makeup and other preparations. They’re on at 5:30 p.m.
“We rehearse a lot for our festivals and stuff, and we’ve gotten pretty good at doing that,” said Dawson.
“But [at festivals] you’ve got a 45-minute window that you can spread your tricks out over … This is three and a half minutes to compact everything.”
After the show, they’ll hang around New York for a few days “seeing how many times we can drop our name before we leave,” said Dawson.
On Thursday night, they’ll be at the premier of We Made This Movie. They’ll play at the after party that night
But for now, the band is totally focused on making their brief TV appearance count. “I’ve watched every single performance on Letterman in the last five years,” laughed Dawson about what he’s doing to prepare.
They’ve got tickets to the show for their immediate families and for Al Legault, director of MSU Campus Events, who will be representing them in New York.
But whether or not they’re successful in the Big Apple, they know what comes next.
“Class,” said Simon Edwards, the band’s singer, who is trying to stay humble. “No matter what happens after Letterman, we’ve still got 8:30s to get to … That’s what awaits us after Letterman. Homework.”