The Wannabe Hasbeens

The Wannabe Hasbeens


"Dumb rock for smart people." RIYL: Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, Fountains of Wayne


"Dumb rock for smart people, that's usually descriptive enough." Hesitant to be pegged into some generic category or sub-genre specification, The Wannabe Hasbeens developed their own lingo to wrap words around the music they create. Their self-penned description usually evokes a response with listeners unfamiliar with their material. "It instantly separates those who 'get-it' and those who won't," quips frontman Chris Heille, "people usually laugh or get that mystified look in their faces, we know right away what we're dealing with."

Former Trans Future Volume 1, their debut EP released in March of '07, was completed after nearly 18 months of live shows in and around their hometown of Minneapolis. "We do nearly everything backwards from general practice" admits bass player Derek Ritchison, "we played this stuff live for what felt like forever before we seriously recorded it." The seemingly backwards nature of the process is evident in the fact that The Wannabe Hasbeens were featured at some of the Twin Cities' biggest live music events before their CD was even tracked. They've done Clear Channel's Cities 97 Basilica Block Party (opening for Mike Doughty, The Fray, and Guster), and opened for Ike Reilly, Flickerstick, and others in their brief history.

The dues-paying time racked up on stages trimmed the fat from anything that didn't contribute to the songs. Layers of straight forward rock riffs, pop sensibilities, and honest to experience lyrics make Former Trans Future Volume 1 a no-nonsense listen. The EP charted at 30 CMJ reporting stations the summer following its' release, and was picking up spins all over North America. They've also collected positive reviews in print and online in their hometown.

Frontman/guitarist Chris Heille and drummer Gary Spencer started The Wannabe Hasbeens to escape the shadows of being musical bridesmaids - "sidemen." Their former efforts helped to create a string of "private successes" for others, but no lasting interests for themselves. Derek Ritchison, on bass, confesses to responding to an online classified post for a spot in the band roster. The most recent addition to the band is guitarist/one-man-three-ring-circus, Mo. (No last name necessary, just "Mo" will do.) Together the four crank out a high volume, high energy dose of dumb ambition.


Former Trans Future - Volume I (2007): featured songs on CMJ radio - "Hey, George Bailey" and "Gimme' Substance"

Set List

"Originals" Set: 45-60 Minutes

Sara K
What You Want
Hey, George Bailey
Call Your Bluff
Only Mary Understands
Crystal Ball
Anthem For A Late Bloomer
(I Could) Kiss You
One More Night
Gimme' Substance

Familiar Covers: 45-60 Minutes

Bargain (The Who)
King Of Pain (The Police)
Pump It up (Elvis Costello)
Sick Of Myself (Matthew Sweet)
Since You've Been Gone (Kelly Clarkson parody)
8675309 (Tommy Tutone)
Left Of The Dial (The Replacements)
Helter Skelter (The Beatles)
Dream Police (Cheap Trick)
California (Phantom Planet)
Malibu (Hole)
Nuclear (Ryan Adams)
Yellow (Coldplay)
Get Free (The Vines)