PLATTSBURGH - Party Wolf wants people to get up and dance.
"Going out to a bar is about having fun, getting crazy and letting loose," said drummer Mikey Lemieux, "so what's the point of listening to a band at a bar if you can't dance to it?"
Lemieux and his friends - Ashley Kollar, Dan Bushey, Jamie Durivage and Ryan Hayden - have been talking for the past few years about forming their own band with a mission to do just that. And, earlier this year, they decided it was time to make it happen. They formed Party Wolf with two things in mind - to play covers of Top 40 hits people would dance to and to play those songs "as good, if not better than the original artists."
"We sifted through all the top hits of the past few years and dug out some classics, even changed them up a bit to make them more dancey and put our set list together based around that," said Lemieux.
Getting their sound down was easy, because the five are no strangers to the local music scene.
Kollar, who does vocals and plays keyboard for the band, has played in the Mero Factor and performed with Glass Onion. Kollar also does her own solo shows and co-hosts a karaoke night at Olive Ridley's. Bushey, who's on guitar, and Durivage, who's on bass, used to play in one of the first bigger local bands called Hobnail, then in Perfect Salesman with Lemieux. The three guys joined Hayden - who also plays guitar - playing in a band from Vermont called Drowningman, which even had a video played on MTV. Hayden and Lemieux also used to also play in the successful local band Hello Control, known for their many originals.
"We aren't interested in doing originals, we've all done that, we just want to have fun and play fun, popular music," Lemieux said of Party Wolf.
The only hard part was deciding on their name. The whole time the band had been practicing, Lemieux said he and his friends knew that was the one thing they needed and that it had to be one each of them liked.
"It's hard because you want it to be catchy, easy to spell, memorable and available on the Internet for easy access," said Lemieux.
After going through "tons of terrible and semi-good names," Lemieux was at band practice wearing a shirt with a wolf on it wearing sunglasses.
"Ashley asked me "What is that shirt? It's awesome,'" said Lemieux. "And, I said, 'It's a party wolf.'"
And from that, Party Wolf was born.
The band is getting ready for its first official gig this Friday, May 14, at the Naked Turtle on Dock Street. The 10 p.m. show is something the band is getting very excited about, said LeMieux.
"If you like to have a blast and dance and just let go, we are the band you wanna come see," said Lemieux. "It's going to be amazing and totally insane."
(Editor's Note: Party Wolf has other gigs lined up with the Naked Turtle, Krazy Horse Saloon and The Green Room. Check out their upcoming performances on Facebook at www.facebook.com/partywolf or follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/partywolfusa. Upcoming performance can also be found in our what's happenin' section.)