Local Current Blog

Six things that may surprise you about Gramma’s Boyfriend

Photo by Graham Tolbert, courtesy Gramma's Boyfriend

Before local act Gramma’s Boyfriend bring all their force to The Current’s 11th Birthday Party on Saturday, Jan. 23, take some time to get acquainted with the quirky quintet known for their energy and danceable sound. Here are six fun facts about Gramma’s Boyfriend, and you can click below to hear frontwoman Haley Bonar talk with Mac Wilson on The Current.

  1. Listen Haley Bonar talks with Mac Wilson

Haley Bonar’s in the band!

After making a name for herself as an alt-country artist, Bonar joined forces with Jeremy Ylvisaker and Mark Erickson of Cloak Ox, Luke Anderson of Rogue Valley, and Jacob Hanson of Actual Wolf and All Tomorrow’s Petty to form the spunky dance-punk outfit. The band told the Star Tribune that the project was spurred by the musicians letting loose while making Bonar’s Golden album.

“We were playing these punky guitar riffs and weird jams to sort of blow off steam, and Haley just started playing along,” Hanson said.

They released their first album in 2011, and just followed up with Perm in October.

They recorded their first album in “mostly one night.”

The jam session snowballed into The Human Eye, which the band started selling on burned CDs at their concerts. Some of the recordings even had different mixes as the band continued to tweak the project until it was ready for a proper release.

The band went all out again for Perm, recording it in just three days.

The band hashed everything out last summer in Erik Koskinen’s warehouse studio space. They guzzled down 32 cans of Hamm’s within an hour and a half to keep cool, they told the Minnesota Daily. The intense process produced an album with the same inventive spirit as The Human Eye.

The name “Gramma’s Boyfriend” was planned long ago.

Haley Bonar told Speak Into My Good Eye, “I always wanted to have a band called Gramma’s Boyfriend, I named my cat Pete before I ever even had a cat. It just kind of happened!”

Bonar’s costume wardrobe is out of this world.

When it comes to performance costumes, Bonar brings her A-game. She’s been known to wear a giant diaper, multicolored bodysuits, and a giant piñata. At last year’s Bastille Day Block Party, she even brought along a blow-up shark.

“It always pays to inflate something,” Erickson said told the Minnesota Daily. “We talked about this at our last band meeting; inflating things is a good strategy.”

Out of the Hershey’s “fun size” chocolates, Bonar ranks Krackle first.

She told City Pages that the rest of the candies rank as followed: milk, dark, and Mr. Goodbar.

Jackie Renzetti is a student at the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. She’s the projects editor at the Minnesota Daily.