Rock Candy gives local crowds a good time with Mardi Gras beads, candy and hard rock covers. The band s expecting to play Halloween tunes to a few thousand
Rock Candy gives local crowds a good time with Mardi Gras beads, candy and hard rock covers. The band s expecting to play Halloween tunes to a few thousand people Friday at Field of Screams. (SUBMITTED)

Band: Rock Candy

Members: Jimmy Dunlap, vocals; Andy Smith, lead guitar; Rich Wagner, drums; Ralph Erdenback, bass; Danny Bull, rhythm guitar

Who we talked to: Dunlap, 43

How did you guys meet/ how long have you been performing together? The one guitarist (Danny) and I had played together on and off for, like, 25 years. We kind of got tired of the music scene. The musicians tended to be a little selfish about what they wanted to do. They never really (were) concerned about the people who actual ly pay to hear them play. Danny and I put our heads to gether and thought we can find some guys who want to satisfy the crowd. That's our main focus. Our bass player (Ralph) . . . knew Andy and Rich. We just kind of got to gether and threw it up against the wall and it stuck pretty good.

How did you guys come up with the name? We actu ally play that tune - a Mon trose song. We thought a lot of that hard, sweet and sticky (lyric) . . . and we aim our show toward the women. If the women have fun, the guys will come because the women are there. All of our tunes are all geared toward the females coming out and dancing and having fun.

What songs will get the ladies up and dancing? We don't stick to a genre. We do things as old as Deep Purple . . . to modern Buckcherry and Kid Rock (songs). We do eve rything from ZZ Top to Kiss to Van Halen . . . to Eve 6, 3 Doors Down and The Goo Goo Dolls. I have a saying that if you play a song in an empty bar, it doesn't make a sound.

Who are your influences? My dad was in a band and to this day he plays. I kind of fell into it. I played music in school. I was in choir . . . and the whole nine yards. Some buddies said they were start ||ýPage=008 Column=001 OK,0000.03þ|| ing a band up. We started in, like, eighth grade. It's really funny listening . . . to what (we) did back then. But you evolve, you know. I've been through probably 10 bands in my time.

It sounds like you guys are still having as much fun as you did back in eighth grade. I've been in a few bands . . . where you're paid well and you play a lot and, you know, you just didn't have fun. It got to be too much work and, you know, you push too hard. That's not me. I'm all about . . . what (the crowd) wants to hear.

Do you ever take re quests from the audience? Actually, I ask for requests quite a bit. We don't . . . nec essarily play it that night. I'm always questioning people. I throw it up on the Web page. Give us some input. What do you want to hear? If we can pull it off, we'll play it.

Where do you play? We have really good crowds eve rywhere we play. I enjoy play ing The Glad Crab. We always get a real good hometown crowd there. We do a lot of biker functions. I'm pretty tight with the York Harley- Davidson owners. We just did Zingers. I'd like to get into some bigger venues, you know, up in the Harrisburg area. If you've got a stage and electric, we'll play.

Are you friends with any other local groups? Stone Blue (is) a pretty good friend of ours. I've actually played with Piece of Me. They're a bunch of good guys. (Paddywak) are really good guys. We have a lot of really good relationships with the local bands. We don't get into that competition thing. We ain't a whole lot to look at, but we get the job done. It's all about the music to us.

What is your biggest frus tration? I think the biggest frustration to me is certain marketing companies have started running this industry. They've tied some of these bigger clubs into their com pany. And now, you can't get booked at some of their clubs if you're not a part of their circle. You have to pay them a fee to do what I've been doing for 25 years, which is going out and seeing a bar owner and booking the band with a handshake and agree ||ýPage=008 Column=002 OK,0008.04þ|| ing on a price. People don't go to see the live bands any more like they used to. I think what that comes from is . . . these guys playing all these harder-edge . . . music. The people started to go see the DJs. Why? Because the DJs played the songs that they want to dance to. York was its own worst enemy. I think you're seeing the bands get another swing now.

Speaking of candy, what do you want in your Hallow een bag? (Laughs) More gigs. (We) want the bar owners . . .to come out to a live show and book us, and we'll come in there and give (the crowd) a good time.

- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF

If you go

Rock Candy plays 7 p.m. Friday at Field of Screams, 191 College Ave. in Mount ville. For details, visit www.fieldofscreams.com. For details about Rock Candy, visit www.myspace.com/rcrocks1.

To listen to an interview with the band, visit www.flipsidepa.com. To read more meet-the-artist interviews, visit www.flipsidepa.com/musicdirectory.