Okay, fair enough. The wings stay. Then there's the matter of the band's rather awkward official name, Bird3. The number was tacked on to what had been a perfectly decent moniker for copyright reasons, Greg confides. "It was a trademark thing. As a band name, 'Bird' was just too diluted, so with merchandising, if we just went by Bird, people could easily make bootleg T-shirts and sell them because we wouldn't own the name."
That's a small speed bump on Bird3's roadway to rock stardom, though. They seem to have everything going for them—most important, in Immergent, they have a label that gives them all the love they need.
"There are just a few other artists on the label, so they can give us lots of attention," says Greg. "It's made up of a lot of ex-major-label people who grew sick of the profit-driven machine. It's such a family vibe there, too; it's amazing. I dare any established artist to walk in there and not feel good about what they're walking into. There are people who actually know us and say hello to us."
"Regardless of what happens with the music, they believe in us," Mike says. "It's great to always see smiling people there, people who are happy to see us."
Still, good label karma doesn't automatically translate into radio airplay. Their debut album was released in June, and radio being the cesspool it is, the Birdmen are finding out that a slot in even light rotation is pretty hard to win. "Programmers are telling us that there's just too much traffic, meaning that this is a bad time to break a new band because there are so many already established bands getting airplay," Greg explains. "There's not a lot of room. We're also being told that the songs are either not heavy enough or not light enough, so it's hard to crack radio."
For now, they figure it's best to just keep playing as often as possible, opening more shows, gigging the clubs, gradually building an even wider fan base. Which may soon include even non-English-speaking countries: a Spanish version of the album should be out in a month or so, says Greg, with Bird doing the vocals in his native tongue.
"We did a rock en español show at the Martini Lounge in LA one night, and the reaction was . . . well, I'd never seen a reaction like that. People were jumping onstage and screaming and wanting to touch us, these gringos, who were essentially backing up the homeboy."
So Bird3 will get their music heard and their name known via as many channels as they can, even if it comes in the form of a cheesy write-up in, of all places, the new issue of Teen magazine: "Bird3's debut album will engage your senses through an obsessive courtship with your ears (and your eyes—they're cuties). Their crafty mellow rock, tightly cradled by sensitive lyrics, will make any girl swoon. It's definitely love at first listen." Ewww . . . Ah, well—the road to mega is paved with good intentions.
Bird3 performs at Fingerprints Records, 4612b E. Second St., Long Beach, (562) 433-4996. Fri., 6 p.m. Free; with Exploiting Eve, CA7 and the Remarks at the Galaxy Concert Theatre, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600; www.galaxytheatre.com. Fri., 8 p.m. $15; and at the Blue Cafe, 210 The Promenade, Long Beach, (562) 983-7111 or (562) 984-8349; www.thebluecafe.com. Mon., 9 p.m. $5. 21+. For more info on Bird3, check out www.bird3.com.