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Ha Ha Tonka to play songs from their new album ‘Death of a Decade’ Friday downtown at Frankies

On September 26, 2011

Making their debut performance in the Glass City comes Springfield, Mo. natives Ha Ha Tonka at Frankies Inner City in downtown Friday at 10 p.m.

Their push into the popular music scene began in 2007 with their debut album "Buckle in the Bible Belt" and followed in 2009 with the album "Novel Sounds of the Nouveau South." Ha Ha Tonka was recently featured on the new music portion of MTV's "The Seven," National Public Radio's Song of the Day for their song "Usual Suspects" and an Ozarks episode of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations."

The Independent Collegian spoke with guitarist and frontman Brian Roberts about the band and their upcoming performance.

IC: So, what kind of genre do you classify Ha Ha Tonka as? Because you don't really fit into any kind of generic genre and you seem to be more of a cross between some.

BR: Well, somebody once described to us that they thought it sounded like - and we like this description, so we repeated it - but they said it sounds like the "O Brother, Where Art Thou" soundtrack.

IC: In a couple of reviews, you were compared to Mumford & Sons and bands similar to that, due to your sound. How do you feel to be compared to bands such as those?

BR: I think it's flattering whenever we're compared to acts like that and so we definitely take it as a compliment.

IC: Now, your name is very interesting. One might not know what to expect when they hear it. So, where did the inspiration for that come from?

BR: Well, it's the name of a state park of the Ozarks area, which is the area that we're from and we thought that we'd name ourselves that state park because number one, it's a unique name, and number two, whenever we're doing interviews, we could reference the area we're from [in] the Ozarks.

IC: You were actually just featured on an Ozarks episode of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" and a couple of other popular television shows. How does it feel to be receiving that kind of publicity?

BR: I think it really helps. It definitely exposes you to a wider audience, so it helps a lot. I was really shaken by how many people know that show and watch that show and we get lots of people coming up to us who hear about us through that appearance.

IC: So, how do you feel that you're going to be performing in Toledo, the most awesome city in the world?

BR: Well, honestly, we've never been to Toledo, so I hope that people show up to the show, because we've never been to Toledo and there's a first time for everything. We'll get to experience all that Toledo has to offer. The doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door.

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