Can you briefly tell me a little about how each of you guys decided to become musicians? Where’d the inspiration stem from?

Don Nicol: When I was about 12 years old, I used to “jam out” to the Kiss Alive II record with a tennis racquet, doing my best Ace Frehley impression, singing, “It’s cold gin time again,” not knowing what any of that stuff meant, and one day I thought I should lose the tennis racquet and learn how to play guitar. My mom got me my first guitar that Christmas, along with a gift certificate for lessons “until I was as good as John Denver” which, even then sounded depressing. Consequently, I’m still not as good as John Denver. I mean, technically I may be, since he’s dead. (I wonder if I could fly a plane better?) I suppose I could still be cashing those certificates in.

Kevin Beebe: Necessity. I hated what was on the radio when I was younger, and the music I sought out I would often want to edit or mix. I learned to play guitar to make up what I thought I wanted to hear.

Eddie Whisler: Watching Taylor Steele surf videos as a kid. Loved the music and wanted to play guitar ever since. At some point, I found out singing feels good and it was a fun challenge to do both at the same time.

Brent Knoechel: Smashing plastic buckets with mini baseball bats playing along to Moby Dick.

Strange Friend Don and Eddie

How were things early on in the band? Did you feel like you had something early on? Was there a particular show or moment?

Don Nicol: Brent and I were in bands throughout high school and college and after college. My buddies and I moved to Nashville and Brent and Beebe bought a big van and hit the road. We both had the same rock and roll trajectory (you know, from garage to superstardom), but at some point, maybe a year after college, we decided that maybe a job would be a better option — gotta eat, and college wasn’t cheap! Both of us have played in bands throughout the years, but probably what sealed our musical fate for many years, but not a bad trade-off, was having kids. Man, nothing puts a damper on your rock and roll life like a job and having kids. When TacoLu moved into the Old Homestead, we had this great space upstairs that we use for storage and an office. One day Brent looked at me and said, “We should get the band back together,” which was funny for a couple reasons. We had never been in a band together before and we only had one day per week we could play — Monday night, when the Lu is closed. So Monday, Bloody Monday was born.

Strange Friend Studio Shot

What are some of the most challenging aspects of being in the band?

Don Nicol: For most of us, it’s our age and the fact that we aren’t struggling musicians anymore, but guys with families and jobs and all that stuff, so carving out some time to even do this was the first big step. The fact that we have done what we’ve done in the last couple years is really kind of surprising.

Eddie Whisler: For us, it’s just getting together often enough to stay crisp and create new stuff. We all have pretty busy lives keeping us just strange enough from each other to play as much as we’d like.

Strange Friend Album Cover Front and Back

Any upcoming music you’ll be releasing soon, and where can people find your music?

Kevin Beebe: Yep, on April 1. Happened by chance that one of our songs is also named April One. Got a vinyl record, but most access our music through and all the other online distributors like iTunes, amazon, etc. This whole interweb idea is really taken off sailor!

Eddie Whisler: We are having our record release event (yes, vinyl) on National Record Store Day at The Fly’s Tie in Atlantic Beach. Also check all the usual digital outlets for the songs we’ve released thus far through our website at We’re setting up live performances for May and June as we respond to this question. We’re also having a show on May 21 at 1904 Music Hall.