'We sold 200 tickets, and I'd say 150 of them were to hot chicks," says Dylan Paton, songwriter, guitarist, and front man for San Diego band Paperback Statue.

He's talking about their first live gig at 4th & B on November 5 of last year. Bassist Nan Chi Vu cocreated the act.

"There were definitely a lot of women there that night, and afterward they came up and talked to us, wanted our CD, gave us feedback, and then there was my mom," he explains. "Yes, she was there too, partying in the crowd. She'd gotten out of the hospital for high blood pressure. She was taking heart medicine and didn't know she couldn't drink. After saying hello to everyone, my mom tried running up to me to give me a hug and say how proud she was of me and instead she passed out cold on the floor. I thought she was having a heart attack. I freaked out; we carried her outside and tried to stand her up. But she was out cold. I was so scared. I didn't want to wait for the ambulance so I got a cab to take us to the hospital. The cab driver ends up taking us to a closed ER. I was so pissed; I really thought something bad was going to happen. When we got there, she wakes up and throws up outside the cab. She ended up being fine. By the time I got back to the show to hand out CDs, the show was over and everyone was gone."

Paperback Statue will play 4th and B again on March 11 with local bands Fono and Dirty Sweet.

TRICKEST MUSICAL PROBLEM PLAYING LIVE?

"Being able to play guitar and sing at the same time. The goal is that eventually you know the guitar so well that you can just concentrate on singing and really give the audience what your full potential is. That's why most really good singers sing by themselves. It requires lots of practice in the mirror to play with a guitar. Most people can't tell the difference... I mean, most people can't hear pitch either. It took me one year of bel canto [Italian singing-style originated in the 16th Century] training to really hear if [other] people or myself are on pitch or not."

INSTRUMENTS AND EQUIPMENT USED?

"We like to use little boutique amps, even on the bass -- then the drums really come forward at our shows. Boutique amps are custom made to your liking. My amp is a mix between an AC30 and a Fender Bassman. It has one vintage 12-inch speaker. Because vintage tubes aren't going to be around forever, I had the amp made so I can put in normal tubes that they make today, and it still has a very warm sound with lots of bottom. The back is also sealed so none of the bottom end escapes; it's driven forward. It sounds amazing. We use Fender, Musicman, Gibson, and Carvin basses."

YOUR INFLUENCES?

"Tom Petty for his happy and sad songs, great lyrics, and great spirit. The Cure for their innovation and eclectic sound. Radiohead for their weirdness. The Police for their great driving drum beats. The Clash for making punk, rock, and reggae come together and making this new sound. Smashing Pumpkins for getting really heavy and mellowing out many times in a song."

ANY DREAMS ABOUT MUSIC?

"I always have strange dreams that I'm naked floating in the sky on giant leaves and my penis is 20 inches long and I don't know what to do with it. It won't fit in my pants or my boxers, and in my dream we usually have a show to play so I'm freaking out because I don't know how to hide my penis."

TOP FIVE MOVIES?

1. Run Lola Run ("I love the intensity.")

2. Goodfellas ("Because my family is Sicilian.")

3. Casino ("Reminds me of home.")

4. Big ("Great kid's fantasy story.")

5. The Goonies ("The characters are awesome; they make the whole movie.")

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