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San Diego three-piece "bill" prefers to have their name spelled with a lowercase b. "Happens to be two of our dads' names and can be spelled on your right hand," says bass and sax player David Marciano.

"Besides the fact that our dads are named Bill, the name's simple and memorable," says drummer and pianist Jonathan Coyle. "There are so many bands who are named, like, 'the Razor Light Symphonic Turtle Doves.' Hey, I like that -- maybe a possible side project?" Curtis Hartling plays guitar and drums.

Their band's CD Birthday Suit is available for free download to Reader readers for a limited time at http://www.billmusic.net/reader.

TRICKIEST PROBLEM PLAYING LIVE?

Curt "Remembering to bring all our equipment."

Dave "A good friend of mine once said, 'Don't bring sand to the beach,' and I now see the wisdom in his words."

FAVORITE AXE?

Jon "Aria Pro, a knockoff Les Paul, with a one-piece neck. Dave bought it off his guitar teacher in 1995, with amp and effects board, for $300. Curt adopted it last year sometime after dropping it and paying for the repairs."

BEST/WORST GIGS?

Dave "Chugging for Charity, a benefit concert at Karl Strauss Breweries. [It was] the best because we played at an all-you-can-drink outdoor event for 500 people, sold 35 CDs, and our friend Dagart changed into drag onstage and played a ripping guitar solo on a cover of Wham!'s 'Careless Whisper.' The worst because we didn't play that well, it started raining on us, Dagart's ripping solo was a half-step off, and the host of the event yelled at us to stop playing midsong so that she could start the bachelor auction."

Jon "Probably last year at the PB Bar and Grill. I was tripped during a basketball game by another member of the band, whose name I won't mention. I suffered a wrist injury that required me to be put in a cast for three weeks. The show had to go on, though, and I tried to play piano, only being able to pronate my wrist by leaning heavily to the right. I left the show with an extremely sore neck."

WHAT'S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?

Jon:

  1. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue. "It's a constant reminder of musical space."

  2. Arthur Rubinstein, Complete Set of Ballads for Piano. " 'Fourth Ballad' is the most intense piece ever."

Dave:

  1. Cake, Comfort Eagle. "Safe to say if you rode in my car between '01 and '03 you heard this one."

  2. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Chronicles. "If you can get your hands on some early bill demos you would hear some influence, but not so much these days. We used to be more of a reggae/classic rock band when we started out."

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION?

Curt "Lars Ulrich handed me a drum stick during a show once."

Dave "When I was 16, I played golf with the bassist of Ugly Kid Joe in Santa Barbara."

Jon "My mom went to high school with Billy Joel."

WHERE IS MUSIC GOING IN THE 21st CENTURY?

Dave "It will be phased out entirely when John Cage's '4:33' (of silence) goes to number one on the charts."

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