Vendors I Love: Dexter Lake Club Band

One of the best parts of my job as a wedding photographer is that I get to work with some amazing vendors. I’m starting a new series of blog posts titled “Vendors I Love”, focusing on wedding vendors that I’ve worked with that really fit the style that my client’s go for — people who are cool, unique, and great to work with!

I’m kicking off the series with the Dexter Lake Club Band. I had the privilege of working with them on Tasha and Ricky’s wedding at 26 Bridge a while back, and I have to say…they surprised and delighted me…and I’ve seen a lot of wedding bands! They were even featured in a pretty great New York Times article which you can read here. So, I sat down for an interview to discuss the band and how they feel about weddings…

Dexter Lake Club Band - photo by Casey Fatchett - https://fatchett.com

Approximately how many weddings do you guys do each year?

We do about 40-50 dates as an organization.

So, the name of the band…Do many people get the reference?

Yes, it’s from Animal House. Moms and dads get that reference.

I immediately got it. Does that mean I’m old or just have a vast knowledge of movie trivia? Probably both…

I think we spent all of 10 minutes thinking about that. We used it for a couple of gigs and it just stuck.

For me, it sticks out, and maybe it’s just my ‘demographic’…but it immediately evokes the sense of a party…

Yes! And it’s not “The Starlite Magic Orchestra” or “New York City Hot Express” because there are so many of those. It’s different. I think one reason we can have that name is because we’re “a band” not like a bunch of different bands under one roof.

You guys do bill yourselves as the ‘anti-wedding band’…

Yeah, because when you think of that typical ‘wedding band’ there’s like 5 singers out front, guitar player in the back who’s barely playing, and really heavy on the horn section…

Well, I like a good horn section…

Of course! And we add that in occasionally if we need it. I play saxophone. That’s my instrument. But that’s not our ‘thing’. If that’s what you’re into, there are plenty of bands out there that do that. It’s just not what we do.

Dexter Lake Club Band - photo by Casey Fatchett - www.fatchett.com

Our thing, at its core, is being a rock band – not a stage band – and that’s what makes us different. It’s smaller…and we ROCK things up!

So what did you guys do before weddings?

We all went to college together. We started as a cover band doing all 80s stuff just for fun. We were all in a conservatory program and we did this stuff for fun. Then when we graduated, we were all based in New York, and your friends start getting married…

That’s how I started in weddings too…

Yea, and your friends call up and say, “Hey I don’t want to hire a wedding band. Can you guys come and play?” So we’d just show up and do our thing, and after two or three times doing that, people we didn’t know would come up to us at the wedding reception and say “Hey, I wanna hire you!”

And the rest, as they say, is history…So what’s your favorite part about playing weddings?

I think when the dance floor is going crazy and packed…and we’re up there rocking out late night…and people are having a great time.

And how’s that different from playing as just a regular band?

We’ve all played great crowds in NYC, but when you’re playing a show there’s also sometimes this ‘too cool for school’ attitude where the crowd is just sitting back like they’re saying ‘impress me’. At weddings, people are down to party and have a good time!

You guys play some songs that other bands might avoid at a wedding too…

I think where things really turn fun is whether it’s the tune that we play, or more HOW we play it…people will look at us like “Are they really doing THIS at a wedding?” That interchange I think is really fun. That moment where you see faces on the dance floor that say “Oh, it’s ON!”

Dexter Lake Club Band - photo by Casey Fatchett - www.fatchett.com

What advice do you have for couples getting married?

A good band can save a bad party. Doing things at the right time and not killing the vibe on the dance floor. In many ways the band controls ‘the flow’ of the reception. We like to make sure that there’s never a loss of momentum and that the reception keeps moving and feels like a great party!

And it has a lot to do with pacing…

Yea, we’re often tasked with overcoming a lot of stops and starts, whether it’s an impromptu speech or the cake cutting or a big group picture. We have to make sure that we don’t kill the overall vibe.

So what would the dream gig be if you guys couldn’t do weddings?

I think that’d be different for every member of the band. Our bass player would love to be the bassist for Def Leppard but I think what it comes down to is that everyone would want to be doing music. It’s all some variation on playing music that we like…which is kinda how we became a wedding band in the first place!

You can check out Dexter Lake Club Band at their monthly showcase in New York City, just head over and visit their website for details. You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

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