Dubstache brings electropop to UI

Imagine a music-beat factory owned by large, greedy rats. The rats employ robots and require them to wear floor-length, black leather trench coats as they synthesize and create beats on an assembly line of laptops and keyboards.

The factory is unforgivingly hot and the components of the robots start to melt.

The beat production suffers because of this, but the rats sell the music anyway because they’re just in the business to make a buck.

This is the story behind student band Dubstache’s track “Satan,” just one of the electro-pop tunes they’ll play at 9 p.m. Monday at The Canopy Club.

Dubstache’s members are Thomas Ferrarell, senior in LAS, and Nathan Moderwell and Andrew Wang, seniors in Engineering. The trio creates their modern-day Hall & Oates sound on a messy desk of electronics in Moderwell and Wang’s apartment.

“Our music is pretty grimy and crunchy,” Moderwell said. “Our moms really like it.”

Moderwell and Wang, who have known each other since attending high school together in the Chicago suburb of Libertyville, met Ferrarell on campus and thought he looked enough like a rocker to hang out with them. The three are now so close they joke about sleeping in a triple bunk bed and adopting children together.

“I sometimes feel left out,” said Ferrarell, who lives in another, tidier apartment. “For one thing, I’m always hungry here, because they never let me eat their food.”

When Dubstache isn’t in the midst of a beat session, they’re listening to vinyl records, getting in top physical condition in case they go on tour or drinking filtered water.

“We’re pretty serious about our water filters,” said Wang, between sips from a glass of impeccably clear water. “We considered calling the Geek Squad to come and install ours.”

The guys also play pranks on each other. Most of the shenanigans involve Moderwell eating Chinese food in different locations in Wang’s room.

“I’ve eaten it in the closet, under the bed, on the bed,” Moderwell said. “Wang doesn’t really know about this.”

Despite the fact that Monday’s show will be Dubstache’s first live performance since the band was formed six months ago, the guys are relatively laid back about it. They said they’re just happy some cover band didn’t get their spot.

For the past year, The Canopy Club has sought out more student bands of all genres to play Monday nights. The club’s management also made admission free and drinks cheap to draw in young people not ready for the weekend to be over.

“We offer a young, hungry band a place to play Monday nights,” said Mike Armintrout, talent buyer for The Canopy Club. “It’s up to the bands if they can get people through the door.”

Dubstache has considered two ways of bringing in fans. The first is to build a huge cage out of spray-painted PVC pipes and act like animals in it while their music blares. (They’re still working out construction glitches.) Their other crowd-drawing idea is to issue $10 Sketchers savings bonds to anyone who stays for the entire show.

They hope what also might draw people in are the other two student bands playing Monday. Sharing the stage will be the psychedelic/electronic/glam/soul band Russian Looch-Q’s, of which Moderwell also is a member, and the hip-hop/pop band Stage 5.

“We really have no idea how this thing is gonna turn out,” Moderwell said. “People will have to come and see.”