Band of the week: Inspector Owl

By Casey Toner

-Recently, the Weekender sat down with Cory Wills, lead singer and guitarist of Inspector Owl, a poppy electronic/rock hybrid that sounds kind of like an edgier The Postal Service. But don’t tell them that.

Weekender: Describe Inspector Owl for me.

Cory Wills: It’s got kind of an ‘80s new-wave feel combined with a modern indie-rock sound

W: How did your band come about?

CW: This band came out in a weird way. The three of us were in a band before together — No Stars Tonight — and the drummer lost interest. He had joined another band (The Velvet Velvet) and we stopped practicing. And so when No Stars Tonight stopped practicing, Vic and I wanted to have a band, but we were sick of people having to commit to practice. And we started using a computer for drums and keyboards.

W: Are you still playing with the laptop?

CW: We used the laptop but we’ve added a live drummer to reinforce. The drummer adds some spontaneity and some energy to the performance. It gives us more credibility because we’re more of a band now.

W: Is it a pain to get the laptop working?

CW: It can be, for sure. We played one show in a basement in DeKalb where the [bass] vibrations were causing the laptop to skip and there were a couple songs that caused the laptop to stop working all together. Our laptop is pretty much shot because we haven’t used it in four or five shows. It’s a laptop we borrowed from our friend. It wasn’t in very good condition to begin with and he’s notorious for running computers into the ground. When we started using it, it was on its last legs.

W: Tell me a bit about your worst show.

CW: That was probably the one where the laptop started skipping. By the time we played, it was late at night, so everyone at the party was gone by that point. Intoxicated. So, a few people were giving our bass player troubles because he was wearing a dress. He wanted to rile people up and get a reaction. It was more of a reaction than we planned for. And then we had these tech problems. People came up and asked to play our instruments as well as these weird requests. But we restarted the laptop, and it ran fine for the rest of the show.

W: I saw a thing about notable inspectors on your Web site. I’m partial to Inspector Clouseau. Who is your favorite inspector?

CW: My favorite inspector is probably Michael Knight from “Knight Rider.”

W: Why should people come to an Inspector Owl show?

CW: For a good time and to shake your ass.

W: Do you shake your ass?

CW: Yes, when I have my cow bell.