A dubious question, seemingly so simple and yet fraught with mystery, peril and intrigue. Quite simply put, WE are Sad Face! And to put it that simply, you would indeed be scratching upon the surface of the core that lies beneath the crust of this question.
But who are "we?"
Ahh yes, an age old lament that has lead to the deep-seeded existential angst that has plagued man-kind for centuries (or at least since Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, the Danish born philosopher, theologian and author whom many consider the "Father of Existential Philosophy," published a number of texts with a strong focus on human psychology and works on the "single individual" and the importance of their choices---the birth of existentialist theory. Though when discussing the beginnings of existential philosophy, Kierkegaard is usually joined hand in hand with Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, who wrote about religion, morality, and philosophy with an incredibly poignant use of irony. Even then, to say these two are the "Fathers of Existentialism" is an interesting point that may not be entirely true; much of the groundwork of existential thought can be traced back much farther, from Shakespeare and Henry David Thoreau, all the way back to Buddha, Voltaire, and Socrates, the Socratic Method being a big jumping off point for Kierkegaard's philosophical approach. And while the term "existentialism" wasn't coined until some time in the 1940's--a little over 40 years after Nietzsche's death and over 80 years after Kierkegaard's--those two brilliant minds were certainly pioneers in their field. Their texts were the culmination of hundreds of years of humankind's struggle to identify his or her purpose and meaning within his or her own life. Ultimately, their focused study, questions and thought lead to a more concentrated, wide-spread existential movement spawning the likes of such great 20th century thinkers as Jean-Paul Sartre and the authors Albert Camus and Franz Kafka among many others).
DAMNIT, WHO THE HELL IS SAD FACE? I HATE YOU! AAHHHH!!
Sad Face is a collection of friends and family that love making music. From soft and melodic, to noisy and chaotic, Sad Face loves it all. In their first year as a band, they've played with a number of incredible bands such as Thousands, At The Spine and The Horde and the Harem, played the reputed Showbox At The Market (one of Seattle's finest and most popular venues), and recorded their debut album, Gosh Darn!, at Avast Studios which is set to be released on May 31st.
And the dear fellows that make up the band?
Well without further adieu, the gentlemen of Sad Face:
Joe Jellema, our Dutch delight, the drummer boy. Hailing from the serene and peaceful streets of Detroit, Michigan, Joe spent most of his childhood being a Dutch boy (read: eating cheese and living in windmills). His affinity for beatboxing (which he picked up on the clean streets of Detroit) lead to a love of drumming. Though he still considers beatboxing his one true love and passion, Joe drums and dances his way into the hearts of everyone, all the while wearing clogs made of dreams, wonder and busted dikes. Joe is also a board member for the "Dutch Embetterment Alliance for all things Dutch" (or DEAD, for short) and one of the only living scholars that knows anything of the lost and forgotten Dutch language.
Joel Katzenberger, the dangerous manic guitar player. Beneath Joel's boyish, sensitive, sweater-clad exterior beats the heart of a wild, dangerous, terrifying maniac. And yet within the sequestered caverns of that blackened heart lies another heart; the heart of a boyish, sensitive, sweater-clad do-gooder. Joel's evil heart would slit your throat just because his shoelaces were a little tighter than he liked that day, but then the sensitive side would tend to your freshly slashed neck, baking you brownies as a gesture of good faith upon your recovery. Those brownies, however, would be laced with a strong poison, but after you've deteriorated to the brink of death, Joel would give you the antidote he'd had all along and tend to you once more. It's the unpredictability of the two beating hearts within this man that make him truly complex, like a well matured Chateau Latour.
Max Larkin, the epitome of all that is man on bass and guitar. Max is a man. A REAL man. Nothing makes Max happier than going on the hunt and bringing home a fresh kill for his woman, showering in the blood and guts of his recently stalked kill (a "glory shower" as he likes to call it) before retiring to his study with a pipe and a plan to end world hunger. Max knows nothing of fear, the brave romantic gallantly gallops through a range of life-threatening adventures with a rose and a knife between his teeth, claiming he can kill man and win a woman's heart with the rose and using the knife purely to shave his rugged, stubbled face. Tamed a wild fox and kept it as his pet? Done, named the fox Reggie. Built a luxury home out of raccoon hide and rubber bands? Yes, but it was actually an entire village he built for a nomadic tribe in the Sahara Desert*, finally offering them peace and serenity with a place to call home. Defeated a rare 30-foot sturgeon in the Caspian Sea equipped with nothing but a dull rock and a plank of wood for a raft? Of course, even let the sturgeon live just so he could have a formidable opponent to face on his bi-yearly spear fishing trips. Max is knighted in seven different monarchies across the globe, just inked a 5-year deal to play point guard for the Toronto Raptors, and is also an expert on the Wild West. And now, this chiseled Roman gladiator will try to tame and conquer the bass, the manliest instrument of them all.
Nick Mendonsa, guitar. Look out, ladies, Libra on the loose! Anyone familiar with astrology know that Libras are considered the essence of charm, style, and high living, and anyone that knows Nick knows that he lives far beyond his astrological predisposition. Nick lights up any room he enters with a gleam sparkling off his freshly whitened smile and from the pleasing glow shining off the pomade in his perfectly combed and conditioned hair (unfortunately, due to a mix up during the experimental phase, his hair has been conditioned only to fall out at the sound of a child's laugh). Nick has earned the reputation among Sad Face fans as the charming one; his natural Libran sociability makes him the easiest member of the band to approach. His smooth and seductive demeanor has also earned him a list of personal and professional accomplishments that are far too great to list here. When Nick isn't playing in Sad Face, you can find him hosting a smathering of soirées, wine tastings, charity galas---you name it, if it's refined and cultured, Nick is leading the pack!
And then there's Tim Mendonsa, singer, guitar player, and debonair decorator of walls.
And there you have it! Sad Face is a group as diverse as its music. But within the Sad Face family, there's more than just the musicians involved, there's also the artists, photographers, videographers, and recording engineers that have put in time working with the band. Sad Face loves these people and would like to recognize the extended Sad Face family:
Robert Mendonsa, Terry Robberson, Jeremy Mendonsa, Alica Hargis, John Strickland (johnstricklandphoto.com), Tiagh Carter, Michelle Goggans, Phil Harvey, Chris Icasiano, Tamara Thomson, Michael Crossley and French Letters, Jim Bielenberg, Vanessa Mendonsa, Greg Hofmann, Katie Westhoff, Ashley Williams, Holly Theriot, Johnny Mendoza, Vincent Labelle, Motorist, Lucy Bland, At the Spine, Vulgarity, Sarxx, The Horde and the Harem, Thousands.
We are Sad Face!
*While Max successfully built the village, he forgot to develop a system of water irrigation and the tribe subsequently died two weeks later.