Hungry Like a Wolf, “The Brat Pack”, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Sixteen Candles. Even if you didn’t come of age in the 1980s chances are you still know at least some of the music or have watched the teen movies that are still relevant and funny today. The clothing, movies and music of that decade had a synergy that has withstood the test of time. Molly & The Ringwalds is a band from Houston that fell in love with 80s music and decided to make it their full time gig. The band formed in 2000 and has been voted “Best Cover Band” and “Ultimate Cover Band” by The Houston Press for several years running. The five member band has played over 1000 live shows all over Texas and I had a chance to sit down with Carrie Ringwald to talk about the music, performing and the 1980s.
Catch Molly & The Ringwalds at their free public concert on March 5th from 7:00-9:30 at The Continental Club (3700 Main, Houston, 77002).
There’s lots of 80s icons – why go with Molly Ringwald?
Molly Ringwald is very much the quintessential 80s girl everyone loved: smart, tough and boundary-breaking. She starred in three of the most popular “80s teen high school” movies: The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles, not to mention she was in the first season of The Facts of Life. Her name instantly transports people backwards in time.
Do you think the band will ever play different types of music?
One of the benefits of being in a band based on a decade rather than on a style is you get to play music from almost any genre. This is especially true of the 80s, which saw the rise of hip hop in popular culture. On a given night, we might play a set that contains new wave, rock, rap, pop, hair metal, country, and dance music, one right after the other. We follow Ozzy Osbourne with the theme from Flashdance, followed by Young MC. And it works—not because the songs sound alike, but because great music flows together nicely. Molly and the Ringwalds will always be 80s music. If we play other decades, we will have to change our name.
Do you have a set playlist or does it differ by show/venue?
Every party has a different set list. We currently have around 200 songs in active rotation, most of which were in the Top-10 between 1980 and 1989. For a typical event, we’ll play between 40-60 songs, so the audience always gets to hear a wide selection of the favorite 80s hits that they’re expecting.
Do you prefer to play private events or public shows?
Both provide different rewards. Private parties are always about something – a wedding, or a corporate holiday party, or a charity fundraiser. Our job is to bring the component of entertainment to the overall event. It’s really not about us, and keeping that in mind is very important. The star of the show is always the event. We’re there to help make the event a success. When they get wild, private parties tend to get very wild very quickly (“Oh my goodness, Carol from Accounting is twerking!”). The wildest shows are almost always private parties. Public shows are more about the band. We can let loose a little and take risks that we would never take at a private event.
What advice do you have to aspiring musicians?
Take a chance. Go out there and just do it. Play on stage, with other people. You don’t want to be one of those people who look back in life and say…. ‘I wish I had done this’…