With Its New Ride, The Numerators Started Something Special.
Behind every great band is a great van. And when these former church vans, daycare buses and plumber's work vehicles have racked up enough miles on the road, they eventually start being thought of by the band as another member of the team. Hey, we get it: It's hard to spend so many hours with bandmates (both human and machine) without a few things getting broken, a few good fights taking place and lots of great memories being made. We hope that, by exploring these stories, we might get to know some bands from both North Texas and beyond on a more personal level. Check out this feature's archives here.
In its five years of bouncing between Texas and New York, the Lubbock-launched, reverb-soaked The Numerators have played bars, pizza joints and everything in between.
Better yet, that effort's starting to pay off for the garage rock trio, too, in the form of a split release with Atlanta's likeminded The Coathangers and a single that was put out by Seattle label Suicide Squeeze.
But this is a band that understands the values of roots, too. And that's how, just a couple weeks ago, the trio fittingly found itself tearing through the basement of J&J's Pizza in Denton for a performance.
That's where we met up with the band and, between slices, asked its members about their brand new ride, a Honda CRV that's for the first time being used as a touring vehicle on this run. Seems the SUV's working out pretty well for the band, too — so much so that the band highly recommends it, with a few stipulations.
Read on for those.
Band Name: The Numerators.
Van Name: “Not yet. It's brand new.”
Year/Make/Model: 2011 Honda CRV.
Mileage: “A fair amount. It's pretty good, though.”
Where all is your current tour taking you?
Burgers Rana (Drums): “This is day number two. We'll go all the way up to Seattle and then back down along the coast and then back over to Austin.”
And you're traveling in a Honda CRV?
Sammi Rana (Guitar/Vocals): “Yeah. This is a step up for us, though. We usually get a rental car, like one of those small four-door cars. This is still brand new. It was a decision we made beforehand. It was like, 'Are we going to put money into a rental or get a car?' And I haven't had a car in a really long time, so we decided to do a car.”
And it doesn't have a name yet.
Sammi: “No, it's too new. We don't know if this a guy or a girl yet, either. I mean, yeah, there have been different names over the years. We were in a truck a long time ago. That was Gerald Ford F-150.”
Andrew Chavez (Bass): “I used to be in a band where we had a little Volkswagen van and we called it Vantasia.”
Sammi: “And then y'all had the Little Bougie Badass.”
Burgers: “That was a super small car. Our old roommate had a van and he sold it. That was Timothy McVan.”
Why all these small vehicles?
Sammi: “I guess we've had bad luck with cars. And whenever you rent, you're kind of set. So, if something fucks up, you can be like, 'Hey, Hertz, I need a new car.' And then they get you a new car. We've had two vans break down on us. The Gerald Ford F-150, that one broke down on us. I guess I just have really bad luck with cars.”
Andrew: “I guess small cars are just more economical. We're a small band and it just works. We can't afford to get an awesome van to rent. Luckily, we know how to search the internet for discounts. We also have really small amps.”
Sammi: “Our gear has been getting smaller and smaller. But we did used to have big stuff and we'd still fit in a car.”
Burgers: “With one of the cars, I don't think we Tetris'd it very well. If you were sitting in the backseat, you were stuck in the backseat. But one of the worst tours we did was when we had a van and it broke down. We had the whole tour set up. The year previous to that, we had another van break down on us and we had to cancel the whole tour. So the second time around I was like, 'No, we're not doing that. We're going on this tour.' This guy Ruben was in the band, and he had a small Sierra truck. So there were two seats in the front and the backseat was sideways, like one of those bucket seats. It wasn't a big back seat, you were crammed in there. So instead of actually like having the seat down, we just put a shit ton of blankets and pillows and stuff. Half the tour was you just sitting sideways.”
Sammi: “Laying down in the back — that was pretty badass.”
Burgers: “I felt sorry for Ruben because he was driving the whole time. I was not driving. So yeah, a lot of shitty tour vehicles. This is the best one.”
How long have you guys had this one, then?
Sammi: “August 13. It's been a big upgrade for my life. This was the main motivation. Otherwise, I wouldn't have gotten it. I would have been stuck with my bike for a while and kept on complaining about how the bus sucks. I really thought about it for a while, but nothing ever really pushed me. We were talking about whether or not we should rent, so that was the big motivation.”
Well what makes the CRV so special?
Sammi: “I found out that my uncle's brother-in-law is a general manager of this Honda dealership in Houston. So after months of looking and just getting frustrated, I talked to my mom and she thought to hit him up. So then we called him looking for a few cars. First, we went to a couple dealerships but, goddamn dude, some salesmen just suck. They're so rude. So double-sided. It just wasn't great. After that all happened, my mom asked how it was going. I told her I hadn't found anything yet. I was just looking for something that was in my price range — like something pretty OK and reliable, because of my history and all with cars breaking down. So whenever he called, he asked what I wanted and then found something in my price range and said, “Let's do this.” He kind of hooked it up. Not being like a dick and not working on the price. He gave it for the right price.”
What's your favorite thing about this car?
Sammi: “Getting from point A to point B a lot faster than normal. That is definitely my favorite part of it.”
What about from a touring perspective?
Sammi: “There's definitely a lot more room. With those times where we did have a van, that was really nice to know what it's like to have space. And then to move back into a small car always sucks. Even though it's not huge, there's still a lot more breathing room. The gas mileage is definitely good, so we're not spending a shit ton. The older CRVs, like the early 2000s, they used to have a picnic table in the back. I was kind of hoping this one would, too, but no picnic table. But what can you do? Now they put the tire where the table is. But you never know when you need a picnic.”
What do you listen to on the road?
Sammi: “We listen to Slipknot. Yes! We actually did listen to Slipknot because Andrew wanted to.”
Andrew: “When I was in middle school, I listened to Slipknot a lot, I guess. When I was a teenager. The new Shannon and the Clams is really good. We listen a lot to Fever Ray. I love Fever Ray, dude. That album, when it came out in 2010, I think, that blew my mind. We keep it interesting. Podcasts and comedy — just depends on how we're feeling. Sometimes we don't feel like listening to music. Sometimes we'll just roll down the window.”
Anything else you'd like to add?
Sammi: “If you're looking for a car, get a CRV. Be sure to visit my uncle in Houston. He's a good guy. He'll give you a fair price.”