Though 500 three ways are a relatively new band, their presence in the Bay Area is striking. Without releasing any EPs, 500 three ways have become an indispensable part of the Bay Area show circuit. The band is set for a big year: they have new releases slated for next month, and a slew of shows in both San Francisco and Oakland.

The Bay Bridged sat down with 500 three ways to discuss their humble origins and upcoming project. It’s clear that 500 three ways would be just as comfortable at an open-mic comedy night as they are on a punk stage, and though you might not learn much about the band from their banter, we think you’ll enjoy the ride.

The Bay Bridged: I’m interested the terms you use to describe yourselves: you use ‘truckercore,’ ‘rat rock,’ and ‘boy bass’ on Facebook, and I read one blurb where 500 three ways is described as “a collective of canines who like to keep it greasey on the freaky side.” How do you choose the words you use to portray the band?

500 Three Ways: We felt

[that] boy bassists are really underrepresented within our society, so in order to normalize it, we wanted to highlight it within our genre. Just by saying, “Hey, there are boy bassist[s] too.” As for the way write about ourselves, we create a Mad Lib-like script, then fill in the blanks using a random word generator, and kneel on one paw to pray to the books of holy iguanas.

TBB: How did 500 three ways come together as a band?

5TW: We went out with our friend who we were staying with from out of town, and he drank too much tequila and ruined our night. So we used three of the six chords we knew and wrote a song about it. (Nu World Encyclopedia, 500 three ways. p. 666. 1999)

TBB: Tell me about your working relationship: how do you collaborate as a band? How do you push yourselves?

5TW: We have a donut chart, and every week we have to break the previous week’s record. We’re at 17 donuts. Then we all feel so sick to our stomachs, and it really bonds us. And we jam it out from there.

TBB: What are you looking forward to in 2017?

5TW: We are looking forward to a Donald Duck presidency. We are also very excited to announce that we’ve been trying to contact Axl Rose to direct a music video for us. We haven’t heard back from him yet, but we think he’s going to pull through. Other than that, within a couple weeks we will have some brand new recordings out [which] we’re all very excited about.

TBB: Who came up with the band name? How did that come to be?

5TW: We were living in Florida and weren’t happy with our current living situations, we went an hour outside of Orlando to get donuts and we saw this beautiful, historic apartment. It was only $500. And Jade said “500 three ways? We can afford that!” Then chuckled and said, “If we ever have a band that’s what we should call it, 500 three ways.” We didn’t even play instruments at the time.

TBB: Is there a memorable story from a gig you’d like to share?

5TW: One time we played a show to an audience of dogs.

TBB: Starting a creative project in the ‘digital age’ is something that interests me, because in the first few years of a new project you have a relatively blank digital slate. In your ideal digital landscape, what would you want people to see when they Googled your name?

5TW: We think we’ll know what they’ll see.