ARLINGTON, Texas — When Harry Potter rode his Nimbus 2000 broom all the way to the top of the Hollywood heap, he inspired “Wizard Rock” bands by the dozens to belt out tunes that delivered more firepower than Ron Weasley’s Wildfire Whiz-Bangs.
These days, “Twilight” is taking a similar bite out of the best-seller list on its way to the big screen, so it only makes sense that three 15-year-old vampire-loving musicians are just as eager to stake a claim on the literary tribute-band scene.
They call themselves the Bella Cullen Project, and they’ve spent more than a year performing original songs such as “Charlie’s Answering Machine” and “Sexy Vampire” (“Edward’s so hot he can set the house on fire/ Yeah, he’s one sexy vampire”) for steadily increasing crowds of Stephenie Meyer’s minions. Next week, they’ll release their self-titled debut CD, and MTV News has the world premiere of their first video, “Out of the Blue.” (Head over to the MTV Movies Blog to read about their song, “It’s Recreation, Not Suicide,” which is so new, it didn’t make it on the album.)
Recently, we flew to Arlington and caught up with high school sophomores Ally Kiger, Chandler Nash and Tori Randall as they played to a standing-room-only crowd, making a lot of noise at their local library. As a crowd clad in “Team Edward” T-shirts clapped along, the BCP proved that while there might be other “Twilight” bands out there, everything really is bigger in Texas.
MTV: How did you guys decide which songs you’d be playing tonight?
Chandler Nash: We tried to focus on the songs that were most popular. We definitely played the ones on our MySpace page, because everyone knows those, and we decided to play our new songs that we’re really proud of.
MTV: Here’s the obvious question: Why “Twilight”?
Ally Kiger: Because we really love it. It’s really relatable.
Tori Randall: Everyone has been in Bella’s situation. Everybody’s loved somebody, and it’s just really amazing because you can read it and be like, “I’ve felt that.”
MTV: Do the “Twilight” books stay true to what real high school is like right now?
Randall: Well, we just finished our freshman year, so yeah.
Nash: We definitely know that kind of thing. [Laughs.] I used to move around a lot as a kid. We’d go to one place and I’d be the new kid again, and I’d have to start over. I definitely know how Bella would have felt if I’d been in her place and gone to this new school in this place where there’s really weird kids. Because, let’s face it: People in high school, they’re weird. [They laugh.]
MTV: Are you guys like Bella, sitting in the cafeteria looking over at a boy and hoping he’ll look back?
Nash: It would be like that, if the guys at our school were cute. [Laughs.]
MTV: You realize you just dissed every boy in your school.
Nash: Some of them deserve it, though.
Kiger: But some of them are pretty nice. [They laugh.]
MTV: How did you guys come to form the Bella Cullen Project?
Nash: Me and Tori had been doing musical things. Tori had been a big fan of the Harry Potter bands, and it all just started from there.
Kiger: I read “Twilight,” and I forced it upon them.
Nash: Thank you!
MTV: And now you’re all “bitten,” as they say?
Nash: That is true.
Randall: We have been bitten.
MTV: The crowd loved “Sexy Vampire.” How did you come up with those lyrics?
Nash: We were having a sleepover. All that could come to mind was Stephenie Meyer and how she was our hero, and how we love her.
Randall: It just happened. It was like, “Let’s write a song — ’Sexy Vampire’! Oh my gosh!”
Nash: We just started naming off things that rhymed. We we’re like, “It’s really stupid, but I like it!”
MTV: And I heard you got to perform it recently for a very special fan?
Nash: Yeah, we went to the Frisco [Texas] book signing and were sitting there, and the lady that worked there [brought us backstage].
Randall: They led us down this pristine, white hall of doom to Stephenie’s dressing room! It was so nerve-racking and awesome.
Nash: She asked us to sing to her.
Randall: Which we did!
Nash: So, we sang part of “Sexy Vampire” for her — which was awkward. [Laughs.]
Randall: But amazing!
Nash: It was awesome. She said we had really pretty voices. We didn’t get to hang out with her for too long, just, like, 10 minutes.
MTV: Tell us about your new song and video, “Out of the Blue.”
Nash: It’s about Bella when she moves to Forks, and she just wants to pick up and leave. She has to sacrifice a lot, and a lot of weird things happen, and she just doesn’t know what to do. It’s about how she feels when she moves to this new town and it’s so unfamiliar to her.
MTV: And it’s on the album that comes out next week?
Randall: Yes, it’s our first album, called The Bella Cullen Project. It’s going to be released July 15 and will be available locally in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area at Borders and participating Barnes & Nobles. If you don’t live in the area, it will be available on our Web site and on our MySpace page.
MTV: Is it getting weird yet, knowing that in September you go back to school and just like anybody else, you’ll be sitting in class and listening to your teacher again?
Nash: Yeah. Some of the people here today came up to us [to get autographs] and were like, “We’re going to your school next year!” So we’re going to see them in the halls, and they’re going to wave and be like, “I got a picture with you! I got your autograph!” And we’ll be like, “OK.”
MTV: Now that you’re big-time musicians, have you ever come across a situation when one of your parents is like, “Can you take out the trash?” And you say, “Don’t you know who I am, Mom? I’m a rock star now!”
Kiger: I think I might get in trouble for that.
Nash: If we could pull it off, I think I would. [Laughs.]
Randall: “Clean your room”? I’ll just get one of my fans to clean it for me!
MTV: Imagine this: At the next concert, you guys get up onstage and look out in the crowd, and right in the middle of all the fans you see Robert Pattinson looking up at you.
Nash: That would make my life!
Kiger: I think what we would do is first take a moment to melt, and then move on. Because we’d have to play.
Nash: And instead of signing an autograph for him, I’d probably jump out into the crowd and be like, “Can you sign my foot or something?” I love him!
Randall: I don’t think we could play. I think I would have some trouble with the guitar. [Laughs.] I don’t think it would work.
MTV: What’s your biggest dream? Meeting Spunk Ransom himself, or being asked by Catherine Hardwicke to contribute a song to the “Twilight” soundtrack?
Kiger: I think I would pick end credits, because we would have that forever, not just the memory.
Nash: But if you got a picture with Robert Pattinson, you would have that forever too!
Randall: Maybe, since we’d do the song at the end credits, we could meet him! We could go to the premiere!
Kiger: There you go. We have a win/win situation. [They laugh.]
Every Tuesday is “Twilight Tuesday” here at MTV News! Check back here each and every week for the hottest scoop on the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s beloved vampire series, and we’ll still bring you breaking “Twilight” news throughout the rest of the week. And make sure you check out the MTV Movies Blog for our ongoing “Twilight” discussions each and every day.
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