The clever lyrics “my girlfriend’s dead” lit up the crowd of sweaty college students decorated in an array of costumes to celebrate Halloweekend with My Wife’s Boyfriend(s), a new band bringing a pop-punk vibe to the San Luis Obispo music scene.
The band is composed of mechanical engineering senior and singer Elle Nilson, general engineering senior and bassist Yale Yun, alumni and guitarist Ben Grossman-Thompson and drummer Luke Senecal. Not only have these members created a unique name, but they have also created a refreshing new sound.
“We all like different stuff but when we play together [it] more or less sounds like pop-punk, rock and punk,” Yun said.
The name “My Wife’s Boyfriend(s)” contributes uniquely to their performances. The members described themselves as said “Boyfriend(s)” of the audience members’ wives. In other words, the audience is watching their wives’ boyfriends perform, leaving whoever the “wife” is up to the audience’s imagination.
The band originally formed in the Music Production Union (MPU) and Cal Poly’s jazz programs.
“We all knew each other in a lot of different ways,” Yun said.
Before My Wife’s Boyfriend(s) came to be, Senecal was a part of another band called Soft Cider, which produced an album called “Lou.” Yun began playing bass with Soft Cider after becoming neighbors with Senecal. Soon after, Thompson and Nilson joined the group, which led these four members to take on the local music scene with a new collective band.
The members credit their bassist for bringing them together and for his contributions to the San Luis Obispo music community on a larger scale, as a performer for several different bands.
My Wife’s Boyfriend(s) kicked off their performances with the local house concert scene, performing a variety of covers with an original twist.
Their setlists consist of songs such as “Molly Sells Molly By The Seashore” by Sorry Mom, “My Girlfriend’s Dead” By The Vandals and “Saint Joe On The School Bus” by Marcy Playground. Senecal added, “Covers have come real easy because we can just play.”
“House shows sort of bridge the gap because in this town there isn’t really much to do if you’re under 21,” Thompson said. The band acknowledged the music community for its constant support and encouragement.
The group has a running list of different instrumentals, riffs and lyrics that they’re working on to produce original songs. It comes down to “combining them all together.”
The individual members have different ways of coming up with lyrics and instrumentals.
“We even had some moments where there are songs that we chose that I actually have some deep emotional connections to,” Nilson said. “It does add to it when you enjoy the music and [are] playing something you can connect to.”
The band shared how they value being able to get together and create music.
“We are so all over the place,” Thompson said. He went on to share how being in the band exposes him to music he wouldn’t normally listen to. During jam sessions, Senecal also said he has been able to experiment and build off of the other members’ diverse and unique tastes.
Each member has a different perspective on what drives them to perform. For Senecal, it’s “a feeling I’m constantly chasing,” he said.
For Nilson, being the lead vocalist in a band is a dream come true.
“I was a theater kid growing up so you can understand that I’m sort of built for it,” Nilson said.
Those interested can follow My Wife’s Boyfriend(s) on Instagram for updates on their upcoming shows, as well as sneak peeks into their journey of creating music and delivering their unique sound to San Luis Obispo.