The Hippo


May 29, 2020








Christian Wisecarver

Five favorites

Favorite food: That’s a grandiose question. There’s a lot, but chicken kabob salad with feta, no onions.
Favorite film: Probably The Godfather 2. 
Favorite book: There’s been so many. Maybe Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.
Favorite kind of music: Sixties ska reggae like Toots and the Maytals. 
Favorite thing about New Hampshire: Honestly I think just that there’s so many options within a small area. … You can drive one hour one way and hit the beach and drive another hour and go to mountains.

That’s my 603 jam
Super Secret Project back with local summer anthem


 How did SSP get started?

It started out a while back in college. Billy and I went to Emerson and lived in the same building. We both had an affinity for writing funny songs. I had an audio project due. I wrote this song called “Bruce Willis” about this scorned lover who gets back at his girlfriend by telling her she’s cool but not as cool as Bruce Willis.  … [Later] I was working at a production house in Cambridge that didn’t do a lot of business. … We had all these funny songs, and video equipment, so we said we should start making videos. Our third or fourth one was sort of similar to the Bruce Willis one called “Ode to Zach Braff.” It’s a song about “I’m not gay for Zach Braff, but as it goes on it becomes pretty apparent that I am. Zach Braff thought it was pretty funny and showed it on The Tonight Show. All of a sudden we had a lot of fans and so we said, OK, let’s keep doing this.  
You’ve done three Granite State songs now. You must really love the state. 
We did “Granite State of Mind” in 2010. We were like, yeah this could be kinda funny, and it blew up over the course of five days. We put it out on Wednesday and by Sunday, the Today Show was at my house. … That’s a pretty big step up from doing open mike nights. We did a sequel to “Granite State of Mind” and it  had a lot of cameos in it, like Sarah Silverman, Mike O’Malley and Ken Burns. We thought we sort of exhausted the joke, but people said, “Oh, when are you gonna do another New Hampshire song?”  
When you started making these videos, did you expect them to be so popular?
I thought the first would be, you know,  locally amusing, but there is a lot more pride in the state than I was sort of anticipating. … When we  share stuff on Facebook, I think a lot of times, it’s like, well I’m in this club, look at this club I’m in. A lot of people like being in this “I’m from New Hampshire” club.
What’s your favorite line from the new song?
Actually, my favorite part is when we go to the bridge and recite the chorus to the state song: “old New Hampshire, old New Hampshire grand and great.” It is actually the state song.  … It’s sort of like a rally cry. 
Is it a challenge to come up with lyrics?
I was kind of looking up fun facts about summer in New Hampshire, things I maybe didn’t know about, and as I was Googling, everything that would come back was just my own video. I was like, well that doesn’t help. It was hard a little because you don’t want to repeat yourself or mix the same joke twice. 
What was it like collaborating with Roots of Creation?
It was cool. I’m not much of a musician — my cohort Billy is. For this one, it was a lot of emailing and phone calls back and forth. .... It was pretty neat, we had this demo and the only thing that really stayed the same was the tempo of song. We got a new mp3 from them, and it was like, wow, it sounds so much better than it sounded before. Normally, I’m really sick of what I put out, and this one I’m actually listening in my car, which is kinda weird.
How have locals responded to the video?
It’s been great. I was expecting a little more of the “Let it go, your 15 minutes are over, stop rapping about New Hampshire, dude,” and there hasn’t really been a lot of that. That was kind of refreshing. ... Then a few people were saying, “You’re stealing a Sublime song.” Yeah, but Sublime didn’t write “Summer Time.” That’s a Gershwin song. … But the response has been fairly great. ... It hasn’t been out for a week yet and it’s at about 12,000 views. — Rebecca Fishow 

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