Suddenly, they're a friendly neighborhood Spider bandHere's the pitch: Spider-Man in high school. Sounds like a winner, right? Sure enough, the CW just premiered "The Spectacular Spider-Man," an animated show from supervising producers Greg Weisman and Victor Cook, as part of its Kids' WB! Saturday morning programming block.
So where do you find a theme song with a too-cool-for-school vibe for Peter Parker's tenure at Midtown Manhattan Magnet High School?
Appropriately enough, MySpace.
The Tender Box got the gig. Its members have been friends since high school, when the quartet was inspired by such Manchester bands as the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays. ("I looked like [The Cure's] Robert Smith at the age of 13," guitarist Ric Moon says.) They would head out to underground warehouse parties all over Los Angeles to revel in the popular Brit synth-pop sound and then incorporate it into their own recordings.
Their catchy, clever update of the original Spider-Man theme song shows these influences; it sounds like it has undergone a superhero remix by the Pixies.
"We were told we had a week and a half to write it and record it in the studio," Moon says. "So, in typical Tender Box fashion, the night before we were in the studio we wrote it. We had a trailer that was just a mockup, so we had that visual to play to."
It's the latest success for a band on the brink of breaking — no record deal yet, but in this day and age, a deal isn't necessary to get your music heard. In 2006, Kobalt Music Publishing America signed the band after hearing it online. Besides the "Spider-Man" track, Kobalt's film and TV department has pushed the Tender Box's music into the entertainment world, landing placements on the CW's "Girlfriends" and in an advertisement for Chevrolet.
In addition, the band's first single, "Mister Sister," was featured as the Single of the Week free download on iTunes.
Up next for the Tender Box is a new EP, followed by tours of the U.S. and the U.K. (The band just got off the road after opening for Goo Goo Dolls on their U.K. tour.)
And how did the Tender Box lads celebrate their song debuting on the CW the morning of March 8? Fittingly enough for the childhood friends now in adulthood, they had a mimosa party while watching cartoons.
"We grew up with Spider-Man, and when we heard about the show, we immediately starting humming (the original theme)," Moon says. "We were honored to be approached because to this day people remember that theme song."