The American Professionals | Paging Mr. Lindo

gypsy TAP“I like whichever one I’m doing at the time, but almost to the point of being delusional.”




Who Are The American Professionals? The trio is composed of Cheryl Hendrickson (bass; lead and backing vocals), Adam White (drums), and Chuck Lindo (guitar; lead and backing vocals). If at least one of those names sounds familiar, you might remember St. Louis band The Nukes from many years ago, a high-energy punk band and the scourge of nightclub janitors everywhere. Former St. Louisans Lindo and Hendrickson are bringing their now San Francisco–based band to STL for a special show at the Heavy Anchor in October.

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How long have you folks been playing together as a band?

CH: Off and on since 2004.

CL: I’ve had a rotating crew of guys since around 1998, but Cheryl’s been on bass since 2004. Adam joined in 2013.

Who are your biggest influences as a band? As individual musicians?

CH: Well, that’s quite a list: Jack White, Foo Fighters, Jay Farrar, Queens of the Stone Age, Elton John, Pete Yorn, The Pretenders, Sarah McLachlan, the Monkees, show tunes, and big band music. Then I try to mash them all together as a song.

CL: I liked the Monkees until my brother told me I needed to grow up and like the Beatles instead. I was like three, so he was probably right. With The American Professionals, I started out wanting sound like The Descendents playing Cole Porter songs, but that’s not what came out. We’re powerful pop. I love lots of backing vocals, crunchy guitars, and tight song structures. Kind of like Queen and Van Halen or The Ramones playing Squeeze songs a little too fast, I guess. I also have a big soft spot for ’70s singer/songwriter Laurel Canyon/Troubadour stuff. I used to drive home up I-70 after Nukes’ shows singing along to “Sweet Baby James.”

What do you like about playing live? What do you like about recording?

CH: Playing live, I like the feeling of connecting with people and the challenge of sounding good but being entertaining. I enjoy trying to make people laugh and move their asses a bit, as well. Recording? Let’s just say that I enjoy having the final product.

CL: I like whichever one I’m doing at the time, but almost to the point of being delusional: “This is great! I love making records! Who needs to play live anyway!” right around to, “This is great! Let’s just play shows and meet people and travel and sleep in our car and eat at Denny’s at 4 a.m.”!

What is your favorite song of yours?

CH: “Yet One More” and “ID.” Probably something as yet to be written

CL: I like playing “Faking It,” but nobody else seems to share that feeling. I’ll just fucking play it when I’m alone. Fine! Whatever.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you while playing live? (Have fun with this.)

CH: Saying something stupid, like when I’m wearing a shirt with sequins on my chest on Fourth of July and asking, “So you like my fireworks?” as I point to my chest like a model from The Price Is Right. Mentioning to a woman fanning herself in the audience that it was hot, and she came back with, “No, just a hot flash.” I can be a bit klutzy, so there’s been moments of stepping on my own cord and pulling it out of the amp or ramming up against the wall that I seem to have forgotten was there.

CL: I don’t know if it was all that funny to me at the time, but in retrospect, doing a Bruce Foxton jump off the drum riser at “The Coconut Teazer” on Sunset Blvd. with The Nukes and hitting an I-beam with my noggin sticks with me. It looked great, and then, BONK! Not so much with the “great,” but the blood streaming down my face was pretty fuckin’ punk rock. I made it through the show.

Have you ever heard a song that made you cry? If so, which one?

CH: “Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)” by Elton John; Sarah McLachlan “Hold On”; and “Change” by Fishbone. Depending on what’s going on in my life, certain lyrics will touch me and bring on the waterworks.

CL: There are a few Randy Newman songs that just kill me no matter what mood I’m in, like “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” and a more recent one from Harps and Angels called “Losing You.” Devastating stuff. I have to cut out some time to listen to Blood on the Tracks, too. It cannot be entered into lightly.

If there was a movie about your life, who would play you and why?

CH: That would be one boring-ass film, but I’d have Jennifer Lawrence play me. She speaks her mind and doesn’t always appear to care what people think. She’d look good as a curly-haired redhead.

CL: I’d do like Pee Wee Herman and have James Brolin (maybe Josh at this point) play me. I’d be the front desk guy: “Paging Mr. Lindo, Mr. Chuck Lindo.”

Are you excited about playing again in your hometown?

CH: You betcha! We’re playing October 11 at The Heavy Anchor with Soma Jets and 18 Stories. I always love to come back and play in St. Louis, where I made some incredible friends and met Chuck, my future old man and songwriting partner. St. Louis gave me the courage and inspiration to start pursuing more creative interests, like photography and writing. It’s a very nurturing, supportive city for the arts.

CL: How do they say it out here in California? Stoked! I’m totally, hella stoked! And I am; I love St. Louis. I still get excited by the terrain, the people, the architecture; I get so brick-starved out here.

All the great memories, the 3 a.m. bar licenses… For the record, I met Cheryl when she was running the door at Kennedy’s and had been taking all those amazing photos of all the bands at the time. We’re probably going to pop in to the sushi place that’s there now. Maybe somebody will wad up an RFT and throw it at me. [The Nukes were notorious for having things thrown at them.]

I remember an interview I did with The Nukes I did many years ago, in which Lando said, “All the janitors in all the clubs hate us.” I guarantee you won’t hate The American Professionals. They put the fun into high-energy pop. | DL Hegel

You can grab music from The American Professionals on iTunes, visit the band on Bandcamp, or view the “Other People” video.

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