Local Band Wheelie Works To Break World Record... In Underwear (Transcript) | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Transcripts

Local Band Wheelie Works To Break World Record... In Underwear

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:09
Welcome back to "Metro Connection." I'm Rebecca Sheir and this week we're taking a break from our usual thematic approach to the program and bringing you a show we're calling Wild Cards. Earlier in the hour we swung by a few cafeterias to see what local schools are feeding kids who can't afford lunch money. And in just a bit we'll visit an artifact that now lives at one of the Smithsonian Museums, but once lived long and prospered among strange new worlds on national television. But first, let's talk world records, as in the Guinness World Records.

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:41
You may not know it, but the D.C. area shows up in that book an awful lot. The world record for the largest cupcake, for instance -- weighing in at more than 2,500 pounds -- was achieved by our very own Georgetown Cupcake. The record for the largest group to simultaneously make sandwiches was nabbed by The Corporate Executive Board Company of Arlington. Five hundred staffers made 1,000 turkey-and-cheese sandwiches in under five minutes. And the record for the largest game of Red Light/Green Light goes to the city of Manassas, where 775 people once took part in the children's game.

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:01:15
But a local indie-rock band is gearing up to give Washington another honor in Guinness's hallowed halls, the record for the most back-up dancers.

MR. MICHAEL MOON

00:01:25
Five-hundred and forty-seven is what we're trying to beat.

SHEIR

00:01:28
I think that's doable.

MOON

00:01:29
It's very doable. Yeah, we're going to beat it.

SHEIR

00:01:33
Michael Moon is one half of Wheelie, a D.C.-based band that, as Michael puts it, has been helping Washingtonians loosen up and have fun for three years now.

MOON

00:01:42
We're just trying to bring even more fun and bring our message of self acceptance, and that Wheelie loves you, and we want you to love yourself, and loosening the tie, you know, on the collars of all the D.C. folk.

SHEIR

00:01:57
And in this case, loosening the belt on the pants.

MOON

00:02:00
The belt on the pants. Getting rid of the pants all together.

SHEIR

00:02:04
Okay. Just to back up a bit, you know how I said Wheelie is trying to break the record for the most back-up dancers? Well, that wasn't their original plan.

MOON

00:02:13
We were going to originally break the world record for the most people dancing in their tighty-whiteys.

SHEIR

00:02:19
Yes, you heard him right. Dancing in their tighty-whiteys. See, Wheelie's new single is called "The Underwear Song." And as Michael says, it aligns beautifully with Wheelie's message of self-acceptance and having no choice but to love yourself.

MOON

00:02:32
It begins with, we, we're all standing here. We're all standing here in our underwear. Every day we all just stand here. Every day we all have got to look in the mirror.

MOON

00:03:02
And there's a line in there that I really like, that says, we either love ourselves, or we love ourselves. And there is only this.

SHEIR

00:03:18
So, with this initial goal of breaking the world record for the most people dancing in their underwear, Wheelie got a national underwear company to donate boxes and boxes of undershirts and tighty-whiteys.

MOON

00:03:28
But then Guinness got back to us just after we had received that shipment…

SHEIR

00:03:32
And the Guinness people were like, okay, sorry to break it to you guys, but we already a world record for the most people congregating in their underwear.

MOON

00:03:40
It was a few thousand people.

SHEIR

00:03:41
And we just can't categorize specific activities of people congregating in their underwear. That's the only record we'll take.

MOON

00:03:48
So then we changed directions. And we started doing some research, and we found this one with the backing dancers, that was doable, that we felt like we could do it. And then we thought, like, you know, if we're going to do these backing dancers, when will you ever have 550 people…

SHEIR

00:04:05
Or 548, if you want to break the record.

MOON

00:04:08
…dressed in the same costume?

SHEIR

00:04:09
And further, the band thought…

MOON

00:04:11
How cool would that look to shoot a music video of 550 people doing this movement all in the same costume? So we kept the underwear, added the backing dancers, and Guinness was like, you got it.

SHEIR

00:04:25
So, on Saturday, Nov. 16, Wheelie is inviting people to Stroga Ballroom in Adams Morgan to make this dream a reality.

SHEIR

00:04:32
And you're actually expecting like 500-something people?

MOON

00:04:34
Yeah, we're expecting close to 600 people.

SHEIR

00:04:37
And we're talking all kinds people.

MOON

00:04:40
Big people, small people, old people, young people.

SHEIR

00:04:43
Underwear knows no boundaries.

MOON

00:04:44
Underwear knows no boundaries. Exactly.

SHEIR

00:04:47
On hand will be more than three-dozen dance captains, to help participants learn the dance. Wheelie's also putting an instructional video on YouTube. But Michael says the dance itself, is actually pretty easy. Or as he puts it…

MOON

00:04:58
Pedestrian-friendly. So it's designed for a lot of different folks.

SHEIR

00:05:03
So if someone is thinking, I’m not really a dancer. You would still encourage them to come?

MOON

00:05:08
I don't think it's about the dancing. I think it's about the message that potentially we could share with a lot of people, which is about putting yourself out there, and having some fun doing it, and hopefully, you know, breaking a world record and feeling really good about that.

SHEIR

00:05:25
Something else it's about is making other people feel really good. Wheelie has invited the local nonprofit Mary's Center to host a clothing drive the day of the event. The band will also donate a portion of participants' registration fees to Children's National Medical Center.

SHEIR

00:05:40
To learn more about Wheelie's attempt to break the world record for the most backup dancers on Nov. 16, and to see that instructional video teaching you the underwear dance, visit our website, metroconnection.org.
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