Whether they’re playing at an Atlantic City casino, a Jersey Shore nightclub, the floor of the New York Stock Exchange or a private party, Daddy Pop brings a contagious energy to the stage. Named for an obscure Prince song, the band’s repertoire covers most musical genres, from Lady Gaga to Etta James, from Usher to Metallica. Raised in a musical family, Liz Schuber has been singing for as long as she can remember. As a young bartender, after being “caught” singing while cleaning up after closing, Liz was asked to audition with a start-up wedding band. She got the job and has been in bands ever since. Liz loves any song that makes people dance, but her heart belongs to soul music, from early influences like Aretha Franklin and Etta James to modern artists like Adele and Amy Winehouse.
Interview With Liz Schuber
Question: How did Daddy Pop get together?
Gene Potts, our male lead singer, was in a band called Saturday Night Fever for years. This was back when disco was really big and thousands of people would show up at the Tradewinds to see them perform. They were huge. He got married, had a child and realized the hours were killing him, so he decided to get a day job and work with a wedding band on the weekends. That’s how we found each other and he joined my wedding band.
We worked together for two years, became really good friends, and kept saying that we should really start our own band. The idea was to get cream-of-the-crop players. We really researched who was the best of the best because we wanted it to be a powerhouse band.
We found just incredible players who were dedicated enough to do the rehearsing and get to know each other personally and musically. You have to get along in this kind of situation or you’re doomed because you w
ork so closely together. That was 11 years ago, so it’s been a good long run and we’re still moving forward.
Question: Daddy Pop performs for very different audiences in very different venues on a weekly or even nightly basis. How is your preparation different for, let’s say, a formal wedding vs. a nightclub show?
At nightclubs, aside from promoting the show beforehand and maybe learning some new songs, which we add on a regular basis, there’s really no prep work. We’ve been doing it for so long that it’s like a well-oiled machine. We just close our eyes and have a blast with the crowd.
That’s why we get a lot of wedding work from the clubs. They don’t want your average wedding band. They want to bring the nightclub feeling to the wedding. We can do songs for parents and grandparents, but then as the night rolls on and people really want to party, it turns into the Downtown in Red Bank. It goes from a wedding to a nightclub party.
There’s a lot of homework for weddings, dealing with the bride and groom regarding every detail. That takes a lot of time – going over special songs, the order of events, their musical preferences – we have to guide them through a lot of things. We do this all the time, but they only do it once – hopefully.
Question: Social media is becoming much more visual, which seems like a good fit for a band or any performer. How is Daddy Pop using photos, videos and social media in general?
We have photographers come out on a regular basis to take professional pictures and we’ll continue to do that. With Instagram, I can take a picture of the crowd and actually tweet it immediately from my phone on stage. If I’m not singing a song, I’ll take a picture, tweet where we are and show how much fun people are having, which is really cool.
Facebook is huge for us. Facebook is linked to Twitter so every Facebook post on the band page automatically tweets. Plus, everyone in the band posts individually on a regular basis, but we try to use Facebook and Twitter to direct traffic to our website, which we just redesigned. That’s the goal as often as possible.
We’re in the process of finishing up some video so we can create a YouTube channel, and we’ll use it on Facebook, Twitter and our website to promote our shows. I’m very particular about the video. I want people to see the crowd and feel the energy. Sometimes wedding videos can seem stiff and we’re definitely not stiff.
Question: Aside from lead vocals, you also run the show behind the scenes for Daddy Pop. Tell us about the business side of being in a band.
I took over managing the band just a year and a half ago. All these years, I was just a singer, so learning the business end of it was a completely new thing for me. It’s even more involved and time consuming than I thought it would be, but it’s very interesting and I like it. The only thing I’m not responsible for is actually booking the gigs. Our agent does that, but I deal with them as far as pricing.
I do all the accounting, contracts, payroll, scheduling, website maintenance, promotions, and of course, working with future clients regarding our events. Coordinating with sound, rehearsals, promotional shots and things like that is a process. There are eight of us, or 11 of us depending on the event. With some people working full time jobs and having families with little kids, schedules are pretty hectic. It’s a lot of work, but I’m very lucky that I do get to do the fun stuff.
Taking over the business end gave me a lot more respect for what we do. I take it a little more seriously – I always took it seriously – but it was easy for me before just to show up and sing. Now it’s a full-fledged business, not just a weekend warrior kind of thing.
The amount of money going back and forth between eight to 11 band members, sound, the agent, the developer to revamp the website – it’s a big deal, and we have a lot of people relying on us to make sure everything goes well. And I love the band. The guys are my family so I’ll do anything I can so we can keep playing together.
Question: What was your most memorable moment on stage?
About 10 years ago, we were working a gig at Joe Pop’s on Long Beach Island. It was a quiet beginning to a Sunday night – things are usually quiet at first on Sundays. All of the sudden, Jon Bon Jovi comes in with his wife and a couple friends who were on vacation. He was just really cool, and he got up and sang with us. I sang backup on Wanted Dead Or Alive with him and at that point, it was the most awesome thing that ever happened.
But that wasn’t the most memorable moment.
Two weeks later, we were working 50 miles north at Windansea in the Highlands. When I arrived, the owner grabbed me by the arm, pulled me into the back room and said, “You will not believe this. I just want to say thank you.”
I said, “What are you talking about?”
He said he got a call from Jon Bon Jovi. He was going to come in and have dinner, and asked for extra security because he wanted to see the band. He wanted to hire us.
The place was packed. Jon got on stage with us again and sang in front of this crazy crowd. There are pictures of people on each other’s shoulders, they had to shut the doors down – it was a mad scene. Amazing. He hired us for his wife’s 40th birthday party. Then we did his brother’s wedding. Then we did his lawyer’s wedding. And we were featured in Rolling Stone.
It was just so neat to have several moments, but especially that one night at Windansea. I’ll never forget it. It was like magic, so much fun.
To find out how you can book Daddy Pop for your private event, or to see where the band is playing next, visit DaddyPop.com.