Tim Kasper, the Florida member of Minnesota’s Blenders, plans to get back into the local mix again by buying another place here.
“I haven’t had a place up there since 2005. I’ll be coming up for the tour,” he said. That tour is the “2017 Holiday Soul Tour,” Dec. 8-10 at the Pantages Theatre, and will include his vocal band mates Ryan Lance, Darren Rust and Allan Rust. They’ll sing songs from “our fifth Christmas album, ‘Holy Night,’ ” Kasper said. “We’ve been touring since 1990, but we’ve been touring with the Christmas music since 2002. It’s been 20 years since ‘Nog’ [the first Christmas album]. ‘Nog’ was definitely a playful title. This year’s title is much less casual.
“What happened when we wanted to record ‘O, Holy Night,’ the most reverential song — you really have to do a great job if you’re goin’ to do it. We’ve been holding off and finally we thought, it’s time to tackle that one. That’s the showpiece.”
Among the 10 tracks are: “Mary’s Boy Child,” “Light of the World,” “Shake Up Christmas” and “a really cool version of ‘Do You Hear What I Hear,’ which is a mashup of The Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley.’ The first time we did that live a few years ago that got a great response,” said Kasper.
He notes, “I always say we’re not a boy band; we’re a man band.”
Q: What song is not on the album that would be if you had complete creative control?
A: Oh my. After five Christmas albums, I think we’ve recorded all of the Christmas songs I really wanted to record. Maybe … there was a song by Christina Perri that’s more of a contemporary Christmas song that I know I could have sung that I might have wanted to do.
Q: From whom would you rather hear that your voice is a little pitchy: your wife or a fellow Blender?
A: I think one of the guys. The biggest challenge with staying together as long as we have is being great friends. We’ve only had one member change ever, and he’s still a great friend of ours. In 28 years, we’ve gone through one member change. My wife — in fact, I just asked her something about the show — is very honest with me. She comes from a performing family background; from the guys it’s more professional, but from her it might sting a little bit more.
Q: Could the Blenders keep a docuseries interesting?
A: Yeah. In fact, it’s interesting you would say that. Back in the ’90s, when we were going to be the next big thing, we met with Fox, HBO and some other people about having our own television show. That was before reality TV. So what I always tell people is if reality TV had existed, I think we would’ve had a show for sure. We were kind of thinking of a new “Monkees,” although we’re a real group. Yes, I think we could have back then, for sure. Now we’re a little more boring.
Q: Who’s the practical joker?
A: I would say all of us. We never stop messing around, even over texts.
Q: What’s the weirdest place you’ve been recognized outside a men’s room?
A: I was recognized in a locker room at Life Time Fitness, where a guy just pointed at me: Hey, it’s you. I understand he probably didn’t know me by name, just that guy from the Blenders. But I was also recognized in Saratoga one time, which impressed my friends. We were having dinner outside and a couple walked by and the woman said: Is it really you!? [Laughter.] So I stood up and said, “I think so, who do you think I am?” We have a neat level of notoriety in that we have awesome fans and support, and I would never want to disrespect anyone who is such a big fan. But on the other hand, most people don’t know who we are. It’s not like we can’t walk down the street.
Q: Did you play any instruments as a kid?
A: I played trombone, I played piano; that was my main instrument. In fact, Ryan Lance of the Blenders; we took piano when we were 5 or 7, I think we were 5.
Q: Did anybody tell you that playing the trombone would make your lips bigger?
A: Ooh. No one told me that. But it made me a great kisser.
C.J. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on FOX 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count.