If you don’t have plans for Valentine’s Day, you should consider spending it with Boyband. This laugh out loud web series premieres its second season on Feb. 14, continuing its sensitive skewering of the boy band phenomenon. Matthew Chappelle stars as Preston Sterling, the adorable bassist of the band, and he sat down with LA Fan Cultures Examiner on Monday to give us some insight into the show.
As much as people make fun of boy bands, it didn’t take Matthew much convincing to be part of a fake one. “My mom [producer and director Colleen Griffen] came up with the idea and she asked if I would do it, and I would be working with all my friends for the summer so I thought why not? It sounds like a fun time,” he said. “The script was really funny. I helped write season one; I didn’t have a hand in season two, but they’re great to flex the creative muscles.”
Boyband focuses on Lance (Jacob Bond), Preston, Chad (David Colton), Yancy (Noah Eisfelder) and Shaun (Peter Semla) as they manuever the rises and pitfalls of attempted fame, from overzealous fans to music industry madness. It’s all held together by mockumentary interviews in the style of The Office. If The Office had a baby with one of the good episodes of Pop-Up Video, you’d have Boyband.
Part of what makes the show work so well is that all five of the members are played by actors who are also up and coming, so that gives the show a certain genuine quality. You know that they’re having fun and just trying to do the best thing possible, which is exactly the same predicament the boy band is in. So how similar are the characters to the actors?
“Preston and I are actually pretty different in that I don’t make as much food as he does,” Matthew commented, “but I think we’re pretty much the same in that we always wanting the best for the group. We’re working for the betterment of the community, of the whole. Beyond just being the same age and at the same starting point, I’d say that’s what I have in common with Preston.”
One of the perks for him was getting to work alongside four of his friends and with several family members on the production of the series. “It’s really nice to know the other person. You’re not getting to know somebody as the process goes along,” he said. “A ton of my family are involved in it, like my brother worked on the crew. My sister did most of the music for the show. It’s a whole family affair.”
As for his fellow faux bandmates, “We had to rely on each other through the whole process it brought us all closer together, I think. We were definitely a tag team, you could say.”
“I think on every production the crew does not get enough love, no matter how well recognized they are,” he added. “So I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the crew that worked on anything involved in Boyband. You guys are the best. I love you.”
All of those folks put the actors through some crazy hilarious paces, including the manufacturing of several hilarious music videos and video spots (just check out the Valentine’s Day one), and several cast members from NBC’s Chicago Fire turning up this season in places that you would never expect them to be. Season two is this big, bubbly and really hilarious adventure, so there are plenty of moments that Matthew loved being a part of.
“All of the music videos were so much fun to make, and you can totally tell,” he enthused. “I think we already released one GIF of me holding a puppy; that day was pretty special.”
But that doesn’t mean he’s going to quit his day job and join an actual boy band. “I really like music, I listen to it all the time and I sing it,” he laughed, “but I sing it poorly. I’m not a musician!”
Still, there’s one part of Preston’s life that Matthew wouldn’t mind experiencing. “All the characters that put us through the paces are my favorites. Like Rick Racketface and those guys,” he said, referring to the industry types fans will meet in episode three. “As much as it sucks to have happen in real life, I’d can’t help but want that experience. So hopefully some of that stuff actually does happen if we get famous with Boyband.”
One can only hope. For more on Boyband, visit the series’ official Tumblr page and YouTube channel.