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The Hysterics comprises private school boys with an indie-rock beat. The Tampa-based band embodies the soul of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and has been grabbing the open mike to the delight of audiences. With college nearing and their first EP in sight, bassist Mike Merritt gave tb-two* some insight to the band.

How did the band get started?

I found out Drew played guitar one day at school and asked if he wanted to jam. His brother played drums, and I knew Michael Valdez from middle school.

How would you describe the music you make?

Catchy indie rock with classic rock influences.

Do your parents support you guys?

Oh absolutely, we could not ask for better parents in that regard.

Do you see a future for your band?

Well we are all going off to college relatively soon. If we pick up steam before then, you never know.

What bands have been an inspiration for you?

Without a question, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Some other bands include Wolfmother, the Killers, U2 and Counting Crows.

Is there a favorite song you have made?

Yeah, Tell Me, our first song that we wrote. That song sounds better every time we play it, and we are all very proud of it.

What song do you want to cover?

Personally, I would love to cover Dashboard by Modest Mouse, but I don't think that is going to happen anytime soon.

How do you guys get gigs?

Drew and Patrick's parents usually tend to initiate our gigs. Our schools offer shows for musicians as well, and we also do things like local open nights.

Anything big in the works for your band?

Yes, we are currently finishing songs for our first EP, which should be out a couple months from now. We are very happy with the songs we have written, and hopefully others will be, too.