Sherman Ave Homecoming Court Interviews: Brad McCandless
In the past two weeks Sherman Ave has interviewed the 12 members of Northwestern’s 2015 Homecoming Court to have them reflect on their Northwestern experience, the cryptic message written in sheep's blood on our outhouse wall, and Cannonball Adderley.
In this installment, we talk with Brad McCandless about SpongeBob impressions, fighting Kenny Mok, and the TV show River Monsters.
Scurvy Jacobson: Starting off pretty simple, what did you do this summer?
Brad: This summer, I started working for an environmental campaign, but I quit, because I didn’t like the culture of the workplace.
SJ: Were they pro-oil?
Brad: No, not quite. They separated the cause of the campaign from explicitly fundraising and I wasn’t so into that, so I quit and then I started writing for a financial regulation not-for-profit, doing analysis and helping write public letters for the Supreme Court.
Reverend Doctor Dee Dee Turlington, Esquire, Attorney at Law: Two non-profits? You’re such a good person.
Brad: I’m the best person on Earth. Then, I started a foreign policy publication with a friend of mine. It’s made up of college students around the country, mostly Northwestern.
SJ: That popped up, I saw that a few times. It’s called “Millennials Diplomacy,” right? What’s that about?
Brad: Our focus is to integrate the millennials generation into the realm of foreign policy. You know, you see New York Times or Washington Post articles pop up on your Newsfeed all the time, but it’s always kind of the same thing, updating you on the news of what’s going on. It’s way more impactful and real if you get people our age talking about bigger issues that you don’t necessarily see or that’re more in-depth beyond the headline of a news article. You have people writing on U.S. politics, Middle Eastern politics, European politics, Southeast Asian politics, African politics. It’s pretty cool. It’s a good gig, it’s been in a lull in recent weeks, just because a lot of go to Northwestern, and move-in and whatnot takes up a lot of time.
Pip Sleazy: Are older people allowed to write for the site?
Brad: Yea! As college students, that’s most of our network.
SJ: You could dip into the retired community for writers.
Brad: Yea, we could totally get like a 75 year-old. Unfortunately we haven’t had many retired people reach out to us.
PS: “I’m looking for something to do on my last 10 years on this earth, and I have outdated opinions that I’m sure you could use.”
SJ: “I’m old but I feel like a Millennial.” Moving forward, how do you define a Millennial?
Brad: It’s odd, it’s a very broad definition. It’s defined as anyone born between 1982 and 1999. It’s a really strange definition, someone probably said “alright, this is going to be a Millennial.”
Brad: It was a raffle sort of thing.
DD: Do you think it’s more of a lifestyle or mindset, as opposed to a birthdate? Do you think you can have a 50 year-old Millennial?
PS: My grandpa wears skinny jeans and plays the bass.
SJ: Yea, he tweets a lot, too.
Brad: My Dad updates his cover photo every three weeks, so I mean he could be Millennial.
DD: My Mom eats a lot of quinoa.
Brad: Oh, she is right there. Does she go to Soul Cycle?
DD: I think she may have been to a Bar Method once.
SJ: What’s a Bar Method?
DD: It’s like cycling but with a bar. Without the cycling part.
Brad: It’s just a bar there and doing different stretches.
PS: It’s like jazz but all the jazz players are on unicycles.
SJ: Jazz without the instruments.
Brad: The jazz is on mute...
DD: And also it sucks.
Brad: So that’s it.
PS: So what are you involved in on campus?
Brad: I have been involved in the Intra-Fraternity Exec Board for the past two years, serving as both VP for Risk Management and now VP for Standards. For two years I was on Greek Build, which is like a service and philanthropy-focused organization for students involved in Greek organizations. For two years as VP as administration, which does like secretarial and treasury roles. And I volunteer for Northwestern to Benefit Special Olympics, been doing that for a long time. It’s an awesome organization. I definitely think more people could be involved in that.
SJ: That’s probably the most admirable set of extra-curriculars of anyone we’ve interviewed so far.
Brad: That’s definitely not the winner, because you’ve also interviewed Kenny.
SJ: Oh, yea we did interview Kenny.
PS: Oh, slight to Kenny! Is Kenny your least favorite person on the Homecoming Court?
PS: He’s ours.
Brad: Off the record? Yes.
PS: What was that part before you said ‘yes’?
Brad: On the record? Yes.
SJ: If you and Kenny had a dance-off, who would win?
Brad: It depends on what kind of music it is. We’ve been to concerts together, but it’s only been Electronic concerts. If it were like a Reggae concert, I’m pretty sure Kenny would stand confused, off to the side.
SJ: And you’d be in your element.
Brad: I’d also be confused off to the side. But I’d look like I know what’s going on.
PS: I’m going to name a series of competitions and you say whether you or Kenny would win.
Brad: All right.
PS: Arm Wrestling.
PS: Salsa dancing.
Brad: Trapeze? Definitely Kenny.
PS: Not sucking.
SJ: Winning Homecoming Court.
DD, PS and SJ: Woah!
PS: In opposite world?
Brad: Still Kenny. He’d find a way.
DD: You’re into electronic music. What’s your favorite electronic song?
Brad: Electronic music song? Um, oh wow, I don’t know. Just first one that pops off the top of my head is “Colors,” by Tritonal.
SJ: How does that one go?
DD: Yea, I’m not familiar.
Brad: Ha! The instrumental part?
(Brad sings twenty seconds of a heart-felt, off-key rendition of “Colors.”)
Brad: Do you want me to go for the next five and a half minutes of the song?
DD: That was perfect.
(Brad points to SJ’s arm.)
Brad: Scurvy, where’s that tattoo from?
SJ: From Argentina.
Brad: You got that this summer?
SJ: Yea. I’m going to seem so cool in this transcript.
Brad: What was the motivation? This is your interview now.
SJ: The tables have been turned! It’s a line from a poem from the 19th century.
Brad: Interesting. What’s the poem about?
SJ: It’s about Homecoming Court. Spotlight back on you mister! Do you have any secret talents?
Brad: I mean, I don’t really know what’s secret and what’s not. Because if it’s published, it’s not really secret anymore. I’m randomly good at cartoon impersonations.
PS: Can you do Archer?
Brad: No, I can’t do Archer.
DD: Aw, that would have been great.
Brad: I can do most characters on Spongebob.
PS: What about Pearl?
Brad: That’s just a female voice. That’s the worst one to do.
DD: Can you do Spongebob?
Brad: I can do Spongebob.
SJ: Please do Spongebob ordering a double cheeseburger with lettuce and mayonnaise.
Brad: Isn’t he usually making the cheeseburger?
SJ: It’s an alternate universe. He doesn’t exist, so anything goes.
Brad, in an absolutely fire impression of Spongebob: I’ll have one double cheeseburger--
PS: Oh my God.
Brad: --with mayo and lettuce.
Brad Squarepants: ‘Do you want tomatoes with that, Spongebob?’ ‘No, just the double cheeseburger with lettuce and mayo.
DD: Can you do the laugh?
SJ: I was not expecting that to be nearly that good.
DD: That was really good.
Brad: Thank you. I’m good at something.
SJ: How about flaws? Do you have any secret flaws?
Brad: Yeah, I have a lot of flaws. I have a very shaky reading voice when I’m called on in public.
SJ: Me too, I hate that.
Brad: Yeah, it’s the worst. Seventh grade, English class, reading Catcher in the Rye out loud to everyone else…
DD: I mean, that book is just not good…
SJ: I really hate it at the beginning of the class when they make you introduce yourself and you have to say like 3 things about yourself.
Brad: And it’s, like, January and everyone in the class already knows you but it’s a substitute teacher and you just have to say, “Yeah, I’m Brad, I live across the street from the school.” I’m also not good at long-distance running.
SJ: I saw that you came in sixth in 2010 in the 55-meter.
Brad: I’m glad that you did your research on this interview.
PS: What’s your grossest moment at Northwestern?
Brad: My grossest moment?
PS: Or most embarrassing.
Brad: Those are two different questions.
PS: Then go with the latter.
Brad: Most embarrassing...being on this court with both Diego and Kenny. I mean, either one of them is going to win.
PS: You think they’re going to clobber you in the election?
Brad: Eh, I can think of something better than that, that was just the first thing that came to mind. Most embarrassing moment...probably claiming that Sargent is a good residence hall freshman year.
PS: Oh yeah, that’s a good one. Just being proud of it?
Brad: I was like, “Yeah, I’m from Sargent. It’s dope, right up there with Elder.”
SJ: Speaking of hometowns, you’re from Eastchester, New York?
Brad: Yes, which is in Westchester County. Very big naming faux pas. Westchester county is a place in southern New York that people can identify. A lot of people from Westchester go here, and most of them just say they’re from Westchester county for simplicity’s sake. Eastchester is a town within Westchester county that’s actually in the southern part of Westchester.
SJ: Is there a Westchester town?
Brad: In Pennsylvania, yes.
DD: What do you think about them? You don’t like them, do you?
Brad: Westchester, Pennsylvania? Not a huge fan. When I say that I’m from Westchester, people ask me if I mean Westchester, Pennsylvania. And I’m like, “no.” They always sound like they have some negative connotation associated with the place. I’ve actually heard that Westchester, Pennsylvania doesn’t have any soft serve ice cream, which I think is messed up.
SJ: Are you a chocolate soft serve guy or vanilla?
DD: That’s pretty funky.
PS: They also just closed four hospitals.
SJ: They’re struggling a little bit.
DD: Why did they have four hospitals in Westchester, Pennsylvania?
Brad: I think that’s pretty telling of the area.
SJ [to PS]: What’s your hometown, again?
PS: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
DD: That’s where Jesus was born, right? Bethlehem?
SJ: Speaking of the Middle East, you like the TV show River Monsters on Facebook.
Brad: Such a sick show.
SJ: Do you identify more with the host Jeremy Wade or the beasts he captures?
Brad: That’s a really tough question. On the one hand, Jeremy is a master of the trade of freshwater fishing, but the beasts he captures are majestic, yet savage in the wild. Untameable and one of a kind.
SJ: Does he eat them?
Brad: No, no. He catches them for the viewer to enjoy and then releases them.
DD: What a good guy.
Brad: It’s pretty cool.
SJ: They can get big.
Brad: If he, say, catches a bull shark in South Africa…
SJ: He’s caught bull sharks before?
DD: But bull sharks are small, aren’t they?
SJ: No, no, they’re big.
Brad: Have you ever seen that video online of the honey badger?
DD: Yeah, of course. Everyone’s seen that.
Brad: Yeah, bull sharks are ten times as much “I don’t give a fuck.”
DD: That’s a big statement right there.
Brad: A lot of sharks have a restricted habitat and don’t go above a certain latitude because the water’s so cold, but the bull shark literally has no restrictions.
PS: I was actually on a plane once and I saw one. I think it was trying to get a seagull or something.
Brad: Was it in the air or sitting next to you?
PS: That one was in the air, but there was a Mako on the plane. He took the aisle seat from me.
Brad: I hope he had a seat with extra legroom, because Mako sharks can grow up to, like, 20 feet long.
SJ: Bull sharks can swim in fresh water, right? What would you do as homecoming king if there were a bull shark terrorizing the community from Lake Michigan?
DD: In Fake Michigan. In the Lakefill.
Brad: People don’t often go swimming inside of the lakefill…
SJ: But they’re versatile creatures. What if they came onto land?
Brad: That wouldn’t surprise me. I’d probably put pesticides on the grasses around it and I’d just prevent it from crawling up on land.
SJ: We already do that!
PS: Do you have any fashion tips for my dad?
Brad: Don’t tuck your shirt in if you’re also wearing mid-calves.
SJ: Are you looking forward to the quarter?
Brad: Yeah--wait is halftime over? Because that determines half of my answer.
PS: Last question. Why should a student vote for you?
SJ: If you throw in some profanity we’ll get more publicity.
Brad: I like to think that I represent the best and worst of Northwestern at the same time. I don’t know where I’m going with this.
PS: That works. Do you have any advice for freshmen?
Brad: Don’t take classes you think you have to. I did the best in classes I was sincerely interested in. No offense to that guy on your hall, but you don’t need him. He thinks his World War Two Champs tanks are dope, but they’re not.
PS: Any parting words?
Brad: Vote for Kenny Mok!
PS: That is, by far, the worst end to an interview we’ve had in our three years of conducting these.
SJ: Go ‘Cats!