Homegrown Music Concerts



A virtuosic instrumental band that has reached the top ranks on the jam-band circuit

AIRED: May 26, 2016 | 0:55:30

>> This time on the

"Homegrown Music Concerts," it's

a virtuosic instrumental band

that has reached the top ranks

on the jam-band circuit, TAUK.

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[ Cheers and applause ]

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>> Thanks very much.

A.C. and I and Charlie, the bass

player -- we grew up together.

We met sometime in middle

school, I think, and we went to

a smaller school, so it was easy

that we found each other and

found that we had a similar

interest in music.

And we all played instruments,

so at a young age, we just

started hanging out and going to

each other's houses and just

messin' around, playing songs.

Probably started out as cover


I couldn't tell you the first

ones we did, but definitely some

classic rock in there.

>> Some Who.

>> Some Who, maybe some Hendrix,

and then that kind of turned

into -- We just kept doing it

'cause it was fun.

So, eventually, we started

writing our own stuff, and it

just kept turning into something

new and something new and it

just kept moving, and we just

kept finding new ways to keep it


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[ Guitar solo ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

I'm always looking for new music

to listen to.

I like to listen to a lot of

different stuff.

So, it started out -- It

definitely started out with

classic rock.

That was the first thing that

got me into -- I don't know --

wanting to play in a band and

pick up a guitar.

And it was definitely, like,

Hendrix, you know,

"Are You Experienced."

I remember listening to that

album for the first time.

But my dad listens to a lot of

different music, so he's turned

me on to different stuff --

anything from, like,

Elvis Costello to Bob Marley.

And then, growing up, I just

found different stuff.

I really -- I like Radiohead,

electronic stuff, like

Aphex Twin, or jazz, like

John Coltrane and more modern


You know, I've been listening to

this band Snarky Puppy now,

who's another instrumental band,

who's, you know, doing some

really cool stuff.

So, I'm constantly on the

lookout for something that

catches my ear and something

that's doing its own thing and

is going its own direction.

>> Yeah.

>> Yeah, for me, classic rock

definitely wasn't something that

I grew up listening to.

I grew up listening to more kind

of soul records -- Marvin Gaye,

The Temptations, The Stylistics,

even Diana Ross, like,

Bob Marley.

Like, that was more the

demographic of music that I was

listening to.

I enjoy playing a lot of the

romantic composers, like Brahms,

and some of, like, the modern

ones, Rachmaninoff.

So, it was just great.

It was great to have all this

different music to choose from.

So, when I met these guys and

they introduced me more to,

like, the classic rock, it just

continued to just, you know,

broaden what I know.

And that's just the best thing.

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plays ]

[ Keyboard solo ]

[ Guitar solo ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

>> I took a few courses in

college that were dealing with

composition, nothing that got

too in depth.

For me, it's constantly a

learning process.

You know, I don't think there's

any one way that works or

doesn't, even for myself.

Like, I try to get into habits

of working on things regularly,

but you never know when

something's gonna pop in your


And you might sit there -- You

might have a day where you have

some free time and you have four

hours to sit there and write a

song and you sit there for four

hours and you don't write a

song, you know?

You try to write a song, and

then, like, you might be doing

something and just go pick up

your guitar for 10 minutes and

you have a whole song.

So you never know how or when

it's gonna happen.

But, lately, what's been cool

is -- the band has been getting

a lot more into just writing

together, 'cause everyone kind

of contributes stuff on their

own, but, recently, when we have

time in rehearsal or even, like,

a sound check or something,

where we can just improvise and

mess around with an idea or even

a sound -- that's something

that, on the last album, on

"Collisions," there's a lot more

songs that had input from

everybody, which is really cool,

'cause I think it helps the band

jell a little bit more, 'cause

everyone's kind of really

focused in on the composition,

what they're gonna do with it.

>> Feel is a big thing for us,

especially compositionally.

You know, it's something that's

very subjective, but it's really

specific, and we all know when

it feels right, you know?

So, we really try to get that

moment, try to get the music to

that point.

And when it feels good, we'll

play it, you know?

And, you know, hopefully the

crowd likes it, too.

>> [ Laughs ]

>> For someone who's hearing our

music for the first time, we

want them, within the song, to

be able to come full circle and

kind of get what we're trying to

do, especially as an

instrumental band.

It's not exactly forthright,

like, you know, where you have a

vocalist or someone like that.

So we really try to make sure

that melody is heard and the

harmonies are heard and are

conveyed very clearly.

>> That's one thing about being

an instrumental band is -- you

might have a melody that you

like a lot, but whereas with

normal, you know, pop or rock

music, you can have a melody

that's really catchy and you can

go back to it and go back to the

same verse with the same melody,

but, usually, you have new

lyrics, so, instantly, there's

something new.

For us, there's no new lyrics,

so we might have a melody and a

song that you want to get to it

again, but you don't want to

just do the same thing.

You have to change it up.

So that's where, you know,

different textures and different

sounds come into play and

different feels, like what A.C.

was talking about.

You can play the same section

but maybe throw a different feel

on it or maybe throw a different

instrument playing the melody.

So that's how the composition --

And especially when everyone's

in there together, seeing how

things jell and how you can

manipulate a certain melody or

section to make it sound fresh

and new again the second or

third time that it comes back.

[ Mid-tempo progressive-rock

music plays ]

[ Keyboard solo ]

[ Music intensifies ]

[ Guitar solo ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Soft keyboard plays ]

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plays ]

[ Keyboard solo ]

[ Guitar solo ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

>> I think we're happy to be

where we're at.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> We don't have to answer to

anybody at this point, you know?

That's kind of, like, why I

enjoy my job, being a musician.

I don't really have to answer to


And we can make our own

decisions, artistically, with

our music, you know?

It's what we put our blood,

sweat, and tears into.

So not having someone tell you

what you should do with your

music is definitely, I think, an

advantage for us.

It allows us to really focus in

and hone who we want to be as a


You know, if there's a situation

where a label or someone, you

know, approaches us, it has to

be very specific and very right

for us to, you know, sign off on

what we do, because it's very

important, it's very close to

home, and it means a lot.

It's just, you know, everything

that we put together and we

worked for.

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music plays ]

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[ Cheers and applause ]

>> No one really has the answer

for how you do it anymore.

It seems like there was a mold,

and then, obviously, the

Internet came and then iTunes

and everything and, you know,

just downloading music and

stealing music off the Internet

and that whole thing.

So it's been shaken up.

So it's kind of interesting now

to see -- You know, we look at

other bands and see what they do

to put their music out there.

And everyone's kind of got their

own take on it.

There's always new ways of

promoting yourself and putting

your album out there.

So, it's really interesting to

see what people's takes are on

it, you know, whether it's

making some weird video for

YouTube to kind of, like,

generate some buzz or something

like that.

But for us, it's really -- We

put as much into the album as we

can and then we try to hit the

road as much as we can and get

the word out through that, you

know, and then, you know,

hopefully sell some albums on


And then we have them up online

and all that stuff.

So, it's really -- Whatever way

we can get the word out about

the band, we're always

constantly trying to figure out

ways to do that.

>> Yeah. And it's been

encouraging, the feedback that

we've been getting.

You know, looking out in the

crowd, you some some people,

like, singing the melody lines.

You know, there's no lyrics, but

they're singing, you know?

So it's very weird, in a good

way, and awesome and encouraging

that, you know, our music is

resonating with people the way

that it has been.

So, we just want to keep the

standard, keep the bar, and

continue to raise the bar, and

keep writing music.

[ Mid-tempo progressive-rock

music plays ]

[ Guitar solo ]

[ Music intensifies ]

[ Finale plays ]

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[ Cheers and applause ]


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