Music on the Green, an event that takes place in Central Park on Sunday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. brings entertainment and food for both the campus and Davis community during a free outdoor event. It is put on by ASUCD External Affairs Commission, Entertainment Council, Environmental Policy and Planning Commission, Campus Center for the Environment, Project Compost, the Davis Flea Market and the City of Davis. The Aggie had the opportunity to interview the bands that were set to perform this weekend.
What is the origin of your band’s name?
Our bassist is Jordan. He has a long beard that is dyed red in the center. It’s tough to name a band and we had to choose a name because we had a show so we said let’s just name it after Jordan’s beard. It is a terrible name, but it stuck. Jordan is the most lovable person ever so that helps.
If you were to describe your band, what would you say?
The songs come out of 60s soul and funk. Jordan never heard these songs and generally doesn’t listen to the originals. He adds a heavier side to the low end. Our two new additions, Pat and Carl, add a funk high end, so at the end of the day, the music sounds like heavy funk, funk rock blues soul.
What are you most proud of so far?
We have never had a band fight and we get along really well. We play music that both we and our friends enjoy. When you do something that you like, that other people happen to like, that’s pretty neat, pretty cool. I love how friendly the music scene is in Davis. We’re always trying to help each other out. It’s something that I feel really good about.
You have performed for TV stations and on tour. How do you feel to have so much success in the music industry?
I think it’s really just to keep believing in what it is that you create and push for what you believe in.
What initially motivated you to pursue the music industry?
I realized halfway through college that I couldn’t do anything else. I’ve been writing songs since I was little. Then in middle school I wrote my first full-length structure song. I called my friend and played it for her on the phone. After the song she was quiet and I realized it affected her. That was one of first times I realized what I could possibly do. It was not until college that I came to understand anything else.
How do you think Davis will respond to your performance?
I don’t know; I hope they like it. It’s hard to tell until you get there. We just had a rehearsal today. It’s been a dream to play at UC Davis — it’s really special.
How do you embody the pioneer spirit of the Wild West in your music?
We often reflect on modern society and feel like we were meant to live in the 1800s. We were born and raised in Gold Country and we have always valued the history of the area. A reverence for ‘nature’ over ‘city’ life is a common theme in our songs. We lived in LA for a while and we were not inspired at all by the music scene down there. We feel old-fashioned in some ways compared to other young/new bands. There is a rawness or an honesty lacking in popular music that we feel is present in our original songs and live performances. We want to be on our own – like pioneers, you could say, forging our own path through the frontier of a technologically-dependent society.
What can Davis expect from your show?
Davis can expect some new interpretations of old time music, plus some original tunes, which we hope people will take home with them as new additions to their personal music collections. We are really excited. We hope it will be the first of many. We’ve made a lot of friends from UC Davis and the Davis area, including the guys from Mad Cow String Band. We’re playing with one of their other projects called West Nile Ramblers at the Cozmic Café in Placerville on May 25th.
Since releasing tracks, what has been the general feedback from fans and critics?
Last year, we released a live recording we made as a trio playing around one microphone in a converted garage which people really liked. It had a rough and ready quality to it and we made it quickly, with just a couple of takes per song, so it sounds like we’re having fun. Music Connection Magazine reviewed the songs positively, but said we should treat the music to the level of production it deserved. So now we’ll have a studio recording coming out next month. By the number of downloads we’ve had of the singles on iTunes, I’m hopeful the record will do well.
What is your plan after playing in Davis?
I think, like most of Davis, I’ll be heading to Burgers and Brew.
DANIELLE HUDDLESTUN can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.