Archive for the ‘Eugene Band Interviews (live)’ Category

We knew this would be a day we would never forget, but we had NO idea it would mean this – a band outta Nevada completely captivating us, PLUS our own Eugene homies in one of our fave venues???  But it was just a typical Friday night in Eugene, I should know by now that the unexpected and amazing and ROCK YOUR F&&CKING SOX OFF is standard fare, right? so, let’s hit it as hard as we were hit, right?!

Moondog Matinee (Pete Barnato – lead vox, guitar; Adam Carpenter – bass; Ben Ingle – drums; Steve Widmer – rhythm guitar, Travis Axe – lead guitar) – if I have any credits wrong you guys will let me know, k???)

           If you could have heard it, there would have been FOUR JAWS DROPPING when this band opened their set – photographers Jeanice Marvel and Rachel Gargus with our good friend Daniel G. (who prefers to remain relatively anonymous making the sole male component of our table) and yours truly taken aback as four guitars started wailing – should make for a much more seriously HEAVY sound and could easily get overdone, but not these guys… and the vocals from Peter? He matches them lick for lick, very nice!  Ben does awesome drum work, strong and steady, absolutely perfect!  Their energy was incredible and we absolutely got it – the audience nearly gave a standing ovation after every song, we were completely undone.  It was lust at first listen!  Call them primal grassroots rock, heavily laced with serious, almost gospel, R&B.

Travis Axe (gotta be a trade name!!) on mouth harp…

Photographer Rachel says Peter reminds her of Steven Tyler and I can hear that, with maybe just a tad less flamboyance (just a tad, Peter will RIP you with his stage presence, trust me) but I could definitely see that raw edge on the vocals, definitely.  It was also nice that the sound is new and fresh and not just a rehash of what has been done better before.  We also loved the Roland keyboards, with Adams’s bass snapping and the guitars screaming – it was perfect! We loved their cover of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” and bought two CDs before I had a chance to chat up front man/lead vox Peter.  I asked him brutally, “What do you want to say to Eugene?” His answer was simple and beautiful, they were completely surprised by how friendly everyone was in Eugene and wanted to tell us that and how much they appreciated that.

to which we say, “Thank you for coming to see us and gracing us with your presence”… and thank you, Eugene, for being so awesome!


Eugene’s Own – STRANGE DICHOTOMY (yes, I’m gonna promo them of course!) 

(Greg Gillispie: vox, guitar;  Luke Martyn: bass, vox; Jason Rowe: drums; Kyle Brewster: guitar)


I have always loved these guys from the first time I saw them doing one of their acoustic events at Cosmic Pizza (never discount any man with a serious vision!) – it was absolutely awesome to see them at this first “club” event in Eugene, thank you for inviting us to be a part (not apart) of this Greg!   Seeing Luke stomping around with his bass is always worth taking the trouble to get out of the house (if you were couch sitting watching the tube I will label you “LOSERS” without qualification, take it up with me personally if you wanna) this band has some serious sound.   They capture what is “Eugene” in its essence – they don’t WOW you but instead woo you with their subtle rhythms and beautiful melodies…

But we had to run out (and miss S.F.’s Giggle Party, our loss I am absolutely sure) to catch Johns Eastman’s b-day party with Eastman Band at Goodfellas… and me without my trusty notepad??? I guess the photos will have to tell the story for me…

You guys are awesome as always (I think you have to be really bad to be unusual at this point, ok?!) – and we will continue to follow you and be looking for you on something besides the local circuit, right?!!

find all of these bands on their homepages, FBs and ReverbNation pages… and always GO SEE LOCAL LIVE BANDS!!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


I know everything came to an absolute standstill with us out of the scene for the past two months (give or take), but TCC is back and badder than ever, with this exclusive review of three of the four bands that played downtown Eugene’s historic WoW Hall last Friday night.  It’s a triple-triple shot, featuring three band reviews, plus pictures, PLUS an exclusive pre-show video interview with up-and-coming Jultopia!!

(note – the bands are not reviewed here in the order of their appearance – you’ll understand why at the end)

First:  Jultopia (Julian Master – front vox, samples; David Baker – guitar, back-up vox; Mason Kline – drums; Alex Dee – bass)

The night was gorgeous to begin with, and it felt so good to be back listening to live local music.  Opening was Jultopia (Julian Master, David Baker, Mason Kline, Alby Dee) – a quirky electronica band built around master Julian (who in a previous lifetime was a hip hop/rap sensation).  They were so comfortable on stage you almost forgot these guys are YOUNG but very strong.  Julian really is a master showman (can’t help playing with his name, it is way too much fun!),drawing folks up to the stage with seductive hand gestures – he has a definite stage presence.

    Taking the band as a whole, you have three musicians working to mesh their instruments with Julian’s samples which they accomplish into a seamless work of art – not easily done, trust me.  Totally danceable but I don’t know that description does them justice.  Someone could have a lot of fun running a serious psychedelic light/strobe show with some artistically enhanced fog on their beats and it would be indescribable.

Mason’s drums are steady and solid (completely necessary with this amalgamation of sound), laying the foundation with Alex’s bass for David’s guitar work and Julian’s vocals.  It was honestly fun to see David’s “two instances of back up vocals” – and he was perfect.  The band  has impeccable timing, and they obviously enjoy playing together (onstage or off I suspect).

One reader asked, “What’s so special about your live show that would make me want to come out and see you?”  In answer, you would just have to see them to understand – if you missed this show you definitely missed out!  But here’s a short video of their exclusive interview with EDN’s Laurel of The Club Circuit (with cameo appearance from Adventure Galley’s drummer) to give you a taste of what you missed!

And despite the willful destruction of stuffed animals at the end of the set (with the gleeful assistance of the participating audience), I can promise you that no one (human or animal) was seriously harmed during this performance. I think. We especially loved their closing song, “Touch You” – nice touch (pun intended)!




Third In Line:  White Arrows (Mickey Schiff [aka Mickey Church] – front; vox; Juice, Henry Schiff [aka Brother Henry Church – drums], Steven Vernet – guitars, Andrew Naeve)

A good solid alternative rock band, although their FB page calls them “Psychedelic, Electronic, Lo-fi,” we didn’t see that.  What we did see was five guys from L.A. taking a detour from their current tour with The Naked and Famous to drop in to our college town and lay down some seriously lovely sounds.  While there wasn’t anything all that original that I saw from this set, the band put on a good show.

It did take them awhile to warm up to the audience, but the last half of their set seriously rocked.  I’m not sure that the audience caught that tho, they seemed to drift on and off the floor throughout their performance which was rather distracting.  Perhaps that’s just a Friday fall night Eugene thing maybe?  We’re all ADD and have a 5 minute attention span maybe…

Still, it was an enjoyable end to our evening.  We didn’t stay to see And And And (which was our loss I’m sure) – but it had already been a long night after a long day and TCC is still trying to find their way through all the boxes after their relocation!

Second Up (and last on this review because they were SOOOOOOOOOO freeeeking amazing that they rate this spot):  Adventure Galley (who seem to want to remain relatively nameless as I can only find their first names posted anywhere!!  David, Aaron, George, Jesse, Forrest, and Brock).

First, I have to tell you a short story about this short story.  I had gone down to the basement at the WoW Hall between sets to sample some vin, ran back to hear this set, dashed to the merch table to see if I could pry one single solitary unsold copy of Adventure Galley’s CD, grabbed that, and somehow in the process of all that left my pad of paper with notes on the band (the page was open to AG’s review) at the merch table… realized what I had done about 5 minutes later and yelled (quietly) – “Where’s my notes?!!!!” … So I dashed back and grabbed it from the very cute lady at the table who was rather reluctant to hand it back to me… “I was having so much fun READING this!” she exclaimed (glancing at AG’s review).  Seriously.  This is a true story – just ask her!

     I could easily fill a page for each of the individual band members and their on-stage antics and artistry… but I don’t have that much room here.  So you MUST go see these guys at the next live show available.  They’re a Eugene band who (despite several previous misprints in other publications that they were winners of the 2011 Eugene’s Next Big Thing – they were one of the 4 finalist winners, but not THE winner) had actually won the 2010 MySpace’s “Rock the Space 2” contest (see  With over 17,000 bands participating, the fact that it was a EUGENE local band that won should not be any surprise.  Their musicianship, showmanship, and overall joie-de-vivre that they put out at the show on Friday night blew us away.

So, Adventure Galley is tight and hot and they know what electronica is supposed to sound like.  What was also nice was seeing them transition from electronica to straight alt/punk rock with heavy guitars without losing energy. Yes, the energy changes, but it is a matter of definition, not level.  It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see them break like Foster The People and Chain Gang of 1974 have recently done.

Find all these bands on Facebook, ReverbNation, and their personal websites – but definitely catch them live if you have the chance to do so!!

An extremely talented and evocative group of young musicians, Aeon Now! comes from Cottage Grove, and features Olive Delsol (accordion, vocals), Moriah West (drums, vocals), Hannah Brown (washboard, trumpet, vocals), and Aaron Long (trombone, saw).   We had a round-table discussion prior to them hitting the stage, and found out some very interesting things!

Olive and Hannah met originally in Minneapolis in the theater, and while the band has only been together for about 2 years, you wouldn’t know it to hear and see them.  As front woman for the group, Olive provides a lot of the energy and most of the musical inspiration for their “dreampunk caberet” performance, but each of the members contributes a significant portion to the whole.  Olive has always been a musical theatre performer, starting from when she was quite young.  As well, she had a considerable background in a lot of instruments, including flute, guitar, bass, and the cello (with a brief – and not entirely successful – attempt at the viola, not her fave!).  She has only been working with the accordion for about 3 years, but is definitely a master of the gypsy/folk squeezebox.  Originally hailing from Minneapolis, Olive now calls Oregon home.

Hannah also comes from Minneapolis, and has an extensive musical background, focusing on the trumpet while in high school.  She has only recently taken up the washboard, having played for about four months now, but plays it like they belong together.  She appears to be the shy and introspective member of the band, with her hair in braids and quiet demeanor, but I suspect that may be part of the show!

Moriah, as the sole native Oregonian of the group, has been playing percussion in its various forms for several years.  As she puts it, she’ll bang on whatever is handy – trash cans, spoons, buckets, what have you.  When Olive suggested trying a dumpster, Moriah’s immediate and enthusiastic response was a resounding, “YES!”  She also has a considerable background in musical theatre, and shares playing the washboard with Hannah in her history.  She also contributes the majority of the lyrical content for the group’s songs.

Aaron, as the current sole male representative of the group, comes originally from Pennsylvania, and has been playing the trombone for 36 years – as he puts it, longer than the rest of the members’ combined years playing.  Most of the horn arrangements for the group’s pieces come from his considerable experience.

They have one album out currently, “Timeless Outlaws,” and are working on a new one as well.  If they could open for any group, the girls answered they would want to share the stage with Yard Dogs Road Show.  Aaron shouted, “Ween!”  and the rest of the band allowed as that might be alright too.

When I asked them what they would want to tell TCC’s readers, the response was instant:  “Passion is the most important part of life – do what you love!”

You can find Aeon Now! here:

Friday found TCC back downtown for some more local live music, this time at the Black Forest (see Spotlight review at the end of this column).  Three bands hit the stage:

Pickpocket Eloquence

This quartet from Salem opened the set, featuring Kale Walker on drums, Adam DeBates on bass, Jason Dandridge on guitar and vocals, and Tristina Furgison on lead vocals.  With a nice pop rock feel that refreshingly did not sound like every other band with a female lead vocalist, the musical performance was decent and Tristina’s stage presence was top-of-the-line.  They had some nice audience interaction as well, and of course I’m always happy to see bands with a female vocalist play – there are still too few of those around and about.  Jason (who reminds me of Jim Adkins in appearance) does a good job running guitar riffs, and Adam’s bass was smooth and solid.  The only glaringly obvious lack I saw was the drums were not as tightly meshed with the guitars and vocals as they could have been.  It was also difficult to hear Jason’s back-up vocals, and Tristina’s lead vocals, while pretty strong throughout the set, tended to slide below the guitars in the low range, and sounded not quite but nearly screechy in the upper range.  She’s so cute, tho, you really didn’t mind!  The club patrons talked loudly through most of the set which was rather annoying, so evidently the performance wasn’t all that captivating.  My favorite song of the set was “Peculiar Feeling” (I think that’s the name of the song – can’t find it online!!) – all the individual band members shone on that song!  Find them on Facebook, ReverbNation, and of course their page!



Fitting five guys on one tiny stage (including a special non-performing guest – Sesame Street‘s “Animal“ stood proudly center stage), it was tight quarters!  Featuring twin brothers Dan Trent on drums and front man Adam Trent on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Justin Hopkins on bass, Aaron Williams on guitar and synth, and Derrik Vuylsteke on lead guitar, this Eugene band put on an excellent performance, opening with “Tap Me Out – Put Me In” followed by “Mother Earth’s Pride” (a solid hard rock song with a serious punk edge).  During our live video interview (which you can catch here at,) Adam mentioned that folks have often told him he sounds like David Byrne – I’m not sure I heard that, but mostly because their style of music is so unlike the Talking Heads.  His lead vocals are growly but nice and clear – tough to do but he nailed it.  A really tight band, Adam’s lead guitar wove very nice riffs, and Aaron’s keyboards on “Tap Me Out” were a nice accompaniment.  His switch to lead guitar for the rest of the set was smoothly balanced.  Justin’s bass was awesome, and Dan on drums absolutely pounded.  “Nails” (written by Danimal himself) was a really pretty number, with all three guitars blending sweet.  The club patrons paid a lot more attention to this set, with much less talking but many more heads bobbing and feet tapping!  All of their songs have difficult tempo changes throughout that swung back and forth without losing cohesion (this may be one of the signature features of this band), especially on “Our Life.” “Fire On Ice” went back to their punk rock roots – I really liked how Adam would intro every song with a brief exchange with the audience.  “Nature” used full storytelling in the lyrics, and he loves to add gestures to accent the story.  “Dawn To Dust” was followed by “Belly Drop” (based on a 19-second youtube video, but fortunately it runs a bit longer than that!) got them completely funky, with Justin’s bass popping and snapping lively – folks finally got up and danced!  “This World” also had some fun time signature changes in addition to the tempo shifts, which were all really well done.  “Pomaroy” closed the set, bringing it back to solid rocking guitars with steady drums and bass.  A really nice performance by these guys – be sure to catch them (if you run fast!!) – they have an EP forthcoming, as well as several local gigs lined up.  Find them between shows on their Facebook and ReverbNation pages.


Just The Tip

While the crowd had definitely thinned as the closing band set up, more folks wandered in (and out, and in, and out) throughout the set.  This is another local five piece Eugene band, with a full-length CD out called “Hero’s Journey.”  Lead man Jay Schroeder told me their music is best described as “rock funk” and I can definitely see that.  All the guitarists share back-up vocals with Jay’s lead vocals, and all of the guys (except drummer Sammy Wayne of course!) literally bounced, jumped, head-banged, and gyrated on the tiny stage.  They definitely put their hearts into this performance – it’s a shame the audience was probably too tired (and several more than slightly inebriated) to give them the response they should have received.  Eric Lee’s bass kicks with Sammy’s drums.  I love Justin Grado’s judicious use of a wah wah pedal on his lead guitar runs.  The house sound could have bumped Jay’s lead vocals a bit (and brought down Justin’s back up vocals the same increment) – some of the lyrics got a bit lost in the guitars.  When Jay and Eric pulled off their shirts, it got everyone’s fast attention – there was some serious ink (and a few body piercings) in full view!  (I have to wonder – do those nipple piercings hurt when you jump up and down???)  The vocals were strong, but I would have liked to hear a bit more imaginative use of harmonizing rather than straight singular lines between the lead and backup vocals.  I really liked “Beautiful,” with an awesome drum solo opening and Eric’s bass coming in layered with sweet guitar riffs by Justin.  “One Way Road,” dedicated to the city of Eugene (go figure!), was pure funk fun – there really should have been folks dancing at the front of the stage (or back of the tables… somewhere).  The song included a nice showcase of solos by each musician that I thoroughly enjoyed.  On a less than positive note, you could call their music “stoner rock” and not be far off the mark – some of the songs got a bit sloppy as they got more enthusiastic in their performance (here’s a “tip” guys – you may want to wait to celebrate until after the set perhaps?).  Their cover of Pearl Jam’s “Alive” was well done – I so wanted to fall in love with this band, and could have with stronger (more complicated) vocal harmonies paired with tighter work between the guitars and drums.  But they definitely weren’t putting me to sleep (despite the fact it was 1:30 a.m.)!  As well, it was kinda hard to pay attention to the band, with one guy sporting a red dress walking past me every five seconds, and folks at the table next to us knocking over their beers into each other’s laps… ::sigh::  Call it a late night – right?  Their close with Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name (Of)” was excellent tho – I’d be interested in seeing these guys play live again for a second take.  =)  Find them on Facebook, ReverbNation, and Myspace.


Spotlight on: the Black Forest (50 West 11th Street, Eugene, OR)

An intimate little club in the heart of downtown Eugene, this was the first visit for TCC at a show in this venue.  We were warmly greeted by Jason, BF’s booking manager, bartender, and bar back.  One of the first things I noticed was there were no girls there – at least not until we walked in.  Fortunately, several other ladies wandered in throughout the sets so we had a good representation!  As we had showed up (relatively) early, we had our pick of seating arrangements (I recommend the table just in front of the sound booth) – you want to get there early as the club fills up fast!  I also liked the HUGE aquarium behind the bar, and of course photographer Jeanice immediately noticed the yummy scents drifting from the kitchen (their menu is extensive, featuring breakfast and lunch specials, and dinner selections that all sounded so wonderful it was hard to choose).  The stage is tiny but all the bands seemed to make it work for them, and the house sound (sans monitors and subs) was surprisingly well balanced between vocals and musicians.  There were some slight technical difficulties at the opening of the first set but those were speedily addressed.  There is no dance floor in front of the stage, but that didn’t stop some adventurous folks from cutting it lively anyways!  We had a great time, and I highly recommend you make this club a must for your downtown Eugene live music experience!  Regular weekly events include karaoke Mondays and Wednesdays, Roosters Blues Jam Tuesdays, and live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with upcoming  shows featuring Live Punk with  Sigaw and Cheaper than Speed this Thursday, June 30; Live Metal Friday July 1 with Pantheon, Transient Messiah, Crimson Guardian and Otiose Being, and Live Music Saturday July 2 with Three Guys That Paint, Dave and Confused, and Eastman Band – you know we’ll be there for sure Saturday!!

Transcending Maya, John Henry's May 13, 2011

I met with the band Transcending Maya at their Eugene, Oregon studio tonight (live audio clip of interview can be found here:  With the last round of the semi-finals for Eugene’s 2011 Last Band Standing coming tomorrow night, the guys are working hard to perfect their material they will be performing for this crucial performance.

Transcending Maya is Bowie (front man/vocals, samples), Cody Richards (djembe & bongo drums, guitar, tribal flute), Josh Wilson (bass), Jason Fenrite (guitar), and Craig Sorenson (drums).  I had previously reviewed this band when they played (see column dated May 13, 2011), noting this unique group that incorporates different time signatures with a world music fusion mix into a pretty hard rock foundation for a blend that “transcends” (for lack of a better word) across commonly-defined alternative rock genres.  They’ve been compared to everything from Tool to Maynard, while I was reminded of early Incubus.  It’s really hard to define the sound of this group.

Cody told me that the band’s current name (which was originally “Path”) started with his interest in Mayan culture and history – they then added “transcending” in front of it.  He later learned the word “maya” means “illusion” in Sanskrit which, when paired with “transcending,” made the name become something that really captures what this band is trying to formulate musically.

They have a double-edged purpose for their music – they want to challenge fellow musicians who hear them, and at the same time they want to capture the audience with something each individual can identify with.  When I asked them if they were doing anything special to prepare for the show tomorrow night, Bowie was quick to answer that they don’t view this as a “competition” – he noted that they will be playing “with” rather than “against” the other bands.  His hope is that folks who come to hear their respective “favorite” band will hear TM and, at the very least, enjoy their music (regardless of whether they vote for them or not).

Even when they practice or do studio work, they work with a full light set up (and incense – too bad they can’t do that in the clubs where they play!) to incorporate the totality of what they are feel their music represents into every session.  While they don’t have an album complete at this time, they are hoping to have that finished before the end of the year.  In the meantime, they do have several songs you can hear on their ReverbNation (!/transcendingmaya) and myspace ( pages – you’ll want to take a listen to those for sure!

As a last statement, what they really want to be known for is as a band that gives a “unique experience” to all who hear them.  I think that defines them nicely.

Eastman Band is comprised of John Eastman (founder, front man, lead vocals/guitar), Terry Brewer (drums), and Jimmy Cuellar (bass).  This amazing group of musicians grew up together playing music (from the time they were in middle school).  While John does provide the majority of the band’s inspiration in terms of their material, Terry and Jimmy both contribute significantly to all of the songs as they are created.

Eastman Band

I met the guys at their Star Station Studios located in Springfield, Oregon on Memorial Day, 2011 (aka May 30, 2011).  I actually walked in while they were recording one of their practice sessions (which they always do) – they sounded great (as per usual) and I enjoyed waiting for them to finish!  After they finished that song, they were gracious enough to let me ask them some questions about the history of the band and the direction they want to take from here.

With a few exceptions of some cover tunes when they play full sets at local venues, the band really tries to stay focused on doing original material.  In addition, they have a very strict policy of no drinking or smoking which keeps them sharp and clear while they are working on their songs (whether it is practicing, performing, or recording).  When I asked them to describe their music, they really had a hard time answering.  Some of their songs are slow rock ballads, while others are hard driving rock.  Their goal is to have the audience (be it live or listening to what they have recorded) become involved in the music, finding something they can identify with.  When I listen to them, I hear Bush with some Creed (but that’s just me, and yes, I liked early Creed before they became a bad name in the music biz!!).   Nice solid beat, clean guitar and bass work, with vocals that you can understand and that catch you.  They didn’t take much exception to the Bush reference…

Their relationship as friends over the span of many years is what makes this band sound so crystal clean.   While Jimmy is now the bass player for the group, he actually started out as the light man for their gigs (when their previous bass player [Danny Bridges] had to move out of the area, Jimmy stepped up to the plate and took over that role).  Terry started playing drums with the band when it was in its early stages and continues to be an integral force in this group.  Their friendship has grown to include the next generation as all of their kids are friends and have grown up together with their dads being band members.  The kids have picked up instruments and are doing their own work creating original material as well.  Don’t be surprised if you hear of an Eastman Band II somewhere in the future!

You can listen to the live recording of the interview here:

As a columnist reviewing the 2011 Last Band Standing, I cannot take sides, but I can definitely tell you this band is well worth taking the trouble of finding a parking spot in downtown Eugene next Friday, April 3, as they face some serious competition at the last half of the semi-finals.  If you aren’t familiar with their material, you can take a free listen here:; or see one of their videos here:

If you know and love these guys, just be there.  If you don’t, you should show up to support local bands playing live!  What better plans can you have for a Friday night in drizzly, damp, downtown Eugene?

Members:  Caleb Moffit (vocals/bass), Kevin Hutman (drums), Bryan Bacci (guitars)

Slow Children

I also got a chance to chat briefly with Caleb and Bryan (Kevin joined later – with video camera!) from Slow Children prior to the LBS show on May 20.  This trio from Brookings, Oregon has been playing together since they were kids (hence the name – they aren’t sure if they’ve actually outgrown it at this point!).  I asked them how they would describe their music, and that generated some serious discussion between the two of them.  They finally decided it would best be called alt/”kush” rock / stoner rock / reggae – I’m not sure that completely captures them, but you get the idea.

After spending several years in Las Vegas, they decided it was time to come back home to Oregon (a good thing for us!). While they have played some local gigs (usually at Luckey’s), they are still relatively unknown in the area.  That is about to change!

I asked them the mandatory “So why are you here tonight?” and the consensus was primarily name value – they want as much local exposure as possible.  I get the impression that, while they didn’t mind the weather in LV necessarily, they kinda regret leaving Oregon and just want to make it up to us.  =)

When I asked them for a closing statement, something they would want readers to remember this interview by, several statements were proposed (and summarily rejected).  The guys finally decided on, “If you’re gonna do it, do it balls to the walls!”  Indeed…!