Thursday, March 17, 2011
Hot New Band Alert: Catch The Bright White Tonight at The Mercury Lounge
Much new music flows over the Rock Turtleneck transom. Recently I was struck by the sounds of The Bright White, a Chicago four-piece that's forged an identifiable sound and songs despite being together only a few months.
Listening to their single "Red Summer Rose," it's easy to imagine them going places far and wide beyond the WIndy City to lands inhabited by The Killers and Kings of Leon.
You can download a free mp3 of "Red Summer Rose" right here.
Tonight The Bright White is playing the Mercury Lounge in downtown NYC - it's a great, intimate venue. A good friend of mine had a life-changing experience when he saw a Chicago-based band called Wilco do a transcendent show there in 1997 or so.
Rock Turtleneck got in touch with The Bright White's singer Matt Kayser and asked him some pithy questions and got some provocative answers.
RT: In your press materials you mention the influence of the Beatles' Revolver LP. One way you are Revolver-esque is that each song seems to be of a different genre than the one before it. Is that something you plan to expand upon in the future?
MK: It’s interesting that you say that. I hadn’t thought of the songs on the EP that way. We’ve only been together for four months, so it’s possible that we’re still trying to find our style. We have a ton of songs that we’ve accumulated as individuals, so we’re constantly trying to sift through them to find the jewels.
I hope we develop a reputation for writing great songs that people can connect with and sing to. If they end up not sounding the same, as you mention, then even better.
RT: I hear some other influence in your music beyond the Fab Four, such as The Jam and Jakob Dylan. Who would you name as your major inspirations?
MK: We are inspired as much by the approach of certain bands as we are by their sound. The bands that really move us to write and perform share a certain drive and spirit, and I can hear it in their music.
Bands such as U2, Oasis, and The Killers think big. We, as a group, work so well together because we are all equally drawn to that way of thinking. I’d like that same spirit to be seen and heard in everything we do.
RT: The Bright White sounds remarkably tight and polished despite having only been together a short while. How did you guys form?
MK: Thank you. We met via Chicago’s Craigslist. Joe and I met last year, so we had already sketched out some song ideas before we did a serious search for our rhythm section this winter. Doing it that way prevented us from wasting time auditioning the wrong people. We knew exactly what we wanted, and we were determined to make clear what we are all about. It worked, as Steve was the first drummer who responded to our ad. We were hooked in about ten minutes. Pete had previously played with Steve, so we really got lucky. We all immediately hit it off.
With as much fun as we have, the thing that I love about this band is our work ethic. I’ve never met musicians who get things done like these guys. There is zero flakiness and 100% commitment to the cause. That’s likely why people seem to think we’ve been together much longer than we have. Be it recording an EP a month after forming, selling out our debut, or getting a prime slot in NYC, we get things done.
RT: In one of your publicity photos, your drummer Steven Zelenko is smoking. How do you plan to circumvent Mayor Bloomberg's draconian anti-smoking laws?
MK: I am a native New Yorker, so I keep up with all that is happening there. Having recently peeked at the Mayor’s approval ratings, I believe it won’t be long before he joins us for a smoke.
You can hear more from The Bright White here.