It’s a gloriously sunny day in Carrboro and the Pfizer vaccine is pumping through my veins (in theory — I don’t know how vaccines work). Post-inoculation, I’m ready for color, variety and a laugh. Lucky for me, I’m meeting Damian Lopez, Ross Stephens, Ashesh Chatterjee and Brendan Macie.
Four members of the now five piece The Band Misc. have piled into a picnic table with me at the front of Open Eye Cafe (details on how to meet all five — Jeffrey Walker included, though I had to miss him this time — to follow.) My conversation with the band on their EP follows below.
And you can stream that EP exclusively here at The Triangle Guide until the official release in September. Scroll down to listen, and click through to pre-order and follow them on Bandcamp.
If this pandemic ground you into a gray pulp of your former musical self, you’re looking for dexterous musicianship and playful genre-mixing with a bright splash of unexpected instrumentation. The Band Misc. are just what the doctor ordered. I prescribe putting on your headphones and turning the volume way, way up.
The Band Misc. will be playing a preview show at The Cave with Ravary and Safari Room on August 11, 2021. Make sure to say hello and pick up a homemade copy of the EP. They’ll rock The Station with their album release show on September 17 with Baats and the Afterglow.
On Carrboro and Chapel Hill’s Influence on the EP
DL: “I like being in Carrboro. The environment is very indie, and it leaves a lot of room for you to fuck up and create and go the distance —
BM: “Without judgement.”
DL: “Yes. And we really want to reflect that in our music and in the content we put out on YouTube and TikTok. We want people who tune in to feel like they’re part of the town, right out on Franklin Street with us. They could be in Japan for all I care. But when they’re tuning in, we want them to feel that sense of connection.”
RS: “I think it definitely influenced a lot of the EP. The sense of community, our love for each other, the love for your neighbor, and embracing our creativity. It really does take a village.”
AC: “It’s so important to us as Chapel Hill and Carrboro reopen to get back the sense of community we lost over the last year.”
DL: “This question made me realize, too…it’s been so hard to keep in touch with the music scene because we haven’t been having shows. I’ve only been able to go to two shows since I moved back here. I’m so excited to see who’s going to be playing, and getting back in touch with everyone.
BM: Everyone’s going to come back from it more fully realized. I think we’re going to see a lot of cool, colorful shit.
RS: It’ll be a rebirth for sure.
On Their Favorite Song from the EP
BM: “I like ‘Reflections’ because it showcases each of our individual talents as far as our musicianship is concerned.”
DL: “I’m actually kind of torn between ‘Reflections’ and ‘Priorities.’
BM: “‘Reflections’ is a lot moodier than we’re used to writing.”
DL: “I kind of wish I had written ‘Reflections’ because it feels very much in the realm of progressive rock. ‘Priorities’ is a song I pitched to the band, and it’s much more left field for me in terms of mood and inspiration. Much more vulnerable. And it’s a song I’m still excited to play.”
AC: “I would say ‘Reflections’. Apart from the fact that I got to really let loose on the guitar parts. I’ve always liked the song since it was written back in 2014, at three in the morning…It’s an airtight song. It hits all the high points at the best times. Nothing drags, nothing’s rushed.”
On Recording the EP
AC: “I don’t think half the ideas we had we could’ve manifested without our producer, Dylan Turner.”
DL: “For sure. He challenged me on a few points of my own playing that were tough to hear, but I knew he knew what he was doing, and it came out solid.”
AC: “During the recording process, if Dylan went in the room to talk to Ross, for example, I’d take my headphones off. We didn’t need to eavesdrop. We let the man do his job.”
On The Band Misc. Elevator Pitch
BM: “This is where you get to see all the extreme sides of us in a user-friendly package. It’s the sashimi sampler.”
AJ: “This is the deli tray with cheese and crackers.
BM: “Man, I’m just hungry. Let’s go get pizza.”