For all the fans of Garagerock , and the jangy guitar playin days of the 60’s , today we have an Interview with , The Reverberations out of Portland. One of the coolest thing about spending so much time writing and listening to new music is that sometimes you hit gold and when you do all those hours of digging and sifting pay off such is the case with The Reverberations. From the vocals to the entire Band, everything is just right , these guys make you think its 1966 and you have just discovered a Band that will give The Byrds a run for their money. I’m not hyping The Reverberations, their music will do that but I am telling you that this band is not just another good band, they are a band that can make a difference , they will bring converts to rock ‘n’ roll and as they tour and gain fans and followers of all ages all of you can say you heard them first at 50thirdand3rd, for me I want to thank Scott from Hidden Volume Records for bringing my attention to The Reverberations.
Can you give our readers a little of the bands background. Where did you all grow up, who plays what in the band, previous bands…. that kind of stuff….
Dave: I’m Dave, I play lead guitar. I was born and raised in Portland, OR. I was in The CRY! for about 5 years and left a couple years ago to do my own thing. I also had a powerpop band I started when I was in high school called Midnight Callers.
John: I grew up in Salem, OR, moved to Portland immediately after College. Mainly I play rhythm guitar for the band plus a little backup vocal here and there. Previous bands have all been based in Portland and include shoegaze dreamers Sundaze, postpunk outfits The White Woods and Cold Metal.
Ian: Ian, drums and hitter of things: My early years were in New England, mostly north of Boston, Massachusetts but have been living in Portland since 2001. I’ve been in some small projects before but the longer term bands I’ve been in, the one’s that feel like a gang or family would be Lions, Go Fever and Errata Note.
Cam: Portland! Dave and went to high school together and played in the Midnight Callers. Been connected by a musical umbilical chord ever since.
How did you all come together to form The Reverberations…
Dave: John and Ian and I (Dave) started playing a few years back for a one-off show for a garage-rock cover night in Portland (called Nuggets Night) that happens every year. We got along really well and ended up playing together the next year too. The chemistry was so apparent so I asked if they were interested in playing original material they both were interested! Cam and I were friends and band-mates from back in the “Midnight Callers days” and it had been some time since we played together, so it just made sense.
John: Dave, Ian and I coalesced while playing in a 60’s cover band known as The Hauer Things. Wanting to play some originals of our own, we recruited Dave’s old bandmate Cam for Bass and the rest they say, is where the magic happens .
Ian: Dave pretty sure you’ve got this one, you just asked and I was like “fuck yeah!”
Cam: Dave and I were doing a surf thing and he needed a bass player for his own personal project, the Reverberations. It was a no brainer.
What kind of guitars are using to get that Byrds vibe in “Never Again”?
Dave: I borrowed my friends Phantom 12-String guitar and layered that over for the suspended chords in the chorus! I knew it had to have that special sound for the tune! Other than that, I used my Guild Starfire III with my VOX amp!
John: My set up for the Reverberations is Rickenbacker into a Vox AC30 with a just little boost to juice things up. For “Never Again” I used super soft pick to accentuate the jangley feel, I think Dave used a electric 12 string Phantom for the fill parts.
Ian: Dave that’ll be you…
Cam: The jangley kind!
Is there something about being in Portland , that brings out some serious garage rock like what The Reverberations are doing? or is just a random coincidence ..
Dave: There must be something in the water! There are so many great bands in town, I think that’s what pushed me into forming this band. I was already a big fan of the Pebbles comps, Norton, BOMP and VOXX Records when I was in high school, but I always seemed to stray to the powerpop side of things. After I left The CRY!, I wanted to do something that had a little more edge to it. With these guys, it just made sense, we all have a love for the sixties sound, and I’ve been told I wasn’t born in the right generation.
John: Actually, I love that style of music quite a lot. My formative years were spent listening to Beatles, Rolling Stones, Troggs, Kinks, Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan, just listening to my Mom’s records. That’s all I listened to before discovering punk rock. There is a long tradition of garage rock in the Pacific Northwest, The Sonics, Wailers, Kingsmen, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Estrus Records, Dead Moon. So maybe there is something about this part of the country just doing our own thing. Two guitars, bass and drums, it’s suited for rock n roll. Though, most parts of the world seem to be filled great sounding garage bands too, maybe it’s just the fun and the energy and wanting to rock. It’s contagious.
Ian: I feel like there is definitely a bit of history with the NW in terms of garage bands. I mean The Kingsmen, The Sonics, Paul Revere and Raiders etc… that have influenced bands around here since the 60’s. As well the weather; about 5-6 years ago we really noticed global warming in Portland and have been having mild winters, the winter here was crap from November – end of March. Best thing to do in horrible weather? Find a garage or a basement, play music and drink beer for 5 months straight and hopefully emerge with something great.
Cam: We just want to be our own sound that doesn’t adhere to the status-quo. Being in a city with a pretty established idea of what music should be just feeds into this “garage rock” counter culture.
Some of the Band’s that all of you played on high rotation back in High School….
Dave: I wore out my copy of “Guitar Romantic” by The Exploding Hearts. It’s one of the best records I’ve ever heard. I also listened to A LOT of the Stones, their early stuff to later, and they always have room on my turntable. I started collecting more garagey-stuff later on.
John: I was obsessed with postpunk during High School, Love and Rockets, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Cramps, The Primitives, 45 Grave, Spacemen 3, Pixies, Sonic Youth. Plus the punk stuff like Ramones, Black Flag, The Germs, The Avengers, Poison Idea, Bikini Kill, Melvins. Some Public Enemy, De La Soul, Paris… these artists, and their songs, are etched into brain forever, hearing them is almost like family.
Ian: High School, man, yikes: AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Oasis, Blur, The Who, Small Faces, The Jam, Sam & Dave and some Soul Comps…
Cam: Rolling Stones, Teenage Fanclub, Tom Petty, The Byrds, The Beatles
Bands that your playing on high rotation now…..
Dave: The Music Machine “Turn On” LP is never far away for me, I also have been digging more into South American Psychedelic Music, and Nederbeat is something I’ve become really interested in lately! There’s so much amazing music out there I’m always discovering hidden gems. I usually have a good garage comp close by at all times too. Lately I’ve been collecting more Northwest Garage compilations to find out about the rad bands that used to be around! Current bands I really like are The Connection, The Pynnacles, Les Grys Grys, The High Learys, The Sellwoods, The Cool Whips, The Jackets.
John: I mostly listen to local bands, friends bands, Pynnacles, Paradise, Cool Whips, Beyond Veronica, Tender Age, Vice Device. Bands currently on my ipod, Death Valley Girls, Les Chaussettes, Deap Vally, Raveonettes, Black Angels, Colleen Green, Temples, Julee Cruise
Ian: The Stone Roses, The Temples, MC5, The Music Machine, and some Black Sabbath..ha
Cam: Haha! The same stuff! The Music Machine is on repeat right now, and I have a new love for Spaghetti Western Soundtracks.
How did you connect with Hidden Volume Records, and what songs will be on the 7″ that you release with them….
Dave: It was a really quick and easy connection! We had just finished recording a batch of 5 songs, and we had some rough mixes that I uploaded to Soundcloud. I was sending out the link privately to people so I could just give some friends a sneak peek at what I was doing, Oscar Garcia from KOTJ Records (Kick Out The Jams) immediately wrote me back, and said he loved our track “Why Should I Care” and he was going to share it with his friend Scott. I had also been talking to Miguel from Mikey & The Drags and they suggested contacting Hidden Volume. Scott wrote me back a few days after I had sent him the songs and said he was interested in working with us! It all happened SO FAST! It was really exciting and still is! It’s going to be a three song 45, with “Why Should I Care”, “Lost in Tyme”, and “The Way I Want You” as the songs.
John: They won the bidding war! We’re doing a 3 song 7” that includes, “Why Should I Care”, “Lost In Time” and “The Way I Want You”.
Ian: Dave this one’s all you
Who writes the songs and what does the process look like in getting lyrics and music together…..
Dave: I write the songs, mostly by noodling around on guitar at practice or at my job (I work at a guitar shop), sometimes it’s a throw away, but sometimes it just comes together and I come up with a melody and put words to it later. It usually happens pretty fast once I get the melody! I find I write better when I’m alone, and I write about people that don’t exist or situations that haven’t occurred. I occasionally write about friend’s experiences, it all comes from wherever my mind seems to wander.
John: Dave pretty much writes all the songs. He’ll work out a rough demo, acoustic guitar and vocals, which the band grooves on until we eventually fill it out into a proper rock and roll number.
Ian: Dave has been doing demo’s, usually acoustic, recording them when he can. He sends them via text, I listen to it, think of some drum parts but really it all comes together in the practice space when we can try new things out.
Any plans on what Record Label will be working with you in regards to your 1st Album….
Dave: At the moment it looks like we have Screaming Apple Records interested in putting out the LP. Not sure about a release time frame, but I’m sure it will be finalized more in a couple of months once mixing is done.
John: Actually, we already have a deal worked out with Screaming Apple for a full length this Fall. I’m fairly excited to be working with them, just to have my band included in their roster of amazing bands, that is incredible!
Ian: Dave yearraaargh!
Cam: Ask Davey!
Hopes and dreams for the next 2 years……
Dave: My dream is that we just keep making music and having fun! More records will be out soon hopefully and touring WILL be happening! I really hope to bring the band over to Europe and just keep having fun with these guys! We’re not looking to be super famous, but being able to play music and support ourselves financially with our music has always been my dream!
John: Write, record, tour, repeat…
Ian: I hope people really connect with the music and I see us recording more albums and touring, hopefully Europe.
Cam: Make people dance to our Rock ‘N’ Roll Music!
I promised you only 10 questions…. so this would be anything else you would like all those tuning in to 50thirdand3rd to know about.. The Reverberations…
Dave: All I’ve got to say is Stay tuned! We got lots more music, merch, etc. coming out soon! Please come out to a show and introduce yourself! Also, support independent labels like Hidden Volume, KOTJ, Groovie, Munster, Chaputa, Screaming Apple, Soundflat. They do it all out of love for this music, so buy some vinyl and keep them going!
John: The Reverberations want you to dance and sing along!
Ian: We don’t always wear stripes, but when we do it’s paisley…
listen to these tunes from The Reverberations, keep in mind these are not the finished product but rough mixes that they have posted on Soundcloud….