Recently I got to catch up with a band formed in my very own hood of Nashville. They call themselves Them Vibes. Co-Founded by singer-songwriters Alex Haddad and Brother Love, joined by Tim Braisted, Kyle Lewis, and Sarah Tomek. Formed in 2013, quickly overtaking the underground rock scene in this town. They have recently finished their second EP, set for release on September 8th, produced by none other than Richard Dodd. Their latest single “Mamma’s Got a Secret” is already getting some much deserved playtime on the airwaves.
Here is what Alex Haddad had to say…
How did everyone meet?
Brother Love and I were living in New York City. He was in the East Village and I was in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. First time we met I was thirty minutes late for an audition- and if you knew me at the time, that meant I was five minutes early – for lead guitar in a country rock group. Brother Love happened to be the new drummer and he was really pissed, to say the least. Three songs later I got the gig and we went on tour the next week. Early on he and I couldn’t stand each other, we were like brothers before the recognition of mutual blood. It took some nights of debauchery in a hotel to realize we had some things in common. But later on we started to write together and we felt this spark, a true musical connection: our 21st century version of the first howl around the first fire. The band led our lives down to Nashville, but the band broke up as bands so often do. So, Brother Love and I said screw it, we will write what we want to hear, and thus began Them Vibes. We wrote and recorded our first record Shine On, and played the Nashville circuit with a revolving door of friends for hire in our band, and luckily for us, our friends are all incredible musicians. But we both agreed we needed a band. Kyle Lewis came in by recommendation of a friend of ours. He showed up to the audition for lead guitar looking like Duane Allman and playing like Mick Taylor, so that was a done deal. Sarah Tomek our drummer, who is one of the greatest drummers out there today, happened to fill in for a gig, and we never let her go. We met Tim Braisted, our bass player, over a couple of joints, drinks and records at our house one evening. We asked him to do a run with us to Columbus, GA, and he grooved like a mother. We haven’t looked back since.
How did you get hooked up with Lighting 100 and the Music City Mayhem?
One of the great things about Nashville is the city’s love and support of local music, and Lighting 100 is one of the true torchbearers of that point of pride. Every Monday the station has a program dedicated to local acts called the 615. They used to host it live at a bar across the street from the station called William Colliers, so Brother Love and I went straight to the source. We handed them a CD with three songs, and one week later our song “Lorelei” was on the radio. Lighting also holds this contest called Music City Mayhem where every local band submits one song and the winner gets a rainbow’s end worth of musical opportunities, one of which is playing Live On The Green. After narrowing down hundreds of bands to thirty-two, each respective band’s song goes head to head on the air and the fans vote. We were one of the lucky thirty-two with our song “Lorelei,” and we made it to the top eight.
How much has changed in the last year?
We’re still hungry with something to prove but we have grown so much as a band. Our live show feels more electric than ever; we have a new EP called TV coming out in October which we are really proud of; our single “Mamma’s Gotta Secret” has just hit radio; and to top it all off we are heading to Europe in support of our new EP this January. Besides that we’re still rock n rollers with a couple nasty habits.
What was it like working with Richard Dodd?
Working with Richard was a joy. He never wanted to change or control anything, he just wanted to capture us at our best and make our music sound colossal. We worked together with such ease and open communication because he really understood our music, and we were able to create an EP that we are all truly proud of.
Watching your videos and listening to your songs, you are so full of energy and life. How do you keep that going so strong throughout the show and tour?
The energy comes from the sheer love of what we get to do. Rock n’ roll is pure freedom and when you are allowed to give that onstage there is no better feeling in the world: its high-grade electric adrenaline in itself- if it could be bottled it would be a Class A drug.
What was the first album you bought?
Queen-Live Killers and Kris Kross-Jump, go figure.
What is the song you wish you had written?
That’s a tough question. But if I had to say one I would lean toward “The Weight” by the Band. It’s simple yet elegant and it is delivered with such feel and vibe that no matter what mood I’m in I feel like turning it up. It’s a song that can be sung by a couple friends on a porch or belted by a festival crowd of 100,000 strong. Songs transcend time and space when they bring people together, and if they are really good they become a permanent part of the human story.
What song made you want to be in a band?
The first time I heard Jimi Hendrix’s version of “All Along The Watchtower” it changed my life forever. I never heard a guitar sound that way, it was so explosive and imaginative, and the band was literally moving me off my feet, I felt like I was having a religious experience. After that my mind was made up- it was music or nothing.
And this is why I love them… Check them out at themvibes.com and follow them on twitter @ThemVibes and Facebook. I can’t wait to catch them live when they are back in town. They are full of energy on stage and their music is pure rock-n-roll.