The Good, Bad, Ugly of Our Brevard Original Music Scene
By Steve Keller // May 24, 2014
‘Local Lowdown’ By Music Aficionado Steve Keller, Courtesy of Brevard Live Magazine
Hello all and welcome to another edition of Local Lowdown, I’m your host Guy Smiley.
This month will showcase the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our Brevard Original Music scene as we inch closer to summer. I’ll leave it up to you, the loyal reader, to decide which is which. Some bad news as we went to press.
The Friction have either broken up or parted ways with their rhythm section, depending on which camp you’re hearing it from. A post on Facebook from bassist Andrew Walker, referencing growing tension with singer Josh Collins, was removed soon after it was posted.
The band themselves posted the following on their Facebook page about the split:
“The Friction have not broken up. We’ve had to part ways with Andrew, and Alex (Petrosky, drums) has decided to follow.We’re not sure exactly what lies ahead right now, but hopefully it’s full of all kinds of The Friction.”
The band, which also includes guitarist Nick Barna, had played the Original Music Series and was planning to release a full length CD and accompanying live DVD. Both releases are now in limbo. One band that will have their first full length release this month is Sounds of Nebula. I caught up with singer/ guitarist Kelly Quinn and talked about 751.
She tells me that songs “Raw Idea” and “Soul” are her favorites. SON have always delivered every time I’ve seen them. Do the scene and yourself a favor and check out 751.
“It is the address number of the house we have had practiced at basically every Monday and Tuesday for the 3 years we have been a band, so it has a lot of meaning to us.”
A band that I’m hoping to hear a lot from this year is The Umbrella Thieves. Fronted by former Luna Pearl vocalist Sarah Balarezo, the band has prepared cover song sets initially, with plans to incorporate original songs into the mix very soon.
I’m admittingly not the biggest fan of all covers, so the thought of mixing it up is very appealing. Good luck to the band in combining our two scenes while reaching a bigger audience. Was so happy to hear that local music icon/all around great guy John Andrew Burr is on the mend. He had been waiting to receive both a pancreas and kidney transplant for some time now. A fundraiser helped cover some of his medical expenses in preparation of the transplants.
ABOVE VIDEO: Umbrella Thieves if fronted by former Luna Pearl vocalist Sarah Balarezo. The band has prepared cover song sets initially, with plans to incorporate original songs into the mix very soon.
There’s talk of holding another one now that he is recovering from the surgeries to offset his medical expenses. I’ve known John for a while and can honestly say he’s a rare breed of musician. His modesty and caring for others only rivals his talent. Take care my friend, and I think I speak for all of us when I say, call on us if we can help. It’s that time of year again. A time when the birds chirp and little louder, the sun hits your eyes a little brighter.
HUGE OPPORTUNITY FOR UP AND COMING ‘METALHEADS’
And a time when the brutal sounds of Murderfly and their bretheren invade West Melbourne. This time around Thought of Redemption, Vertebreaker and Southern Fried Genocide represent our county. A huge opportunity for these up and coming metalheads as well as a testament on how much local talent in this genre we have here. I spoke to TOR guitarist Jerry Stockman recently about the band’s origins as well as the return of singer Aaron Robinson.
“Aaron was our previous vocalist and had to leave for a while, David (Marfitt, ex Path to Prevail) came to fill in and wanted to stay, but I think the Lord was really working on him and he ran away (laughs). We love him and keep praying for him, God’s not done with him yet.”
“Well, we don’t preach from the stage, but if asked we will talk openly about it. No one has ever downed us for it, we have found that we are reaching more musicians than an actual crowd, if that makes sense.”
I am fan of this band as I’ve stated in past columns. Check them out as well as the other participants of Murderfly’s next metalfest online for music and ticket information. I’m always on the lookout for new talent. Not just for my own listening pleasure, but also to inform my loyal readers (2nd time I said that this column) of said new artists.
This month I submit to you Angela Roman. She comes to us from Satellite Beach and spends her daytime hours working in the private sector. She’s been taken under the wing of producer Brendon Paredes at Studio 101 in Melbourne.
“Angel Roman is a aspiring pop star. She is not a traditional band since she is by herself, but will be a force in dance music. She has talent and monster passion. This is her first project and I believe she can go big time.” Strong emotion coming from a guy that has been in the scene and has seen just about everything. Decide for yourself by checking out Angela on social media.
Big props to Coldside. Not only have they travelled many miles representing.
Brevard County, they’ve brought the rock back home as well. The band played a pair of incredible shows last month in Florida including one in downtown Melbourne. Headlined by hard-core legends Madball, the band is currently recording their follow up to We’ve Had Enough. I’ve always been impressed with the band’s work ethic as well as the whole looking out for each other mentality that is hard-core music. Well, they’ve done it again. Local heroes Vilifi are booked to perform for a second straight year at Rocklahoma.
Think of it as 80s in the park times a hundred! The Brevard trio has booked a tour with all roads leading to the festival Memorial Day weekend. Some of the nicest guys you’ll meet in the scene, I’m proud to have them sharing stage space with the likes of Kid Rock, Deftones and Black Label Society among many, many others.
We’re working on a special performance with the first ever Original Music series winners for later this year before they get scooped up by the mainstream rock world! Congrats are in order as we wait to welcome baby Talen Shea to the world later this month.
JESSICA OTTWAY LOOKS FORWARD TO BEING A MOM
Proud mama to be Jessica Ottway tells me she’ll be booking and playing as many shows as possible until her daughter is born. She says the baby enjoys it when she plays guitar to her and is looking to be able to show her this pre-birth announcement.
Jessica is a great performer; enjoy the gift of life and the unlimited song writing material it will produce. Finally this month, I want to jump back on the soapbox. It had occurred to me that there is a virtually limitless promotion vehicle in our own backyard that only a handful of artists are taking advantage of. I am speaking of course of WFIT college radio station located on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology.
SOUNDSCAPES WITH WFIT’S TODD KENNEDY
Last fall I had the pleasure of guesting on Soundscapes; a weekday program hosted by Todd Kennedy. I had a blast promoting the Original Music Series and local music in general. Todd had expressed that he doesn’t get many local releases but is willing to play them when he does.
This is not only a huge offer to be played on FM radio and online to thousands of listeners, but a win-win situation to everyone involved. I spent six years as part of a community-student run radio station WCVF at Fredonia State University in New York.
The stations’s play list is enhanced by local talent, and the bands played have something to add to their resume or electronic press kit.
Todd has also had many local bands including Fight The Swing and SWIMM on the program to perform live. He also showed me a near complete performance studio where live concerts can also be broadcast.
My point is this; take him up on his offer and send in your stuff! Please make sure that it is broadcast quality and FCC friendly (bleep out the curse words). We have a great radio station right here in Melbourne and one that is willing to play local music. Not a lot of places can boast such an ally.