City Beat - Members of JOY, Harsh Toke start new band

Members of some heavyweight bands in the local psychedelic scene have come together with a new project called Volcano. The band features Harsh Toke’s Gabe Messer on keyboards and vocals, JOY’S Zachary Oakley on guitar, his brother Matt on drums, Loom’s Billy Ellsworth on bass and Operation Mindblow’s Ake Arndt on percussion. They’re all friends who have known each other for a long time, and the project’s been something they’ve been talking about for a while, even if it only recently launched. 

“It started out when a few of us were just hanging out, drinking beers in Venice Beach,” says Messer. “We thought it’d be cool to bring more of a Fela Kuti vibe to San Diego. But it took about three years to get off the ground.” 

The band’s first recorded music, the song “10,000 Screaming Souls,” has just been released on Bandcamp. It’s a teaser of the upcoming full-length debut that the band plans to release this spring, though Arndt and Messer say that its funky, psychedelic grooves aren’t necessarily reflective of the band’s beginnings, which mostly saw them working on loose jams. 

“If we rushed it, it just wouldn’t be ready,” says Arndt. “So we took another year.” 

“It’s a lot different than how we started it,” adds Messer. 

Volcano are highly influenced by the Afrobeat style of music, made famous by the likes of Fela Kuti. There are other world psychedelic sounds at work as well, and their upcoming LP, which will be released via Tee Pee, will reflect their diverse influences. They say that the album’s 40 minutes of music will be stretched to 60 minutes once they bring their sound to a live stage later this year. 

“We’re all big fans of the music coming out of Nigeria in the ‘70s,” says Arndt. 

“We coined our own genre: ‘tropadelic’,” adds Messer. “We’re not trying to emulate so much of the ‘70s guitar solo bands. We’re trying more to have a natural ebb and flow of rhythms. It’s going to be a fun fucking band.” 


by Jeff Terich / City Beat . origianl article is here

January 9, 2018 

1:37 PM

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