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December 10, 1993 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-12-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


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Music and random

By JESSIE HALLADAY
Standing in an elevator with six good-looking
guys singing just for me is not a bad way to end an
interview, especially if it is an interview with that
University legend, the Friars. And an interview
with this bunch is no easy task, somewhere along
the way I lost control. At one point they even
started interviewing me, professional decorum
was out of the question. It was totally random.
Random. That seems to be the principle the
Friars live by. This group of eight men (Aaron
Drummond, Roy Feague, Paul Geddes, Bob
Kleber, Matt Laura, Jason Menges, Ayal
Miodovnik and Dan Ryan, whew, what a mouth-
fol) does almost everything spontaneously and if
it turns out looking like they had a plan, it was
purely an accident.
The Friars attribute much of their success to
this "light-hearted spontaneity." "Nobody ever
has any idea what we're going to do," said Jason,
senior, who admits that even they don't always
know what they are going to do. "We never want
to know either," he added.
The Friars insist they don't have groupies
despite the women all over campus who rearrange
their lives around the next Friars concert and listen
to the CD (which is the number one selling local
CD, by the way) until they're almost deaf. "We
don't know about that," said Ayal, senior.

"The fact that the concerts sell out indicates
there are people out there and we're thrilled about
that," said Roy, graduate. But they did want the
rumor that they have groupies put to rest. They
insist they never get more than the occasional mts
message.
The Friars are an off-shoot of the Men's Glee
Club but is run completely independently. All
But they did want the rumor
that they have groupies put to
rest. They insist they never get
more than the occasional mts
message.
new Friars are chosen from Glee Club members.
The Friars feel that being in the Glee Club has
helped their success. "We get a lot of exposure
because we are in Glee Club," said Bob, senior.
This year's Friars has only one new member.
Because of this, according to Menges, they are
able to try things they haven't been able to before.
An interview with the Friars wouldn't be com-
plete without a whole host of tangents. One such
tangent was about what the proper term for a
group of Friars would be. They contemplated such
terms as gaggle, flock, kittering and litter, but
finally, based on Ayal's insistence, they settled on

thoughts
dude. We then moved on to a tangent about boxer
shorts. And for all of you who were wondering,
seven of the eight wear boxers but you have to
figure out which one doesn't.
These guys admit and take pride in their diver-
sity. There are three business majors, a computer
science grad, two music majors, a film/video
major and a history major. All the Friars agree that
they probably would not have become friends if it
weren't for being in the group.
Despite there different backgrounds, these men
have come together to create a group with mass
appeal. Most of their concerts sell out, music
stores have a hard time keeping their CD's in
stock and they travel to events around the country
performing. (By the way, they wouldn't mind
going to Tampa even though it's not the Rose
Bowl.)
This group of guys doesn't take too much
seriously except putting on a show that's going to
entertain their audience. But don't expect to be
getting any hints about tonight's concert at the
Power Center because no one was telling; that was
the one thing they always agreed on.
THE FRIARS will perform tonight at 8 p.m. in
the Power Center for the Performing Arts.
Tickets are $6 and can be purchased from the
Union Ticket Office. Call 763-TKTS to find out
if tickets are still available.

CANADIAN BRASS

J1

}

Swervednver drives music on home

By ANDY DOLAN
During their brief four-year ca-
reer, Swervedriver has created some
of the most vividly atmospheric yet
hiard-rocking music ever. The British
foursome's first album, "Raise," re-
ceived almost unanimously positive
reviews in both England and America,
as did their first single, "Rave Down"
and "Song of Mustang Ford," the lat-
ter of which was cited as being par-
ticularly "American-sounding" on
account of its driving theme and MC5
influenced sound.
Indeed, many critics focused on
the fact that Swervedriver create mu-
sic which captures the pure, blissful
escapism of driving, the wonderful
feeling of pure freedom and invinci-
bility that come from hopping into a
car and just taking off into the sunset,
leaving everything behind. However,
with theirnew album, "Mezcal Head,"
the band has taken a new direction,
leaving the "car" theme behind in

order to focus on a more diverse,
richer sound. Swervedriver's percus-
sionist, Jez, explained that the band
wasn't really comfortable with being
labeled as a "driving" band in the first
place. "All Kinds of bands use car
references, it's just that Swervedriver
has kind of been given this unique
'car' genre pigeonhole."
Swervedriver's new direction
wasn't decided on, however, until the
gaps left by the departure of their
original drummer and bassist had been
filled. "Jimmy [Hartridge] and Adam
[Franklin] felt when Ijoined the band
that [the album] was going to be more
experimental, more in the 'Never
Learn' kind of vibe, using different
instruments and such. As it turned
out, it ended up being just a more
definitive version of 'Raise,' in a
way!"
Songs like the fuzz-jazz-dub fu-
sion of "Never Learn" and the melan-
choly "Duress" have more than their

share of experimental elements that
seem almost chaotic at times, but Jez
explained that the band truly have a
clear vision of their musical direction
when they write songs. "The guitars
sound disorganized sometimes but
actually it's all quite well orches-
trated. We actually do know what
we're trying to do when we create
songs!"
Swervedriver's new
direction wasn't
decided on, however,
until the gaps left by
the departure of their
original drummer and
bassist had been filled.
"You can't ever re-create the live
experience on an album, it'll never
work that way," Jez observed, "so
what you have to do is you have to use

other elements to try to make things
jump out of the speakers a bit more.
You'll never have enough volume in
someone's home or car to make it as
powerful as it would be live ... so we
use a lot of percussion just to make
things move a bit more, and there's a
lot of small, textural guitar noises.
"For example, 'Blowin' Cool' has
a bit of backwards guitar. Adam does
some things at home and plays stupid
tunings backwards, and that becomes
the basis of a song. He might get one
backwards riff that sounds really good
and think it's a really nice texture
around which to build a song. Ulti-
mately, though, the four of us just
listen to it and think, 'What's miss-
ing? What would make this sound
better?"'
Currently, Swervedriver is sup-
porting Smashing Pumpkins on their
U. S. tour. After playing a terrific set
on December 3rd-at the State Fair
Coliseum with the Pumpkins, they
spent their scheduled day off playing
a headlining show at St. Andrews
Hall, where their sound was finally
able to break free from the torturously
awful sound system at the larger
venue. Despite playing for less than
an hour, Swervedriver left their fans
speechless with near perfect rendi-
tions of new tracks such as "Last
Train to Satansville" and "For Seek-
ing Heat," as well as updated versions
of their already-classic tunes such as
"Sandblasted."
Driving band or not, nothing
changes the fact that their music never
fails to excite with their wonderful
tunes at subtle ambient elements.
Combined with the speed and raw
energy of pure rock and roll,
Swervedriver have captured a sound
that never fails to take the listener on
a cross-country road trip to Blissville,
U.S.A.

The world's most beloved brass quintet, the Canadian Brass, will give a
holiday concert at Hill Auditorium on Saturday, December 11. Known not
only for their musical skill, the Brass are also famous for their witty and
laid-back style. The serious side of the program will include Gabrieli, Bach,
Mozart, Bizet and Vivaldi. The rest of the concert will be made up of holiday
tunes, concluding with a holiday sing-along. The concert will be held at 8
p.m. Tickets are available from the University Musical Society Box Office
(764-2538) for $14, $20, $24, and $26. Student Rush tickets will be
available for $8 from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Also, the UMS and North
Campus Commons will co-sponsor North Campus Rush, from 11:30 a.m. to
2 p.m. today, next to Little Caesar's in the Commons.
Wasteland ,_flled b
Braziian metal

By GIANLUCA MONTALTI
In the vast wasteland of today's
popular music, it's difficult to find a
band that sticks with the formula that
got them where they are. Sepultura
has matured into a more brutal outfit
than they ever were - a trend that is
rare. Where most metal bands lose
their energy as they emerge out of
puberty, Sepultura has refined their
approach into the pure basics.
Sepultura's style in Max Cavalera's
words is "No Style." Cavalera, the
singer/guitarist for the band subscribes
to the tried and true set of metal be-
liefs. The rules to live by are to be
yourself, avoid labels and never, ever
sell out.
The Brazilian-based metal band
has been together for 10 years; their
credibility in the US-dominated metal
world stopped being an issue long
ago. "Chaos A.D.," their newest al-
bum, is their fifth release and their

' - -' 1

first on a major label. Sepultura have
been around for a long time, but
they're still not getting the recogni-
tion that they deserve according to
Cavalera. Does the band want recog-
nition? "We never change ourselves.
So if we're big, (that's) great." Being-
popular does not exactly have posi-
tive connotations for Cavalera. "Most
of the stuff that sells a lot sucks. From
Nirvana to Pearl Jam, Aerosmith -
all those bands suck. I hate the whole
Seattle shit. We don't need to write.
ballads. We're not afraid to say fuck:
off to no one."
Sepulturahas the goods to back ups;
their words on their new release.
"Chaos A.D." exudes uncontrived
brutality and intensity that should fi- *
nally put them among the ranks of the'
giants, Slayer and Pantera. "It's such
an uncompromising album ... like'
those good, old punk albums. There's
a lot of (different)moods. Every song;
takes you to a different place. It's like:
watching a movie." Their power
comes through on the vocals as well.'
"I didn't try to sing. I just fucking,
screamed my guts off. Fuck melody:
and all that, this comes from the heart
Nothing can beat that - energy and:
emotion. I think that's why it sounds;
so live and so fresh."
"Territory," Sepultura's first MTV*
single off the new album, deals with:
the touchy subject of territorial rights:
and ownership privilege. "Every per-,;
son that thinks that they own (the):
land and that they should kill for it,
they're a bunch of dicks. That can be:
in Israel, Yugoslavia, L.A.... nation'
See SEPULTURA, Page 19
Put the paper
chase behind you...
Finish all your
reports with us!
0 \

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