April 18, 2014
Doors at 8:00 pm
Show at 9:00 pm
$12 advance (not including fees)
$15 day of show
STG Presents THREE OF CLUBS Terraplane Sun, Flagship, & Little Daylight at The Crocodile in Seattle on Friday, April 18, 2014.
Hailing from Venice, California, TERRAPLANE SUN is comprised of frontman Ben Rothbard, guitarist Johnny Zambetti, bassist Cecil Campanaro, keyboardist Gabe Feenberg and drummer Lyle Riddle.
Self-described as "blues indie rock folk dance soul," TERRAPLANE SUN blends all of that and more into a rootsy rock cocktail that defies any specific era. While their music occasionally evokes stylings of THE BLACK KEYS or PHOENIX, they're not married to any trend or scene. It's what happens when four-fifths of your lineup is born and bred in SoCal, pulling together just the right recipe of shared and disparate influences. Frontman Rothbard explains, "I wanted to make this a very classic, somewhat vintage-based bond, where all the tones were kind of timeless, and let the songs do their thing." TERRAPLANE SUN's vision has rounded into shape in a distinctive way. The band's eclectic musical colorings include harmonica (Rothbard), lap steel, accordion and trombone (Feenberg), and mandolin (Zambetti). "Each band member's musical input is virtually irreplaceable," says Rothbord. "It would be very hard to create this sound with other players." "The wide range of musical influences has melded into this unique collective unit," muses Zambetti. It's the live show where the well-crafted songs and varied musical elements combine with raw energy, musicianship and showmanship... forging a powerful connection to the audience each night.
Perhaps it's the cinematic quality of their music that has afforded the young TERRAPLANE SUN such swift recognition from the Hollywood creative community. Their distinct sound has found placement in several high profile productions, including big-screen hits like "21 Jump Street" and "Playing for Keeps," as well as popular TV series like "Teen Wolf," "Suits," "Franklin & Bash," "Nurse Jackie," and the theme for A&E's show "Relapse," to name a few. After tucking themselves away last year for writing and preproduction, the band went into the studio with producer Dave Trumfio (MY MORNING JACKET, WILCO) to record their current five-song EP entitled "Ya Never Know."
The first single "Get Me Golden" was written after Rothbard had been involved in discussions about defying the sometimes-disheartening music industry by forging ahead with new energy. He explains, "I woke up the next morning, and the hook played in my head... a danceable Motown energy is what I was hearing. I called Johnny and he came over right away to fill it out." The song exemplifies the progression the band has made musically, expanding on their early bluesy style to embrace the more varied elements of the music they've been influenced by. Rothbard reflects, "My parents listened to 95% Motown when I was growing up, and everyone in the band has influences that include mainstream, even pop... to round out our love of blues." Zambetti adds, "The confidence of digging deeper and incorporating these elements in interesting ways is what makes the TERRAPLANE SUN sound unique." The song "Ya Never Know," with its trickling ivories and heady vocals, has lyrics that seem to inspire many interpretations from listeners -- a quality that is fine with the band. "If we can give exercise to the imagination, that's a good thing." In support of the "Ya Never Know" EP, the band above all looks forward to hitting the road with the new songs, giving and receiving the special energy that comes only in the concert environment. Their intense and intimate live show is just as impressive headlining clubs as it is opening for the likes of ALABAMA SHAKES or IMAGINE DRAGONS. LA Times writes, "Tne Venice psych/blues rocker puts on one of the most intense live shows in the city's local scene. It pulls from the riffage of Zeppelin and the hippy-dippy vibes of their neighborhood, but with enough California pop sunshine to make it go down easy."
The expansive, electric sound of Flagship was born one humid summer at a music festival in Illinois. Drake Margolnick was there performing on the heels of an EP he had recorded and some friends of his from the band Campbell were there and he asked them if they would be his backing band. It became clear from the first note that this makeshift group had musical chemistry. The group created a sound much greater than the sum of their parts. Back in their mutual hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina it was decided that this musical collaboration should continue. Frontman Drake Margolnick was born in England, on an Air Force base, the son of a military couple. A few years later, his mother settled in the southern city of Charlotte where Margolnick focused his energies on skateboarding and dirt-bike riding, dreaming of pursuing the sports professionally. Through his teen years, however, music began to completely capture his imagination. After high school graduation, Margolnick moved to Australia to follow his muse. Disillusioned with the scene there, Margolnick returned to Charlotte where he quickly integrated into the burgeoning community of musicians, artists and filmmakers. It was the same soil that guitarist Matthew Padgett, drummer Michael Finster and keyboardist Grant Harding were growing in, a community that expanded across the state to include bassist Chris Comfort. It was here playing in multiple bands in multiple venues -- clubs, theaters and coffee houses -- that they honed their musical style, a sound that transcends the traditional south but seems right at home in the southern heat. After forming Flagship, Padget, Harding and Finster immediately began to work with Margolnick on a tight collection of songs -- self-producing and engineering the Blackbush EP. Here, the group began to formulate an atmospheric mixture of pop-minded melodies and passionate, aggressive performance. It was the strength of these songs that attracted the attention of Bright Antenna Records, a label that wanted to see the group grow beyond their regional fanbase while maintaining their distinct musical personality. After playing stages across the U.S. for a year, Flagship recorded their first full-length LP with the producer Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Washed Out). Set to release on October 8, 2013, the album is both a culmination of all that came before and the sound of what comes next.
Drake, you had a singer-songwriter career before this, and there of the other guys played in Campbell the Band. How did that turn into Flagship? Drake Margolnick: I started Flagship back in 2005 with a specific sound in mind. To make a long story short, I met Matt Padgett first and asked him to play guitar in a solo project I was doing. Months later we all ended up at a music festival together and the guys of Campbell backed up one of my performances, and then a few more. In working together we all felt a strong creative chemistry and a tight bond forming. It just made sense to play together and in turn Flagship was revived and reformed. Flagship and Campbell was not a merging of bands, as they are two very different sounds, it was a merging of artists. Was there something missing in your solo career? Margolnick: I quit being in a band that I started, and then I did a solo project for a little bit. The other bands that I had been in felt off-balance. I found myself doing 90% of the work. These guys have a work ethic, so everybody works, and everyone is happy when everyone is pulling their own. The songwriting changed because I wasn't writing every part anymore, people were writing their own parts, so the more minds that connect, the more it develops into something that's just not one person. It expands. Tell me about Campbell the Band. Matthew Padgett: Campbell the Band was formed by Grant and Michael and I. I met Grant when I was in high school. He was playing music with Michael already and I was doing my own thing. We met and we were like "let's get together and start a real band." So that's probably 2003 when that started. Then it's been a lot of small steps. We started gaining success in Charlotte, we were getting crowds of 700 to 800 people. But we didn't feel right about it, we didn't feel like it was going anywhere so we broke up, and I started playing with Drake's side project, and I loved it and asked the rest of Campbell to come and play and we called it Flagship. Drake, as the main lyricist, what ideas were on your mind when you were writing the album? Margolnick: I reread "The Call Of The Wild," and it affected me. I was just obsessed with the wilderness and that really bleed through most of the album. The wilderness as a literal thing, and how sometimes you feel like you're in the wilderness and there's not much happening. I was going through a lot of big changes in my life and my beliefs and getting more comfortable with myself. Maturing, and reevaluating priorities and figuring out what actually mattered to me. I found peace and solace in music. What was the chemistry in the band like once Drake joined? Grant Harding: The chemistry was...when we first got in the studio, and recorded demos, it was like magic. Everyone was feeling it. When you start a new thing, you have this intense connection and you know its real and you know its right, and then after a couple months you'll have some rough stages, and that is when I think you start maturing as a band, and you learn when those rough stages are coming and how to deal with each one. I think that's just as important as the magic that happened in the beginning. Tell me about the working relationship that you have together. What is it about the five of you that makes the band's sound work? Christopher Comfort: On a personal level I enjoy being around the guys, they're great friends and they're brothers. We spend so much time together. They're probably the closest people I have in my life. For the most part, it's pretty easy making music. It's not laborious when we come together to work out music. The thing about us is that we have so many different musical interests that when they do come together, there's a lot to choose from to make something creative. How did you come to work with Ben Allen? Braden Merrick (Manager): I am friends with Ben Allen's manager Paul Adams. Ben Allen was on the band's list of producers to work with. So through many conversations with Paul and Ben, we were able to work out a deal. Ben only works with artists he truly loves. He has that luxury. He said of all the artists he could have made an LP with at the time, he chose flagship due to the power of the songs and Drake's voice. Tell me about your first time working with Ben Allen. This was your first time working with a high profile producer. Michael Finster: It was very different than the way we normally do things. Grant is actually an engineer himself, so for the longest time we recorded things on our own. When we did that we would usually go the studio and spend the whole day setting up and goofing off, and probably end up recording around 11 or 12 at night, because that's when we felt the best. But Ben, he did things more scheduled. He was there to push us to use our time a little bit more wisely. He knew what he wanted and he would push you and push you until it sounded as good as it was going to sound. If he complemented something you did then it was really good, because he was not to open with complimenting you.
What's in a name? There's little daylight at the start of a day, but equally so as it turns to night. Brooklyn's Little Daylight has incorporated this dichotomy into every element of their sound. Their penchant for contrast leaves room for percussion big and small, vocals at once intimate and soaring, gravelly guitars tempered by shimmery synths and whispering pads. From the pounding drums of "Overdose" that provide the foundation for frontwoman Nikki's sensuous lilt, to the stormy night drive of "Name In Lights," theirs is a world of lush pop where the song reigns supreme. A three-headed hydra at work, Little Daylight fired the first shot in 2012, priming the world for their pop aesthetic through a series of official remixes for the likes of Passion Pit, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Freelance Whales. A fully collaborative effort, the re-works paved the way for their own originals to do the heavy lifting, as the band slowly unveiled their full artistic vision as both producers and songwriters. The band started in the summer of 2012 when Little Daylight's Nikki, Matt, and Eric spent a month at an upstate lake house, sketching the ideas that would become their first singles. Since then, they have stayed true to their DIY approach, even creating the video for their first single "Overdose" themselves. A few days after Hurricane Sandy, Little Daylight took to the street with a team of friends armed with cameras. While Con Edison attempted to restore power, the band raced against the clock, shooting in darkened neighborhoods as Nikki danced in the shadows without a plan or pretence. The result was a clip that captured an infectious, after-hours joie de vivre and further communicated the band's singular perspective. Little Daylight plans to maintain their hands-on approach, even as their music begins to reach a larger audience, thanks in part to tours with pop luminaries such as Charli XCX and Marina and the Diamonds. Rather than transition from their home recording spaces to a more lavish studio setting, they've opted to recreate the intimacy of the lake house. They'll spend the summer holed up in a Brooklyn carriage house where they'll be recording their debut full-length -- ready to emerge in fall of 2013 with another round of releases.