Indie rockers ready for four-song extended play
Published: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 00:09
Sammy Pond said he'd be the first person to admit a lot has changed since he started his band the Red Light Commandos in fall 2012; changes that helped him and his bandmates take third place in the WhySound battle of the bands this past spring; changes that helped the band write and record a four-song extended play set for release on Nov. 9.
"This all started off as an electronica project," said Pond, the group's lead vocalist. "It's easy to see things are different these days."
No longer favoring electronic instruments and computer-generated clicks and tones, the Commandos have developed a sound Josh Mikesell, the band's guitarist, called a "progressive indie-blues" type of rock.
"It was just Sammy before," he said. "He was doing a solo thing and playing a live show. He wanted a guitar player, so he contacted me because we had known each other for a while. I wasn't very hyped about it since it was techno, but I was just doing it because it was my first project."
Soon after their first live performance together, both Pond and Mikesell realized things had to change if RLC was going to continue.
"I was frustrated after the first show and I could tell Josh was pretty frustrated too," Pond said. "It's not easy to perform that type of music in a live setting. There are too many variables that the artist can't control — sound levels and whatnot. It was a fun idea but it just didn't work out."
Additional musicians were needed to solidify the band's sound and lineup. Pond immediately thought of Bryan Rieben, a drummer he had performed with in past musical projects.
Pond said Rieben adds a jazzy element to the band.
"Josh and Bryan really clicked,” he said. “They would jam out some tunes and really feed off each other. It really seemed to be pulling all together."
Rieben has been playing drums and percussion since he was 12 years old. Now 24, he said he was impressed with the 17-year-old Mikesell's soulful skill with a guitar.
"He's a child prodigy," Rieben said. "We definitely don’t want to lose him."