Subterranean, a band who got it’s start downtown at the old J-Alan’s club, has evolved into one of the hottest bands in the region. Their debut album, Loom, which releases on Saturday April 22nd, is already garnering attention from multiple national music publications, as one of the emerging acts to check out.
The members of Subterranean describe their music as “improv with intent.” There is no succinct way to describe them, as they genre-bend not just from song to song, but within songs themselves. I asked guitarist Chris Coalt how they manage to pull that off so seamlessly.
“I think it starts with consuming music without boundaries. I’ve never liked titles or categories. Why can’t things just be what they are? So as a songwriter, I’ve always naturally blended different genres together, because it felt natural to me. As a band, we’ve wanted the freedom to do anything, so we have never let ourselves get pigeon-holed into one style.”
As an avid fan of their live music, I wondered how that improve sound would translate into recorded music. Would it alter or evolve once they got into the studio? Chris further explained that for the most part, the nuts and bolts of the songs remained. “Gary King (Refraze Recording Studio) is a great engineer, so he was able to give us some nice ideas on harmonies and vocal arrangements, but the majority of the songs were already in place. Although I will say, one song got created spontaneously in the studio!”
A song developing naturally and unexpectedly in the studio doesn’t surprise me. These veterans of the Dayton music scene schooled themselves on improv during tireless jam sessions all over the city. Replacing a rhythm guitarist or keyboardist with sax, proved to be their winning combination. Breaking the rules of the traditional 4-piece rock arrangement helped this band find their voice: a sound is extraordinarily dynamic, bouncing from moody jazz to funky jams to what borders on heavy metal.
Check out what all the buzz is about, and celebrate the release of the debut album Saturday April 22nd at Gilly’s Jazz. Cover $5. Parking is validated. Doors 8pm. Show starts at 9pm. Electric Orange Peel opens the show, followed by Subterranean.