For generations local musicians and bands have brought the many communities together through various old and new styles of music. This has kept the music culture fruitful in Washington. The Informal Gentlemen are an American rock group formed in 2009 by Yamill Collazo lead guitar and vocalist of the band. The band also includes Caleb Burr (rhythm guitar and vocalist), Randahl Burr (bass) and Joey Carlisle (drums). Signing with Uncle Roy’s music, The Informal Gentlemen released its first album, Orange Lights, in 2012.
The bands musical influences derive from groups such as Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys and The Pixies. Musicians such as Travis Barker (Blink 182) and Neil Pert (Rush) inspired Carlisle to take up the sticks. However, Randahl thanks his high school history teacher Max Mitchell for affecting him musically. Orange Lights, which released in February 2012, is 45 minutes long, including 10 tracks.
“Orange Lights conveys that although you may live in a bleak environment filled with dread and despair, you shouldn’t let it define who you are because better days are coming,” Collazo said. “Another popular song on Orange Lights is The Witch that is basically about a witch that will do anything to keep the person she loves with her. We’re working on a new song, which is one of my favorites, titled Highway16. We are planning on releasing later this year.”
Musically, each band member’s experience on his instrument and musical talent differ.
While Collazo has been playing guitar for almost seven years and has been singing practically his entire life, Randahl started playing his bass when the band was formed three years ago.
The genre of late 1980s alternative rock was chosen as the band’s rhythmic style. The instruments The Informal Gentlemen use are simple, yet given an unique tone, when listeners hear the heavy and gritty grunge rock sound of late 1980s style. Collazo explains the band decided on that style to reflect Seattle’s popular grunge sound.
“We decided to base our sound off of late 1980s alternative rock because most bands now a day have a fast-paced upbeat style to it,” Collazo said. “I would honestly consider our style more post grunge than alternative considering the style we use is a bit more hardcore than most popular alternative rock groups.”
Instrument layout for The Informal Gentlemen is straight-forward. The Burrs and Collazo use vintage brand guitars/bass while Joey performs on a “standard” drum kit. The blend of guitar riffs and drum beats coincide with the deep, booming bass to allow The Informal Gentlemen to pay tribute to an almost forgotten era of hardcore alternative rock.
Since February, The Informal Gentlemen have been performing at The Live Room in Sumner. Videos of past performances can be found on YouTube. The band’s recent performance at The Live Room was phenomenal and drew in just as large and packed to the doors as previously.
“We were overjoyed for all of those who were able to attend the concert and see our performance,” said Collazo. “The others bands that performed were remarkable and entertaining, I hope we can set up another gig soon at The Live Room so students at Pierce can have a chance to see us perform.”
Nevertheless, attending an Informal Gentlemen concert is an unforgettable experience witnessing a rock group in this day and age of competing musical genres such as dub-step and pop music.
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