Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2015 11:19 am |
The experiment was meant to be temporary, but with a growing fan base and the fresh notoriety it provided, Band of Heathens was born.
“We never planned to tour or do anything serious,” founding member Gordy Quist said. “Our live nights became bigger than everything else, so we decided to tour to Colorado. It went well, and we kept growing as thing progressed.”
The band’s touring schedule since has led them to numerous music venues throughout the country and landed them in the lineup of the lauded Austin City Limits Festival.
The band will head to Midland to headline Tall Townes Entertainment’s third annual Backyard BBQ at KD’s Bar-B-Q on Saturday which will also feature Wood and Wire and Mayeux and Broussard.
The band’s performance does recall a memorable performance for Quist. With the double whammy of Halloween and the 2008 presidential election on the forefront of everyone’s minds, Band of Heathens took advantage for a little extra fun.
“We were all wearing presidential rubber masks, like those Nixon ones,” Quist said chuckling. “We were the presidents, we played with suits on and everything. It’s hard to forget that one.”
Fun times are still to be had but lately the band has been in and out of different studios in the Austin area. Quist said this keeps Heathens’ music from going stale. This parallels the multiple sounds it employs in their albums, as the band is extremely aware that each of its releases is different from the others.
“Each member brings a little something different to the band, a few of our members are into totally different sound than the others,” Quist said. “Maybe that’s what hurts us, some marketing people might say it’s bad, but that’s who we are.”
Though the band rarely strays from the classical sounds of country, folk and soul, Quist believes Heathens falls under the blanketing genre of Americana.
“The word that captures all of these musical forms,” Quist said. “That seems to be a catch-all and it works for us. We’re trying to entertain ourselves and keep it interesting, hopefully our fans are similarly entertained by the different sounds.”
Ever since their performance in 2010 at ACL, the band has had a fan in Tall Townes’ Matt Catalano.
“They’re great musicians and songwriters and put on a fantastic live show,” Catalano said. “I’ve seen them live several times since then and always had a great time. They seemed a natural to bring to our Backyard BBQ.”
For a group constantly on the road, Band of Heathens the environment of a backyard barbecue (albeit with a healthy crowd) should be a nice respite from the energy of a festival or club gig.
“Crowds definitely play a role in the shows,” Quist said. “There’s energy we feed off of. The larger shows give tremendous amounts of energy, but smaller shows give you intimacy you don’t get from the larger sets. The crowd in Midland can expect a high energy time. Expect the unexpected, that’s our motto when we play live.”