The Get Right Band reaches new heights on latest album

THE UPSIDE DOWN: “Normally, our songs are so road-tested before we go into the studio, and then when the album comes out, people usually already know most of the songs," says The Get Right Band bassist Jesse Gentry, right, pictured with drummer JC Mears, left, and guitarist Silas Durocher. "Whereas this was the first album where we deliberately did not do it that way. So it’s kind of funny that now, when it does come out, people will know the songs even though we were planning on them not knowing them.” Photo by Tom Farr

With its tremendous new album Itchy Soul, The Get Right Band has crafted a sonically diverse set of songs that finds Silas Durocher (guitar/vocals), Jesse Gentry (bass/vocals) and JC Mears (drums/percussion/vocals) weaving in various influences, yet very much making their own distinct brand of rock music.

Due to stay home, stay safe restrictions, the celebration of the album’s release has shifted from a free show on Saturday, May 23, at Salvage Station to a livestream interactive conversation on the group’s Facebook page that night at 8. Prior to the event, the Asheville-based trio spoke with Xpress about making the project that Gentry rightfully calls “a turning point for the band.”

Durocher on the perks of working primarily outside of a studio:

“You’re not paying by the hour, which is huge. I definitely feel like, for most people, it’s always a hard thing to decide when an album is finished when you’ve been working forever. Part of that, when you’re in a studio, has to be a balance of ‘How much is the vision fully realized?’ versus ‘How much are we out of money?’ I feel like a lot of times we get it to pretty close to fully realized, and it’s like, ‘That’s really good.’ Getting it this last inch would be a lot of going down rabbit holes and experimenting and maybe wasting time, and we just can’t do that for hundreds of dollars a day. This gave us the opportunity to really do that and also be more comfortable.”

Gentry on getting out of his comfort zone:

“I have been a fundamentalist bassist my entire life. I’ve been resistant to effects and all that kind of stuff. I was hardcore, just, like, ‘It’s in the fingers. You just play it and then it’s there.’ Especially with this album, I’ve basically done a complete 180 and am now totally embracing effects. I have an actual effects pedal board. It’s been totally transformative for me — it’s totally changed my whole perspective on the band and playing bass. I’m now exploring new sounds and I think that’s been pretty refreshing. It was time for that to happen, and JC and Silas really encouraged me.”

Durocher on “working” with comedian/actor Marc Maron on “However Broken It Is”:

“He wasn’t involved at all in the collaboration. We just took his words from his podcast. I often jot down meaningful quotes that I hear from people for future reference for songwriting ideas. We’re big fans of the ‘WTF’ podcast. I listen religiously, and at some point, I heard him talk about how he can’t write lyrics, how he wishes he could be a songwriter or something. And I thought, ‘Well, that’s funny because I’ve been writing down all these cool, interesting quotes from him.’ Eventually, I turned it into a song, just taking pieces from different podcasts and trying to tie it into something cohesive. I put the music to it, and Jesse and JC brought their parts, and we built it together, then we sent a demo version to [Maron], which he said he really liked and actually played on his show, which was really cool. Then we went to work on the official studio version.”

Mears on the album’s increased experimentation:

“Electronic music has become such a mainstream thing, and even if the artist isn’t an ‘electronic artist,’ there’s so many of those elements in popular music. Even a band like the [Red Hot] Chili Peppers that I grew up listening to — that stuff, the electronic sounds are in their newest recordings but not in Blood Sugar Sex Magik. I felt like there’s this trend and this push, even with rock bands, to start using those sounds. And I mess around a lot with that stuff at home in my own time, but I very much wanted to incorporate it, and that was part of the reason that I put out the idea of recording this album the way that we did — to give us all time to experiment and try some new things.”

Durocher on the state of modern radio, as explored in album standout “Nothin’ on the FM”:

“We’ve been playing that for maybe three years, so we’ve had it around for a while. As people trying to make a living and a career in the music industry, I feel like we’re always sort of battling the saturation of things where people’s social media streams are just full of ‘Watch this! Listen to this! Come to this show!’ And same with radio. But so much of it isn’t very good or is just very derivative of other things or it doesn’t feel like it’s fresh or treading new ground. I just felt like a lot of times, when I was listening to commercial radio or whatever various ways of checking out general music, there was not much of substance. Obviously, there are exceptions to that. WNCW [88.7] is a great example, and [98.1] The River, too, does a lot of cool stuff as a commercial station, so it was just kind of a sentiment of how things are changing with the output of music these days.”


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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