Sunday, November 25, 2007

we're with the band


The missus profiled power metal band Lost Dayz for the newspaper this week. We went to their debut last night. !!!!!!! They were fantastic.
They have quickly developed a reputation as central New York's loudest band. This one goes to 11.

by Maude Rith in Tompkins Weekly
Paul McGraw can’t discuss his latest
idea for a song without his thumbs
moving, then his hands twitch and
he’s there, playing bass, experimenting
with chords, seeing how pieces go
together. He’ll take the basic rhythm
to practice and everyone gets to give
it their twist. Rob Reis, the drummer,
writes down the changes. Mike
Flacco, vocalist, throws in lyrics that
jibe with the rhythm, then everyone
comes back and nails down the
changes.
From the basic structure, it’s practice
and experimentation with
chords and tempo until everyone is
satisfied. While five perfectionists
might seem like they couldn’t get
anything done, Lost Dayz, which has
two solid sets of material, is ready to
rock Ithaca with its original sound.
This is musicianship at its best—
everyone contributes material for
new songs, everyone has a say and no
one is above experimenting, adding,
changing.
Metal, like Judas Priest, is an obvious
influence in the band’s music,
but so are Stevie Ray Vaughn, James
Brown, Stone Sour and Slipknot. One
thing they insist on is that the songs
are their own. Not hard to do when
you wake up playing air guitar and
ideas keep coming. After that, however,
Lost Dayz is impossible to
pigeonhole. “We’re not typical for the
Haunt,” guitarist Alan Richards
says. “We’re a mix of everything.” So
the labels hard rock, power metal
and classic rock can all apply, but
only to an extent.
Not worried about their description,
Lost Dayz just keeps working.
“Once we get the basic structure,”
says Richards, a song can “go really
fast when we start to get it right.”
There is a certain chemistry to practices
and everything fits together.
They work on one song, evolving its
style, sometimes over a period of
months.
Even then the band plays around
with it. One night they decided to
play their song “Tweaked” “ridiculously
fast,” according to McGraw,
who explains, “You didn’t know
whether to dance or break stuff.”
Guitarist Josh Banks concedes that
the tempo “took the flavor out; the
song lost it’s taste.” But in pushing
their compositions, the bandmates
know them intimately. McGraw can
tell if one note is off. Richards says,
“If a piece is missing, it doesn’t
work.” In working together they listen
to what each song needs, and add
here and there.
One way the band filled out its
sound was to add a second guitarist.
Banks, the newest member, listens to
the styles and scales of Richards’ guitar,
and adds transitions. He’s excited
to stretch his playing and combine
the 9,835 notes possible from a sixstring
guitar. Their working together
is almost like a conversation.
Richards will play and make a suggestion,
then Banks picks up on it to
see how it sounds They take it from
there. It’s an exciting blend of experience
and fresh energy.
Although everyone in the band has
known at least one other member for
a number of years, Lost Dayz started
a year ago last July. Richards and
McGraw had known each other for
more than a decade, but when
Richards proposed starting a band,
McGraw had been back in the area
for less than a week. Flacco, who had
been singing in central New York,
put up one flyer in Cortland and Reis
got his number. Richards ran into
Banks, whom he’d known for years,
at breakfast one morning around the
time he had been looking for a guitarist.
Banks, too, had only been back
in town one week. “Everything happens
for a reason,” McGraw says.
The accidental nature of the
band’s formation belies the cohesion,
professionalism and seriousness of
Lost Dayz. They’ve worked, played
and polished to such an extent that
when they began recording in a studio,
they nailed the instrumentals
and half the vocals in two days. Now
they have a CD to shop around and
enough material to record again. As
good as a studio recording can be,
however, it’s no match for hearing
their sound live. The force of the
drums combined with the energy of
the guitars and raw vocals is not to be
missed. Plus, “Clean up Isle Three” is
just plain funny.
Another characteristic that these
band members share is their devotion
to making and playing music.
“Rob will say, ‘I’m whipped,’ and then
play for another hour,” McGraw says.
“There’s something about the band
that feeds everyone. I don’t know
what I’d do without it.” Richards
agrees, remembering the time he
considered giving up playing. Just
the thought was akin to “being taken
apart,” he says, “and throwing pieces
of me on the floor.” Luckily for everyone,
including listeners, Lost Dayz
came together and is now adding the
last piece to their work — an audience.
Don’t come expecting therapy,
however, this lively union will rock
your socks off, even if they are hard
to classify. What listeners can expect
is good playing, straight from the
heart, no gimmicks.
Catch the band at The Haunt, 702
Willow Ave. in Ithaca, this Saturday,
Nov 24. The doors open at 6 p.m. with
the Berettas opening and Lost Dayz
starting at 8:30 p.m. Their second
area show is at Castaways on Friday,
Dec. 2, at 9:30 p.m. Find out more
about Lost Dayz at
www.myspace.com/lostdayz.

8 comments:

Kate & Jim said...

We had a little 'listen' to the band...not exactly our cup of tea, but excellent writing, by Maude! ;)

Gordo The Geek said...

Yup, I'm not big on a lot of metal any more either. Excellent article, Maude!

Ellen said...

Great article!

ML said...

Lady, you can really write! I can almost hear those guys going to work on a song.

John Bailey said...

Excellent writing. And you may quote me on that.

gr said...

Boy, thanks all (on her behalf). Their style is very hard driven guitars, and they sound excellent live, their recordings aren't as good (yet).
The ears feel like they had a little work out.

celeste said...

Rock on, dudes, rock on. \m/

Greg said...

very good read while sippin' my coffee here. well done Maude - you rock!