Kazyak to play 1st Steamboat show at Ghost Ranch tonight
December 16, 2010
Visit the band's website at http://www.kazyak.com.
Steamboat Springs — Minnesota-based Kazyak's first album already was complete: 10 recorded and mastered folksy jam tunes with rhythmic styles ranging from bluegrass to Spanish rock.
But it was waiting for something.
Something that the band's bassist, Danny Vitali, saw while staying at the house of another band: crayon drawings of colorful, playful dinosaurs including the most beautiful brontosaurus.
"The melody was in my head when we woke up," Vitali said. "We wrote it shortly thereafter."
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It turned out to be the title track of the band's first full-length effort, "A Beautiful Brontosaurus."
"You've drawn the most beautiful brontosaurus/I'll clarify after the chorus," the song goes. "The perspective you've used is slightly askew/but I think that your dimetrodon looks cool."
Too innocent to be a farce, too musically technical to be corny, the song captures a vision the trio had built throughout six years of playing together as the rhythm section for other bands.
"What it was originally was kind of an adult trying to relate to a child's art," drummer Jed Anderson said. "When you have these adult mindsets and adult ways of interpreting art, you see art like (the crayon drawings), and it would be viewed as amateur or otherwise.
"We're trying to find those funny and creative ways of connecting adulthood to childhood. The creative spark on all levels is what the song was originally about."
The trio of Anderson, Vitali and guitarist Peter Frey, who make up the intentionally undefined band name Kazyak, will play a free show at Ghost Ranch Saloon at 9 p.m. today. The show kicks off seven shows in seven days on its first trip to Colorado.
Hitting the road in July of this year was not the beginning of the band, which spent almost two years before that in Austin, Texas, where they played together for hours a day, writing the songs, music and stories that are dissolving into albums such as "Brontosaurus," for which the cover art is a childlike pastel drawing of a blue brontosaurus by Vitali.
The forthcoming "Rorrimirror," album will be coupled with an adventure-themed graphic novel about two young men who enter a strange fantasyland.
Appealing to elements of folklore, fantasy and wonder is just a part of what Kazyak hopes to do with its troupe that includes a manager and a full-time lighting designer.
With upcoming albums and through their blog, band members plan to incorporate Vitali's art and Anderson's literary passions into a humorous and artful package.
"The Kazyak philosophy is about much more than just music," Frey said.
Frey said the band members' years together before they released their work upon the music world were instrumental in their successes so far.
Now, playing the part of the new band on tour, they see anywhere from five to hundreds of people come out to listen to the floating harmonies and roots rock guitar riffs.
Frey said the band does get called a jam band, but members embrace the designation instead of trying to avoid it.
"We're not concerned about that label," Frey said. "We don't necessarily want to be boxed into a genre, but it's your own fault if you can't get out of it."
A keyboardist plays on the album, but the live show sticks to the guitar/bass/drums configuration.
"We've gotten a lot of compliments about us as a trio making nice noise together," Vitali said.
The live shows can appeal to crayon-inspired youthfulness or the music fan in anyone, Frey said.
"Musicians really dig what we do," he said. "There's a technical component. But there's an inviting, accessible aspect that invites everyone, young and old."
"Tell everyone to come be a part of our story," Anderson added.
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