While on my way to meet vocalist Jeremy Wysong and guitarist Bob Haddad of The Poseidon Adventure at a coffee shop on a typically dreary and grey winter day I wasn't sure what to expect. I had listened to a couple of songs on their Myspace page but found myself no closer to figuring out what this band cleverly named after a 1970s adventure movie was actually about. What I found was a promising hardcore band with members who may not necessarily take themselves or each other too seriously but are 100 percent committed to being the best they can be.
The Poseidon Adventure formed in late 2004 when Wysong, who was in another local band at the time, invited his friend Haddad, who is also in All Nite Skate, to try out for a vacant guitarist spot. The situation turned strange when, at that point, Wysong was actually asked to leave the band. Haddad decided that he no longer wanted to be a part of the band if Wysong was gone, so he left as well. The two musicians stayed in touch and finally decided they would just go ahead and form their own band.
The task proved to be more difficult than first imagined, however, as finding the right people to complement their sound was not easy. The band may have had as many as nine official members at one point, although nobody seems to know for sure.
"We are a band of excess," states Haddad. As if to further prove the point, they actually have played a show where they had seven people, including three guitarists and two vocalists, on stage at the same time. Members came and went over the next several months until the band finally solidified its lineup with the addition of bassist Joel Blair, who came on board after the first live show, and drummer Ben McEowen, who reportedly was asked to sign a one-year contract in order to help create some stability within the band. The current lineup has now been together for about two years.
The band's sound can best be described as a mix of Poison the Well, Converge and Red Hot Chili Peppers, although they also claim influences as far reaching as Neil Young, Cannibal Corpse and Norah Jones.
"We don't really fit into any mold," states Haddad." [We're] not a joke band, but we're not ideologically entrenched, either. We don't really have a message. You could call us nerd-metal or nerd-core. Everybody brings something to the table. Wysong is the balls of the group, Ben likes intricate beats and I like the 'mathy' stuff. Songwriting is an open, free-flowing melting pot of ideas, and we just keep working on the songs until everyone likes them."
When asked to describe their live shows, the band described them as "weird."
"We enjoy them," said Haddad, "and for the most part other people seem to enjoy them, too, but there are usually some people in the audience who just don't know how to get into it. We don't have the choreographed breakdowns that a lot of the kids are used to, so some people just stand there with blank looks on their faces trying to figure out what is happening."
Their audience tends to skew to an older demographic than most hardcore bands draw, and there are some people who seem to come to the shows just for the chance to stare at McEowen. Aptly named "Ben-gazers, they like him because, as Wysong says, "he is the Justin Timberlake of the group."
The Poseidon Adventure have opened for Horse the Band on several occasions and also have played with both Bear Vs. Shark and Curl Up and Die. They list Lady Parts and Chinese Express, among others, as local bands with which they really enjoy playing shows.
The band released a four-song (complete with hidden track) EP last year and are currently working on their first full-length album, tentatively due out in the early summer on Fort Waste Industries, a label founded by Lady Parts' Josh Peebles. All indications are that we should expect the unexpected. Band members play a variety of different instruments, and they even have bagpipes ready if they feel they are needed.
The Poseidon Adventure are currently exploring opportunities to play outside of the Fort Wayne area. Ultimately the band would love to get their music heard by Mike Patton, founder of Ipecac Recordings and vocalist for Faith No More, Tomahawk, Peeping Tom and many other experimental bands. They feel that their not-so-serious approach would fit in well with Patton's style, and their music would fit well with some of the other bands currently on the Ipecac label, like Isis, Hella and The Locust.
The Poseidon Adventure next plays Friday, February 9 at Coffee D'Vine in Huntington, a show that might very well turn into a birthday bash for Wysong.
For more information on the band and for samples of their music go to www.myspace.com/theposeidonadventure.