January 17, 2013
TIMBER!!!Just one word of warning and three exclamation marks is the calling card for one of the Fort’s up and coming local music acts. And while their name might broadcast the alarm for a falling tree, the only thing listeners will be hit over the head with is their tight and rough-edged sound. A four-piece with an indie rock vibe, the band features a taut drum and bass based sound, overlaid by flurries of distorted guitar and the slightly offbeat and edgy but melodic vocals of Kendra Jones.
Their minimalist sound is also augmented by quirky lyrics and interesting wordplay, along with cacophonous instrumentals that make for interesting washes of distorted sound. Witness, for example, tunes like “Kaleidescope” and “Frisco Disco” which alternate dense sections of noise and tight rhythm with lyrics of both passion and whimsy.
The band’s origins date back to 2009 when two classmates at IPFW, Ben Larson and Fred Pearson, decided to start a band. Larson was to play guitar and Pearson was to play drums; they eventually recruited Kendra Jones and Jason Williams to round out the lineup on vocals and bass, respectively. After about a year together, Pearson left the band and was replaced by Jason Davis on skins. Several of the band members had played in other bands locally in the past. Williams was in Mr. Dr. Professor, Larson was in I, Wombat and Jones was previously in Utah Spirit Babies.
While the band has a distinctive post-punk sound that has drawn comparisons to 1980s bands like Mission of Burma, Williams says they didn’t have any particular sound in mind, at least initially.
“There was no set notion about what we were trying to sound like exactly,” he says. “When we first formed the band, in my opinion we didn’t have any preconceived notion about what we were trying to do exactly. We were just trying to get together and start something new.”
As for the emphatic name of the band, Williams maintains that there’s no major meaning behind the name TIMBER!!! It’s just attention-getting and a good band name in general.
“It just looks good stylistically,” he says. “Where did that come from? That’s a good question. I actually don’t know for certain. We were kind of considering several ideas. I know that I wanted a name with just one word in it ... but I especially dont’ know where the all caps and exclamation points come into it.”
After a couple of years playing together, the band recorded its first album, titled Numbers, that was recorded in a studio owned by Spencer Davis and came out last September. The release was coupled with a gig at CS3 with TIMBER!!! headlining and The El Camino and Heaven’s Gateway Drugs playing the opening slots.
The response to the album has been positive so far, according to Williams.
“So far [Numbers has been received] very very well,” he says. “I personally haven’t heard any bad things about it. Most of the time people won’t come up to you and say ‘hey your album sucks.’ But so far, it’s been very well received.”
According to Williams, the band’s songwriting process is organic and democratic, with the group writing together naturally.
“There really is no primary songwriter that comes into play,” he says. “We get together and we practice, and sometimes at a practice we’ll end up with a song already there. It comes very naturally.”
TIMBER!!! hope that with the album out they will be able to expand their audience and their playing area. They typically play two to four shows a month locally and regionally, but their hope is to use the record as a tool to get the word out about their band and possibly tour to play to more far-flung audiences, and to use shows to move a few more units.
“We’ve played some out of town shows, and we’re definitely looking to play more,” says Williams. “We’re working on getting more promotion out there and playing more out of town shows so that we can actually sell this record.”
As far as their live shows go, Williams describes them as “loud and aggressive,” but he says they don’t go out of their way to engage the audience.
“We respect our listeners’ privacy. We hope that we engage them just with the music that we’re playing,” he says, “but we’re not one of those bands that goes, ‘Okay, now everyone sing along with this part,’ or anything like that.”
While Numbers has only been out for a few months, the band has already begun to work on more original numbers to add to their shows and potential future recordings. That comes from a solid work ethic and a desire to move on to the next project coupled with their organic and ongoing writing process.
“I feel that we’re very productive [compared to other bands],” says Williams. “We’re writing frequently and we’re always looking for the next thing to do, the next project.”