Steve Abbott is all right.
Okay, maybe that’s an understatement. For example, just ask him about his new band, Be Alright, and he gets downright giddy.
“When you’re in a new band,” he explains, “you’re gunning it, you’re just going for it.”
Abbott, who is the frontman for local rock sledgehammers Local Tough and Geinus, found himself in a solid, productive headpsace last winter after a particularly dark spell.
“I was writing songs that didn’t fit into my other bands,” he says. “I thought at first this was going to be a solo project but I phoned up two of the best musicians I know (bassist Luke Power and drummer Devon Milley), got some beer and some pizza and within a couple of hours we had six songs written.”
True to an Abbott production, Be Alright offers up digging, grinding math rock, with songs blocked into sections that slam up against one another like cars in a highway pile-up.
But in amongst the well-planned chaos are sudden breaks into some deeply groovin’, triumphant hooks.
And then, ladies and gentlemen, Steve Abbot begins to sing. …Not yell …not scream, but full-on sing.
You’d swear you were listening to Yo La Tengo.
“I listen to that stuff! I love Yo La Tengo, I love all those bands. I listen to Blonde Redhead and Sonic Youth,” he says. “Sometimes we just want to belt out a catchy riff. There’s even a love song or two. It’s way more celebratory than anything I’ve done before.”
Abbott sees the surge of musical creativity sweeping the city as a major inspiration for exploring different avenues with Be Alright.
“It’s been inspiring for all the bands, I think. We definitely feel like we gotta take it up a notch,” he says.
“Seriously though, if we all focus and we all keep our shit together, the potential in this town right now is huge.” SS