Ric Flair used to say he's "often imitated never duplicated." That bold statement, which perhaps only "The Nature Boy" could back up, rings so true in any arts medium. For example, for every Lost, there was a bunch of Fast Forwards. Similarly, for every Paranormal Activity, there's been a boatload of other crappy horror movies (usually with hot blondes screaming.) In the case of music, there's way too many examples to list of unoriginal performers who have copycatted their way to the top. Why go there? This story focuses on a band who embrace the past, pay homage to it, and as a result, have a refreshing and - more importantly - authentic sound all their own. Punk's not dead. It's alive and well with Brooklyn's Cerebral Ballzy.
More than just an offensively brilliant band name, Ballzy (Honor Titus, Mel Honore, Mason, Jason Bannon, and Tom Kogut) gained a lot of traction off their debut album, and gained a huge fan in The Strokes' frontman Julian Casablancas, who put them on his own Cult Records. On May 31, Ballzy opened up for that groundbreaking band at an intimate show at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. Moments before they hit the stage, Ballzy frontman Titus fielded questions on the gig, the band's highly-anticipated sophomore studio album Jaded & Faded (out June 17), and his friendship with Casablancas. Catch Ballzy on the road this summer with OFF! and watch the video below to see if there's a cure for Cerebral Ballzy.
While they are at two opposite ends of the music world, Arc & Stones have a lot more in common with Cerebral Ballzy than you'd think - perhaps even more than a convenient segue? Like that punk band, the Nashville (by way of Brooklyn) rockers dropped their second EP entitled As You Were this month, and it's the antithesis of a sophomore jinx. In addition, like Casablancas and Ballzy, Arc & Stones were heard brought on the road with the classic rock band Kansas after founding member Phil Ehart heard their first EP. He also manages the four-piece act, which features college buds Dan Pellarin, Ben Cramer, Eddy Bayes, and Joe Doino.
A&S are currently on the road with that iconic band, but took time out to film an A-Sides session in White Plains, NY. Watch them perform "Walkin' In" below, and their interview below. Once you've done that, be prepared to drink the same Kool Aid Ehart has. Southern-inspired rock and soul. Don't stop. Get it. Get it.
About A-Sides Music
Jon Chattman's "A-Sides Music" series was established in August 2011 and usually features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing. Artists have included: fun, Rob Zombie, Pharrell Williams, Courtney Love, American Authors, Imagine Dragons, Gary Clark Jr., and more! A-Sides theme written and performed by Blondfire.