Sound Found

Local band Rock Paper Dynamite soldifies identity on new EP Rock Paper Dynamite has found a sound to call its own. Since forming in 2007, the band has been busy playing shows and figuring out just what works for them as a unit. Now Rock Paper Dynamite would like people to consider its new six-song EP Railroads representative of the sound the band wants to pursue. “These six songs are exactly what we want to be doing,” guitarist and primary songwriter Andrew Janousek says. It’s a pop-driven guitar rock sound cut from the same vintage-styled cloth as The Vines, Jet and The Strokes. Railroads goes for a crisp, clean take on that style, with a feel-good, bluesy night-out bent. Think early Kings of Leon with hooks delivered with an efficient Midwestern ethic. It’s a little loose, but still drives straight toward simply crafted melodies. Drummer Scott Zrust and brothers Andrew and Joe Janousek met in Schuyler, Neb. Bassist Trey Abel joined later. After high school, the band began cutting its teeth in Fremont, where they practice in an old theater. In Schuyler, the Janouseks were mostly surrounded by country music and mainstream gangster rap. The refuge was on cable television. “We’d watch MTV2 constantly,” Joe Janousek says. Then they connected with people who were into new rock bands and classics like Led Zeppelin. “I think we had a pretty cool crowd where people made the best of what they had in a small town,” Andrew Janousek says. As far as the brotherly bond, the Janouseks say it’s tight. There’s no Oasis/Gallagher brothers fighting brewing between older brother Andrew and Joe, Abel affirms. Zrust says their harmonies together are the best part. The tight, friendly bond leaks out in gentle teasing, as Andrew Janousek describes them as pretty good friends and Joe admonishes him for not saying “best friends.” “We had to share a room until we were too old,” Joe Janousek says. “We had bunk beds for awhile.” Andrew Janousek says he wanted to start a band with his brother from the time he started playing guitar at age 14. Later, he would take Joe to jam sessions and hand him a microphone. The band members say it took awhile for Joe to evolve into the energetic, tambourine-shaking front man that he is. Andrew Janousek says he’s glad his brother was able to grow into the role of frontman so well. During early shows, Joe would mostly sing facing Zrust on the drums. “And I’m really happy, too, that he can sing; otherwise everything would fall apart,” Andrew says. Eventually, Andrew Janousek settled in Omaha after college. After jamming with Zrust, playing mainly White Stripes and Black Keys covers, he says he felt the need to branch out and try something original. But the two bands were formative in making Janousek want to play in a rock band. “The Black Keys really kept me locked on rock ‘n’ roll. Jack White too,” he says. While band members share common interests in certain bands, the drive to make music is not all coming from the same place. “I think everyone has their own influences,” Andrew says. Some of the influences show themselves readily in the Janousek brothers’ Aksarben area house. Beatles books and other memorabilia sit close to a framed Vines promotional poster, while a basement room contains the band’s own show posters taped next to posters of the Redwalls and other acts. The songs on Railroads come from the last year and a half, some written around the time of the band’s last recording session, Abel says. Andrew said the first two EPs were a learning step. The band recorded with Curt Grubb of Grubb Inc. in his west Omaha basement studio, working from April through the summer as band members made time around work schedules. The band’s songs usually originate from Andrew’s defined melody and structure. Abel will add a bass line before Joe and Zrust fill in with lyrics, added guitar and drums. Zrust says it feels as if the band has finally come together and are pursuing a shared musical direction. “We’re writing songs that we know we really like and what we want to keep shooting for, as far as style.” Rock Paper Dynamite plays w/ High Art and SFS at the Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St., Saturday, Oct. 9, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7. For more information, visit onepercentproductions.com.

posted at 11:51 am
on Wednesday, October 06th, 2010

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