GUARDS

After leading the Willowz for eight years, Richie Follin needed a break. Not from playing music, but from everything that goes along with running a band. He had started playing in his sister Madeline's project Cults, and having less on his plate felt great at first. "Cults wasn't really my band, I was just the guitar player and there to support my little sister and friends. So that was a great release, just to have time away from having to be focused on running everything."

But after a while he couldn't help himself. Follin and Loren Humphrey, who drummed in both Willowz and Cults, demoed some songs for possible inclusion on the next Cults record. He was "gonna wait and see if they want to use them first, but the process of them making an album was a year and a half. It was a long, long thing. So I was sitting on them and ended up singing on them."

Direct and punchy but sprinkled with hints of folky British psychedelia and California sunshine, Follin knew the songs he and Humphrey made were different than anything he had done before. Their friend Kaylie Church joined in, and the trio got to work on making their first album as Guards.

Follin pulled from the shimmer and shine of '70's power pop groups, the big guitar choruses of Grunge, some psych rock, the straight ahead drive of '60's rock and soul, and a little bit of early '80's New Wave while making In Guards We Trust, but he and mixer Shane Stoneback were intent on making certain the album sounded like more than the sum of its influences. "If you treat a song a certain way, no matter how modern the style of song, it could sound like it's from 1968," he says. "I want to have that feeling there, but I want it to sound modern and of its time. So if you go back 30 years you'll know that's from 2013."

Recording was then delayed when he accidentally broke his jaw, but things finally snapped in to place when he unintentionally wrote the album's single "Ready To Go."

Dan Casey

Dan Casey had a productive history making electronic music under the name Yalls until he grabbed a guitar to create demos as Steezy Ray Vibes. Casey dropped the alias (is it too soon to start making "The Artist Formerly Known As Steezy Ray Vibes" jokes?) for his melancholic bummer-pop-heavy debut album Empty City, to be be released via up-and-coming record label in late October.

Dante Elephante

Dante Elephante is an indie surf pop quartet from Santa Barbara, California. The band just released their first EP, German Aquatics.

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GUARDS with Dan Casey, Dante Elephante

Wednesday, August 28 · 8:00 PM at Rickshaw Stop