We were raised in Kansas City, every one of us. Some people claim it's a slow existence, living in the Midwest, but then again, those people don't know our kind. When we first met at the University of Kansas, all young and remarkably bright-eyed for this day and age, we recognized one another for what we all were: five men that loved the sun, the light and life. And when we began to jam, it was in our music from the very start: the reggae-influenced backbeat we played vibrated chords of positivity within us; the rock let us scream our vitality. We wrote songs about life: heartbreak, hormones, anger and angst, binges and letdowns. We spent our days writing music and our nights celebrating. Some nights we did both, causing the neighbor to come pounding on the front door, yelling to 'TURN THAT G-DAMN DRUMMER OFF!' We weren't sure it could be done, but we certainly laughed (behind a locked door, of course) at the foolishness of the concept. And then there was our first show-a house party for the drummer's sister. It was a beautiful, mild evening in the autumn of '99. We didn't have many songs, and at that point in time weren't shy of playing the real 'hits' more than once, but what we did play we played with fire. By the last song, the entire house was jumping up and down in rhythm, us included. Later, at three thirty in the morning, we stared up at the stars, backs resting on the front lawn of the band house. The evening was cool but our insides, our minds, our spirits were burning with sheer exhilaration. We had made the place move. And really, that's all we wanted-to move people. That should've been our mantra. We should've written it down as the core of our code, the center of our band being. We should've tattooed it on the palms of our hands. But we didn't, and we forgot. Thus began the circuitous road of hardship and heartache. After the last of us graduated, we all moved back to Kansas City, into a big house with dusty, off-kilter wooden floors in a fringe neighborhood. Just down the road from a fine drinking establishment, we continued the routine of making music, playing shows and, more often than not, celebration. This, then, had become our philosophy. We wrote songs, partied and played shows. But the order had become such that partying and playing shows took precedence over the songs. We had forgotten what it meant to move people. We dubbed ourselves a party band and learned our lesson the hard way. We partied until it was no longer fun. Then we took it out on each other. Some could say we fell out of love. With the music or with each other, it all amounted to the same thing. We broke up. And in that time apart, we grew up. The storm of fate and poor decisions that had forced us apart taught us the value of the things we had come to take for granted. It took us a year to remember the thing we had been charged to remember all along: the purpose of making music was to move people. Our philosophy was renewed. We were here to make music, powerful, moving music filled with the sentiment of all those times-good, bad and the apathy that lay between-we had experienced. The songs we wrote were direct reflections of our clashes and confusion. One song in particular, San Diego, while put to a jumpy reggae backbeat, is written from the perspective of a man who's flat broke, goes to the bar, spends money he doesn't have, and wakes up to that crushing reality morning after morning. Another, I'll Know What To Do, approaches the sometimes maddening, sometimes depressing burden of figuring out what to do with your life. These were the hardest of times, and the songs deserved all the honesty we musicians could give them. But along with that, we came to grips with the understanding that honesty and talent weren't all that were required. We wanted to make music for life, and let it be known to all those who heard the songs that more of the same could be expected for years to come. We've done just that with our latest effort. Musically, we've held on to the elements we love most: the rock, the dedication to rhythm, the vibrant backbeat, but moreover the melody and intelligence. Some say we sound like a fusion of 311 (without the rap) plus the vibe of an Incubus/Police Marriage, but overall it's melody and intelligence-some of the finer components of the human being-that allow Underhill to be entirely unique. The first product borne of this renewed philosophy is the self-titled release Underhill. These are the songs of our experience, but they are also songs written with the audience-all of humanity-in mind. You'll hear songs of beauty, joy, sadness, and anger. You'll hear songs for mild spring days, songs for rainy autumn days, songs meant for the breeze on the beach and songs for the epic, shifting journey of life. We are all these things.
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