Bands move beyond standard genres with DIY style

Bands move beyond standard genres with DIY style

April 07
02:23 2016

Maritza Vega | Contrubiting Writer

On stage with a grey sweatshirt and an electric guitar in his hand, lead singer of indie group Blessin’ William Austin Clay began to sing about onion rings and French fries.

Onto his last song, the crowd reacted positively. As a “do-it-yourself,” or DIY, musician, he sometimes improvises his songs on stage. Other times his music is pre-recorded.

“Thank you,” he said, waving to an audience of about 30 people.

Like Clay, many of the bands brought together for the event on Thursday, March 10 at Rubber Gloves are heavily influenced by the indie DIY music culture. In DIY, the bands produce their music, merchandise and any form of advertising.

At Trick Burn, a DIY concert event, the idea is to be musicians without relying on the music industry to make their music.

Josh Serrano, a local Denton musician, created Trick Burn in 2015 originally as an outlet for his own solo material. Before the event he was already getting involved with his own DIY projects but had never gotten to perform them. It wasn’t until later that he started recruiting the rest of his band members when he started to get more shows.

“I like the full-band feel,” Serrano said. “So I got people who I’ve played music with before and friends and people who have reached out about the music and just kind of started a band.”

Serrano described the DIY music scene as subsistence agriculture, elaborating on the fact that he makes music for himself, like the people who plant fruits and vegetables in order to sustain themselves.

Sometimes it may overlap with other genres, but at the end of the day, it all comes back to him. He doesn’t consider DIY as a genre, but a mode or a style.

“It’s kind of like having a shadow,” he said. “I wouldn’t even say it’s as conscious as venting. It’s like something that gets casts from just like being alive.”

And to high school senior Owen Misterovich, the DIY scene is different in Denton than Springfield, being involved with his own DIY group called Paddlefish. The group paid Denton a visit during its tour traveling from Springfield, Missouri on their spring break.

“In Springfield, there’s a DIY scene, but it’s kind of hard to explain,” Misterovich said, sitting back on the green chair. “It’s kind of like everyone is in the same scene. Even if you’re in a metal band versus in a jazz band, they’ll play the same shows. Here, there’s a theme to each show.”

The band formed from Misterovich’s desire to start a band. As soon as his friend Blake Nieman received a bass guitar for Christmas, he got together with him and created Paddlefish. Misterovich was inspired by his older brother’s musical taste that included bands such as Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth. His older brother, a sound engineer, helps with the recording of their band’s music.

They were aware of Trick Burn through Clay after meeting him when Blessin’ was touring. Misterovich mentioned Paddlefish always wanted to do a small tour. This is their first time leaving home.

“I’ve never been to Denton or Austin. I’ve never been in Texas at all,” Misterovich said.

Austin’s interest in DIY began when he performed with the band Blessin’ around the Denton area and after touring together, he decided to take on his solo project.

In relation to DIY, Austin finds it as a great way to express transgressive ideas since the audience is a lot more open-minded. He finds it a lot easier to interact directly with an audience as a solo performer and states that the crowds in DIY are more accepting.

As a solo performer this year he plans to go on a two-week tour over the summer to Seattle in pursuit of finding inspiration for his own DIY style.

And in regard to his music, Austin reminisced on a positive note.

“It’s okay to cry,” he said. “I’m very proud of when I cry.”

Featured Image: Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio is located at 411 E Sycamore St. File Photo

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