For this music spotlight we met up with Nevergreen, a local band that started off in the hardcore scene but has evolved into a unique mixture featuring funk, reggae and hip hop roots. I met up with three of the members to talk about their sound, the death of full length albums, and the struggle for musicians to be heard.
How did the band get started?
J: I was actually started the band with Dylan playing some heavier hardcore tech metal stuff. That was Deadly Nevergreen. We had a five piece that got drunk and raged out. Sarah eventually got into the group in 2005 and we started zig zaging in and out of genres. We got out of the metal stuff and more into reggae and funk approach.
Sara: Took the deadly out of the Nevergreen if you will.
J: Now the name pretty much means nothing.
Dylan: Band names are hard to come by so we just stuck with it.
It must be hard to keep the reggae influence in one of the greyest cloudiest cities in the country.
Sara: The style is teased in. Its not really true reggae, some songs are real laid back but not all of them.
J: It’s cynical almost. That’s why we can’t play with reggae bands around here. When a true reggae band hears our music they can tell we aren’t true to the genre.
Sara: But we did just get asked to play with John Brown’s Body, so someone still wants to listen to us.
Dylan: We try and define our self more as rock, but we still tag the reggae genre to the end when we describe our sound. We don’t like defining our music, but it is easier on everyone else’s mind to define it.
Do you have any new projects/ tours in the works?
J: we are planning to get back into the studio and put out a bunch of singles and music videos and just keep the ball rolling. We just came out with a full length a couple months ago. It is definitely our most focuses project up to this point.
We have about 9 new songs to record that we are planning to put out as singles. We want to stay in people’s heads instead of releasing one big thing.
Sara: It’s cool to have that option, to be able to release singles instead of an album. Everyone has a dollar to buy a song on iTunes. We have our hard CDs as well. Everyone is doing EPs now instead of full length albums.
It’s great to have that option; I still personally love physical albums.
J: It’s becoming a lost art, it sucks.
Dylan: Artists now are at a disadvantage. We are stuck at this cross roads between hard copy to online, we have to do both. It’s expensive for artist, getting your stuff online as well as printing a physical copy. But you have to do that to get your music out there.
Do you think it is hard for local music to get out there?
Sara: In a way you have the world at your finger tips. But do you have the money and time to get to the audience you want to.
Dylan: You are still a needle in a haystack on Facebook or with your site online.
J: You always have to think of new ways to promote your band. You can’t be an old school marketer, and unfortunately you can get out there on talent alone. That is why we have taken a lighter approach to our shows. We are playing fewer shows and spending more time trying to get our music out there.
Sara: Isn’t that depressing? In order to get more fans you have to play music less.
What do you think of the Rochester Music scene?
J: We got al lot of it. Everything you could ask for in this city.
Sara: Everyone is pretty friendly here; we have good relationships with other local bands.
J: It is hard to throw a huge show in this city. There is always something going on in this city, there are always shows.
Dylan: There are five or six shows every night. Every weekend there are club shows, venues, and bar shows across the city. I remember five years ago you couldn’t find anything on the weekend. Something clicked in this city where it just blew up musically.
Catch Nevergreen September 29th with John Brown’s Body at Water Street Music Hall