February’s Cover Band: Road Frisbee
Several years ago, I came across the name Road Frisbee by a person I hoped I would never see again—and because of the horrible experience I had dealing with this horrible person, I didn’t rush out to see the band play. Then I met Thom Barth. Barth is now the bass player of Road Frisbee. After a long camping weekend of sarcasm, basking in the sun, and living off beer and Doritos, he had convinced me that Road Frisbee was a pretty cool outfit. I didn’t hear much more about Road Frisbee until Sabbathon ’88 when I got to experience the full-on effect of Road Frisbee’s load amps and speedy guitar work.
It is now 1991 and Road Frisbee have changed considerably. They now have a vocalist and five members who seem to be five of the most down-to-earth guys I have met. Richard Glazer and Thom Barth, guitar and bass respectively, are two of the only members left in the band that I saw over two years ago. They added Jonathon Clark on drums, newest member Golden Meier on guitar and are now fronted by vocalist/lyricist John Morris. The band has lost its metal sound, but still sports one of the most unusual and original sounds in town.
The originality of the band has developed by putting five totally different members with five different musical backgrounds into one band and letting fate take its course. John and Jonathon (ex Potato Heads) have been kicking around the Salt Lake music scene for years, originating some of this town’s earlier punk bands. Rich, who speaks of his past musical experience with a glint of sarcasm in his eye, says he has developed his advanced guitar playing style from hours of listening to guitar greats such as Steve Morse and Jimi Hendrix. Barth picked up the bass when joining Road Frisbee and has developed his style while writing and playing with the band. Golden joined the band less than a year ago and has added a new guitar dimension to Rich’s guitar work.
Regardless of the histories of the members, the band writes its music in an eclectic style that can only be attributed to each member’s different ideas on how the band should sound. I have heard the term “cruisin’-art for the ears,” and that pretty much says it all. With all the different styles, the music sounds like a collision of jazz, funk, metal and punk in one song. With an insane need to keep people from getting bored, Road Frisbee use tempo changes and odd chord progression to keep the song interesting.
The music is intentionally written to keep people on their toes. In the time I have spent following bands in this town, this band has almost more conviction to what they are doing than any other local band. They have broken away from the mainstream by creating music that takes some thought to listen to. This is very risky when approaching music writing. Most people like to watch a band, shake their butt and then go home. Many times at Road Frisbee gigs I have seen people pull up chairs, sit down and watch the band play with one eyebrow raised. This can be discouraging when trying to build a following, however, these guys have opted for a higher form of musical expression. Although the music moves well, sometimes the music makes so many changes it can get quite chaotic.
Over the past year since the current line-up started creating sound, they have released two cassettes: Technique Before Compassion, and their newest, Tofu Rodeo. They plan on submitting this to record companies in hopes of what every other band wants—some attention sent their way. If they are as serious about sending tapes as they are about writing music, anything could happen. If you can handle music that makes you think, you should give them a listen.
Live and recorded they can be interesting; however, while live you can experience the energy which can’t quite be captured on tape. They will be performing live Friday, Feb 22 with Slaughterchrist and Bohemia.
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