Loners in a Crowd | Music Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

Loners in a Crowd 

Raleigh's garage-rock duo turns up the heat.

There's a concrete box at the end of the alley next to Raleigh's Basement Studios. Tonight, it's filled with sweating, bouncing people whose ears are being slammed repeatedly by the music ricocheting off the bare walls. The ringing will last for days, but the crowd doesn't seem to mind.

Neither do The Loners.

The punk duo--Eddie Taylor on guitar and vocals, Chris Jones on drums and backup--are obviously inspired by '60s garage rock, but as they tear up their songs it becomes obvious that The Loners tap into a deep musical well that has nothing to do with what year it is--or what name you give their style.

"It's got a genre title, I'm sure," laughs Taylor, sitting on the floor of the practice space the band shares with Raleigh's Rosebuds, "but I'm not sure what it is. R&B kind of punk, maybe? We have an ounce of blue-eyed soul in there somewhere, without trying to be blatant about it."

"I was reading an article about the Cynics today," says Jones, "and it reminded me how many sub-genres there were--mod, freakbeat, surfbeat, psychedelic surf, surf R&B ... I mean, there are actually groups of people who live out that 'mods versus rockers' thing. But it's all rooted in the same stuff. If it rocks, it rocks. You don't need to fight about it."

The Loners definitely do rock. If you haven't seen them yet, here's all you need to know: They have impeccable taste in music and write raw, stripped-down songs in the '60s punk tradition, which they proceed to gleefully rip into shreds.

Since the Indy talked with them last June, the band has released its self-titled debut CD on the Raleigh-based Mouthful of Bees label. It's already turned a profit.

"Jennifer Thornburg liked us and just put up the money," Taylor says. "No contract or anything. She recouped her costs on it, like, within the first three or four months."

"And then we split the rest of the CDs," adds Jones. "She got half to use however she wants and we got the other half to sell at shows. It's great. Very simple."

That handshake-deal spirit continues. As The Loners talk with labels in other states, another local fan has already volunteered to fund their next single. More releases are in the works, and the band has stepped up its regional touring, including recent jaunts to Knoxville and Virginia.

The Loners are poised to take things up a notch. They've certainly toiled in the trenches enough. Taylor moved to Raleigh five years ago with his country-rock band Big Joe. As the "alt-country" hype heated up, however, he found himself drawn more and more back to his punk roots.

"I didn't feel like hanging in that whole movement," he says. "Ryan Adams was being shoved down our throats and I thought, if that's the way that whole thing was going, I just wanted to rock. Not be the next Graham Parsons."

"I was born in '60," Taylor adds. "I remember being a kid when 'Satisfaction' came out. I remember growing up hearing garage music on regional radio in Kentucky. My dad loved the Stones and was a huge Kinks fan." He laughs. "He listens to Bocephus now. I don't know how these people do it--grow up and forget what good music is."

For his part, the 29-year-old Jones had stopped playing music completely after fiery stints in three classic Raleigh bands--Vanilla Trainwreck, Picasso Trigger and Cherry Valence.

"I quit playing music, just hung it up," he says. "I needed stability. When I was on tour with Cherry Valence, I was extremely unhappy. Every night we played I tried to get people to beat the shit out of me. I'd spit on them, scream at them, do everything short of pummeling them. It's hard to sustain that for very long."

The two jaded musicians discovered a shared love of early punk when Taylor started coming into Nice Price Books, where Jones works. Seeing each other regularly at Kings, where Jones also works as a soundman, cemented the relationship.

"He convinced me to play the drums," Jones says. "Within our first three practices we had eight songs."

Do they find playing as a duo limits them in any way?

"Almost every night we play, someone comes up and wants to play bass for us," Taylor answers. "But I think we're stronger with less. If we turned into a three-piece ... I dunno, we'd just be another three-piece band."

"It's a lot easier with two people," Jones says. "There's no camps. And it's easier to lock into that groove."

"The communication factor," says Taylor, nodding. "It's more stripped down, more primitive, too."

Jones shrugs. "I don't do anything fancy. Eddie doesn't do anything fancy. If it inspires you enough to dance, go pick up a guitar and do it yourself."

And the punk spirit staggers on for another day.

EndBlock

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music Feature



Twitter Activity

Comments

I miss just knowing that the Loft is there and open for business in its little spot on Main Street. …

by JUDY VIA on Carrboro's Music Loft Closed at the End of December, But a Successor Is Already Taking Shape (Music Feature)

Thanks for the write-upI cannot believe Scratch is in the Bull City. Snapped up my tix immediately.

by Geoff Dunkak on An Influence on Everyone—Including Himself—Lee "Scratch" Perry Returns to Conquer (Music Feature)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

I miss just knowing that the Loft is there and open for business in its little spot on Main Street. …

by JUDY VIA on Carrboro's Music Loft Closed at the End of December, But a Successor Is Already Taking Shape (Music Feature)

Thanks for the write-upI cannot believe Scratch is in the Bull City. Snapped up my tix immediately.

by Geoff Dunkak on An Influence on Everyone—Including Himself—Lee "Scratch" Perry Returns to Conquer (Music Feature)

It would be good if Katherine and Jim (or someone) could post information regarding how the new venue's opening is …

by Dale White on Carrboro's Music Loft Closed at the End of December, But a Successor Is Already Taking Shape (Music Feature)

Im confident the new model described here will carry the Music Loft successfully forward. This community values music, and more …

by Andy Church on Carrboro's Music Loft Closed at the End of December, But a Successor Is Already Taking Shape (Music Feature)

Thanks for all of your kind words.

-Charly …

by Charly Lowry on In Dire Need of a Kidney Transplant, Charly Lowry Takes a New Look at Her Life's Work (Music Feature)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation