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***Drums And Tuba @ Pepper Jack's April 28 ***


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U.F. Productions

Drums And Tuba

w/ TBA

April 28th

@ Pepper Jack's

38 Kiln William st.



Drums and Tuba was originally formed sometime in 1995. Tony Nozero (drums) and Brian Wolff (tuba) were working at an unhealthy health food store in Austin, Texas making smoothies together when they came up with the idea of creating a stripped-down marching band (the best laid plans often go astray). Tony had played drums for many years in a variety of rock, punk, and jazz bands. Brian had just recently discovered the tuba (having played trumpet and trombone previously), and was just beginning to explore the possibilities of the instrument.

Initially going by the moniker "Just Drums and Tuba," the two young men took their creation to the streets of Austin performing weekend nights on downtown sixth street for tips, pocket change, and other assorted odds and ends. Brian and Tony soon realized that their ensemble was missing some important element. The addition of Neal McKeeby on guitars was the essential ingredient needed to complete their trio. The band decided to drop the "Just" and to go by the simple name "Drums and Tuba."

Without any master plan, the trio pursued some kind of amalgamation of their extremely varied tastes and backgrounds. Wolff is from New York, Nozero is from Madison, Wisconsin, and McKeeby is from Knoxville, Tennessee. The three musicians never intended to create something original or different or unique. For all their pyrotechnics, they are not a novelty act. They simply create music with a strong emphasis on songs and structure as they hear it. The result is music that is not easily described or categorized, but which is extremely accessible to a wide and varied audience. At a show, punks, dead heads, and indie-rockers, both young kids and old folks will find themselves standing together listening to a music which makes them feel both confused and happy. They may not know quite what it is or what it's called, but they do know that they like it.

Drums and Tuba has played in all kinds of venues and all kinds of situations from tiny shows to crowds of over six thousand and to the continuous surprise of Tony, Brian, and Neal the music always goes over well. An old union worker in Providence, Rhode Island will even praise the band. Says Wolff, "the kind of person who I expect to tell us 'what the hell are you guys doing up there and whose dumb idea was it anyway' will tell us, 'that was nothing like I expected but I really dug your sound.' And that's the kind of thing that makes me realize we're on to something-- when someone who is completely not into experimental music of any kind enjoys what we do simply because it's good music, not because it's impressive or complicated, but just because it sounds good."

The band plays a variety of different sounding music, encompassing rock, funk, punk, electronica, and other styles. All the music is extremely rhythm-oriented, with Nozero's drums taking front and center. All three instrumentalists will at one time or another play both rhythmically and melodically. Sometimes the guitar is a rhythm instrument and sometimes it carries the melody, and often it does both at the same time. Either McKeeby will play two guitars at once or Wolff will sample him live. The band does a lot of live sampling (nothing is prerecorded), using a variety of digital delay machines. For instance, McKeeby will start a song with a riff and before you know it he's been sampled and has moved on. With the addition of more live samples, the group is able to create songs with dense layers of sound. The tuba can lay down a bass line and then, with the use of a variety of guitar pedals and delay machines, play a swooping melody over the top of the ensuing groove. In addition, this frees up Wolff to play the trumpet as well. Thus, the band is far more than the sum of its parts. All this is done with the express purpose of serving the song. It is all founded in the basic fundamental principles of music. Drums and Tuba is not a gimmick.

Drums and Tuba has played hundreds of shows all over the United States opening for such acts as Ani DiFranco, Galactic, uze Jsme Doma, Daniel Johnston, and Spaceheads. They have completed four full length cds, one cd ep, one vinyl seven inch, one music video, a whole slew of compilations, and a variety of movie soundtracks.

Drums and Tuba is:

Tony Nozero..Drums

Neal McKeeby...Guitars

Brian Wolff....Tuba

Drums and Tuba

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unfortunately I'm on the night shift tonight, but hopefully I can make it to PJC by last call.

I first saw Drums And Tuba open for Oysterhead in 2001 in Michigan. And I saw them again the last time they played PJC.

The second time I saw Drums And Tuba was around the same time I saw a King Crimson gig. I found the two bands had a lot in common. The guitarist and Tuba player in Drums And Tuba both use digital delay machines, which are often utilized in King Crimson. Also both bassist Trey Gunn of King Crimson and guitarist Neal McKeeby of Drums And Tuba have two basses and guitars on stage at the same time. Later I found out that Adrian Belew of King Crimson has performed on stage with Drums And Tuba which I thought that makes sense and it's pretty cool too.

I got to go to work, I hope to see you tonight.

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I'll be making my way down.

Be great to talk with Neal,Brian & Tony again,I owe em a disc too.


After the day I've had, seeing your going be there just added some sunshine to an extremely grey & sad day.

Tipping my elbow tonight in honor of J.D.Risko.(My aunt)

To safer & better places,my her soul shine & light the sky.emlove.gif

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I'm a bit upset, I seem to recall the last time that Drums & Tuba performed at PJC they played well past two in the morning.

I ended up getting off work and arrived at PJC around 1:40AM only to find the band had finished and had already loaded up their van.

Rachael told me that the band got off around 12:30AM so we went home and I cried myself to sleep on my wee pillow. To any that attended the gig how was it?

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Had planned on one of my never ending diatribes but will try to keep it short. Was really good seeing the band personally speaking Tony, Brian and Neil especially are about as sweet as the Slip in terms of people which is saying alot. They all seemed healthy and were in good spirits. The show was a bit underattended (a lot underattended- the usual suspects were not out) but it didn't really detract. They played quite well I'd say, I'm pretty sure they played a Tupelo which is one of my favourite songs of there's. Alot of older material mixed in with some brand new stuff, some of it sounded sort of ska to me or Clash inspired, other points it was very melodic almost in a California Rock way which is not something I expect from the band. The biggest surprise was that they SANG at one point, it was distinct words which you couldn't quite make out but almost using the voice as an instrument in their layered textures. It worked quite well, a bit of an early night but considering the crowd they just sort of did their business and cut out. I really recommend people go to Sneaky Dee's tonight for the Over The Top festival including Drums and Tuba, Vulcan Dub Squad (heard very good things about them) and Nihilist Spasm Band. It should be a smart eclectic mix of bands it will be interesting to say the least.

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