Edjacated Phools. You dig? Hailing form Baltimore, these dudes recently found out they landed a coveted spot opening for Badfish at the Fillmore in Silver Spring on May 5. And as if that’s not enough, they will also be coming to Frederick’s own Sky Stage on June 10. We recently caught up with the group to talk about how they got together, what’s on tap for 2017, and what they believe is the perfect song ever written.
Can you tell us a little about the band? How did it come together/how long have you been at it/etc.?
Originally, the band started as a three-piece acoustic band with the founding members: Logan Sappington, Kyle Sappington and Jack Griffin. After playing bar shows and open mics, we realized we wanted to make things a little more live. We found Tyler Garrison (bass) at P.F. Chang’s, where he worked with Logan. Our friend Ben McGarvey had told us about his friend Devin Barone being a really good drummer, so we hit Dev up on Facebook and set up a jam at his office in Baltimore. Once we all jammed, we knew it was a great fit. From there, we added Nick Hatzis (vocalist/guitar), who is Devin’s cousin, and Ben Yancheski (keys), who is a life-long friend of Logan.
I see you guys played the Metro Gallery on Feb. 25 with The Get Right Band and others. We’ve reviewed a couple Get Right Band records on our site and really like them. What do you think about those dudes?
The Get Right Band is super cool. They have their own style and are very talented. They are great at painting a picture for you to see while you’re listening. They connect with their listeners through their real life lyrics – which relate melodic, relaxing, feel-good messages – mixed with powerful performances.
What’s your perception of the Maryland music scene currently?
The Maryland music scene is an amazing place. It’s filled with so much culture and so much diversity, and it’s filled with so many great musicians. Playing in Maryland has been a blessing – we have been able to meet so many cool bands, so many cool people, and be a part of some great shows.
We look at the Maryland music scene as a sleeping giant. Just gigging around the state, we have come across so many talented artists. Maryland is such a cool state because there are so many different walks of life that live in this “big” little state, and there are a lot of different types of music and musicians who are all good at what they do. To name a few in Maryland: Higher Education, SoulXChange, Never Ending Fall, The Dirty Grass Players, Dale and the Z-Dubs, Wise Eyes, 9 Mile Roots, Stacked Like Pancakes, Pasadena, Big Infinite, Bumpin Uglies, Poetic Endurance, Wyred, Tate Kobang, Bencoolen (from DC), The Henchmen, and The Vibesmen.
Not to mention all of the people who are behind the scenes making things happen, such as setting up shows/events/festivals: Fernando Delgado, Rob Ryan, Kevin Hock, Sean Baldwin and plenty more. We’re happy to be a part of the Maryland music scene family. We feel like there is a lot of love and talent in the Maryland music scene, and it needs to be spread!
Who are some of your major influences and why?
Being a six-piece, we have a pretty wide range of influences. To name a few: Sublime, The Notorious B.I.G., The Roots, Rage Against the Machine, Incubus, Rebelution, Bob Marley, Nas, J Boog, Deftones. Logan’s influences include John Frusciante, John Mayer, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Rachmaney and Tom Morello.
Can you give us names of some bands we need to check out that we maybe haven’t seen yet? Who are you listening to the most these days?
Some bands we have really been into are Katastro, True Press, Bumpin Uglies, The Expanders and Fortunate Youth. Luna June is a new band from Baltimore who we are really liking. They have a cool, almost John Mayer-ish harder rock sound. Tropidelic from Ohio has been on our playlist lately – they did a song with Brandon Hardesty of Bumpin’ Uglies called “Alcoholic,” which we are fans of. Landon McNamara just was added to the Reggae Rise Up lineup, along with Of Good Nature (Charleston) and Oogee Wawa (Long Island) – we like a lot of the stuff these bands are doing!
In addition to the shows that you guys already have announced, what does 2017 look like?
2017 should be very exciting for us. On top of the shows we have booked, we are releasing our first full-length album, which we have been working on for about 10 months. We have a couple music videos that we will be debuting, and we also have the second year of the annual Hightopps Back Stage Bash, which we are throwing again this June or July – stay tuned for an announcement on that!
What are some of your favorite venues to play and why?
We love playing at Baltimore Soundstage. We have never had a bad experience there – the sound is always great. They have a huge stage, which we like because it allows us to move around. The 8×10 has always been cool. Very intimate, great environment. Metro Gallery was the home of our first live performance, so it will always hold a special place in our hearts. And for the local scene, Hightopps is our home watering hole, so we are always happy to play there.
What do you think is the most perfect song ever written and why?
The most perfect song ever written in our opinion might be Bob Marley’s “Is This Love?” because there’s such a great meaning behind it, and musically it’s a beautiful song.
You guys are going to play with Badfish in a few months. How did that come together and how special is that for the band?
To be able to play a show at The Fillmore with a band like Badfish means a lot to us. Our manager reached out to a talent buyer who works with The Fillmore, and that talent buyer really went to bat for the band and recommended us to both Badfish’s management and the venue. Sublime is by far one of the biggest inspirations musically for us, and we are excited to be able to support anything connected to sharing those inspirations. Badfish is easily the most recognized Sublime tribute band in the world, so I guess you could say it’s the next best thing to playing with one of our heroes.