The Albrights Get Musical — Musical Theater, That Is! [BUFFALO BAND OF THE WEEK]
The Albrights has been a band to watch since forming in 2009. Brandon Barry (guitar, vocals), Joe Donohue (piano, vocals). Matthew Crane (bass, vocals), and Dustin Herzberger (drums, percussion) work hard to share their music and welcome new fans by staying active in Buffalo’s music, art and theater communities.
On Friday, The Albrights will be playing at Frog Hair (7800 Transit Rd., Williamsville) and will open for10,000 Manics at Old Falls Street USA (101 Old Falls St., Niagara Falls) with The Tins and Aircraft on Saturday.
I spoke with Matt and Joe about Saturday’s show, the band’s new music and their continuous involvement in the community.
What do you have planned for Saturday’s show?
Matt: It’s going to be a fun show. We’re working on a cool cover that all the opening bands can do together. Put three bands from Buffalo on the stage at the same time. One, because we’re all friends and all dig each other’s music, but two, because it’s another way to get our fans up to Niagara Falls. The Tins and Aircraft play often too, so it gives all of our fans a reason to come out and see us. Who knows what we’re going to do? We’re not going to tell you. You have to come to find out.
Matt: We’re recording a single right now that we hope to have out in August. Right now, we just want to get a single out and give people and new product while we’re busy finishing up our second album. We have time booked in GCR Studio in October for that, and we’re hoping for a spring release. Something around April or May of 2014.
Are you changing it up this time around?
Joe: It’s different already because it’s our first time recording with Dustin as our drummer. Now we feel like we’re really representing how we actually sound, so that’s why we’re even more excited to have something on tape that he’s going to be on. Even just the one song is shaping up really cool. Dustin brought in a whole different genre of music. I never thought fans of metal music or emo punk would like our music, but we tend to blend really well with their crowd. So Dustin is really bringing this refreshed sound into it. It’s definitely still consistent with the first album, but it’s an updated sound for sure.
Matt: We’re going to push the envelope a little further. It sounds really cool, and we’re really excited about it. We’re all over the musical genre but still sticking to what we sound like as a band, so it’s fun.
What do you think sets The Albrights apart from a lot of the other local bands?
Joe: I think a lot of local bands don’t promote themselves at all. We rehearse a lot, and if you skip that, you’re going to pay for it. You’re not getting to the people that could like you a lot. Not that we’ve reinvented the wheel or anything, but we hang up posters and publicize a lot. A lot of local bands don’t do that.
Matt: Promotion is huge. We also work really really hard on trying to play different sets because we play often, and we want to bring a different show and not just stand there and play songs in an order. We want to put on a show and create a mood with ups and downs in the set. Since we play so often, we rehearse endlessly to make sure it’s right. We’ll be rehearsing for two or three shows at the same time sometimes. It takes a lot of work and a lot of thought and a lot of care.
Joe: We want people to go to multiple shows, so we really have to give them something special and different each and every show.
Are you guys still involved in the theater scene?
Joe: I just finished up a musical at MusicalFare. I was doing Rent. Brandon and myself are going to be in The Who’s Tommy. So right now, we’re in a break from it. Brandon just participated in MusicalFare’s 24-hour musical at the old Studio Arena, which was awesome, and he was hysterical. We definitely try to stay active with it because it makes you so much more well-rounded as a performer. It gives you a different understanding of what crowds look for, what people like and what applies to what. Obviously musical theater is not the same as a rock show by any means, but it’s good to know that side of it.
Matt: That plays into that working art sort of thing. While we’re working on a new album and making sure that every show is different, promoting all the things we’re doing and going out of town to play shows all the time, we’re in the theater community working hard learning all different music from the Who to Rent to Music Man. That’s a lot for us to cram our brains with. It’s just so important that we stay fresh, and it brings a new element to The Albrights. It also has increased our fan base exponentially. Buffalo’s a small town, but it’s not that small. We still meet new people — and we’ve been around for a couple of years now — that have just heard about us. Staying active in the community, doing theater and staying active in the art community in general in Buffalo as a whole makes a difference. This city loves its art, and we love the arts, too, and staying active in all that stuff helps. It sounds like we don’t have any free time, and the truth is, we don’t have much, but we love doing all this. If you get up and love what you do every day, it really isn’t work.
There are quite a few more opportunities to catch an Albrights show this summer. On August 16, they will be playing at the 5 p.m. Happy Hour at Coca-Cola Field; on August 24, they will play at 2 p.m. at the Elmwood Art Festival; on August 30, they will play at Mr. Goodbar at 11 p.m.; and on September 11, they will play at Larkin Square.
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