Some bands struggle to find a sound and reach an audience; others are greeted with success almost immediately.
The latter was the fortunate case for Out From Under, a local four-piece with Tarah Risnes on vocals, Josh Carbajal on lead guitar, Joel Reyes on drums, and Josh LaCroix on bass. The group released a three-song demo via SoundCloud on Aug. 1, and the three songs have already received more than 1,000 streams combined.
“We got together about a year ago,” said Carbajal during a recent phone interview. “I sent Tarah a video of me playing guitar, and she said that we should start a band. So we did!”
Added Risnes: “I had just been kicked out of a different band a month prior. I didn’t have much creative control in the band, and they didn’t care to listen to any of my thoughts. When they kicked me out, I knew I wanted to start my own band where everyone can have a creative input. Bands are a group effort, and everyone should be creating within it.”
Out From Under’s three-track demo is a genre journey that sees the band members test their musical skills in punk, alternative and indie rock.
“I’m very big on music, and I draw influence from softer bands like Never Shout Never and Death Cab for Cutie, and at the same time, really heavy aggressive punk bands like Cannibal Corpse and Sex Pistols,” said Carbajal. “I also draw inspiration from some indie bands like Clairo.”
Said Risnes: “Vocally, I get inspiration from girl punk. There’s something about those groups that really resonates with me. For our more alternative stuff, I try to have my own twist on Erykah Badu’s jazzy sound. I’m trying to figure out a sound that is in the middle, so I can combine aspects from both of those genres.”
Some may question the quality of the recordings; however, the band doesn’t mind.
“We have music, but we don’t have equipment to professionally record,” Risnes said. “I wanted to put out some demos during these months for people to listen to, so they can be able to hear us and not forget about us. Our debut show was only a few days after the new year, and we’ve only played about four shows altogether.
“I had been wanting to record our music for a really long time, because I want to progress as a band. I just decided to use my phone to record the audio. We did a few takes and put them out. It’s just a demo, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. We just wanted to get our sound across.”
When I first heard the name Out From Under, I thought it might be some sort of reference to Australia. However, that’s not the case.
“Some of the names we came up with were really bizarre,” said Risnes. “A huge part of creating a band is being creative and having fun. We had a bunch of hilarious names come up, but I wanted to go with Out From Under. We all settled for it, but to be honest, I think we may change it in the future. I like it, but the more I read it, the more I question as to whether it has a good-enough ring. I believe a name has a lot to do with how successful a band is, and when you look at bands that have made it, many of them have names with a great ring to them. I don’t like having a set meaning to something I create. I enjoy other people figuring out meanings that resonate to them. Out From Under is really something you can interpret in any way.”
As musicians, we all expressed our desires to play shows again. We talked about the pros and cons of some of the socially distant concert methods.
“With a drive-in show, people will just be sitting in their cars,” Risnes said. “I want to be able to feel the energy and feel the vibe from people. That’s the whole point of performing. I really miss mosh pits. Maybe the drive-in shows can have the cars starting a circle pit. Another barrier would be that most of our audience is made up of teenagers. Not all of them have vehicles available for a drive-in show.”
The members of Out From Under remain hopeful, despite the pandemic and the growing pains bands universally go through.
“We are unsure about the future of the band and some of our members,” Risnes said. “Our bass player just moved an hour and a half away, so we are trying to decide how to move forward with that. Other than that, I’m really hoping to continue creating and expanding our audience. We really want to keep moving.”