::Storytyme :: Fox Theatre :: January 6 ::
By Tiffany Childs
When a band gets together at the ages of 8, 10 and 12, you’d hardly expect them to last. In the case of Storytyme you’d be wrong.
Pete (guitar/vocals), Phil (bass) and Tony Lewis (drums/vocals) have been playing together since they received their first instruments as childhood Christmas gifts. Although the three still possess a child-like love for music, their sound has grown and matured along with the brothers over the years.
In those early days, the band wrote lyrics for songs and they would develop the music later. “In a way, we were always just telling a story first — stories that happened in our lives. The music came after the words,” Pete Lewis revealed in a recent interview with The Marquee. That approach to songwriting is what eventually inspired the band’s name, Storytyme.
This may seem a little surprising for a band that classifies itself as “reborn retro rock,” citing groups such as AC/DC and Yes as main influences, rather than typical singer/songwriter-type storytellers. But while the band members do admit their music has been pretty varied previously, there is, of course, a story to tell.
It seems there were two parts to the Storytyme of the past — the lyrical, yarn-weaving element that focused on a variety of energy levels, versus the hard rocking, high intensity side. The dispute has finally been settled. Rock won and the brothers now talk about the exciting future in front of them.
First up is a new album. Scheduled for release in spring 2007, this may be the thing that excites Tony Lewis, who is also a sound engineer for IMMERSIVETM Studios in Boulder, the most. The band is branching out of traditional recording and using Sony Super Audio to record this time around. “We want the sound to be true on the recording and this is the best there is,” Tony said.
The brothers have planned a three-day live recording session where they will all play together in one room to capture more of the rawness associated with a live show. Normally, bands are recorded one instrument at a time, but Storytyme wanted to give their fans something closer to an authentic performance.
Not only will the actual sound be different, but the brothers are also using more guitar-driven hooks and choruses on this record. Pete has been writing more and more music-based songs and leaving the lyrics for later. This has created the sound the brothers have been looking for recently. “In past shows we have gone from high to low energy and back again, but now the show is straight rock. We’ve noticed the high energy songs are the ones that get the people going the most and keep the crowd’s attention, so that’s what this album is comprised of mostly,” Phil said.
The local trio has also recently focused on creating a big push with their manager Frank Sherfey of Dragons Tale Music, to “get their name out there” using multiple promotional tools. This has included everything from television appearances to agreeing to let a Marquee writer into their studio during recording. Based on the fullness of their touring schedule, whatever they are doing seems to be working.
As for that touring schedule, Storytyme is planning to kickoff a west coast tour at the beginning of the year in southern California in conjunction with the release of the album. That tour will be quickly followed with excursions to the Southwest and Midwest and Storytyme is hopeful they will receive an invitation to the famed South By Southwest Festival.
A highlight of their upcoming tours is a project Storytyme is referring to as “A Rock and Roll Story: An Insider’s Look at Today’s Music Industry.” This event is a two-day workshop at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna, British Columbia, where the band wraps up their West Coast tour. Their plan is to “educate young musicians so they can learn from the mistakes that have already been made and move forward quicker in their careers,” Tony said.
This positive, do-good outlook is a central characteristic of the band. They seem to be naturally optimistic and good-natured people that like to inspire their audiences to follow their dreams.
Although it is easy to identify the personality of the band, it remains hard to classify the music Storytyme is playing. Regardless of the rock genre that they place their music in, it is easy to hear that it flows from the hearts of these three musicians to their fans in a move more spiritual than rock usually allows. But, the brothers said, if fans promise to bring their dancing shoes, they would promise to give the crowds a reason to use them.
:: Fox Theatre :: January 6 ::
Spectate if you Gravitate:
• The Dire Straights
• The Doors