MEET THE BAND: Don Gordon (guitar, vocals), Jim Fultz (drums), Chris Moss (guitar, vocals), Anton Quintas (bass), Paul Silvidi (keys, vocals), Jeff Modzelewski (percussion)
GENESIS: Based mostly in Parma, the MuckleBuck has been around for a few years now, springing either from some band members' shared history in the Groove Prophets or common interests in concerts around town. Over the past year in particular, riding the wave of their first release, Ulysses' Revenge, the band has performed with a number of other local, regional and national bands, garnering a fervent following around Northeast Ohio and a reputation for intense rock 'n' roll: far-out soloing, improvisation, progressive percussion — you know, the works.
TOWARD COLLABORATION: "We learned a lot about what works and what doesn't this past year," Gordon says. With the compositional chops he picked up in earlier bands — notably alongside Quintas and Fultz — Gordon was driving the MuckleBuck's writing with intricate progressions and jazz chords. Lately, band members have taken a more collaborative approach, one that will be evident as they return to the studio this winter. Moss has brought a more classic singer-songwriter angle to rehearsals, and all band members have been pitching in on writing credits. "Every time we start writing new material, we end up challenging ourselves a little bit more," Quintas adds. "I really think what's coming up next is gonna reflect that a lot."
LAYERS AND LAYERS: Collaboration is key, because so much of what makes up MuckleBuck's vibe is pure instrumentation. The guys point to "A Few More Miles," "Soul Survivor," "Morning Jam" and "Fly Me to Venus," those last two being instrumentals, as the songs they're really trying to show off these days. All of those tunes feature the full-band collaboration they're so invested in now. "Fly Me to Venus," for instance, boasts a funky bass line holding down keyboard washes and soaring major-key guitar work. Throughout, Modzelewski and Fultz provide that solid rhythmic backbone.
ALL ABOUT THE ART: "We highly encourage the arts community to come out and be a part of the MuckleBuck experience," Fultz says. At every show, painters can be found off to the side of the audience, creating artwork as the music flows onstage. "Peaceful individual expressionism is something we're founded on."
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: The MuckleBuck combines compositional tact and onstage virtuosity to provide a live concert experience capable of broadening listeners' horizons and opening eyes/ears to new adventures in sound.
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: facebook.com/themucklebuck
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: The MuckleBuck performs as part of this weekend's Dead Grass Festival at 8120 Coon Club Rd. in Medina. Their set runs 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 19. They'll also perform as part of Color Jam at Iggy's in Lakewood on Oct. 4.