Meet the Band: Justin Seeker (guitars, vocals), Joel McAdams (guitar, vocals), Joshua Weiss (drums, vocals) and Michael Voris (bass)
Party People: Bassist Michael Voris knew singer Justin Seeker for 10 years before the band formed about 2 1/2 years ago. "We formed to play a skate ramp party in Kent," says Voris. "We were having a Christmas party. We were just thrown together. We played the next week after that and it just stuck. We're all friends with people who enjoy going to the shows."
Influences: Voris has a hard time pinning down the band's influences. "I listen to a lot of folk music," he says. "Our drummer is into metal. Justin [Seeker] is into mostly podcasts. He doesn't listen to a lot of music. We just listen to music at my house when we practice. We listen to the Roches and old Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac, but I don't know that those are really influences."
Why You Should Hear Them: Some of the songs on the band's self-titled debut come from Seeker's solo project. The album's mid-tempo opener "Series of Events" features a sharp contrast between noisy guitars and whisper-thin vocals, and the herky-jerky "Channeling David" has a cool, Gang of Four-like vibe to it. "We just get together and start playing notes; we never talk about anything," says Voris when asked about the recording process. The group's new guitarist Joel McAdams doesn't play on the album, but Voris says he's brought a more "atmospheric" element to the music. "We're currently working on writing new stuff that reflects having him in the band," he says.
On Having Goals: The band just issued its debut EP and has five songs written for the next one. "Our goal is to just keep playing shows and have more people show up," Voris says. "We don't have any desire to tour."
Where You Can Hear Them: reverbnation.com/stems4
Where You Can See Them: Stems performs at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16, at the Stone Tavern in Kent. They also perform with Shit-box Jimmy and John Krautner at 9 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the Happy Dog and with Xenia Rubinos and Man Man at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Grog Shop.