Band of the Week: Transistor

MEET THE BAND: Tim Difrancesco (lead vocals, guitar), Alex Hlavna (backup vocals, guitar), Nick Mercurio (bass), Matt Hritz (drums)

ALL OVER THE PLACE: All four members came together in October of last year. Veterans who'd played around town for a good decade, Hlavna and Mercurio recruited Difrancesco to front the fledgling band. "We heard Tim at an open mic night, and he was the perfect fit for us," says Hlavna. "He had songs and played guitar and could sing. After that, we were looking for a drummer but couldn't find one who was reliable. When we were trying to find a drummer, we wished Matt [Hritz], whom we had played with before, was back in town." At their request, Hritz moved back to town and the group immediately clicked. "Our influences are all the way across the board with each member," says Difrancesco. "It's hard to tell what we sound like. We can't pinpoint any one thing." "It's all over the place," says Hlavna. "It's hard to say because even if you say blues or pop, it's not. We just call it accessible."

TRIAL AND ERROR: For the current EP, which is only available online, the band quickly mixed and mastered a few songs it recorded at its practice space where the cardboard and carpet on the walls provides great acoustics. "We just wanted to have something out," says Hlavna. "It was two microphones and an interface. I studied some mastering and after trial and error, we figured it out." Some songs were just jams that emerged into songs.

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: "Control (Pre)," the lead track on the band's new EP, features husky vocals and a blues-influenced guitar riff. "When the Earth Fades" commences with gently strummed guitars and bits of percussion that give way to rattling drums and soft vocals. "I don't know anymore/where I might go," sings Difrancesco. His soulful vocals emphasize the song's theme about finding one's way in the world. "2 Door Soul" starts with a spacey intro before a funky bass riff takes over, turning the song into an evocative jam, and a brittle guitar riff drives "Who's Gonna Feed the Birds." The band continues to write songs at a steady pace. "We have a couple more songs that are ready to be released," says Hlavna. "For as long as we've been together, we just keep popping them out. We're always working on new material. We're all multi-instrumentalists and between the four of us, we have about 100 songs."


WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Transistor performs with the Drift Tones, the Alarms and Titans in Time at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, at the Foundry in Lakewood.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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