Band of the Week: XLT 1000

Band of the Week: XLT 1000
Photo courtesy of XLT 1000

MEET THE BAND: Adam Rich (guitar), Jerry Principe (vocals, bass), Kurt Bernardo (drums), J. Carter (guitar, vocals)

A COMBO DEAL: In 2016, Rich was recording his solo album Sunshine & Puppies and thought it would be fun to switch from bass to guitar and assemble a live band to play his songs at LoveMuffinPalooza, the annual benefit concert that he organizes. He liked playing guitar so much that he put together XLT 1000 with Terminal Blues drummer Bernardo, whom he met at the library where he works, Principe, who also plays in the local group Xtra Crispy, and Carter, who played in the local band 1000 Hours. "I didn't want to get an ego and call it the Adam Rich Band — without them it wouldn't be possible," he says. "So, the band name, XLT 1000, is a combination of their current/past bands. X for Xtra Crispy, L for Love Muffin Records, T for Terminal Blues and 1000 for 1000 Hours."

A RANGE OF INFLUENCES: Rich says he listened to Top 40 music as a teen but then discovered hair metal, thrash, hard rock and punk. "Aerosmith's Permanent Vacation was the first hard-rock cassette I bought," he says. "I also like Ben Harper and reggae. Kurt [Bernardo] grew up on 1960s radio which played all kinds of styles. James [Carter] is influenced by Aerosmith, Elton John, Prince, Green Day and the Who. Jerry [Principe] likes the Beatles, Todd Rungren, Kansas and Kiss."

FOR A GOOD CAUSE: LoveMuffinPalooza serves as a fundraiser for the Gathering Place, a cancer support center with locations in Beachwood and Westlake. The Gathering Place, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, provides free programs and services for individuals and families coping with a cancer diagnosis. "At first, Palooza was purely to get bands I personally liked and make money," says Rich. "When my cousin passed from cancer in 2010, it took on a more serious meaning to me. I discovered the Gathering Place in 2012 and have partnered with them ever since. It became my own way to remember my cousin."

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: The band will probably never release an album; it exclusively plays songs from Rich's solo albums and a few choice covers. "We aren't this to be rock stars or anything — just to have fun," says Rich. "The live show is a half-hour set, so that's about six songs." One song in the band's repertoire is the title track to Rich's 2006 album You Can't Escape Life. With its snarky vocals and thick guitar riffs, the song comes off as something that Cracker might've recorded in the '90s. "My longtime friend Xela did the vocals for it, yet we have never played it live together." At the upcoming LoveMuffinPalooza concert, Rich plans to play it live with Xela for the first time.



WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: XLT 1000 performs with Tracy Marie, Tom Adams, the Village Bicycle and Birdog Cats as part of LoveMuffinPalooza at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, at the Bop Stop.

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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