Chance meetings and making the most out of every encounter. That, along with hard work, is the backbone of the music industry. It was a Tuesday night and I was at the Bowery Ball Room in NYC covering a couple bands for a client. Whilst making my way around the balcony I felt a tap on my shoulder, followed by..."Who are you shooting for?" ; A common question I am asked at just about every show I cover.
A quick conversation ensues and before I know it I am at the Gramercy Theater in NYC a few days later standing in the pit waiting for Band For Brothers to take the stage. I must admit that before that chance encounter at the Bowery a few days prior, I had never heard of this band and it suddenly dawned on me while standing in the pit getting ready to shoot them just how little I knew about them apart from listening to some of their tracks on Spotify.
For Brothers is a relatively new band to the New York area. Just a couple years in the making, this band made up of two sets of brothers: Shaant & Aram Shishmanian and Ben & Cole Marino. They are a full force, working extremely hard playing as many shows as they can and the hard work is definitely paying off.
At first sight, it immediately strikes you that this is a folk band or at least a a band with definite folk inspiration. Think Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young mixed with a Mumford and Sons look and sound! Tonight, they are opening for Big Wreck who are not a small act at all; a real honor for an up and coming group of musicians. The floor of the Gramercy is packed! I cannot remember the last time I have seen such a full house for an opening band. I have no doubt in my mind that the majority of people at this show have never heard of For Brothers either, just as I hadnt.
The band takes the stage confidently. You would never guess that they had only been together for a short time...No big fan fare, no intro music. They greet the crowd as a silence falls over the room and the first notes resonate through the theater; calm & soothing. In a slow and deliberate start, it is clear that the band want to gradually draw the crowd into their world. The bass line is the prominent feature at the start. All eyes are on the stage as the strong guitar drops and sets everyone back on their heels. This isn’t your ordinary Folk band!
Folk on steroids is how they describe themselves and for the life of me I cannot come up with a better description. It’s tough being a rock/folk band. You can’t hide behind stage antics to keep the crowd interested and entertained. You are simply relying on your music and your song writing ability. This band needn't worry; they are great together and perform as if they have been doing so for a decade. The songs are on point and tell stories you are sucked into.
As the set goes on it's easy to see that they are not in the game to be famous and that they simply love playing music and making people smile. As their set ends, I meet up with them and we chat for a bit. During our 5-minute conversation, we are interrupted 5-6 times by what I can only describe as new fans. People who came to the theatre as Big Wreck fans definitely left as For Brother fans also. Keep an eye out for these guys as I have a feeling they are going places. They are also currently unsigned, just in case there is a label out there looking for a new act to bring on their books!!
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Article by Nubbs