Rock the Blocks was this past weekend, which meant that local band enthusiasts’ wet dreams came true while everyone else crowded into the bars that didn’t charge $10 a cover. If you went, you heard the stylings of quirky bands like Horse Culture and The Rusty Seesaws. While you were trying to see the bands through the thick haze of both cigarette smoke and smoke from a smoke machine (they underestimated how much people actually smoke in bars), we at The Black Sheep got a chance to interview some of them. Read below to find out information that may one day be trivia questions for the local bands that defeated all odds and actually become famous, straight outta Blacksburg.
This band, with the aesthetic touch of dreads and tie-dye, are located in Blacksburg but plan to stretch out to other venues. We talked to band member Jake Lutman, and asked about their band name.
According to Lutamn, the band members, who’ve known each other for 15 years, wanted to start a band that brought a sense of peace (hence the reference to Buddha). The graph part relates to photograph, obviously. And the second portion of the name relates to how they want their songs to take people on a journey of music. Their dreads and tie-dye look seals the deal.
We also asked what Lutman’s favorite lyric is from his songs, which he answered: “The trees change over me.” He explained that it means a lot to him because time passes and everything changes, and so you can’t take moments for granted.
If you want a sense of peace, check them out!
Our next interview was with the producer/DJ (there’s a distinction according to people who do this) of Electrobro. He performed at Champs in an awesome windbreaker, which looked totally badass in the light bouncing off smoke. When we asked what was the inspiration behind his name he responded, “I was sitting in sociology of music class and it just clicked. I was doodling, drawing robot faces and somehow Electrobro showed up. I like the way it looks, aesthetically.”
Electrobro was always interested in music and honed in on his talent for years. When asked about his origin story, he remarked, “I’ve been singing for a long time, which has defined and developed my ears a lot more than I ever realized. I started playing bass, my first instrument, and then moved to guitar and then to drums. Electronic music was the logical next step for me.”
After a seeing Deadmau5 at Bonnaroo in 2010, inspiration struck. “I could totally be doing that,” he remarked. “Why am I not?” That’s when he started messing around with producing software to get where he is today.
When asked what his favorite lyric is, he responded, “When we realize that we can pretend whatever we want to, but then it’s no longer pretend.” And so, if you have dreams of becoming a star, then take a page out of Electrobro’s handbook and start doing something about it.
We interviewed Dan, the producer/DJ of Spark Arrestor. While he doesn’t remember how he came up with his name, his origin story is an interesting one. He got super obsessed with Cumbia music (which we learned is a kind of Colombian dance music similar to salsa, insert “dancing woman emoji” here), and his obsession led to producing his own. Dan’s favorite record is Ubiquity Records. He started working with them, and he’s got a record coming out called Boogieburg with Ubiquity that “production-wise, it’s really cool.” So check that out if you like both Blacksburg and boogying.
When asked about his favorite lyric, he responded that he’s more into sampling the vocals for the way they sound and not the actual lyrics.
Adam at Champs:
We were also able to interview a fan of Spark Arrestor, Adam Hurt, who’s a bouncer at Champs. According to Adam, Spark Arrestor was his favorite out of everyone he heard at Champs that night. He thought the music was “funky and had a lot of energy to get [his] groove on.” He particularly enjoyed the sampling of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and The Bangles “Walk Like an Egyptian,” liking the revamping the older music that he enjoys.”
All in all, Rock the Blocks was a fantastic event to kick back with an alcoholic beverage and listen to bands on their potential rise to stardom. They’re the diamonds in the rough of Blacksburg and you should catch them before they’re performing at ridiculously over-priced festivals that you’ll be too poor after buying the tickets to afford the drugs that’ll allow you to actually enjoy the experience.