By Nathan Ryall and Mel Says
When you first hear The Scenery, it is easy to tell this band has something different to offer. It’s not their sound, which is an incredibly infectious fusion of indie, pop and rock; and it’s not the amazingly talented and unique vocal styling of singer Anthony Daraban. No, what this band has is much deeper. They have a story that spreads, literally, as wide as the nation.
The Scenery was formed in 2008 by brothers, Matt and Anthony Daraban, as well as fellow travelers Russell Hatfield and Mike Freeland, of which all four were originally from Michigan, but had their first meeting in blistering Arizona dessert. The foursome, were all in Arizona for different reasons, and were seemingly drawn together by a mutual love for music and what can only be described as “Michigan magic.”
After some time in the desert, the gang decided to hit the road and try their luck in Los Angeles. After just a few months in the City of Angels, the four piece decided something was missing and made a collective executive decision to move back to the state that started it all. Once back in the comfortable embrace of the Mitten State, they added the final piece to the puzzle in the form of rhythm guitar player and avid hair swinger, Jennica Wahl. These days, you can most easily catch this cast of motley individuals playing their acoustic set at one of the seedy Downriver bars they frequent.
“Our songs translate real well to acoustic sets because they all started acoustic and then we moved them to full band. So our acoustic shows are always real fun,” said Anthony Daraban.
This is not to say, however, that their full band shows lack any enthusiasm. Teeming with a live energy that can only come from truly having fun on stage, The Scenery’s show is a textbook display of five people doing what they love; playing music for perfect strangers in an effort to spread the fun. BackRoads with Phyllis had the honor of promoting a jam-packed show at Detroit’s Corktown Tavern last weekend and The Scenery was one act we couldn’t wait to experience. By the time the first chorus came around, we were hooked.
One of the most visible members of the group is Hatfield. His long dreadlocks and ear-to-ear smile bounding around on stage is what most will notice before even making the realization that he’s holding a bass. It seemed that frontman Daraban couldn’t find enough surfaces to stand on in order to get closer to the crowd. The show came to a dramatic finish when he sprawled out on a light box, in what looked like an act of dying. Throughout the performance, each member could be seen flashing intermittent smiles to each other, showing everyone in the room that this band couldn’t be happier to share their musical love child.
The Scenery is currently working on recording their second EP with Andrew Wade, who has had his hand in heavy-hitting acts such as A Day To Remember, Eyes Set to Kill and Motionless in White. Wade was also present for the recording of the band’s first EP, which was submitted to the prestigious Austin, Texas festival South by Southwest, and could quite possibly be the step they need to get to the next level.