My Body Sings Electric

| February 1, 2013 | 0 Comments

by Tim Wenger

photo credit: Alex Layne

Being an independent musician is less about being a rock star than it is about being a tool to sell cover charges, beer and whatever else a venue is hawking, and the good bands understand that they have to sweat their way to the top. Indie and alternative rock and different takes on the genres have been blowing up the Denver music scene the past few years, and My Body Sings Electric has sweated their asses off to keep a step ahead of the pack.

The band won 93.3’s Hometown for the Holidays in December, after watching Churchill take the prize last year. Not only do they get the bragging rights, but $1000 cash and recording time at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins as well. “We’ve actually been involved in the Hometown for the Holidays contest for three straight years,” says front man, Brandon Whalen. “The first year, we were a pretty fresh face on the scene and people kind of thought we came out of nowhere, but luckily we’ve been able to sustain a presence in the top three the following two years.”

The contest is a prestigious one in the scene, and the band knew that if they wanted to win, they had to be all-in from the promo side as well as the music side. “We bought Twitter ads, paid to promote posts on our personal and band Facebook pages, and reached out to our email list several times,” said Whalen. We even text messaged our friends and family. It was like, ‘This year we’re going to do everything we can to improve our chances.’ After we heard Churchill’s song “Change” last year, we knew they had won. We really pushed the signups last year knowing we had an uphill battle. This year, we took no chances when it came to getting friends and family to signup for 93.3 music surveys. We pulled out all the stops and probably annoyed a lot of people in the week of the contest.”

Now that they have won, the guys want to increase their touring and continue to grow outside the Mile High City, as well as release some new music. “We’re going to record two new EPs and release them over the next 18 months or so,” said Whalen. “We’re still writing and scheduling things, but we’re going to try to put out the best new music we possibly can and hopefully good things flow from there.”

If you are new to the band, their hybrid style of modern/alternative rock subgenres reflects the raw talent that the band brings to the table. Certain songs might be labeled pop-punk if there weren’t as many intricate layers to the music. Others could fall into the trendy radio rock category, but the lyrics have too much actual meaning; although, that seems to be what has attracted thousands of fans to their music since their formation in 2007.

My Body Sings Electric has gone from a newborn band, building their following by playing all-ages shows at local youth groups to a band that packs theatre-level shows. And their success over the last couple of years has come at the cost of the R & R and casual nights out partying that most of us take for granted. They are an independent act that handles their management duties by themselves, with Whalen taking the reins. “If you have a Friday or Saturday off with no show, and you aren’t out handing out flyers for your show the next weekend, you don’t care enough,” said Whalen.

For these guys, working their way into the expanding spotlight that has been cast upon the alternative rock scene in Denver was a given from the time they started the band. They are there not because anybody else told them they were good enough but because they always knew they deserved to be playing with the big dawgs. “When we see a band playing a bigger show than us, we get jealous and we have to figure out why we’re not playing that show,” said Whalen.

It was that drive that brought the band together in the first place. They evolved into their current state after founding members Nick Crawford, Jeff Fedel, Kalen Bigg and Dennis Dejnowski played a show with then band Mnemonic at the Gothic Theatre with Whalen’s former band. “I remember meeting the guys in Mnemonic out back and thinking, ‘This band is going to suck,’” says Whalen. “Then I saw them sound check and thought, ‘Holy shit! These guys are awesome, but their singer just doesn’t fit.’ We kicked it after the show at Nick’s house and partied a little bit. It was the first time I had met another Denver band that I really, really got along with.”

Whalen admits that he secretly wanted to play with the Mnemonic guys after that night, and jumped on the opportunity when it arose. “Later on that summer, I saw Mnemonic post a MySpace message online that their singer had quit the band. I instantly texted Jeff and Nick and told them I wanted to try out,” he says. “After one practice it felt pretty right.”

The band’s album Changing Color was recorded at Interlace Audio in Portland, Oregon. “What really got us interested in recording [there] was their previous work,” says Whalen. “They have recorded awesome albums from bands like Dance Gavin Dance, Fear Before, and Closure in Moscow, so we knew they could do great work. It was time for us to make a real album at a great studio, and Interlace was the perfect place.”

Last summer, the guys took home a Westword Music Showcase award in the progressive-rock category, and have been rocking the airwaves around the state since the release of their debut album. With the enthusiasm and motivation that drives My Body Sings Electric, they just might be the next fish that jumps over the dam from the flooding Denver scene to an eager national audience on the other side. “We like to think that with the small amount of success we’ve experienced so far, we can act as a resource for other bands trying to improve and grow,” says Whalen. “Of course our goal is to grow into being a national act, but there isn’t another place in the world that we would rather call home.”

 

Category: On The Scene

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