Alt-rock trio to perform at Identity Inc.
FARMINGTON – When it comes to telling the story of how they met and became friends in 2012, drummer Isaac Moore and vocalist/bassist Isaiah Sebastian of the local alt-rock trio the Deadbeats differ only slightly.
“We met through a girl,” Moore said.
“We were going after the same girl,” Sebastian said, correcting him.
While the specifics of their introduction to each other might be up for debate, this much is clear — the girl was destined to became a footnote when the two Piedra Vista High School freshmen discovered they enjoyed jamming together. Sebastian said he was the kid who used to wander around the school’s quad strumming a guitar and serenading girls, and Moore was the guy who could lay down a backbeat. They liked playing together so much, they decided to put together a band, eventually being joined by guitarist Rhett Rybacki, a Bloomfield High School student.
“I was a newbie to the guitar,” Rybacki said, recalling how he came to join the group. “I’d only been playing for about year when I tried out. (Sebastian) said, ‘You’re in, but only if you learn your scales.’ It just kind of stuck.”
Sebastian tells a slightly more poetic version of how the three found common ground.
“We had ambitions as writers and musicians to create,” he said last week as the band prepared for a show this weekend at the Identity Inc. Community Center. “That mutual sense brought us together in the first place.”
“That, and our social anxiety,” Rybacki chimed in, laughing.
That was a little more than two years ago. Moore and Sebastian went on to graduate from PV in 2015, while Rybacki is now a senior at Bloomfield, and the trio has gone from playing covers of songs by the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Keys, the Strokes and Incubus to primarily performing its own material.
These days, the band finds itself approaching a crossroads as it prepares for the release of its first full album, a 10-song collection due out in late February or early March. Come late next summer, the Deadbeats are planning a move to the so-called Live Music Capital of the World — Austin, Texas — to find out how they stack up against big-league competition.
In the meantime, they’re planning on shooting a live video at their gig this weekend for their single “Float” that they hope will garner some attention. Sebastian said the tune deals with depression and suicide, and was inspired by an attempt by someone close to him to take her own life.
But the trio is hoping for anything but a somber response from audience members when they tear through “Float” this weekend with the cameras rolling.
“Enjoy the music, lots of dancing and cheering,” Sebastian said, describing how he hopes the band’s fans will react to it.
The song will be featured on the Deadbeats’ new album, which was recorded in November at the home studio of Moore’s uncle in Hutchinson, Kan.
“It was a lot of fun,” Sebastian said of the experience. “Isaac’s uncle is an audio technician … He’s been in the business for 30-plus years … He said, ‘Come on out and make a record.’ We packed everything up into (Moore’s) mom’s Buick and knocked out all the tracks in about a week.”
Moore said he was mostly pleased with the results.
“It was a little rushed, but it still turned out about as (well) as we could imagine,” he said.
The disc doesn’t have a name yet, but the material, with the exception of one tune, is all original and will give the group something to work with when it heads to Texas later this year.
Rybacki isn’t sure if he’ll be joining his bandmates for that move, as his focus is on graduating and going to college. But Moore and Sebastian are all in, and they’ll be joined by Bloomfield guitarist Alex Gonzalez. They realize they’re plunging into the deep end of the pool, but they refuse to put any limits on their aforementioned ambition and figure it’s better to find out now if they’ve got what it takes to swim with sharks.
“We aspire to be the biggest we can be — and the best we can be,” Moore said.
Sebastian reasoned that there are a lot of bad bands out there who nevertheless have managed to become famous.
“Why not us?” he asked rhetorically, intending to lump his trio in with the successful crowd in that equation and not necessarily the mediocre. Whatever the experience holds, he expects it will help him develop as an artist.
“I’m 19,” he said. “I might as well try it.”
Moore views the prospect of moving to Austin as an adventure. His expectations are simple.
“Amazing and full of fun,” he said, grinning. “It’s obviously going to be hard, but I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Mike Easterling is the A&E editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4610.
If you go
What: Performance by the Deadbeats
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23 at the Identity Inc. Community Center, 218 W. Main St. in Farmington
Admission: $5, all ages welcome