"Doubting the Obvious"
There are some things in life that are so obvious that you cannot deny their existence, no matter how hard you try. For example: like how crooked the music industry can be, or how beer goes so well with cold pizza in the morning. This one will drive it home to you - how you see guys in the mall that scratch their butt in plain view and try to come up with some nonchalant way of smelling their fingers after doing so. (You know who you are.)
The musicians that make up Doubting the Obvious fit this schema, displaying talent that cannot be passed over by the ears of the least musically inclined person you know.
Doubting the Obvious is JT Watson (vocals, guitar 2, Attention Deficit Disorder, self-proclaimed "Great Love Maker"); Kyle Merideth (guitar 3, slob); Mike Firesheets (drums, backup vocals, hippie, foosball god); Jeremy Marenger (bass, he doesn't get a cool description since we lost foosball to JT and Mike 10-8 after the interview.) and Kevin Arnold (lead guitar, backup vocals, Mr. Mom).
Their multi-layered sound comes out of the various styles and influences of Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, Deftones, Dave Matthews, Tool, Soulfly, Stevie Ray Vaughn and more. There are a few band nerds (like me) in DTO and most of the guys have several years under their belts with music.
The guys have been a whole unit since June of 2002, after going through several bass players, though their early days of playing music (DTO dates back to November 2000, somehow) included a number of previous bands and projects, including one variation of present-day Hallowtide. The guys moved in together into a five-bedroom home/rehearsal space in September of 2002 and attribute at least a small portion of their recent growth as a band to this decision.
"When you see each other walking around naked all the time," Kyle commented, incompletely summing it all up.
Seriously, the band agrees that their stage presence and tightness have come a long way as a direct result of living together and having a better understanding of each other's personalities.
When it comes to practice?
As JT puts it, "We talk about days we're NOT going to practice."
Their amount of devotion to the band is obvious (no pun intended) in their fourteen-. song demo, recorded at Headfirst Media, where they record all their songs as they are written, provided that they have money. They pass this thing out everywhere they go and it is a mystery to me why they don't sell it. So I asked ... and the response I got was a humble one. The band is more concerned with people hearing the music and appreciating it than selling the disc. They also know that nearly everyone is poor at shows as they are. It seems to me that the band is testing the water and underestimating their talents on this one, but I am sure that something will be produced down the line once they are more established. I say this even though the band, despite its brief history, has already established itself in many ways by playing with Flaw, Ok-Go, placing Second in the recent Battle of the Covers at Tek World recently, etc.
DTO has performed in town at Tek World, Headliners, Phoenix Hill and Mick's Hideaway. Mick's Hideaway? Tell us a little about that.
Jeremy went on to say that he had to lean against the air conditioner the entire time because the drums took up the entire stage. The band also blew out a circuit and had to wait for it to be fixed before continuing their set.
Another fun-filled episode of DTO took place in Atlanta recently, where they traveled eight hours to play a downtown show at the Somber Reptile with Phearus, another Louisville band. They did a live spot on a local college radio station and continued to the show. There they learned that Phearus' van had broken down. They helped them get all their stuff around safely that night. The club didn't offer much to compensate: the free pitcher of beer was lost when the doorman told them that the keg was tapped and they had to buy their own Red Stripes at $6 each There were no people there to cheer them on either, just a cold room to add insult to injury.
JT simply puts it; "It sounds a lot cooler than it was."
Doubting the Obvious does not have any upcoming shows booked as of now, but has sent press packs to several cities in the region looking for gigs. I am sure you will see them in town real soon, as they are a band that fits in well most anywhere. The group played an acoustic set at the TwiceTold Cafe and Metal Fest - even though they are not a metal band - at Tek World in the same week. They also did an acoustic duet at Good Times Pub on short notice, once again proving their versatility.
The music is very radio friendly, but more genuine. This is due to the extensive musicianship found in the band and also to the industry experience of Kyle Meredith, formerly known as "Random Guy" on WLRS. (I think it is impossible to walk away from any length of time on the air and not have some concept of what works on radio) Kyle translates this to his band mates in a way that combines what will hook listeners and what will properly illustrate the message of DTO. The songwriting abilities and roles are mostly defined by JT and Kevin but are shared amongst all.
JT adds, "Smoke a joint and THEN listen to our music; it's pretty good that way."
Doubting the Obvious wanted to thank Hot Sarah and Hot Julie for all their help.
To book DTO, email JT email@example.com>. The web site should be "obvious" from the email address, so check it out.
Until next month, rock on Louisville!