By: Thomas D. Mooney
We recently caught up with Tyler Hardy, guitarist of The Dendrites, to discuss the emergence of the four-piece in the Lubbock music scene. They’ve only played a handful of shows, but have already created a buzz revolving around them and what they’re they’re bringing to the growing scene.
You can see The Dendrites at a handful of upcoming shows, with the earliest being tonight at The Depot District Obar. Like The Dendrites on Facebook here and for more details on tonight’s show, click here.
New Slang: How’d The Dendrites get started?
Tyler Hardy: Torrie Atchison and I played together in a band here in town around 5 years ago called The Clits. It was a loud, aggressive, fun five-piece project that had musical ideas currently being explored in The Dendrites, but back then those ideas were in their infancy. That project ended due to everyone heading in different directions relative to their personal life. Fast forward to fall of 2011, I had just quit my full-time job to make more room for music, and coincidentally Torrie called me up one night during the fall and asked if I wanted write to some of her current compositions. From then on Torrie and I hit the ground running on writing and practice. After Torrie and I had a few songs under our belt and parts written out we started to seriously consider the idea of adding other musicians to the project, and so we kinda brainstormed through people we thought would fit. I played in a previous project with Corey Alvarez called Touch Bright Things, and I always thought he was spot on and tasteful when writing drum parts to guitar and vocals, so we asked him to jam with us one night to see if he liked it. Everything clicked so Corey became apart of The Dendrites the first night we jammed. We didn’t plan on having a cellist; we just happened upon Yvette. She was playing a show at The Prairie Fire Theatre with Daniel Fluitt (aka Rob Goblin) from Thrift Store Cowboys, and we were just floored by how well she played that night never having performed with Daniel at all. It wasn’t until Yvette saw us play at Skooner’s with Daniel that we started to toss around the idea of trying her out for The Dendrites. We liked her style so much that we were almost positive she was going to be a fit and she was. From then on out we have been writing, practicing, and performing original compositions as a four-piece.
NS: What’s behind the Dendrite name? Who came up with it?
TH: Honestly, The Dendrites as a name doesn’t have any super deep meaning to us. Originally the project was called Seahorse Sea Sects, which we thought was hilarious because it has so many meanings in one word. But unfortunately, it’s hard to remember which way to spell it, and it is lost on most people until you explain it. So Torrie and I sat around for two hours one night just looking up psychological/brainy terms on the internet and we came across The Dendrites. We had been having a lot of conversations about the self, and how personal ideas relate to others and how this is reflected in music, so The Dendrites seemed appropriate.
NS: You guys have only played a few shows so far. But, you’ve got a few dates coming up. What can people expect? With that, how would you describe “The Dendrites sound?
TH: The only shows we have played was one open mic as a two-piece with Daniel at Skooners and the recent Animal Benefit Show hosted at The Prairie Fire. But if you haven’t had the chance to check us out, or you aren’t familiar with Torrie’s style, we have two guitars, one steel string and one classical, as well as a cello and full drum kit. We have some compositions with vocals, and some instrumental. The style of music varies quite a bit. Both Torrie and I are really open to each others musical ideas, and we don’t want to pigeon hole ourselves into a genre, so every song has a different feel. We try to play in major, minor keys, and different modes so people don’t get bored with the progressions. We also try to have a lot of melodic interplay between the stringed instruments, so it feels like vocals are not the only voicings in the music, giving each instrument an opportunity to shine. Corey’s style on drum gives the music a distinct tasteful bite that is tough to reproduced with another drummer. He syncopates with the guitar and drums quite a bit for some added flavor. If you want to check us out we have many dates in the works, but solidified dates are March 11th at The Prairie Fire Theatre with The Diamond Center, and May 26th at the Ivory and Ash tour kick off show. You can view our show listings on our Facebook under the “shows” tab, or on Songkick.com.
NS: What are your expectations for the Dendrites? Are you going to be getting some material out (in digital or physical form) any time soon?
TH: Currently our objective is just familiarizing Lubbock with who we are and what we are doing. We are playing as many local and regional shows as possible to put our sound out there so we have some momentum by this summer. Our goal is by early summer to release an EP, and one single with songs that will be featured on a full -length released at the beginning of a southern US tour this July. We have about 75% of our album written for the July release. We will also be filming a South Plains Session with Daniel and Jon from Kabletowava films that you can expect out some time over the next few months of so. If all goes well will will start writing our second full length this fall. “Like” The Dendrites page on Facebook to stay updated on media and shows. We will have music up soon for those interested so keep in touch!