Local band produces album 'Pass it On'

By Shelby Pendowski | 1/25/15 8:18pm

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The sound of the local Grand Rapids band "The Outer Vibe" doesn't fall into one specific genre – their music reflects jazz, indie, rock and a twang of country. The five band members, including Grand Valley State University senior Andrew Dornoff, can only describe their music and new album “Pass It On” as, “Clint Eastwood drinking a piña colada at a Motown concert.”

It has been three years since The Outer Vibe released music, and on Jan. 30 they will release an EP of their new music at the Intersection. Sean Zee, Nick Hosford, Lisa Kacos and Dornoff welcomed Noah Snyder earlier this year as their new drummer and spent the year writing and recording.

“We got really serious about writing songs the end of 2013, the beginning of 2014,” Hosford said. “We wrote a lot of songs and then kind of narrowed it down from there and then, (in) May 2014, we started working with Brad and recording the songs…and now everything is just about wrapped up and we are giving the world its first major listen."

For “Pass It On,” the band teamed up with producer Brad Dollar and mastering engineer Joe LaPorta. Dollar is known for his work with The National, the Grateful Dead and Bob Weir. LaPorta has worked with bands such as Imagine Dragons, Vampire Weekend and the Foo Fighters.

"(Dollar) spent about 40 days with us in 2014 in our studio writing pre-production and record ‘Pass It On’ album coming this year,” Hosford said. “So we spent a lot of time together, and we really grew as a band because it was the first time we had brought in someone (for) an outside voice and an outside influence into our writing and recording process which helped us a lot.”

The process of producing this new album didn’t end with the recording process. The band also worked with director Tristan Barnard, who worked on “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “Mirror,” to create a music video for their new song “Shining Like a Diamond.”

“We often tour through a part of the United States called the Badlands…so we just figured that would be the perfect destination for this music video because it has really pretty scenery and it was very inspiring for us,” Zee said. “So when we thought of visuals for ‘Shining Like a Diamond,’ we couldn't think of any better place.”

Compared to their previous music, this album will emit a different vibe and sound than what their fans are used to, Zee said. The band decided to revitalize its music by stripping it back to a more natural melody.

“We just forgot about all the things we thought we should do with music and just went for it,” Dornoff said. “We got rid of all the syntheses and just sat in a room and tried to make music together. The biggest thing was getting really organic with these songs.”

Audience members will receive the EP for free when they attend the show, and the band is hoping the album title will inspire people to “Pass it On” to their friends and family.

“The show will not only be an amazing display of good bands, but it’ll be a ray of sunshine on a January day,” Hosford said.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.sectionlive.com.

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