Local Noise: Vestibule

Vestibule is a band that defies easy description. They started out with a background in jazz, but punk worked its way into the mix, and over time it has morphed into a progressive punk jazz mix that is at once both innovative and musically challenging, yet accessible at the same time.

The group is the brainchild of Hector Gundlach on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Greg Harvilla on drums, Cody McCorry on bass, and Adam DeRose on lead guitar. Hector, Greg, and Adam are all alumni ofManasquanHigh School, and had the same jazz classes. ”Greg hit me up on Myspace asking me to join a jazz project called Steel Groove,” Hector recalls. “Cody was already playing bass for that project, and when it eventually fell through, Greg, Cody and I stuck together to form what would eventually become Vestibule. Although Cody sat in on some jam sessions, we actually played with a few other bassists and guitarists because at the time, we thought Cody might have been too young to be part of the club scene. Adam joined eventually when him and Greg went to a Pat Metheny show and discussed the new band throughout the night. We got together one day in April of 2008 with Cody on bass and everything just clicked. We knew right then and there that this was something special.”

Presently they are based at the shore, and they’ve hit a number of its clubs such as Bar A in Belmar, The Stone Pony and The Saint in Asbury Park, The Brighton Bar in Long Branch, and The Clam Hut in the Highlands.

The unique sound has piqued a lot of interest, but how does the band describe what they do? “Everyone’s been saying it’s a ‘new sound,’ or a ‘diverse sound’,” Hector relates. “It’s so cool to hear people consistently say the same thing. But for me, I think its just prog punk with jazz. I really don’t know. There are definitely a lot of different influences, ranging from Incubus to Radiohead to Foo Fighters. So yeah, I don’t know. I guess you can just call it hard alternative rock with punk and jazz flavor?”

The writing process is mostly a collective experience for the band members. They each write separately and bring what they come up with to rehearsals, where all the members bring their own influence to the piece. Hector and Greg write all the lyrics, and there’s a few songs Hector actually wrote on his own, but mostly it’s the sum of the parts that make the blending of genres come off so smoothly.

Some of the more popular songs with fans have been “Lucid Dreams,” “Clouds Reflected,” “September Skies,” “The Longing,” and “Sweet Surrender.” Particular favorites of the group to perform include “Lucid Dreams,” “Forget The Hour,” and “Infinite Love.” They are also really enjoying performing a lot of new material, as they are putting together the songs for their second release.

The song “Forget The Hour” was actually the subject of a freaky occurrence in the studio when they were recording the track. “Something really cool happened at the studio when we were messing with the loop for the outro of ‘Forget The Hour’,” remembers Hector. “We looped one of Adam’s distorted parts and it kept amplifying itself to make this crazy cyclical thing. We put it through Pro Tools and just picked a random spot and pasted it at the end of the song with some fading. Later on, while listening to one of the rough mixes at home, Greg and I noticed that there is actually a hidden message in the distortion. It sounds like a heartbeat, but it also repeatedly says ‘I love you’ as it fades out! We think some extra-dimensional fan wanted to be on the track! Who knows, but it definitely gave us chills, and I’d say it’s one of our more interesting stories while recording.”

You might think the name of the group would have some significance in terms of the diversity of the music, but it’s actually much simpler than that. “Adam and Greg went up to a show in the city with Adam’s dad,” says Hector. “On the way home they were discussing band names. Our working title at the time was Symbology, but we weren’t too happy with it. Adam’s dad suggested that we could name the band anything we want. ‘How about Train Conductor,’ as the conductor walked by. Then as the conductor passed, he saw a sign, ‘How about Don’t Ride In The Vestibule?’ Adam and Greg decided to keep Vestibule on the back burner. A couple weeks later, Cody and I agreed to the name.”

As you might expect, the band has lofty goals as far as the direction of the music they write and record, although they also want to get in front of as many people as possible. “Musically, we want to take it as far as we could. Short term? Play big shows. Long term? Play huge shows,” laughs hector. “Professionally, well, that’s the goal. But really, I think we all want to change the scene with our music. Blur the lines between genres and just write great songs and compositions. We are all definitely hungry for this.”

To check out the music of Vestibule and find out more information on upcoming shows and releases, check out facebook.com/vestibulemusic and reverbnation.com/vestibulemusic.