Music News

Bring In the Funk

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All this slithering might lead them out of Phoenix -- probably will, if Pin the Tail blows up half as much as they want it to, or anywhere near as much as it deserves to. "But I want to come out of here," says Forney (who's actually a New Jersey transplant), speaking, to judge from the nodding heads, for the entire band. "I want to come out of Arizona. Nobody's really made it from here the way they deserved to, or the way it should be done."

Discussions of the local music scene soon lead to a long (and wholly justified) gripe session about the state's club laws for all-ages shows. Used to be, says Epperly, that high school kids could come see the shows in clubs, when you could drink with just a wristband. "When the state laws set up the cages to divide the adults from the underage ones, it separated us from the kids, and they were the ones who came out to see us. We were all just out of high school ourselves. A lot of our friends were still in high school, and now they were way the hell back, behind the fence. It was fucked up."

"High school kids make the local scene," adds Forney flatly. "They make it. They're the ones who create it, they're the ones we always played for. That's what we all came out of. And when Gibson's shut down, and the [Electric] Ballroom shut down, when those venues were gone, it really killed a lot of the scene out here. I don't even like using that word, 'scene.' There isn't one, now, really."

Fair enough. But D-Styles would be hard-pressed to fit into any easily defined category even in a thriving area, which means, ultimately, that they'd have to create their own context regardless of where they found themselves. Luckily, the band appears to have its chops. When the album and the release party are safely behind us, we'll find out just how receptive the Valley is to D-Styles' formidable genre bending.

"When I was growing up in New Jersey, Bon Jovi and Springsteen were like a couple of towns over. It was exciting to see somebody from your hometown make it."

Forney's totally straight-faced mention of Jon Bon and the Boss prompts a brief good-natured ribbing from drummer McCarthy. "I can't believe you just said that," he says, giggling.

"What?" says Forney, smiling a little sheepishly. "It's true."

This connection between them, finally, is what lifts the sometimes-familiar sound of Dislocated Styles to new and different heights. "By now we're a family," says Epperly. "We yell and fight and say 'Fuck you' a lot, like families do. But we've known each other for so long now it's all good."

Cock your ear in the night: That rattling metal door is the sound of the family bringing it home.

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Eric Waggoner