Alternative funk rockers, Dynamite the Liberator have become regulars around town. The fledgling quartet comprising singer Marcus Terrell Smith, guitarist John J. Yohimbe, bassist Rich Tokatyan, and drummer Chad Calton has made an impact too, with fans catching on to their distinct and nimble sound.
We recently spoke with members of the band about the story behind their track "Treehouse" and how it was recorded.
Rich Tokatyan: I wrote it in a treehouse actually. I was at Cortez Island; this real hippy conclave in British Columbia. We rented this house that was just kind of built with whatever material they could find. This particular place was built by an artist and it was really cool. The girlfriend and I were there for like a week and it was just this beautiful, inspiring place to be. I came up with this little riff that developed into a song and I gave it to Marcus.
Marcus Smith: I always want to find out, before I write a song, where it came from. So John came up with an idea of what he thought the song meant. And he was talking about the world, and just the state it's in and how it seems like it's going downhill. So then I blended the idea of Rich's treehouse and John's vision. That's how I usually do it. And then we'll get our drummer Chad's opinion.
Tokatyan: Chad does a lot of shrugging.
Smith: So then I was in my room playing it over and over and I got this picture in my head of a tree and then the house that he was in. And I thought, kids get in trees. So at the time, for me the song became about a kid who's in a treehouse using his imagination to do whatever he wants, becoming whoever he wants to be, while outside of the treehouse the world is just falling apart. And there are people around him that are trying to get to him, but he's too high up in the tree; too involved in his beliefs and his reality.
Yohimbe: [Sarcastic tone] I believe what Marcus is saying is that, the song is a metaphor about keeping possession of your inner child and the innocence that comes with it to insulate you from the negative energies that permeate the times in which we live.
Smith: Not in so many words, but yes. That's basically what it is. A lot of artists or bands write music just to write music, and that's not necessarily bad. But in the beginning, when we asked ourselves what we wanted to do with this band, we agreed that we wanted to make a difference and have people think about the music before they leave. We want them to hear and understand the lyrics and maybe be able to apply them somewhere.
Yohimbe: [Normal tone] A lot of times when Rich or I write, we get these ideas in our head of what we may want to say - what the point is, what the narrative of the song is - but we're not really in the position to articulate it, so that's where working with somebody like Marcus, who is a wordsmith, is nice. He can articulate them for us. So it's kind of like we're the point guards and he's the power forward.
Dynamite the Libertator is scheduled to perform at 9 p.m. on Saturday at Kazimierz World Wine Bar in Scottsdale. Admission is $5.
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