An odd collection of people and instruments scatter the stage. They don’t look like they would be friends, let alone band mates. But when Adventure the Great begins to play, it all makes sense.
“It’s an inside joke that we don’t look like we belong in the same band because we’re all totally and completely different,” said Capi Jenkins, 22, violinist and vocalist. “But somehow as a band we have really good chemistry.”
That chemistry produces a sound that is unique to Auburn. Jenkins described it as “baroque pop.”
“A lot of the strings are classically trained, so many of the melodies are classical,” Jenkins said. “But the guitar parts are inspired by grunge and folk.”
Adventure the Great formed in 2010 when lead vocalist and guitarist Chandler Jones, 23, wanted to form a band. Fate struck when Jones joined an Auburn campus organization and happened to meet a cellist (Sean Bowman, 23), a violinist (Kelsey Reynolds, 22), and a drummer (Chandler Reynolds, 23). Jenkins and bassist Andy Ivy-Townley joined the band later.
All members are Auburn students or new alumni. Jenkins said balancing school, work and the band can be a struggle. Because of busy schedules, practice times are usually at night.
"Sometimes we practice until 1 or 2 a.m.," Jenskins said. "But it works because we're all more creative at night."
“It’s about experiences in life where, metaphorically, heaven and earth collide into this one moment of beauty,” Jones said. “Even though the songs are all about different things they embody that philosophy; the idea of experiences and searching for truth.”
Last March Adventure the Great played a show at Momma Mocha’s on Gay Street called “The Transcendence of Time.” The show, Jones said, was a perfect example of the band’s philosophy.
Band members wore different masks, original artwork from Jones’ friend covered the walls, and a time-themed film produced by Jones and a friend played on a projector behind the band.
For the last song, Jones asked the audience to set their cellphone alarms for seven minutes. As soon as the song ended, a crowd full of alarms started to sound. The band began again and integrated the music with the different sounds and alarms.
“It felt like the conclusion of the whole experiment,” Jones said.
The bands first self-titled EP came out in 2012, and they are currently working on their second. The EP should be done in early 2015.
Band members are all excited for their sophomore effort.
“We’re taking it slow and getting it how we want it to sound,” Jones said. “It’s a collection of songs that are cohesive and about one idea.”
The theme of this album, similar to their Momma Mocha’s show, is transcending time and space.
“This EP is a lot more polished and more sophisticated,” Jenkins added. “Even the lyrical content has more depth.”
Adventure the Great has played at coffee shops and other venues in Auburn, The Standard Deluxe in Waverly, and shows in Nashville and Birmingham. The band hopes the new EP will help them get signed with a label, and kick off a new and bigger tour.
For the mean time, Adventure the Great will continue its tradition of bringing something unique to Auburn.
“When we get it right, our music, sound and lyrics give the listener a beautiful experience, and challenges him or her to look for beauty in other places,” Bowman said. “Auburn’s a great town with a lot of depth to its people, and we just try to contribute to the diversity of that culture of depth through what we’re personally good at – our music.”
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