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Home · Articles · News · Music · Guster
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Guster

Eric Pokoyoway - July 20th, 2006
Few bands can stay together for more than a decade and still keep creating something different and new.
One of them, however, is Guster. They will be performing at the Interlochen Music Festival, on Tuesday, July 25 along with Ray LaMontagne.
“I just love how our band feels unpredictable right now,” said percussionist Brian Rosenworcel.
Guster has been together for 13 years and released its fifth album June 20, called “Ganging Up On the Sun.” “Ganging Up On the Sun” debuted at number 25 on the Billboard Top 200 charts.
“We have had some very good responses with the new album,” said Joe Pisapia, multi-instrumentalist. “We were in Milwaukee for a show and the crowd was already singing along with the new stuff.”
Pisapia plays several insturments on the new album, including banjo, dulcimer, trumpet and lap steel guitar. He also served has a producer for half of the songs on the album.
Guster is an alternative band that was originally formed by Ryan Miller, (guitar and vocals), Adam Gardner (guitar and vocals) and Rosenworcel. Pisapia joined the band six years ago after he and his brother toured with Guster for a few months.
“Joe is by far the best musician in the band,” Miller said. “He can play every instrument and has taken our level of musicianship up about seven notches.”
The three original band members met in 1991 at college orientation while attending Tuft University in Massachusetts. They debuted their first album, “Parachute,” in 1994.
“Parachute,” and their second album “Goldfly” featured percussionist Rosenworcel nicknamed by Guster fans as the “Thunder God” for playing many of his shows with his bare hands and showing off his expertise with bongos, cymbals and other percussion instrument.
“We have been moving away from the bongos for the past couple of years now. Some die-hard Guster fans might not like it, it’s kind of a catch-22, but it gives us a wider range to work with and can be even more creative,” Pisapia, said.
Guster has always been a band willing to try new things without losing its fan base; however, they have been criticized in the rock media as becoming radio friendly.
“We try to be a little of both [radio friendly and independent], but I think that we go very deep with this album,” Pisapia said. “It’s like going from painting with eight colors, to using 16 and being able to modify those a little.”
Guster has found success by creating melodies and harmonies that are unlike mainstream music.
“I think when we switched from just ‘the guitars and percussion’ shtick to using whatever was in front of us, we ended up sounding more like the bands we were listening to.” “Rosenworcel said.
“We have a song ‘Ruby Falls,’ that is seven minutes long, channeling our Pink Floyd spirit,” Pisapia said.
Some other influences that can be heard on this album are the Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, the Beatles and Tom Petty.
“The word ‘classic’ was used a lot throughout recording as a goal for the sound of this album,” Gardner said.
In the last 13 years, Guster has been able to create a huge following, especially along the East coast and among the college crowd. Pisapia said that it’s important for any band to stay new and original.
“Making music is like playing with Legos -- you’re creating stuff and constently progessing,” Pisapia said. “That’s why I like creating music because you’re always trying to perfect it.”
 
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