So Many Years Trying, better known as SMYT, has been together for six years, releasing two albums with a three-song demo in the works. In that time, theyve played everywhere in Traverse City from the Loading Dock to Streeters, attracting a strong local following.
We just like to push ourselves musically; whether the music is heavy or light we like to mix it up and not get stuck with the same old riffs that have been done before, says guitarist Larry Abeyta.
In Abeytas semi-dark basement SMYT tries to add a new dimension to metal. They practice in a cramped little room that includes a water heater and furnace.
Theres no limitations for us. We try anything just to say weve tried, lead singer Dane Deroisha said.
Drummer Gabe Sharry and Abeyta met six years ago when they were experimenting with some jam bands and wanted to try something heavier. They added Deroshia after he answered a flyer on a wall at Northwestern Michigan College. Traverse City bass player Dan Root quickly followed.
We never expected to be anything. We never thought we would be playing shows; we were just playing for fun, Abeyta said.
With the exception of SMYTs newest member, guitarist Curt Broxvoort of Grand Rapids, the rest of the band lives and works in the Grand Traverse Area. Abeyta is a licensed heating and cooling contractor. Root restores damaged homes, Deroisha is a sound-tech for the Leelanau Sands Casino and Sharry is a cook at a local restaurant.
Heavy guitar chords, thick bass lines, and deafening drums overwhelm a lot of the music that metal produces. SMYT moves in another direction by pulling in different genres like jazz and early-70s rock to create something different.
Sinisters Second-Side will be the bands third album, featuring Deroshia on the flute and keyboard.
We really are starting a new genre of music, Root said. I think we show some diversity. With the flute,and violin we dont sound like a lot of your conventional metal bands.
Thats something my mom made me do, Deroshia said of playing the flute. She wanted me to be the next James Galway. I just thought it would be cool because you dont see that many metal acts with the flute. On this album we are going to put as much heart and soul as we can into it.
They will also add a few violin parts to their new album, featuring Empire violinist Danielle Webb. Webb has a classical background and spent a year in Western Michigan Universitys concert band.
SMYT also draws from influences such as Led Zepplin, Jethro Tull, Blue Oyster Cult, Tool, and Pantera. You can only yell so much, Webb noted.
Tammy Bromme has been a SMYT fan for a year and a half. She met the guys at a Northwest Michigan Rocks concert.
I can only describe them as phenomenal, Bromme said. If people would take the time and really listen to the words in their songs, they would see that there is a real message behind their music.
Bromme is a sound-tech and stagehand at the Leelanu Sands Casino Showroom, and rarely misses a SMYT show.
We were instant friends from day-one they are like my family, she said. I have a lot of respect for how much they love their music, and how dedicated they are to what they do. My only hope for them is that someone signs them, because they could go far in the businees.
Whatever happens, the members of SMYT are enjoying themselves.
Everything that goes on during the day -- all the stress -- you are able to let it out in one single moment, Deroshia said. Metal is one of the most powerful ways of releaving stress; they should make it actual therapy.
Its just fun hanging with these guys, if you dont have a good vibe with the guys you work with, its just not going on.
Five bands shake it up at Rock Fest 2006
Check out SMYT and The Conspiracy headlining Rock Fest 2006 this Saturday, Sept. 30 at the Fireplace Inn just south of Interlochen.
The Fireplace Inn has been drawing an under-21 crowd of college and Interlochen students in recent weeks with its open mic events on Fridays and Saturdays.
Its a great showcase for local bands and a good hangout for an all-ages show, says Jim Steele, singer for The Conspiracy.
Its a great opportunity because younger listeners have heard of these bands and know of us, but cant see the shows because theyre not old enough to get in the bars, Steele adds. Rock Fest 2006 will be an all-ages show with all welcome.
Also performing will be alt-metal band Never Fed along with FTR (Farther Than Rockets) playing all-original rock, and Strik-9, a local cover band. Tickets are $8 at the door with the action starting at 3:30 p.m.