The Greatest of These are a 4-piece original band that have been active in the central Kentucky music scene for several years. Each of the band’s members originally hail from eastern Kentucky.
Todd Melton’s vocal style, clearly influenced by The Doors and Pearl Jam, forms a unique bond with the melodic and classic hard rock-influenced guitar riffs written by Steve Jones. Dustin Tennill and Trent Garrison form a rhythm section that is the perfect backdrop for these sounds, rooted in alternative rock as well as blues and jazz. Each member of the band brings a unique musical perspective, being influenced by different avenues of rock and roll. The common thread in The Greatest of These may very well be each member’s roots, planted in the eastern Kentucky mountains. Melton’s lyrical songwriting style lends evident references to the band’s hometowns, often writing about poverty and other social issues prevalent in those areas.
The Greatest of These recorded an EP in 2003, a full-length studio album in 2007, and a second full-length album in 2011. They are currently working on another EP to be released in 2012.
Trent Garrison - Drums
Steve Jones - Lead Gutiar
Todd Melton - Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Dustin Tennill - Bass
Zeroth Law (2011)
1. Dead in Your Aim
3. My Days
4. Change Your Head
5. I Can Hang Myself
6. Mannish Lady
7. Fairweather Friend
9. Character Flaw
10. Tell You Lies
11. The Only Way
12. So Long
Greatest of These (2007)
1. Bleeding Temple
3. Please Appease Me
4. Minor Resistance
5. In My Defense
6. My Friend, the Devil
9. Make the Trip
10. Last Day, First Day
12. Don't Back Down On Me
13. Hope to Keep
09 Character Flaw
I Can Hang Myself
Dead In Your Aim
In My Defense
Make the Trip
The Greatest of These
[+ Show ]
The Greatest of These, a local Alternative Rock band out of Richmond, Kentucky, released their self-...The Greatest of These, a local Alternative Rock band out of Richmond, Kentucky, released their self-titled album in 2007. Upon first listen, the album contains a nice mix of grunge rock and acoustic numbers that really show off the excellent vocal work by singers, Steve Jones and Todd Melton.
The bands influences include names like Pearl Jam and Modest Mouse; these influences are easily seen in this album. Songs like “Make the Trip” have a very Pearl Jam feel to them, and yet the band’s individual style is not sacrificed. Other Tunes such as, “Please Appease Me” prove that this band knows how to rock in all the right ways, mixing emotional vocals with a steady beat and solid guitar riffs. My personal favorite on the record is a song that flaunts the band’s softer side, “Hope to Keep”. The song is a more acoustic based number that does a nice job of showcasing the group’s talents both instrumentally and vocally. It’s an all around great song that captures the listener’s attention right off the bat and holds it until the last chord fades out.
In some cases, this band bears a close resemblance to The Dave Matthews Band. Especially when the outright jams during the fills are taken into account. Songs like “Gutwrench” are reminiscent of the concerts given by The Dave Matthews Band.
While some might like to see some more acoustic numbers from this band, this album is enjoyable to listen to and would be highly recommended to fans of the genre. This is a band that knows how to put a tune together back it up with tight instrumentation and captivating vocals. The album is available on CD Baby for $9.00 and it is well worth the money. The Greatest of These would make a great gift for all the Pearl Jam fans out there, as well as fans of all around great music.
An Inside Look at The Greatest of These
[+ Show ]
The Greatest of These, is a band that hails from Eastern Kentucky. “Each member of the band brings a...The Greatest of These, is a band that hails from Eastern Kentucky. “Each member of the band brings a unique musical perspective, being influenced by different avenues of rock and roll.” (www.tgotband.com). All throughout there shows you can feel the emotion behind the songs and their passion and love for their music. You can look around the crowd and see their fans having the best time while listing to them. During their breaks, you can see them taking shots with their fans and cutting up. They have recently released their latest album, Zeroth Law, and have some big things happening very soon!
Band Name: The Greatest of These
Todd Melton: Lead Vocals/Guitar
Steve Jones: Guitar/Back-up vocals
Trent Garrison: Drums
Dustin Tennill: Bass
How did The Greatest of These start?
“We were at Champions one night and a guy we knew was hosting open mic night and me and my buddy Brian went out and watched him. He talked to the manager and said these guys have a band and they would like to play here, how can they play here. We didn’t have a band at the time. The owner said, just give me a demo and I said we don’t have one yet we are working on it. Then the guy that was hosting the open mic night said oh yea I’ll vouch for them, hire them. The owner then was like ok, how bout next Thursday. So we put the band together that night, me, Trent and Dustin,” said Melton.
How long has The Greatest of These been together?
How did you come up with the name?
“It is actually from a bible verse, pretty non rock and roll but, it says something like have faith hope and charity and the greatest of these is charity. I was trying to make it a positive thing,” said Melton. (1 Corinthians 13:13 – “And now stays faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.”)
What kind of music does The Greatest of These play?
“The Greatest of These rock and roll music” said Garrison.
What is your favorite song that The Greatest of These plays?
Melton: I have a lot of favorites right now because we just released the album but I would have to say, So Long
Jones: Under Pressure By David Bowie and Freddy Mercury. Out of our originals I can’t pick one. We put so much of us into them all, it’s kind of like kids, and you can’t put one above the other.
Garrison: I Can Hang Myself
Tennill: Dead in Your Aim
Where is your favorite venue to play at?
Melton: Any place where people care about hearing music
Jones: The Paddy Wagon
Garrison: A lot of places around Richmond
Tennill: Here in town, The Paddy Wagon
Do you have any favorite local bands?
Melton: The Sooners/Switchmen/Hard Sunday/Semantics/Ash Wednesday/Several Hundred People/ RedShadeBlue/The Strip District
Jones: The Sooners
Garrison: The Sooners/Switchmen/Ash Wednesday/Several Hundred People/RedShadeBlue/Semantics/Hard Sunday/The Strip District
Tennill: The Sooners/Switchmen/Several Hundred People/RedShadeBlue
How long have you been playing your instrument?
Melton: 15 – 20 years for guitar and the same amount of time for singing
Jones: 17 years
Garrison: for The Greatest of These (since 2005): 6 years for the drums and 2 years for guitar. Overall: 20 years for the guitar and 10 years for the drums.
Tennill: Since ’95 – ’96
What is your favorite drink of all time?
Melton: Peach Knee High/Vanilla Chi Tea
Jones: Peach Knee High/Jack and Coke
Garrison: Kentucky Ale
Tennill: Mt. Dew
What is your favorite memory from a performance?
Melton: “Opening for Adler’s Appetite was pretty awesome. We got to meet Steven Adler those guys were awesome. We were the first of three bands, we didn’t even get to play through the sound system, and we had to turn everything up sky high. So I’m sure we didn’t sound great but it was pretty cool meeting him.”
Jones: “We played new years eve a long time ago, I think the first time I had ever really played with them and there was some guy he was just drinking and loving our music all night long and at one point he proceeded to take the pitcher in his hand and dump it on his head. He was just screamin’ and hollerin’ and he just soaked himself. That will always stand out.”
Garrison: “Gateway music festival a couple years ago in Mt. Sterling. Huge festival they were trying to put on. We played with some pretty big bands. We camped out for two nights and got free beer from all over the place we got V.I.P. passes and that sort of thing. There weren’t a lot of people there but it was nice. We got to play on a big stage and a big loud sound system”
Tennill: “Our cd release party about two or three weeks ago. That was a really good night we had two other bands with us, Several Hundred People and RedShadeBlue.”
Musically, what is your guilty pleasure?
Melton: Lady Gaga
Jones: Guitars, I own 5 and it’s not enough. If they weren’t so expensive I would have more.
Garrison: Marilyn Manson and old school gangster rap
Tennill: Jazz and musicals, I play base for Madison Central’s musicals.
In your song writing, what is your greatest influence?
Melton: “I’d have to say I’m influenced by just about everything..however, I’m most interested in what makes people tick. I find myself asking the question, “what is that person thinking?” quite often. “What would I do if I were in that situation?” So I write a song about a guy that falls in love with a robot, haha. I like stories, too.”
Jones: “My mood and whatever bands I have recently been listening to”
Garrison: “When creating music, I think the grungy days of 90s music is my biggest influence. I came up with the music for “The Only Way” and “I Can Hang Myself.” That’s the style of guitar playing that I like most”
What is your greatest musical influence?
Melton: “My greatest musical influence has to be harmony. Nothing speaks to me like good 3-4 part harmony. The Beach Boys, for instance..lyrically, they left something to be desired. But, they wrote some of the most beautifully complex music with harmony that rock and roll ever saw.”
Jones: “David Gilmour from Pink Floyd”
How did you come up with The Greatest of These logo?
“I was meeting with a young lady, Staci Marie, because she was recommended to us by another band in town, Tripping Scarlet. She did their logo too. I was sitting before the meeting, thinking about a particular song of ours, Dead in Your Aim. When we started writing the song, both Dustin and Steve commented that the bass line reminded them of an army of robots marching. This song quickly became sort of the flagship song of this album. So much so that it took me several months to write the melody and lyrics for it. I was terrified about ruining it, and the longer it took to finish, the more the pressure built up. Anyway, I knew we wanted our logo to be something simple that we could easily use in all our artwork, and I also knew that I was not a strong sketcher. So, the T-bot was born in about 20 seconds. Staci helped me by actually drawing it on a sketch pad into some sort of photo editing software and that was that.” Melton said.
How do you come up with the album art work?
“I am fortunate to know one of the most original artists around here, Adam Rose. He has done artwork for us in the past, and we’re always quite amazed at the craziness and awesomeness that this guy creates. He drew artwork for our first album on post-it notes standing at a kiosk in the local record/video store. He now does all our artwork. We have several show posters that we like to use, all drawn by Adam and coloring by me. We’ll be posting all his artwork as soon as everything is finished.” Melton said.
Is there anything you want to tell your fans?
Melton: “I don’t have the words. They have made it possible for this tour that is coming up in the summer. It certainly makes for a good time when our regulars are there. I choose to believe that it’s because they like our music, and not because we are always playing in bars.”
Jones: “The support they give us is what keeps me going. As much as I love playing it can be very stressful at times, but when we see the “devoted” at our shows and they’re singing our songs…nothing else matters.”
Garrison: “We really appreciate our fans. We owe a lot to the people who have been following us around for the last 8 years!”
The Greatest of These Release 2nd Album: Zeroth Law
[+ Show ]
For the average person outside Kentucky, there is not much expectation of music outside the genres o...For the average person outside Kentucky, there is not much expectation of music outside the genres of bluegrass and country. This is a typical misnomer, much as the absence of shoes and the indulgence of a certain bird that is fried. The truth is: Kentucky has some great talent in many genres, though most go undiscovered or relatively unknown. One of these great talents that I discovered was The Greatest of These. Tagged as an indie/alternative rock band from Central Kentucky, they have been on the scene for several years. The band consists of: Todd Melton – vocals, rhythm guitar, Trent Garrison – drums, Steve Jones, lead guitar, and Dustin Tennill on bass.
TGOT’s most recent work comes on their second studio album, Zeroth Law. The album was recorded at The Hollow Studios in Clover Bottom, KY where Vince West produced and Kevin Johnson mastered. Upon spinning the disc, you can immediately pick up on how this band has chemistry together. The tightness of the band shows, giving you a sense that they have honed their sound into a comfort zone, with some unexpected twists and turns.
Artwork is not usually a priority for smaller, local bands. However, the album and disc art is amazingly unique, thanks to Adam Rose for the concept artwork and drawing. The theme of the album focuses on songs about relationships with people, things and ideas that once held a great attraction. Todd Melton says, “It’s about looking for love in all the wrong species and how your emotions and attractions can lead you to some very strange and terrible and wonderful places”. One thing is for sure: you will want to tap your feet or get on the dance floor with many of these tracks.
Notable tracks on Zeroth Law:
Dead In Your Aim – Unexpected turn from lullaby to gritty upbeat shake your tail feather groove
Penny – Probably my favorite, love the intro, rhythm guitar carries a catchy riff to complement the smooth vocal runs and harmonizing. Has a feel of a softer System of a Down
Change Your Head – light, easy going tune with well structured lyrics that tell a believable story
Fallout – the vocals on this track remind me a lot of Chris Cornell. If you listen closely, you can pick up a piece of Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain in the arpeggios.
Tell You Lies – with the harmonica/guitar intro, it gives you a feel that is different than the rest of the album
April 2011 Sonicbids "Artists 2 Watch"
[+ Show ]
Welcome to another amazing month of music from the incredible musicians that make up the Sonicbids.c...Welcome to another amazing month of music from the incredible musicians that make up the Sonicbids.com community. We have chose a select group of amazing musicians that will be speaking directly to the Skope readers. As always we encourage readers to dig deeper and check out their EPK’s.
The Greatest of These
Skope: How did you react after you were selected for A2W?
The Greatest of These: Surprised and flattered! We hope people take Skope’s advice and actually do “watch” us this year. We have a lot coming up.
Skope: What are you currently promoting the most via an album, tour, single etc?
The Greatest of These: We just released our second studio album in March, Zeroth Law, and will be touring this summer, so both of those are very important to us.
Skope: At what age did you start to play music and want to make it a career?
The Greatest of These: We have all been playing for 20 years or more, but only recently have decided to make a career out of plyaing music. We are starting by going on tour this summer!
Skope: Where do you turn these days to hear new music?
The Greatest of These: Internet radio is a great source at which to find new music that we would not otherwise have been exposed to. Especially in Kentucky, if we didn’t have some source outside of FM radio, our exposure to good rock and roll/alternative music would be pretty awful! We’ve also been checking out skopemag.com Artists to Watch since we heard about it. There are some really great bands that we may never have heard, had it not been for the internet. It’s a great time to be a music fan out there.
Skope: What is your ideal mood & setting to write & play music?
The Greatest of These: As far as writing goes, I am almost invariably outside, so that would be my preferred setting. If I’m not sitting outside, I’m driving. A man can certainly do a lot of thinking when he’s on the road by himself. We play anywhere and everywhere, but our ideal setting is one in which the spectators are there for music. We like rowdy crowds as well. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing our music move people!
Skope: What is coming up for you & where you at online?
The Greatest of These: Lots of regional touring this spring, and an eastern US tour this summer, starting mid-July! We are very excited to be hitting the road.
Junior's Cave Music Interview with The Greatest of These
[+ Show ]
Junior’s Cave is a huge fan of this next Indie band. We love their music and overall style that keep...Junior’s Cave is a huge fan of this next Indie band. We love their music and overall style that keep making The Greatest of These a band to watch out for in 2011. If you enjoyed the rock sounds of the 90’s, then this band delivers on this popular genre adding a blend of their own personal vibe into the mix. Check out what the band had to say about their music and other matters in this super chic spotlight.
Isaac: It’s an amazing time to be a DIY artist/performer/band/musician. What do you enjoy the most about being an indie performer?
The Greatest of These: We love having few restraints placed on us. We write exactly what we feel, play exactly what we feel, and say exactly what we feel. It's very feely.
Isaac: If you had an opportunity to sign with a major label, would you sign now knowing you may have to give up some of what you have build up over the years about you in the process?
The Greatest of These: Tough question. How much is "some?" We really love the indie attitude. Although, as a musicians, one of our goals is to touch as many people as possible with our music. Money makes greater distribution possible, obviously, but we're not very "pop" friendly, I would imagine. I would hate to lose our identity to some suits!
Isaac: I remembered Simon Cowell from American Idol talking about the “it” Factor that makes a musician/band stand out. What do you think is your “it” factor that makes you stand out from others in the music business?
The Greatest of These: We write music for everybody, influenced by everybody. We feel that there is something on our album for every musical taste. We really don't pigeonhole ourselves as "hard rock" or "grunge (thank God)" or any other label. I would say that and smashing good looks.
Isaac: Why should music fans listen to your music? Describe what they are going to get when they listen to your music?
The Greatest of These: Fans should listen to us if they're tired of radio rock. There is so little good FM rock anymore. Music is played for 14 year old girls now. I know music is a business, but it should be good too, right? Why not market good music to everyone?
Fans should also listen to us because we write albums, not songs, hooks, or snippets. We really concentrate on an entire musical experience that takes more than 3 minutes to feel. Of course, our albums are made up of killer individual songs too!
Isaac: Briefly describe your humble beginnings that led you to where you are at musically now.
The Greatest of These: We are all from eastern Kentucky originally (home of bluegrass music and mountains). We began playing music in college, though after I went to an open mic night with a friend. We knew the gentleman hosting the open mic. My friend (who is not a musician) asked the bar manager what it would take to get a gig there. The manager said, "I need a demo." I told him that we didn't have one yet, but we were working on it. What he didn't know was that I wasn't even in a band. I played a lot of music with my friends, but didn't have a band. He then asked the gentleman hosting the open mic, and he totally vouched for us (knowing that we didn't have a band)!! We formed The Greatest of These that night after he hired us to play two weeks from the date.
Isaac: You have some strong iconic influences. Of these influences, which artist/band do you relate to the most and why?
The Greatest of These: Our heaviest influences are from the early to mid 90s. I think we relate to them more because we believe that rock and roll can include both awesome guitars and great lyrics and melodies. We don't play power chords in drop-D tuning all the time. We believe that guitars can have as much to say about the melody as the vocals do, and love harmony on top of it all.
Isaac: Do you feel that Indie music gets the respect it deserves? Why or why not?
The Greatest of These: Absolutely not. Indie artists are doing all the work "independent" of major record labels. This is the most noble of causes! I think the indie movement has certainly gained some steam in the 2000s, but it has a long way to go. We are always on the lookout for new opportunities, and I'm continually shocked at how often "getting signed" is mentioned out there. That's really old school (just like the saying "old school"). Getting signed isn't the most important thing anymore. Getting heard is. That's what is great about the indie music movement!
Isaac: If you could change one thing about the music business, what would it be and why?
The Greatest of These: That more emphasis would be placed on the whole picture of music. I.e., the "whole" song (guitar, bass, drums, vocals, songwriting, mixing, production); the "whole" album; the "whole" band. I love iTunes as much as the next guy, but the art of the album is dying an agonizing death right now. On one hand, it's a bit nostalgic, like the 50s. In a way, bands are selling 45s again. However, I personally prefer to listen to an entire album and see what's really going on with a band. You can't learn anything about a band (or an artist) by listening to a song. I mean, The Beatles' "Mean Mr. Mustard" - pretty cool song, right? But how much does it lose when it's not jammed between "Here Comes the Sun King" and "Polythene Pam?" If you have never believed in the concept of an album as a whole, go listen to Abbey Road. You'll change your mind.
Isaac: What type of feedbacks have you been receiving about your music from fans and music critics?
The Greatest of These: We most often hear compliments about the different sounds we make. We have a quite eclectic mix of songs on an album.
Reviewers and critics seem to focus on musicianship and how we use our instruments to accentuate a point in our songs.
Isaac: If you knew that you would never gain fame and fortune with what you are doing now, would you continue to make music? Explain.
The Greatest of These: Absolutely. There's nothing that makes us feel more accomplished than to finish a song. It's therapeutic. It's inspiring. It's hard work. It's constructive. It's all those things that make you feel good afterwards.
Isaac: How do you handle negative feedback or negative energy about your music?
The Greatest of These: Constructively, if needed. Sometimes people want to just hate, and we will certainly allow them to do so.
When you're opening for another band, it seems to always be there even if just a little. No matter how much you pour into your set and how much ass you kick up there, somebody just refuses to listen. And that's fine. Perspective goes a long way in this situation.
Isaac: What role do your family and friends play in the equation of your pursuant of a music career?
The Greatest of These: Our families have all been very supportive so far (luckily). We feel very fortunate for that reason. Our friends are what helped us build a fan base. As I mentioned before, we didn't even have a band when we started. We invited all our college friends to come to the show, and they all did! Since then, we've built on that base and developed a decent following. Obviously, though, friends were of the utmost importance, and will continue to be so as we pursue higher and higher goals.
The Greatest of These
Isaac: What is the best site/s that you can be found on the Internet?
The Greatest of These:
www.tgotband.com, of course!
www.juniorscave.com ain't too shabby either!
Isaac: The floor is yours; final words…..
The Greatest of These: We really appreciate Junior's Cave for giving us the pedestal from which to speak on our own behalf!
If you're reading this, please let us know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org
We're going on tour this summer, so if you have a great venue in mind for us on the eastern half of the United States, let us know at the above e-mail.
Keep on rockin' in the free world!
My Friend, The Devil
Dead in Your Aim
The Only Way
Change Your Head
There are no upcoming dates at this time.