We Live In Public formed at the end of 2010 in Columbia, Missouri. Founding members Jaeson Day and Matt Olson were looking to form a full band to record a new batch of material they had been working on. They teamed up with fellow musicians Zach Denison and Devin Burrow, and within a month the band recorded its self-titled demo. WLIP comes armed with the unique ability to play everything from intimate acoustic sets to full-fledged rock shows. Employing a blend of rock, folk, pop and blues, the group relies on powerful harmonies, danceable rhythms and clever songwriting to entice and entertain its audiences.
Jaeson Day - Vocals, Guitar, Sax
Matt Olson - Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Sax, Aux Percussion
Zach Denison - Vocals, Drums/Percussion
Devin Burrow - Vocals, Bass, slide guitar
The 'We Live In Public' EP - 2011
Taking it 'Public'
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In an age of viral videos, blog-fueled hype and seeming instant stardom, it’s refreshing to watch a ...In an age of viral videos, blog-fueled hype and seeming instant stardom, it’s refreshing to watch a band take its time, put itself through the paces and work more on its music than its image. Local band We Live in Public has paid its dues live, endured a name change and is now reaching out with an EP to be released this weekend at The Blue Note. Once dubbed A Perfect Fifth, the band — composed of Matt Olson, Jaeson Day, Zach Denison and Devin Burrow — is getting it right by stepping out in sequence, not trying to skip ahead.
Throughout a self-titled quartet of songs, the band inhabits several musical personas without ever sounding disingenuous or disorderly, its seamlessness a testament to talent. Opener “Paranoid” is a mid-tempo blues-rock jam that builds on a perfectly filthy guitar riff and opens up into a driving tune with mainstream appeal. “All About Me” casts the band as slightly more well-adjusted cousins to Pearl Jam, with the song’s darker underpinnings eventually washed out by brighter overtones and dynamic guitar swells.
On “Soaking” and “Muddy Water Friend,” the band embraces the rootsier strands of its DNA. The former relies on ambling, freight-train rhythms, a gently pulsing bass line and gliding, guiding alt-country guitars. “Soaking” features the EP’s best melodic phrases and positions the band’s warm, winsome harmonies up in the mix. “Muddy Water Friend” opens with a front-porch, backwoods blues feel before closing with a dynamic vocal coda. Here, the band delivers the sort of passages we’ve grown used to hearing from contemporary bands such as Ha Ha Tonka or forerunners such as the Eagles or even The Doobie Brothers — think “Black Water” updated for the indie-rock set.
We Live in Public’s present results suggest a promising future. The band’s instrumental work is first-rate, its songs are compelling and, as evidenced in examples listed above as well as a compelling vocal break on “Paranoid,” its vocal blend reveals a storehouse of substance and soul. At a few points, the band plays it a little fast and loose with song structure, and its instrumental prowess can occasionally lead to crowding a song or space with an abundance of ideas and riffs. These are, however, relatively nitpicky points that shouldn’t obscure the reality that this is a fitting moment for We Live in Public to live up to its name and expose its artistry to a wider world.
In The Garage: We Live In Public
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Behind an abandoned nail salon on Business Loop 70, the four-man local band We Live in Public rehear...Behind an abandoned nail salon on Business Loop 70, the four-man local band We Live in Public rehearses in a storage unit with no address. They stand in a semicircle and face drummer Zach Denison. A 12-pack of Busch Light sweats in the hallway; guitars stand on posts and wait for their song. The band’s practice space is a 10-by-10 storage unit within the building.
“We rehearse in a cube,” says Denison.
Inside the box-like practice space, a painting of the Ninja Turtles created by Denison’s father hangs above his drum set. Used carpets and unfolded egg cartons coat the walls to absorb sound, and Kurt Cobain’s weary face peers out from a magazine clipping that is taped to the wall.
The quartet morphed from two separate side projects when band members and guitarists Jaeson Day and Matt Olson wanted to create a full-band demo to book better shows. Old friends of Day and Olson, Denison and bass player Devin Burrow joined the duo in November 2010, and the newly formed band began recording in January.
Their sound is anti-genre. An array of influences ignites a musical accuracy that is reminiscent of ’70s and ’90s rock. Each member channels his unique inspirations that range from the Dave Matthews Band to Robert Johnson to the Beatles.
“It’s rock,” Denison says. “But it’s like blues-folk-jazz-pop-rock.”
Burrow, Day and Olson are the lead singers for the songs they’ve written. The band builds songs off of intimate folk-like four-part harmonies during their 10-hour per week practices. But if they could practice more often, they would.
They each report to their day job and dedicate the after hours to their music. Day and Olson work at the VA Mortgage Center, Burrow at the regional outpost of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Denison at IHOP on Conley Road. Playing music before and after work is not only elemental to the band’s progress, it’s essential to their personal sanity. As Day says, the only time he’s not crazy is when he’s playing music.
“We realize that we determine our own destiny and we become what we do,” Denison says. “So we try to be music by playing music as much as possible.”
2nd Time Around
All About Me
Food for Fundies
Ghosts & Ghouls
Guns of the Navarone
Hey Hey You
I'm Not Buyin'
In My Dreams
Luck Runs Out
Muddy Water Friend
One Track Mind
Texas Hold 'em
The Liquor's Back
They've All Left for the Beach
This & That
When in Rome
#41 – Dave Matthews Band
Change Your Mind – The Killers
The Distance - Cake
Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
The General - Dispatch
Jesus, etc. - Jeff Tweedy
The Maker – Daniel Lanois
What I Got - Sublime
There are no upcoming dates at this time.