The Auctioneers

The Auctioneers


The Auctioneers are bringing their bold, brash, rowdy version of rock and roll to the masses. This is straight ahead rock heavy on the sing-along choruses, but in Exile On Main Street-style it's not afraid to take a dip in country infused rave ups or throw a hip-shaking groove around.


The Auctioneers

It’s time for a rock’n’roll revival. We’re not talking about the recent crop of glorified tribute acts—there are FAR too many bands today that sound straight outta 1974 or ’83—but a reawakening of the spirit of rock music, an embrace of the passion and musicianship found in so many classic bands.

Meet The Auctioneers, a five-piece from New York with the chops, songs, riffs, hooks and presence that’s sorely lacking in the music scene today.

“There are a few bands around that we have a kinship with, but really our kind of scene is just a tiny blip on the radar,” says E.B. Sollis, The Auctioneers’ frontman. “Everyone in the band comes from a different school of inspiration, but it seems like we’ve all circled back to the core of country, soul, blues and rock. That music speaks the greatest volumes. We’re carrying that torch.”

The Auctioneers – Sollis, guitarist Erik Broberg, drummer Donovan Pyle, organist Ryan Alexander Gregg and bassist Chris “The Monster” Kapica – never intended to act as a savior of rock’n’roll. Still, while the current line-up of the group comes from wildly disparate backgrounds (NYC, Florida, Massachusetts and Michigan all play a role), a few common themes abound. “We’ve all pretty much gone to music schools, paid our dues in other bands, and have a real sense of musicianship,” says Broberg. “And we’re song-oriented guys; there weren’t many bands, especially around NYC, who can say that.”

The band’s origins stretch back nearly a decade, when Sollis and Broberg met in college in Florida and began writing songs together, which continued on and off for the next several years. Eventually, Broberg went to another music school and met up with Gregg, where the kindred spirits (“the only two blues guys in school”) jammed in a band together near Miami. Eventually, as the guys migrated back to NYC, Pyle (trained at Berklee School of Music) came on board through a manager’s recommendation. As for recent addition Kapica – well, the Juilliard grad simply answered an ad on Craigslist. “It’s an interesting study in social behavior, finding a bandmate through Craigslist,” says Sollis, laughing. “Everyone should try it. You meet a lot of interesting characters. But as they say, you have to slay a few dragons before getting to the princess…”

Once entrenched in New York, the group toyed with both their sound and various monikers, with the band enjoying stints as The Black Francis, Evolutionary Brotherhood and Blood Street (says Sollis: “Too gory, wasn’t us at all”). While developing a fervent fan base, the group noticed the disparity between their own classic leanings and the city’s more trend-based music scene, which didn’t exactly welcome them with open arms. Thus, a new name, and an underlying philosophy was born.

“I think The Auctioneers came from us going through so much: line-up changes, career headaches, promises, letdowns, success…whatever the case, we always felt like we were auctioning ourselves to the highest bidder,” says Broberg. Instead of capitulating or compromising their style, however, the band embraced their outsider status; even now, the group eschews the music industry, releasing records on their own.

With a name in hand (and a rock’n’roll mission to complete), the group hooked up with producer Aaron Julison to record their first album. Julison, a member of Kid Rock’s band and a producer for one of Broberg’s old groups, helped flesh out The Auctioneers’ sound. “Aaron and I discovered a mutual love for soul/Motown music and jamming out to Otis Redding,” says Sollis. “We went to record with him in Detroit with a mission to fuse our harder rock sound and add elements of that city--some funky twang, some soul. And it completely worked!”

You can hear evidence of that rock-country-soul fusion on the group’s self-titled debut EP, and more so their upcoming full-length record. The EP leans a little heavier on the riffing, thanks to Broberg, who still credits Jimmy Page’s 27-minute freakout on “Dazed and Confused” (from Led Zep’s live The Song Remains the Same) as his main musical inspiration. “Erik’s guitar playing comes from the soul,” says Gregg, the band’s organist. “And he’s so versed in rock and blues music history and brings a lot of that to the table.” (In turn, Broberg refers to Gregg as the “the ultimate house player –a madman behind the ivories”).

But even on the record’s heavier tunes, there are layers of Beatlesque pop, organ-drenched soul, acoustic interludes and psychedelica, all buoyed by the soulful rasp of Sollis. Lyrically, the frontman speaks from the heart but aims for a higher purpose – as on the EP’s title track, which starts with a young man begging for change and ends with, as the singer says, a metaphor for “life’s highs and lows, the confusion about my own future, my friends, and even mankind’s up and downs.”

“E.B.’s a wise old soul in a young man’s body – a perfect recipe for a rock’n’roll frontman,” says


Introducing The Auctioneers - EP available March 30th, 2010

"Young Mans Blues" - Being added to radio rotations now.