Danger Bees
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Danger Bees


Band Rock Avant-garde


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Bees Put A Little Danger Into Music"

With their progressive, instrumental, textured sound, Danger Bees produce music so multifaceted it gives the impression of tangibility. Individual instrumental pieces are strong enough to engage listeners' attention by themselves, but the collective sound produced by the band's broad repertoire of instruments goes beyond mainstream musical convention. Keyboardist/organist Michael Ilves said "there are so many layers in our songs that it's almost impossible to hear everything that's going on in just one listening."

Danger Bees comprise six members whose musical talents converged during their freshman year at USC in the fall of 2004. Members include Ilves, Michael Allison on guitar and saxophone; Trevor Avery on drums and guitar; Alec Owen on guitar, glockenspiel, melodica, percussion and synthesizer; Jeff Payne on bass; and Jay Watford on guitar, violin and drums. Because the band members' specialties exceed a single instrument, Danger Bees' instrumental rotations allow the band greater perspective and breadth in regard to musical understanding and production.

The end of 2006 brought the finalization of Danger Bees' first EP, BeEP, which includes four tracks. Over spring break, the band traveled to Carlsbad, Calif. for six days to work on the next EP. The band successfully produced four songs; however, the EP has yet to be perfected and will be finished sometime next month.

After producing only eight songs, the Bees proved their musical might with the ability to balance insightful emphasis on some chords with appropriate flightiness to others. Danger Bees' songs embrace an instrumental inclusiveness and cooperation that produces an unfiltered, absorbed feeling of musical travel and exploration.

While some music enthusiasts consider vocalists essential to a band's success and sound, Danger Bees view the lack of a vocalist as an advantage to the musicality and seek to prove those who view the vocalist as necessary wrong.

"With a singer, (a band) is limited to a few musical interludes where something like a sax part could carry the main melody, but without one, (a band) decides from part to part what musical idea or sound should be prominent," Watford said.

Avery said that without a vocalist, "listeners are forced to listen to and understand the music rather than the lyrics."

Danger Bees' influences range from classical jazz to progressive rock. Many of the members cite Pink Floyd, Yes and Radiohead as major influences in their songwriting.

"All of these bands deviated from a set standard (which) set a foundation for much of my writing," Payne said.

Danger Bees have a sizeable fan base within the USC community, playing at Ground Zero numerous times. The band, however, has also performed at several Los Angeles music clubs including The Malibu Inn, and On the Rox. Danger Bees have played gigs outside of the Los Angeles area in Anaheim and in Phoenix, Ariz.The band will also play in a philanthropic concert for USC fraternity Sigma Chi's Derby Days Friday.

Aside from many local venues, Danger Bees have been broadcast on KSCR Radio in Los Angeles. Their sound is so innovative that the band was considered for inclusion in Austin, Texas' renowned music festival South by Southwest.

Danger Bees' concerts enthrall the auditory and visual senses. The band's musical prowess captivates audiences, and the addition of projectors and props create a transcendent experience. A large, wooden castle cutout is characteristic of Danger Bees' set, as well as fog machines and light-reflecting stage ornaments. A projector glazes the set and musicians with sliced footage that consists of nature, film clips and filtered images.

"(We) feel that engaging the audience in the show beyond just the music is an important part of any show and something we aspire to very strongly," Payne said.

In doing so, the Bees invite the audience to participate in some sets by handing out instruments such as shakers, wood blocks and tambourines.

"We don't necessarily want to be the most famous band in the world; we would just like to be respected for the music we make and to inspire people to do great things the way we were inspired by others," Allison said. - The Daily Trojan

"LA Underground: Danger Bees"

L.A Underground:Danger Bees
By Jemayel Khawaja FOR LA2DAY.COM 22 Jun 2008

It's a testament to Danger Bees as a band that they have managed to stir up such a frenzy around themselves considering the fact that they are a largely instrumental jazz-rock fusion band with no clear ties to a specific genre. All USC students at the time, they formed in mid 2006 and have been gathering acclaim ever since. After returning from their first west coast tour in March, they even managed to snag an opening spot for MGMT at an L.A date in April.

Their music is an amalgam of an influence list longer than I have breath for. It has been said that their music is the sound of every member of Radiohead simultaneously making love to Stevie Wonder in the midst of a raucous Mardi Gras celebration. This ain't your uncle's prog-rock, though. The Bees manage to weave their way around jazz, funk, blues, prog-rock, post-rock, and definitely some pop on the way to creating their sound. They're not afraid to throw a time-signature switch with aplomb either, but still manage to maintain a sonically pleasant aesthetic.

The standout track on their new EP is ‘Glass Radiator'. Split into two segments, the first evokes a sense of nostalgia for a moment you didn't even experience;like floating underwater in the memory of a past that you long for. The second bit is a dreamy interlude that drops into a good-times party narrative-in-music led by a rollicking sax solo. It's the kind of curveball you come to expect if you listen to their music.

Along with a handful of like-minded bands, Danger Bees are beginning to carve out a scene for forward-thinking, unrestrained progressive and experimental music that still adheres strongly to being accessible and highly listenable. In the harsh musical terrain of Los Angeles, where glitz outshines substance, they are gathering steam and gaining fans.

Their live show is where their talent is laid on a plate for you. They manage to be high energy while pulling off their intricate technical maneuvers with an impressive display of chops. There aren't many places you'll find a funky post-rock jam in 5-4 with a sax player running through the crowd, guitarists literally dancing on their pedal boards (that likely cost more than your mortgage) and members of other bands jumping on stage to sing impromptu harmonies. I guess it's all part of the dog n' pony show that is Los Angeles' burgeoning post-post-rock scene. If you figure out a better name for it, feel free to send me an e-mail. Until then, take a listen to a few tracks or catch them at The Echo this Monday the 23rd playing with Rumspringa and Holloys.

- LA2Day


Brainmatters, BeEP, other new live tracks on the website!



Formed at USC and recent graduates we've now moved to the cultivating scene of Highland Park looking to make our mark in the greater Los Angeles music scene. Having been together for three years we have evolved into an experimental/fusion/post pop band that rocks and grooves all night long. Our influences range from the complex sounds of bands like Radiohead, Yes and Frank Zappa to the psychedelic sounds of Pink Floyd to the jazz fusion of Jeff Beck and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Our songs are unique in comparison to other contemporary bands because of our songwriting, song structures and the wide array of sounds we encompass in our repetoire. Our live show is where it all comes together - full of energy while delving into uptra technical manuevers and random funky post rock jazzy jams in 5/4 with a sax player running through the crowd and guitarists dancing on their pedal boards. We are also co-founders of the developing Art Collective titled Heard of Elephants featuring other stellar Los Angeles based bands and artists.