Distinguished Members
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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


The Distinguished Members have created a sound that makes me want to chew Styrofoam and make out with chicks until a Christian afterlife cheats me of my rawk! -Tim Letteny, Weekly Dig Magazine. - Weely Dig Magazine, Boston, Ma.


In the press letter I got, they say that they are a "little rock band with a big sound." Couldn't be farther from the truth. Distinguished Members mix it up with the indie sounding rock to modern college radio noise - they just know how to play it well.-Bullet Proof Popemobile Web Zine. - Bulletproof Popemobile Webzine


The little-known Boston indie-rock band Distinguished Members vaulted into CMJ’s top-added charts last month with their debut CD, Hiding the Keep. They’ve also been popping up with sweet New York City gigs, like the official Faint/Bright Eyes afterparty at the Tribeca Grand back in May. How do they do it? Tony Fant, father to singer/guitarist Glen Fant, is an owner (and executive vice-president) of the Tribeca Grand and Soho Grand hotels. In fact, one way to get Hiding the Keep is to stay at the Tribeca or the Soho: there’s a copy in every room. If you can’t check in there, check in with the band July 14 at the Middle East.


- Boston Pheonix


Just when the release of its debut CD threatened to make Distinguished Members one of the most notable alternative rock bands to emerge from the Boston scene, the quartet fell apart.

That was last May, when ‘‘Hiding the Keep’’ should have firmly established the group as a band to watch, with its pulsating blend of Smashing Pumpkins-like skewed rock and the kind of heavy metal guitar lines that blast you out of the doldrums.

But just as the CD hit the stores, one member left, and by the time his absence was absorbed, another departed. A superb opening week on college radio was scant consolation.

Now Distinguished Members is back, leaner and meaner than ever, preparing a new EP, and playing at Bill’s Bar in Boston next Wednesday night.

‘‘May 2005, when the CD came out, seems like a long time ago - forever,’’ mused Distinguished Members guitarist and lead vocalist Glen Fant, who was a music business major at Berklee College of Music.

‘‘Releasing that album was an education in itself. - ... we learned not to take forever to make an album; we spent a year on that one, and by then the songs were old to us, and we had five or six CD release dates, which kept getting pushed back,’’ he recalled. ‘‘With this new EP, we are shortening the process.’’

Part of the new plan is having a band that’s likely to stay together.

Distinguished Members has always revolved around the brothers Fant, Glen, 23, and his brother James, 25, who also plays guitar but is now the bassist in the new three-piece group.

Rachel Fuhrer, the drummer, joined six months ago. The band on the debut album was a quartet, but soon found itself missing a rhythm section.

‘‘Mike Hart, our former bassist in the four-piece, used to bring in a lot of riffs which James and I would jam off of, and mold melodies around, and that’s how we did a lot of the songwriting,’’ Glen Fant recalled. ‘‘But about the time the album came out, Mike left us to devote full time to Abigail Warchild, a New York band he was also in-.

‘‘Now, James and I are bringing in all the riffs that are the basis of our songwriting. My brother is a much better guitarist than me, and he plays drums and bass as well. When Mike left, James moved over to bass, and I think that is really his best instrument of all.’’

Adam O’Day’s thunderous drumming had marked the first album as a peripatetic shot of truly original rock, but about the time James Fant had settled into the bassist slot, O’Day quit to concentrate on the punk rock band he was also playing in.

‘‘Adam’s style was to play more by feel and emotion than technique,’’ Fant said, ‘‘and he was great in his own special way. But after auditioning just two drummers, we found Rachel, who is much more precise in her style. We found her through craigslist (craigslist.org) - we’d never auditioned anyone before. But she is a very tasteful drummer who will work on a fill until she gets it figured out completely, and we knew immediately she was right for us.

‘‘Only later, when she mentioned her previous band - Chelsea on Fire, one of our favorites - did we realize what a rock pedigree she has, and how lucky we are to have gotten her.’’

The Fant brothers have played in rock bands together since Glen was in seventh grade, but the New Jersey natives didn’t form Distinguished Members until they came to Boston for college. James went to Boston University, and two years later Glen followed him to attend Berklee.

By day Glen works for Bostix, James works in an accounting office, and Long Island native Fuhrer works in a bicycle shop.

This album is a refreshing jolt of hard-rocking fervor, with invigorating rhythms and firestorms of guitars, all supporting 10 songs which poetically explore the angst and anger that pervades contemporary young American life.

It’s a political record, without making any specific political points. ‘‘Not Time to Bleed’’ opens the CD with frenetic drums and squalling guitars, as Glen Fant sings lyrics that posit rock ’n’ roll as the only touchstone in a scary world. ‘‘Aloha’’ uses thundering dynamics to focus on a kind of undifferentiated anxiety that may seem all too familiar to listeners.

‘‘Every Night Same Dream’’ shifts gears to a more pensive mode, a quiet ballad with a disembodied news broadcast in the background providing haunting counterpoint.

The CD’s high point might be ‘‘Meatbox,’’ a mid tempo, angular ballad depicting a failed romance through the image of breaking into your ex’s house. But the double-timed frenzy of ‘‘Whiskey’’ is also a strong contender, with layered guitar crescendos that evoke fond memories of Blue Oyster Cult.

‘‘There’s no concept as such behind the album, beyond the fact that everyone today seems so confused,’’ Fant explained. ‘‘One truth, that there is no one truth, might be said to lyrically prevail through all 10 songs. We wanted to tie things together loosely, have a little theme of sorts musically, so it was less like a collection of unconn - The Patriot Ledger (2/17/06)


The assault of the senses hits you immediately on The Distinguished Members debut album “Hiding the Keep”. It punches you once, pauses to witness the damage, then winds up and pounds away again. The music isn’t against you. The Members don’t discriminate. They demolish everything and anyone in their path. Blistering vocals, heavy guitars, and a diesel powered rhythm section, create a sonic war zone that thrashes at the misconceptions of society. You can see the four star general standing in front of long black table, surrounded by a distraught group of politicians. He extends his pointer to the map on the wall displaying the circles of damage that will be caused by the fallout of a disaster. This comes as no surprise when you discover the Distinguished Members are rooted in early Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age, Helmet, and the melodic fuzz of The Smashing Pumpkins.

The Fant brothers love for music began at an early age. Their father led the way at a young age and took them to see live shows featuring The Kinks, Squeeze, and Morrissey. "My dad always played music around the house or in the car, and he also played guitar a lot and wrote really good
songs,” Glen recalled. “So it was only natural that James and I began playing as well.” Glen and James began writing songs on a keyboard or guitar at the ages of 9 and 11. Using their dad’s 8-track they began recording simple songs around the age of twelve or thirteen.

With its release in May 2005 "Hiding the Keep" has received spins on local Boston area radio shows Boston Emission on WBCN and New England Product on WFNX as well as on a national level reaching #18 on the CMJ's most added chart.

The Distinguished Members are a fast rising young band, and the wide acclaim for “Hiding the Keep” has solidified that. The walls of sound created on the album resonate perfectly in the studio and their riotous energy explodes onstage. Glen Fant’s blistering vocals and poignant lyrics mesh perfectly with the music throughout their 10 track debut. From the opening tune, No Time to Bleed, The Distinguished Members distinguish themselves as a band to recon with.“Look at me. I’m six years old, I can’t do what I’m told. I won’t learn under the blue sky, We’ll take turns, swapping germs and writing lies. Long time coming, yeah you deserve this." The pace of the album never allows you to rest for more than a moment, and even then, it seems like they are just slowing down to look at the destruction they’ve caused
- The Presshouse


Distinguished Members have a tough act to follow. Their music is more straight-up, slightly heavy rock songs. (Although they do mix it up a bit with one really mellow, folky number with pretty, delicate finger-picking. That kinda comes out of nowhere, but it makes a nice change of pace in mid-set.) They're a decent band, but two things really stand out for me: the guitarist and bassist both sing on most of their songs, and they have some really good, engaging harmonies. And the drummer is excellent, playing very complicated patterns smoothly and very fast. (And, perhaps most impressive, pulling it back to play softly and minimally on the folk-rock song!) - The Noise


Discography

Acting Tall EP- self released
Hiding the Keep LP - self released

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Sort through the rubble of our society, and you'll find fragments of paranoia, despair, and disillusionment. The Distinguished Members debut album "Hiding the Keep" turns these fragments into sonic shrapnel. Forget all of the post-rock labels and indie-hybrid hype bands. Distinguished Members assault you with pre-Bush era rock for a post 9/11 world. Formed in Boston, Distinguished Members have been bringing their rock gospel to the masses since 2003. Sabbath savvy riffs and Queens of the Stone Age drone collide with the clockwork assault of Helmet and the melodic fuzz of the Pumpkins. "Hiding the Keep" is a soundtrack for our Brave New World.