Doc Aquatic
Gig Seeker Pro

Doc Aquatic

Asheville, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Asheville, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Rock Psychedelic




"Somni Suite and Doc Aquatic at Bele Chere"

Also touching on psychedelic themes was local indie rock band Doc Aquatic, who performed on the Battery Park stage. I caught the end of their set, not recognizing them at first because 1) front man JC Hayes had cut his mop of hair and 2) the band band had tightened up its often loose-on-the-verge-of-free-form live sound.

“Lost at Sea” followed a harder song and its easy lilt spiked with touches of falsetto sounded fresh and breezy. “I don’t care any more” had a big, full sound, galloping from start to finish and ending crisply.

Doc Aquatic closed its set with “Summertime,” which could be their answer to Jane’s Addiction’s “Summertime Rolls.” Different sound, similar idea. It’s a tribute to theseason with sweeping melodies, building to an apex of guitars and drums. A perfect way to round out this year’s festival. - Mountain Xpress

"Doc Aquatic Rocks Ice Cream Shop for Kids"

Asheville band, Doc Aquatic ( brought The Hop a tightly knit indie rock all-ages show that struck all within Merrimon Square with melody and energy that got all heads whimsically bobbin'. It makes us so happy that another of Asheville's finest bands graced our informal stage! - The Hop

"Doc Aquatic's finely orchestrated chaos"

There’s something so buoyant and blithe about local indie/psychedelic band Doc Aquatic that it’s pretty near impossible to watch them on stage and not smile. The band started off its Grey Eagle set, opening for The Baker Family Band, with lots of bounce and energy.

In fact, the crowd for the opener was sizable — a little larger than the group that hung around for Austin, Texas-by-way-of-Asheville group The Bakers. It was a testament to the following Doc Aquatic has built since relocating to Asheville from Boone in 2009, and the audience was rewarded for its devotion.

Doc Aquatic’s sound, on the Grey Eagle stage, engineered by Mars Farris, was the best this reviewer has heard to date — and that crisp clarity made all the difference.
The standard rock setup of Doc Aquatic (J.C. Hayes on vocals and Guitar, Adam Grogan on guitar and piano, Charles Gately on bass and vocals and Zack Hayes on drums) can grow muddy when the band launches into its trademark, psychedelic-tinged instrumental breaks. It’s that effect that gets labeled “jam.” But on the Grey Eagle stage, with each instrument differentiated, Doc Aquatic’s nuances came to light.

“Headin’ West” was a tightly-crafted work of doubled vocals and turn-on-dime tempo changes, underscored throughout by a sense of space and light reminiscent of California country rock.

Not that anyone could call Doc Aquatic a country-rock act. Its ‘60s and ‘70s nods are more Cream than Flying Burrito Brothers. “Rattle Snake Shake” combined soul rhythms with J.C.‘s trippy lyrics: “Stars hover down sharp, stung my eyes. They are electric eels in summertime.”

“Go Ghost” took an appropriately darker turn, turning up the intensity, the melody reminiscent of the clang and grind of Pink Floyd’s “Money.” Gately’s bass line was prominent in the song and yet he kept his playing simple and tasteful, only adding exactly what was needed.

The bass was equally strong on “Sea of Trees,” a new song slated for the band’s summer release. High, shimmering guitar parts toe the line between structure and abandon, a kind of orchestrated psychedelia — which pretty much sums up the band’s sound.

Frontman J.C. was a pleasure to watch because, on stage, he conveyed such a sense of audacious fun. If his glasses and shawl-collar sweater seem out of character for a rocker, his loose-limbed movements and experimental guitar parts were fully realized. “Run,” another new song, showed J.C. in full form. The melody was languid and layered, the song’s formula a combination of a simple lyric (highlighted by J.C.‘s apt falsetto) leading into the extended barely controlled chaos of instrumentals. But even as J.C. threw himself into an unabashed dance, the music was never less than taut.

“Lost at Sea,” another new offering, was even more of a juxtaposition of volatile emotion and controlled burn, with Zack’s three-quarter sway on percussion and J.C. singing the anguished refrain, “I kill my only love, with the poisons of the man I’ve become.”

The band’s final number, “Summertime,” was lush and aptly summery with a kick drum opening and washes of descending guitar scales as the band clustered around Zack. From there, the music opened into something primordial and jangly, sprawling into to Steve Miller/“Wild Mountain Honey”-esque psychedelia as J.C. hit the verse, “Yes, I believe in summertime, even though it’s snowed for days.” Gately played the bass with one hand and hit a drum with his other, the song’s tightly coiled tension swept over the audience in a perfectly timed apex. The end of the set came all too soon. - Mountain Xpress

"Doc Aquatic is NOT a Jamband"

Story by David Brewer

For more than a decade, Boone has developed a reputation—for better or worse—as a hotbed for young jambands that are often comprised of ASU students. Using the sounds of the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers, Phish and Widespread Panic among others as a rough sonic blueprint, these bands have frequented High Country stages, playing long, improv-based shows that make for good dance parties, but don’t exactly give non-jam fans anything to get excited about.

Doc Aquatic would like to make it perfectly clear that they are not one of these bands.

“That’s the struggle; getting people to view you as not the typical Boone jamband,” said guitarist/vocalist J.C. Hayes. “We love lyrics. We love melody. We love everything that makes music great.”

On Thursday, June 25, Doc Aquatic will demonstrate their love of lyrics and melody with a live show at Koncepts Hookah Lounge. The show will start at 10:00 p.m. and is open to people 18 and older.

Comprised of J.C. Hayes, guitarist/keyboardist Adam Grogan, drummer Zack Hayes and bassist/vocalist Charles Gately, the relatively new Boone band combines sonically adventurous indie sensibilities with a melodic classic rock background for a sound that sounds warm and familiar, yet fresh and new.

Friends since high school, J.C. and Grogan have been plotting their new band for years, but didn’t get off the ground until J.C.’s younger brother Zack and Gately came along in summer 2008 to give the pair a rhythm section versatile enough to flesh out their musical ideas.

Since then, the band has been writing and recording, trying to find a balance between their love of classic rock and folk from the likes of Neil Young, Bob Dylan and The Beatles, and newer indie rock stylists like Wilco, Animal Collective and Dr. Dog. The results thus far are a handful of undeniably catchy compositions that range from the ambient major key drone of “Summertime” to the angular, tempo-shifting rock of “Rattlesnake Shake.”

“We’re still in the process of developing a really solid sound,” said Grogan.

While their sound may be a work in progress, Doc Aquatic’s energetic live shows have already begun to impress local music fans and critics. The band took top honors at ASU’s Battle of the Bands at Legends and has since been making the local rounds, performing at the Dragonfly Theater & Pub, Murphy’s and the increasingly popular Wednesday night open mic sessions at Koncepts.

“People actually come to listen to your music,” said Grogan. “They’re not there to get drunk.”

Part of the band’s efforts to avoid being tagged as another Jamband from Boone include moving to Asheville later this summer, where J.C. and Grogan hope the band will find footing in the town’s thriving music scene. However, both agree that Doc Aquatic fully intends to continue playing frequently in the High Country.

“Our whole mission right now is to book as many shows as we can and play with as many bands as we can,” said Grogan.

To hear music by Doc Aquatic, click to For more information on their show at Koncepts, call 828-265-9477. - High Country Press

"The Life Aquatic with Doc Aquatic"

- Fayetteville Feed


Still working on that hot first release.



Doc Aquatic is a psych-rock trio from Asheville, NC. 'Tombs' is their new full-length - recorded by the band and mixed by Jon Ashley (War on Drugs, Steve Martin) at Echo Mountain. "A collection of ten glossy and ambient indie rock songs that mixes light synths and samples with a sunny, classic rock sensibility. Both catchy and smart, its an album that makes the perfect soundtrack to a Sunday drive on a gray afternoon."  - Shannon Moore,

Band Members