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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Cuatro De Mayo: Ep3 Merges Space Rock With Activist Politics
By Greg M. Schwartz


Certain members of Kent State's May 4th Task Force (M4TF) — the student group founded in 1975 to keep alive the lessons of May 4, 1970 — were getting frustrated. The M4TF was holding a contest at the student center's Rathskeller in March, where bands were competing to win a chance to play at this year's annual May 4 commemoration. But the last band of the night was onstage, and none of the previous bands had written a powerful song about the day.

The power trio Unicron had delivered a punchy tune entitled "Fuck Bush" that was well-received, but had only two lyrics. Then, Ep3 started kicking out the jams, complete with their own psychedelic light show. Word came that closing time was approaching and the band better get to its May 4 song. And so it was that the instant rock classic "Cuatro de Mayo" was debuted.

Guitarist John McCarron's delicate opening chords and bassist Pat Scalambrino's soulful vocals on the first verse made it immediately apparent Ep3 had taken the contest seriously. By the time it moved into the hard-rocking chorus, it was clear something special was happening. That grew during the second verse as keyboardist Brent "Boomer" Eligado added a beautifully melodic piano part. It also became evident Scalambrino, the one band member who's currently a Kent State student, had done his homework. The song's four verses covered each of the four days' events that led to the tragedy of May 4.

The M4TF had a unanimous winner.

"It was actually the first time I realized how strong Pat's songwriting ability is," says Eligado of winning the contest.

"I thought it was such an honor to play, but it was almost bittersweet," says percussionist Randy Ribock of the band's subsequent appearance at the May 4 commemoration on the Commons at Kent State. "At first I felt a little out of place playing, but when we came on, it all felt right."

Rounded out by drummer Tom Hilton, Ep3 has developed a growing following as Kent students continue to discover the thrill of having a major-league jam band in their own backyard. The band is starting to spread its wings, playing regionally in Cleveland, Akron, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Columbus. Ep3's name stands for eight planets past Pluto, which Scalambrino says indicates the group's desire to develop a sound "from a different place, to change things."

When asked about the writing process for "Cuatro," Scalambrino and McCarron say they studied the history closely but the song came out quick. "We drank a pot of coffee and probably wrote it in four hours," says Scalambrino.

"There's a lot more going on behind the scenes than just what you see on stage," adds Scalambrino, referring to the band's friends and crew, and bringing to mind the community vibe that helped propel seminal jam rockers such as the Grateful Dead and Phish. As to the future, the band is constantly writing new material.

"I think hard work and dedication will get us there," says McCarron of plans to turn the band's musical passion into a livelihood. "My opinion about everything is just bust ass." - Cleveland Free Times


Prepare to be abducted: ep3 invades Khameleon
Jam band pledges far out live show
By: Ryan deBiase
Issue date: 2/23/06 Section:


Ep3, a Kent-based jam fusion band, attracts listeners with an experimental brand of rock and an intense live performance.

The band is comprised of photography major Steven Homan; music education major Patrick Scalambrino; Brent Eligado, of Stow; and John McCarron, of New Philadelphia.

It draws influences from across the music spectrum, ranging from trance-fusion to '80s power ballads.

"Rock and roll, no trance," bassist Scalanbrino said. "Classic rock, Pink Floyd, Toto are all big influences. Anything that's a love ballad/power '80s is sweet."

With a diverse array of influences, ep3 thrives in the freedom of its live show. The band mixes original tunes with cover songs in an extended jam session. The live show relies heavily on the creativity of band members to get the audience interested.

"Improvisation is my favorite part," McCarron said. "Getting to a point in the climax where everyone in the band and everyone listening pretty much gets off,"

The band has no studio albums, though it does have recorded work available for its audience.

"We record every show we play," Eligado said. "At the next show, we take a bunch and pass them out to
everyone."

In addition to its free-flowing instrumentals, ep3 adds a unique visual aspect to its live performance.

"We bring a lot of intensity and a light show. Nobody has a light show like ours around here," Eligado said. "We've got four 'intelligent' lights that have 15 different colors, make all different shapes and sizes, go all over. We try to do different visuals every time. The lights are 50 percent of the show."

The light show represents another layer to ep3's performance. It draws an audience and is a further assertion of the experimental nature of the group.

"Ep3 stands for 'eight planets past Pluto,'" Scalanbrino said. "It represents that we are trying to bring in something no one has heard before, from a planet never known. We're coming to abduct you."

Despite originating from well beyond the solar system, ep3 plans to stay in Ohio.

"In six months, we'd still like to be building a name for ourselves in Ohio," Eligado said.

Ep3 said much of its success derives from the support it receives from close friends.

"We have the ep3 crew," McCarron said. "They're some really close friends that travel to each of our shows. They're as much a part of what we're doing as we are."

Friends are always a welcome sight after traveling from 10 billion miles away, across the solar system, to arrive in Kent.

"It makes it worth the trip," Scalanbrino said. "It's our family, our support group." - The Daily Kent Stater


Discography

The band is preparing to record their first album. They currently post all live shows for download at their web site, http://www.ep3music.com

See also http://www.myspace.com/ep3sound

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

While attending Kent State University, music major Pat Scalambrino met Brent Eligado. The two began a conversation involving their musical interests and found they had a lot in common. Pat and Brent decided to take some time and combine their musical styles. Although they enjoyed playing together, the sound they were looking for was far from complete.

Pat told Brent he had a longtime friend in mind to fill the missing link, but hadn't talked to him in nearly a year. Pat later made a decision to call John McCarron and see if he would be interested. Without hesitation, John said yes. After a rehearsal, the musicians found that the intense sound had met their expectations.

They talked about what they had experienced and found they had something special. The band knew that if they wanted to take this serious and and play out, they would need a name. Considering a name that would describe their intense jam or space rock style, they agreed on "Ep3" or "Eight Planets Past Pluto." Tom Hilton was recruited on the skins and was soon added as well.

Ep3 are more than just a jamband. While they love to explore their songs through extended jams, they can also deliver tight rock songs with meaningful lyrics. In the spring of 2006, the band won a contest held by Kent State's May 4th Task Force to write an original song about the May 4, 1970 tragedy. "Cuatro de Mayo" was a unanimous winner and won the band the opportunity to play the 36th annual May 4th commemoration ceremony on May 4, 2006 at The Commons on the KSU campus.

As Ohio's new rising jamband, Ep3 is hitting the Buckeye state like Roswell in 1947...