Handicap Bleu
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Handicap Bleu

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"Local Band Stays True to the Bleu"

Each member of Orlando's own Handicap Bleu began filing into the band's rehearsal warehouse on Forsyth Road at about 6 p.m. Monday.

The space was packed with monitors, instruments and miscellaneous pieces of equipment. The warehouse was dark, except for the illuminating glow of white T-shirts under a neon beer sign and strobe light.

As the band set up for rehearsal, Porcupine Tree and Radiohead piped through strategically placed speakers.

It would seem only normal that five dynamic personalities would offer up different ideas when asked about their sound. However, when it came to their music, all members were in total agreement.

Handicap Bleu's music is the culmination of all things creative and honest.

Their songs shift from hard rock to deep mellow grooves, encompassing time signature changes and a variety of genre influences. Their sound is progressive in nature and uses each song to build upon the complexity of instrumentation. Songs range from intense, thought-driven lyrics to an ode to the glory of Mexican food, specifically El Palenque.

There is little correlation between the length of time that the band has been together and the amount of talent showcased by each member. In the last five months, the musicians have managed to write, record, perform and conjure a following.

"If this band were a baby, we'd still be teething," guitarist Eric Poetter said.

Truth be told, the artists are way ahead of themselves in terms of experience. Guitarist Grady Lee and drummer Dan Wilkerson carry with them the knowledge of prior musical endeavors.

The band already has a stigma. If there is one thing you can expect to hear at a Handicap Bleu show, it's raw and uninhibited rock and roll.

Handicap Bleu is the antithesis of mainstream radio rock, but the poster child for fusion. Members contribute their own style, bringing each track to life by making it personal.

When asked about the themes in their songs, vocalist Ryan Peterson said that the music is "left open for interpretation." The band said that audiences should be left to make the musical experience their own.

The Orlando musicians are committed to their craft. Handicap Bleu is more than a local act, it is an institution that raises the bar for what passes as incredible.

While they are on their way up, the members constantly reflect on comradery with other local artists. Bassist Adam Edwards noted that the guys are big fans of fellow Central Florida bands like Up Overnight, Open Windows and Pain Principle.

Handicap Bleu's demo is currently in the final stages of post-production.

The band plans to use a marketing strategy that they credit Metallica with starting.

While the demo will be available for purchase, the guys intend to offer a pay-it-forward option. All they ask is that fans help them get their music out by distributing it to their friends and by using it as a multimedia feature on social networking Web sites.

You can catch these rock stars in action when the band performs Tuesday at Underground Bluz. For more information on the band and upcoming shows, visit their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/handicapbleu. - Central Florida Future


Discography

Sacre Bleu EP - 2008

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Bio

Handicap Bleu's influences include: The Mars Volta, Porcupine Tree, Tool, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, The Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains, Rage Against the Machine, Interpol, Pinback, Between the Buried and Me, etc...