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"Tornado's Grub and Pub" - Townie Bar

"singing the gamut"

80 Hours
Singing the gamut
Zach Spittler - The Daily Iowan
Issue date: 8/17/06 Section: 80 Hours
In a lot of ways, today resembles the 1970s. Big, stupid-looking glasses cover the eyes of glib teens. Economic and oil crises put a dent in our spending power. We're engaged in a war in which no one wants a part.

Throw in some drugs, unprotected sex, and flower power, and voil࠭ we've regressed 35 years.

So to ditch the bad and keep on truckin' with the good, one need look no further than the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St., on Friday for a taste of yesteryear's fun and dance. Joining self-proclaimed "un-boxable" ex-Newton band Poppa Neptune at 9 p.m., jam band Hunab Ku, a budding quintet, looks to rekindle the carefree attitude of our parents' generation.

"Bobby McFerrin said it best: 'Don't worry; be happy,' " said Scott McDermott, the band's guitarist/lead vocalist.

Hunab Ku has only been together since January, when childhood friends McDermott, Joe Kalb (guitar/vocals), and Luke Mescher (drums/vocals) met up with fellow Kirkwood students Collin Braley (percussion/keyboards/vocals), and Derek Pulliam (bass) through various music classes and projects.

The members come from varying musical backgrounds, spanning the spectrum from jazz to metal; live, it all boils down together into a flavorful jam of psychedelic-rock-reggae-funk-fusion.

"Our songwriting is collaborative, in that everyone has equal input in our compositions," Braley said.

The band usually starts a song with next to nothing, going with something such as, "This is what I got," McDermott said. "Here's the key. What can you do?"

The results of the impromptu sessions run a tripped-out gamut of new and old acts, including Phish, Bob Marley, Incubus, and Johnny Cash. Essentially avoiding genres altogether - "If you listen to and enjoy all kinds of music, why not create all kinds of music?" - the band's tone can change substantially, even in mid-song. The reason behind the group's merry mishmashed music is simple: To keep all the members on their toes.

"Imagine playing or listening to reggae for the rest of your life," McDermott said with evident distaste for the idea of such a small musical world. "[Switching genres] just makes it more interesting."
- the daily iowan


Hunab EP 1
Hunab Winter Promo
Hunab- "Random Coincidences" 2007





Since the formation of Hunab in the winter of 2006, the band has quickly established itself as a professional touring act in the Midwest. Hunab is drawing an ever more regional fan base after an exciting summer of numerous festival appearances, including the 10,000 Lakes Festival, Harvest Fest, Solstice Shakedown, Dogstock, and Bela Luna.

Following the release of their album, “Random Coincidences,” Hunab has been working hard to spread their music and their vibe, taking hard to the streets and festival lots handing out thousands of demo cds. One can expect high energy and constant grooves at a Hunab show. With their music spanning a wide range of sounds and genres, Hunab is known as the “hungriest band in Iowa City” and are out working hard to share the vibe.

Before Hunab was created, most members met as students, with prior studies in Music, Recording Arts, Business Management, and Anthropology, The diverse backgrounds of influences are evident in their music. Hunab takes an open approach towards the music they create. Music creates different feelings and moods. Hunab is the medium that connects you to those feelings through their songs.

Scott and Luke’s musical friendship started in high-school were they played and wrote music together. Joe was a childhood friend of Scott’s who also sparked an interest in guitar. The three jammed together and developed a great connection. While Joe was working on his degree at Iowa State University, Scott and Luke were playing music and attending classes in Cedar Rapids. The three managed to stay in touch and play shows together from time to time.
Meanwhile, in another part of Iowa, Derek was playing guitar in a shitty metal band! Seeing no future in his current musical endeavors, he decided to go back to school to study auto mechanics at Kirkwood Community College. This is where he signed up for a course on the history of jazz, rock, and blues, which rekindled his interests in music. He changed his major to music and started playing bass guitar. There he met and befriended Scott and Collin.
Collin’s music studies include percussion, voice, and piano. In high-school, Collin played drums in an acoustic rock band and like Luke and Scott, was also involved in the theatre. Scott currently studies jazz guitar and majors in music performance. Common interest and musical experience paved the way for the birth of “The Schizophonic Jazz Jam.” SJJ was a group of musicians from Cedar Rapids and Cedar Falls, which played jazz standards in a jam-rock sense.
At the same time, Luke and Scott were in the experimental jam-rock group “Franky Malloon.” Franky Malloon opened shows for groups such as lotus, Bockmans Ephio, and Shanti Groove. In a far away room in Ames, Iowa, Joe was stewing up his melodic and harmonic ideas and happened to brewed up the fine tasting “Joe’s Monophonic Experiment.”
Meanwhile, when confronted with a great opportunity Luke decided to put his drumming on pause and study for five months in Mysore, India. At the same time, Joe had graduated from ISU and moved to Iowa City. Living under the same roof allowed Joe and Scott to pursue their passion for writing music.
With Scott and Joe incubating a sound in one hand and the S.J.J. getting solid feedback from live shows in the other, it was clear the two projects needed to unite. After a few months they were making some great progress and decided to make music a priority.
They needed a name that encompassed the sound and feelings that came with their music. Hunab was the choice.
In January Luke returned to the states and joined the group.