Natural Breakdown
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Natural Breakdown

New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States | SELF

New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Band Rock New Age


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Natural Breakdown @ May Flora II Festival at Stonehedge Gardens

Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, USA

Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, USA

Natural Breakdown @ Tent State at Rutgers University

New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

Natural Breakdown @ The Saint

Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA

Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA

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Peaceful Revolution
By: Megan Sullivan, TIMEOFF

Using yoga, shamanism and spirituality, The Natural Breakdown seeks change through sound and word.



Regional band The Natural Breakdown's primary message is, we create our own realities based on our beliefs about the world. Its four members hope to raise consciousness through sound and word and offer a hopeful outlook and a call for change.
"The whole reason why we (started) this band, the main message we are trying to convey is that consciousness creates reality," says keyboardist and vocalist Eric WaldMan. "A lot of times people go around in the world and see the effects of what consciousness creates and work on the effects.
"Working on the outside problems of the world is not even helpful until you deal with the inner workings of it, the inner cause," he continues. "It's amazing. It works really subtly sometimes, but the world corresponds to your beliefs about it."
The concept is based on ideas found in the New Age movement. Mr. WaldMan has also undergone training through The Field Center, an educational forum that offers a curriculum for expanding awareness, conscious creating and shifting into more aligned identity.
The remaining three members of the band strive to convey the same message, but approach it from different forms of spirituality. Guitarist Dan Farella studies with a Peruvian shaman and is very involved with yoga. Drummer Vinnie Smith studies tabla drum with a guru from India, who is also a spiritual guru. Bassist Gene Lantigua, who moved from the coast of Northern California to join the band last year, practices energy healing, art therapy and meditation.
"The best part about what we're doing, every place you look, it's also the same stuff, you just have to decode it," Mr. WaldMan says. "Christianity, Jewish mystics... everyone's talking about the same thing.
"There really is a movement happening where people are waking up to this idea, where they are the cause of everything in their lives," he adds. "The energy put out creates your circumstances. You can change your circumstances, who you want to be and what you accept to be real."
Formed in 2003, The Natural Breakdown will have a CD release show at Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick Sept. 8. The first full length CD, Inside the One, is filled with stories and lyrics that uphold the band's message, but Mr. WaldMan stresses that the members aren't forcing their beliefs upon anyone. "We're not trying to change anybody at all," he says. "We just want to give people the opportunity and expose them to things they might not otherwise be exposed to and give them the option."
The tracks feature a blend of rhythms and melodies ranging from Indian classical music, Latin jazz, gospel, bluegrass and folk to fusion, psychedelic, straight up rock and get down funk. The lyrics also tie in themes of love, peace, wisdom and tranquility.
Instead of renting a studio to record Inside the One, the four musicians built one within their home located on a 12-acre tree farm outside of Princeton. "We have no neighbors," Mr. WaldMan says. "We can practice all night until three or four in the morning."
Although it probably cost the same amount to buy a computer, software, compressors, equalizers and other gear as it would have to rent time at a fully equipped studio, Mr. WaldMan says they'll be able to use everything again when it comes time to record their next album. "It was a really nice opportunity to totally stretch out and do things you normally wouldn't do," he says. That includes recording unusual tracks like finger snaps, mouth claps, banging trashcans and other sounds they wouldn't have otherwise recorded.
The Natural Breakdown began recording in January and handed the project over six months later to Mike Partridge, the live sound engineer of New Jersey's Railroad Earth, for mixing. With so many different sounds converging on each song, it's hard to fathom how the band was able to pull it off successfully. According to Mr. WaldMan, one song has 43 different tracks on it. He gives the credit to Mr. Partridge's mixing skills: "He's a freakin' genius." Afterward, the tracks were passed to Johnny Grubb, bass player for Railroad Earth, for the final mastering.
When the band plays live, it obviously doesn't have the capability of meshing 43 different tracks. "During the live shows, we're going for a different thing," Mr. WaldMan says. "It's more about putting out energy and getting people super fired up." He compares it to yoga — just like the practice moves energy in the body, they aim to do the same thing through music. "What we like to do with our jams, we like to raise energy inside the body and aim to open people's energy channels in their body the same way acupuncture does."
While the group has mainly been focusing its attention on the debut CD and performing, the members try to participate in social projects like river cleanups and peace marches when possible. Mr. WaldMan says they also hosted weekly community meditations at their house for a while.
In addition to playing the tri-state area, The Natural Breakdown has jammed in Burlington, Vt., Washington, D.C. and Raleigh, N.C., among other places. The group's latest endeavor, "Natty B Goes Green," involves raising money to buy a diesel bus for touring.
Wherever they go, the message remains the same. "Whatever you want to do in the world, you can," Mr. WaldMan says. "It's just a matter of doing it inwardly first. You can be that person. It's easy."

The Natural Breakdown's CD release show for Inside the One will be held at Crossroads Theatre, 7 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, Sept. 8, 8 p.m., $20 (includes CD), all ages;[url][/url]
- Princeton Packet

The New Brunswick-based jam band Natural Breakdown has come to a crossroads in its career.
Actually, make that the city's Crossroads Theatre, where Natural Breakdown is set to perform on Saturday. The theater show represents a step up from the band's usual gigs.
"We're used to playing clubs, bars and festivals, but we checked it out there and they have stadium seating that goes right down to the stage," said Natural Breakdown drummer Vinnie Smith. "We want to get people dancing up on that stage — we really get people moving at the shows. It's a real high-energy rock show, and we've got a lot of different stuff planned."
Natural Breakdown — also Eric Waldman, keyboards and vocals; Dan Farella, guitar; and Gene Lantigua, bass — features an improvisational and earthy rock sound with a hint of psychedelia. The group is marking the release of its new CD, "Inside The One," with the Crossroads show.
Listen to the lyrics, courtesy of Waldman, formerly of the city's Fatty Lumpkin.
"A lot of the lyrics have a lot to do with positive energy and peace and the creation of your own reality," Smith said.
Natural Breakdown formed in 2002 when Smith and Waldman got together through an ad at Guitar Center. The band has been building momentum since, and a ranch in Kendall Park has helped the group coalesce its sound and mission.
"It's real nice — only 20 minutes from New Brunswick and you go down there and it's 12 acres of open land," Smith said. "You need to create your own reality, and we kept on saying that we needed to get out of here (New Brunswick), and we needed space. We were driving through and there was a rent sign."
Kendall Park is as far as the band wants to venture though.
"We're all loving people who are into music and that's the reason we're staying in this area — this area needs it," Smith said.
- Home News Tribune

While admittedly being “all over the place” musically, this jam band appearing Saturday night at the Brass Lantern aims to send positive energy up the spine of the attentive listener.

By Jim Speese
Reading Eagle Correspondent

Reading, PA - It’s not often that, when asked how a band originally got started, a musician of said band begins to talk about spirituality and energy, but that’s exactly what happens with Natural Breakdown’s Eric WaldMan.

The band plays Saturday at 9:30 p.m. at the Brass Lantern, 12th and Pike streets, and it should be quite the unique show.

In many ways, Natural Breakdown isn’t just a group of musicians; it’s also a calling.

“It’s to raise consciousness,” said WaldMan, “To bring spiritually minded people together, to raise positive energy.”

The band consists of WaldMan on keyboards, harmonica and vocals; Vinnie Smith on drums, percussion and vocals; Dan Farella on guitars and vocals; and Gene Lantigua on bass and vocals.

In addition to a love of music, these four guys also have something else in common — they’ve all studied, at one level or another, Eastern philosophy. That doesn’t mean that Natural Breakdown is a preachy outfit or that it wants to change other people’s beliefs. Rather, it uses its music to send out a sort of energy.

“We’re into Nada Yoga,” WaldMan explained. “And the idea behind that is to raise positive energy up the spine. Music is a good way to do that. Music transcends all barriers. In fact, everyone does it anyway in music, but we try to do it consciously.”

While he speaks in such terms, he’s also a realist.

“If you try to change the world,” he explained, “and try to do it in the outer world, it doesn’t work well. We try to start with the inner world. It actually works. It’s just a vibe. It relaxes you and lets you let go.”

Indeed, Natural Breakdown has its core fans — some of whom join the band at their home base in New Jersey for meditation sessions.

Of course, they are musicians, too.

Natural Breakdown is an eclectic mix of many different styles — there is classic rock, psychedelic, Indian, bluegrass, Motown, R&B and reggae (among others) thrown into the musical mix.

Or, as WaldMan said, laughing, “We’re all over the place.”

WaldMan first got into music as a boy, listening to the Motown stations his parents played on the radio. When he was older, he discovered the Grateful Dead and was similarly inspired.

The band is working on a debut CD, but its reputation grows the way the Dead’s did — through live shows and recordings of those shows.

“We tape all our shows,” noted WaldMan, “and give them out. We’ve given out thousands and thousands of CDs.”

That might seem counter-intuitive from a business standpoint, but the band has garnered many fans in this way. And WaldMan is clear that the music comes first anyway.

“We’re just trying to do what we do,” he said. “Whatever happens, happens. We’re not trying to get rich. We’re a bunch of socialists anyway. But really, it’s what you put out there that matters. It comes around again.”

Of course, with so many live recordings as well as fans who go to many of the shows, it becomes incumbent on Natural Breakdown to continually re-invent itself. The members are not afraid to let the songs lead them to new musical places as they jam.

As for the show at the Brass Lantern, WaldMan made two comments.

First, “The Brass Lantern is really fostering a cool music scene. They’re very supportive of local music and not afraid to bring in bands from out of town.”

And second, “Come to the show expecting to get your spirits lifted by the music and taken to a different level. We’ll raise your vibrations until it feels like your head is going to burst.”

Laughing, he quickly added, “In a good way!”

For more information on Natural Breakdown, check out their Web site at

link - The Reading Eagle

Words by: Stephen Urban | Images by: Daniel Ortiz

Natural Breakdown :: 11.09.08 :: B.B. King Blues Club :: New York, NY

When we arrived at B.B. King Blues Club the many Deadheads in town for the Philathon were already outside looking for miracles. I could see Natural Breakdown through the glass, sound checking onstage. Eric WaldMan, normally on keys, was strumming an acoustic guitar while Gene Lantigua was thumping away on bass. Dan Farella (electric guitar) and Vinnie Smith (drums) complete this youthful, adventurous quartet. Based out of Central Jersey, Natural Breakdown is quickly becoming a must-see band in the area. If you haven't heard of them yet you will!

These guys mean business. Their bright smiles while playing are mirrored on the faces of the audience. Normally a band as talented as this with such a commanding stage presence is full of big egos, but Natural Breakdown is not your average band - studying Eastern philosophies and yoga while remembering their musical roots and virtues of humility.

On the first song, WaldMan strums an acoustic, while Lantigua sported a huge grin and day-glow paint on his pants. The music reached a crescendo led by Farella's guitar solo as Smith laid on a heavy dance beat and WaldMan sang lead with Lantigua on harmony. Eventually, WaldMan played a harmonica solo, mustering up the soul of a Chicago or Delta bluesman. The second track was a funky blues-rock number called "Dropout Boogie." The crowd screamed at the opening riff, and moved further out onto the dance floor. "Yeah, do the 'Dropout Boogie'!" WaldMan sang.

Before "Rise Above," WaldMan asked the crowd, "How you guys feeling tonight? Make some noise if you are feeling good on a Sunday Night in New York City. This is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Thank you guys for being here with us." In the first verse, Lantigua sang, "But if I give up now will it mean the skeptics will have won? No way, I'm having too much fun!" "Rise Above" is a super funk disco jam, featuring WaldMan on synthesizer solos and Farella in Jimi Hendrix wah pedal mode.

They say that every journey always starts with just one step
But I can't seem to get on out the door
And if I'm only dreaming what's it matter anyways?
To me it's still worth believing that the rainbows that I chase
All end in gold

Next Lantigua and WaldMan sang the very catchy "Over the Mountain," which begins with WaldMan scatting. The band was so incredibly tight in the jam that as I watched them improvise and the crowd dance, I realized there was no way I could communicate the vibe and energy in the room – an open, clear, positive vibration I feel at every one of their concerts. "Make some noise if you feel like celebrating tonight! Sunday is a day we like to give thanks," said WaldMan. "It is great to see so many beautiful, beautiful people. We are gonna project some light out into the world from this place, for sure."

The keyboard started up and BAM, the drums, bass and guitars came into the groove. "You're READY! Are you READY? When we love one another then we find it – GRACE," shouted WaldMan. From the scatting they jumped into another heavy jam with a blistering guitar solo by Farella. "Now shake your bones, and do your dance! Do-dam-do-dam-dada-da-dam-dad-a-dam-da," WaldMan scatted at the ending as they went into "Supercharged."

A cover of Talking Heads' "Life During Wartime" fit the band's funky, high-energy rock style well. The song became a massive science fiction springboard that launched a rocket of tones on a brave new world called Freedom. The natives drummed with Smith, and wherever we were transported to was rife with rhythmic explorations. This was followed by the spiritual "One Inside the One," the title track from their 2007 studio album.

You are the ONE inside the ONE
You are the holy one of love and light and life
That you are looking for
Speak the dreams inside of you
And they become our world
We are One

Later, "The Wave" retold the ancient mythological flood narrative. "The Wave" this night was more like a giant tsunami rushing at us. Although there is another wave it represents, not a destructive wave but a creative wave; to me, it represents the vibe, the sounds from the band picked up by the audience. The band jams with the audience and makes musical honey with the energy of bees. Like Noah and the Ark, for 40 days and 40 nights they sailed until voices from the sky spoke:

He said that Mother Earth was fed up
And the people had to go, yeah had to go
But "Oh, No! No! No! No!"
We said, "Its coming, we are waking"
Can't you see that we are taking back the world!
So, don't give up on the world!

Then the water turned to sky and the band's sailboat flew away again. The Bees, as Natty B fans have been dubbed, eagerly went along for the ride. Sonics like lightning and thunder came swirling from the stage. Fierce weather patterns in the seas of possibility forced the band to shore with "3 AM," "Flip Top" > "Find Out" and "Om I God" to close the show. A natural breakdown indeed!

Natural Breakdown is on tour now, dates available here.

JamBase | New Day
Go See Live Music!

[Published on: 11/24/08] -

Die Band der vier Männer aus Central New York hatte mich schon bei ihrem Debüt Anfang 2009 begeistert und wenn sich das Quartett selber als 'Natty Bee' bezeichnet, darf man diesen Spitznamen sehr wohl für voll nehmen, denn innerhalb eines Jahres eine zweite Platte auf den Tisch des Jam Rock-Marktes zu werfen, zeugt gerade nicht von Tatenlosigkeit.
Ihre Phase der Kreativität macht Natural Breakdown in zwölf Songs und satten 74 Minuten hörbar.
Besetzungsveränderungen hat es seit der letzten Platte nicht gegeben und die Anzahl der Studiomusiker ist drastisch reduziert worden. John Skehan zupft die Mandoline in "Carry Me". Da war es schon... die 'fleißige Biene' pur, sozusagen.
Bei dem, was diese Combo auf ihre erst zweite CD gezaubert hat, nehmen in des Hörers Ohren aber so etwas von Ausmaße an, dass einem die großen grauen Tiere mit dem langen Rüssel in den Sinn kommen.
Den Stil Jam Rock zementiert die Gruppe ausgiebig und dazu gibt es noch viele überraschende musikalische Schlenker in verschiedene Richtungen.
Los geht die große Sause mit einem Wortbeitrag über ein internationals Treffen von Magiern, das im Jahr 1207. Sie konnte nicht miteinander kommunizieren und entschieden sich, ein Buch mit Symbolen zu schreiben. Die Stimme verschwindet und wird von Keyboardtönen überlagert, die übergangslos in das erste Stück Musik münden. Die Einleitung klingt wie die guten alten The Doors und dann geht es mit einem wunderschönen Natural Breakdown-Groove weiter. Von einem klasse Gesang überlagert, wird die Nummer immer rockiger. Die Dynamik steigert sich Schritt für Schritt. Die Keyboards variieren im Sound und zum Schluss übernimmt die Gitarre das Geschehen. Die instrumentalen Umschwünge sind fließend und schon haben die 'Nattys' den Hörer beim Wickel.
"All The Paths" beinhaltet so viel tolle Musik und wer etwas von den bereits erwähnten Doors über King Crimson bis hin Gov't Mule ("Hope") zu bieten hat, ist einer großen Anerkennung sicher.
Nicht enden wollende musikalische Kaskaden reihen sich wie selbstverständlich aneinander.
Ob als Lead Vocals oder im Chor, das Quartett trifft mit ihrem Gesang voll ins Schwarze. Der von einem treibenden Rhythmus begleitete nächste Track ist ein hervorragendes Beispiel für Gitarrenläufe par excellence. Man legt feine Taktwechsel ein und zum Ende des Songs spielt Dan Farella einen Saitensalto nach dem Anderen. Wo soll das denn noch hinführen, sind doch gerade erst siebzehn von dreiundsiebzig Minuten um?
Mit Gezwitscher aus einer Voliere entwickelt sich mit sanften Basstönen ein unglaublich rockendes Stück Musik, das in Momentaufnahmen annährend mit den Kollagen von King Crimson zu vergleichen ist und dann in eine völlig andere Richtung driftet.
Man mag es kaum glauben, aber der nächste Track verbindet flockig locker Jazz mit Groove.
Kurz von der Tabla begleitet, weiß die Gitarre herrlich relaxt zu riffen. Die Band legt eine Strecke von fast zehn Minuten zurück und reichert diese mit einer erstaunlichen Vielfalt an. Ein solches Jam-Stück muss man einfach gehört haben. Da sind schon mehrere Wiederholungen angesagt, um der Komplexität, bis hin zum Scatgesang, gerecht zu werden. "Blind As The Sun" ist das pumpende Herzstück der Platte und "Window" ein gigantisches Machwerk der Glasmalerei.
Es klingt wie Didgeridoo, wird begleitet von Percussioninstrumenten und dann von einer Fuzz-Gitarre angegriffen, die gemeinsam mit den Keyboards den weiteren Weg des Songs geht. Für den Hörer setzt Natural Breakdown eigene Phantasien in perfektes Kopfkino um. Den Ideen werden kaum Grenzen auferlegt, denn ganz am Ende wird es freakig-experimentell.
Den Jamcharakter lassen die vier Musiker stets im Raum stehen und greifen auch zur akustischen Gitarre oder Mandoline.
Die Band weckt Begehrlichkeiten, weil man immer gespannt darauf wartet, was als nächstes geschieht. Das bezieht sich nicht nur auf einen folgenden Song, sondern auch innerhalb der Nummer muss man mit allem rechnen.
Mit Inside The One war das Quartett schon dicht am Tipp.
Jetzt hat der Vierer diese Linie überschritten. "All The Paths" ist eine der besten Platten des Jahres 2009 aus dieser Sparte.
Eric WaldMan (keyboards, vocals)
Dan Farella (guitar, vocals)
Gene Lantigua (bass, vocals)
Vinnie Smith (drums, vocals)

Guest Musicians:
John Skehan (mandolin - #8)
Kelly Carvin (vocals - #2)
01:Supercharged II
03:Tell Me You Love Me
05:Blind As The Sun
08:Carry Me
12:Over The Mountain


Natural BreakdownOnce again, we’ve enlisted our readers to select our New Groove of Month. Those who participated in the Jambands 250 poll chose New Jersey-based quartet Natural Breakdown. The group consists of Eric WaldMan on keyboards, Dan Farella on guitar, Gene Lantigua on bass and drummer Vinnie Smith. All four musicians contribute vocals to the band, which released its debut disc Inside the One, this past September. The recording was mixed by Railroad Earth sound engineer Mike Partridge and mastered by RRE’s Johnny Grubb.
As a visit to the Natural Breakdown website reveals, this collective has rather lofty aspirations. However, rather than dreams of topping the charts or filling arenas with rabid fans, this is a band with a slightly different mission (not that it presumably wouldn’t appreciate performing to swollen stadiums). Natural Breakdown’s intentions are readily apparent from the front page of its website, which proclaims:
Our goal is to raise consciousness through sound and word. To bring crowds to intense peaks, through a winding river of sound. Like Nature breaks down rock over thousands of years, and how everything can be broken down to its base component, light: Natural Breakdown is a hopeful outlook and a call for change.
We believe that the world is in need of some serious healing, and a strong vehicle for this shift is music. We want to break down the barriers between people and bridge the gap between performers/audience, to uncover that core experience of unity and oneness. We strive to bring people together for a unique and uplifting musical healing experience and hopefully spread the seeds of a brighter future in this time of great change.
That’s quite a charge to action which we do indeed explore in the following exchange with the band
Let’s start out with the development of the group. How did the four of you meet?
We came together gradually, over a period of time. The seed was planted when Eric was sitting on the beach, while living in Santa Cruz CA, and the Pacific Ocean clearly said to him, “Go home and start the band.” Two years later, he met Vinnie through a flyer at a music store in New Jersey and the first pieces of the puzzle came together. The groove started to flow. After playing with many bass players, we found Vic, who became an integral part of our first few years. For months we played as a trio as we searched and searched for the missing link. We auditioned many guitar players, and just when we had given up hope of finding the right person, Dan appeared. As soon as the four of us got together, it was on.
After tons of practice we played our first gig on the spring equinox, 3 days into the US invasion of Iraq, in March 03. We had attended the huge peace marches in Washington DC and New York City together, in our first few weeks as a band. In only our third gig, we landed a slot at The Great Bamboozle festival at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park NJ, where we played with national acts like The Roots and MMW, and got our first taste of the festival scene. It was a great beginning.
We developed musically and personally over the next three years by practicing non-stop, playing lots of shows, and sewing the seeds of a growing community. When our second bass player told us he was quitting due to school and other interests, we gave Gene the call, and at the perfect time. Gene was living in Crescent City CA, and had no plans of returning to the east coast. Eric hadn’t spoken to him in years and called to discuss the possibility of playing with us. After conversations with all the band members, Gene took the chance, packed his stuff into storage and headed east. From the first moment we played together, it was a perfect fit. Everything took off when Gene arrived at the Ranch.
On your website you say "Our goal is to raise consciousness through sound and word." can you talk a bit about that?
Our band was formed around a set of ideals. Our message is conveyed through our music and lyrics and can be broken down into three parts: Consciousness Creates Reality, We are all ONE being, experiencing ourselves as individuals, and Anything is Possible.
We believe that the Consciousness Revolution is happening right now, and there are millions of people coming to the same understandings, all around the world.
We believe that Consciousness is Cause, that our beliefs about "who we are" create the world we experience, and that we are responsible for everything in our experience.
We believe that human beings are undergoing a global shift, and that we are transforming our ideas about who we are, why we’re here, where we’re going, and what is possible.
We believe that we are ALL ONE. What we do to someone else, we do to ourselves. What we do for someone else we do for ourselves, literally. We can change our beliefs about who we are, and see the world change right before our eyes. It is our beliefs about ourselves and the world, that create how we experience ourselves in the world.
We believe that we are infinite and limitless, and as more and more of us become aware, we can choose to vibrate and operate from compassion and love. We can create the collective experience of peace, oneness and abundance. This is the Peaceful Revolution. We are all creative beings. It is about having an understanding of the mechanics of creation and choosing to create the world we wish to see. It happens on the inside, in each individual.
For us, music is the perfect vehicle for these ideas. Music is vibration and has always been a conduit of love and healing energy. We love to sing, dance, celebrate, and bring people together with the intent of changing the world.
You also mention that "Natural Breakdown is a hopeful outlook and a call for change." how do you guys promote that through your music? What role do your lyrics play in that? How about interaction with your fan community?
Our intention is that our music energetically opens people, (all music does). Our jams are intended to produce various states of energetic healing. Our lyrics are all about the Shift in one form or another. The song “The Wave” from our album is a good example of this.
Our “call for change” is unique in that we are not trying to change anyone. We are changing ourselves. Our aim is to gather people together who already know this, and to give exposure to people who are interested. When you bring large crowds of people together and work on the level of consciousness, real change is possible. In that spirit, we have led many group intentions and meditations at our shows. Being part of that energy is truly amazing and directly affects the collective consciousness of the All. This is the level we are interested in.
We are fortunate to be part of a wonderful community of artists, friends, and family. Our shows have become love-fests, and our closest friends have become known as the Natty Bees. We like the bee symbolism because of the idea that without bees, we could not survive. They pollinate our crops and keep us healthy and fed. Natty Bees pollinate the world with compassion and joy. We all get together at shows, fill ourselves with Love and Light, then go out into the world and share it. We have had many amazing moments together and we look forward to many, many more.
Along those lines, we have been hosting weekly events at the ranch such as meditations, yoga, and tai chi classes. We held a conscious gathering and group meditation on New Year’s Eve, which was incredibly inspiring and left us all glowing. There were 50 or so people (kids too!) drumming, dancing and chanting OM together to welcome the new year.
We are happy to be just one part of a much larger movement that is sweeping across the planet. There is truly a paradigm shift happening.
How about your name, is there a story behind that?
We went out to the woods to find our name. We went together to the Promised Land (State Park PA) and asked. When we came back, we had it. We had seen a sign in the park that talked about the natural breakdown of a soda can, or a cigarette butt. We loved the idea because everything can be broken down further and further, and you can take anything all the way down to its base component, which is light.
Everything breaks down when you go inside. You can go all the way down to the atomic level, and find that most of what we call matter is really space. Quantum Physics shows us that the basic material of the universe is both particles and waves. In classical physics, they were thought to be mutually exclusive. But Einstein demonstrated that not only can the same light show up as either particles OR waves, but that how the light shows up depends on the intention of the witness. If the witness expects the light to show up as a wave, it will. If she expects particles, that’s what she will observe.
The same is true for consciousness. If you expect things to be one way, they will be that way. If you expect people to be rotten and evil and that life is harsh and mean, it will show up that way. The trick is to get out in front of it and create what you wish to experience, instead of reacting to “the way things are,” because again, anything is possible and you get what you believe you will. Change your intention and you change your experience.
That’s where we choose to operate from, breaking it all down to the level of Intention. Our intention is unconditional love, peace and abundance for all. That’s the natural breakdown.
How often do the four of you rehearse? What do you focus on when you get together for rehearsal?
We rehearse as often as possible. We live in a ranch house on a 12-acre tree farm and we rehearse in our basement studio. Basically, in one form or another, there is rehearsal going on every night that we are not gigging. Whether we are practicing all together, writing, practicing individually, or recording, there is always music going on at the ranch.
When we all get together, we focus on the upcoming shows. We pay particular attention to always keeping our shows fresh and new and moving forward. We each write quite a bit, so there are always new songs to work on, plus new jam ideas.
Who writes the band’s music? How it is typically presented to the group and how does it then come together?
Sometimes one member will come in with the song totally done, with all parts, notes and lines written, and we play it as is. Sometimes most of the song is done, and the other guys will put the finishing touches on. Sometimes we hit record and jam for a long time, then go back and extract the song ideas, then work them up from there. The computer is great for that, and having a recording studio for practicing has been key. It’s great because you can capture the first takes, which is where the inspiration happens, and you don’t have to go back and try to recreate what you’ve played. You catch it right there, and you’ve got it. Also, having recording capability is great for writing lyrics, because it’s much easier to channel lyrics when you’re not worried about playing the music.
Sometimes we use charts for learning instrumental parts and for complex song structure. We also use tabla language to create intense rhythmic phrases and melodies, such as in the song “OM-I-GOD.” We learned these compositions from Vinnie’s tabla guru Pandit Divyang Vakil, who he traveled with through India.
How does Natural Breakdown approach its original songs in the live setting?
We love to play our songs in lots of different styles. Our list of originals is ever growing, and frequently we debut a new song each week. We also like to take a song we’ve played for a long time and see how many different ways we can play it.
Sometimes we make up songs on the spot. We believe in mantra healing, and get into some great group chanting. We try to provide the space for people to get down, feel good, and sing as much as possible. Lots of times we don’t know what’s going to happen at a show, and it ends up working out great. Often we don’t plan set lists, and just let it flow.
What about covers, can you talk about what songs you toss in from time to time? Who selects them?
We cover everything from gospel, funk, classic rock and traditional folk songs, to Tito Puente, and Guns & Roses. We have a wide range of covers. There are songs like, “Isn’t About Time” by Manassas or “Song for Jeffery” by Jethro Tull, which people may not necessarily know are covers. We’ve also played more well known covers like “Power of Soul” by Band of Gypsies, “Peace Frog” and “Land Down Under”. We are always looking for new covers to throw into the mix and we try not to repeat them.
Then there are tunes that have been totally re-worked. We played “Black or White” by Michael Jackson but with a fast bluegrass beat and acoustic instrumentation. We like to take chances, and sometimes you win, sometimes not so much.
In terms of cover tunes can you talk about any spectacular successes or failures?
We did “Sgt Pepper’s/With A Little Help From My Friends” at the beginning of last summer, then at the end of the summer played “Sgt Pepper’s (Reprise)/A Day in The Life.” We spent that whole summer playing songs from 1967, commemorating and celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Summer Of Love. Part of what we are about, started with the movements of the 60’s (at least in the American culture), and we’re glad to be carrying some of those same messages in our music.
“War Pigs” is also one of our most remembered and talked about covers. We played the song because of its political lyrics, and our performance of it helped us promote a peace march in Washington DC the next day. We’ve gotten great response to our versions of “Life During Wartime” and “Whip it.” We use these up-beat tunes to take off into “four on the floor” style jams. Paul Simon’s “Gone At Last” has also been huge for us. People love the gospel feel, especially when we bring out the Holy Ghost!
On the other hand, we once did Tom Jones’s “It’s Not Unusual” at Mexicali Blues, in Teaneck NJ. We all switched instruments and Eric, along with dancing Natty Bees, appeared on stage in a purple cape and mask and sang the tune with a vocal processor set on helium voice. Dan started the drum beat much too slow, and half way through, the bass cut out. Many in the audience were ashamed to know us that night, but eventually we won them back.
Can you talk about some of your performance highlights thus far? Is there a gig or gigs that stand out and why?
Our CD release show at the Crossroads Theater for our debut album, Inside the One is one performance highlight. The sold out show was a big step for us and we really felt the love and appreciation of our community. We put a lot of work into the production of the show and it paid off.
Another memorable moment came at one of our ranch gatherings on the winter solstice. It was World Orgasm Day, and we were able to capture the collective energy of all who were there, and release it as an Intention for Peace. Everyone who attended that show felt the vibrations for days afterwards.
Another highlight was Phanphest 3.0. It was Eric and Vinnie’s birthday, and the energy of the show was unmatched. Something was going on that whole weekend, between the crazy lighting storms and beautiful weather. We played after the Breakfast and before RAQ and it was intense. The holy ghost came out that day, and it was truly memorable for us, and for a lot of people who were there.
Opening for Railroad Earth at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg PA was an amazing moment. Those guys have helped us so much. Mike Partridge, their live sound engineer, mixed our album, and Johnny Grubb mastered the disc. When we opened for them, both John Skehan and Tim Carbone sat in with us. By the end of the show we had the place going and the energy was off the hook. You can check out the video on our website if you like.
What about your next studio or live release, where do things stand there?
We released our first full length album Inside the One, last September. The album emphasizes our message through the songs. Most of our styles are represented, from live sounding jams to full 48 track studio works like Appalachian Melody.
Right now we are in the middle of recording our second album, and we are looking to release again in the fall. As far as live shows, we have had many taper friends record us over the past few years (thanks guys!), and we have given away thousands of free discs. It has been a good way to get our music out there.
Any final thoughts to folks across the country who may be hearing about you for the first time from this piece?
You can listen to our music and if you enjoy it, we are thrilled. You can also get further into it, and come to a show and check out the community. We hope it will resonate with you. Bringing people together is what we are most interested in. We all have this amazing light and creative power, and we are learning together how to tap it to create the world we all know is possible.
There are tons of authors, artists, organizations and teachers of all kinds, talking about these same things. In fact, when one looks closely, every spiritual tradition contains the same universal truths. We want to thank all our families, friends and teachers who have helped and inspired us. We are grateful and happy to share our influences and teachers with anyone who is interested, and we love to learn more about the teachers and influences of others.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. We love to meet and connect with new people, so please contact us if you feel it. Peace to One and All.

Natural Breakdown hat Ziele. Sie wollen durch ihren Sound und ihre Worte das Bewusstsein steigern und »… bring crowds to intensive peaks, through a winding river of sound.«
Das Quartett strebt danach, die Barrieren bei den Menschen niederzureißen und die Lücke zwischen sich sowie den Zuschauern zu schließen, um die einzigartige Erfahrung einer Einheit zu machen. So lässt sich ihr Bemühen, wie es im Informations-Blatt steht, wohl übersetzen, ohne zu interpretieren.
Dann hält da noch die Nada Yoga-Lehre Einzug… spirituelle Heilung, individueller Grundton, Energie, die die Menschen in die Welt tragen sollen.
Hey, Natural Breakdown kocht auch nur mit Wasser und macht Musik. Darum geht es!
Wenn die dann auch noch gut wäre, hätte man das Ziel ja erreicht. Menschen kaufen die Ergebnisse ihrer Bemühungen in Form von Datenträgern.
In diesem Fall dreht sich alles um das Album "Inside The One" aus dem Jahr 2007.
Dieser zitierte, sich schlängelnde Fluss ist ganz schön breit und an dessen Ufer sucht man gerne ein lauschiges Plätzchen, um sich an der 2003 gegründeten amerikanischen Band zu erfreuen.
Die musikalische Botschaft ist in den Sechziger- und Siebzigerjahren verankert und kann zusätzlich mit einem Frische-Siegel versehen werden. Mehrere Nebenarme, die mit Blues, R&B, ein wenig Latin sowie Reggae und gar klassischem Wasser gefüllt sind, münden in den Natural Breakdown-Rock-Strom.
Verdammt noch eins, sind die ersten Minuten des Openers vorbei geflossen, kommt es zu einer buchstäblichen Resonanz. Dan Farella spielt genau so gerne Slide-Gitarre, wie der Rezensent den Bottleneck-Sound hört. Und nicht nur im ersten Track bewegt er das Metall-Röhrchen über die Saiten seines Arbeitsgerätes. Außerdem wird der schon opulente Sound durch Harp-Einlagen verfeinert.
Nimmt man zur Analyse eine Probe aus dem Band-Gewässer, so stößt man, zum Beispiel in "Dropout Boogie" auf einen großen Blues-Anteil, der den Absichten von Natural Breakdown nur in die Karten spielt. Mein lieber Herr Kanalarbeiter, hat der Farella einen mächtigen Slide-Stil drauf. Da darf sich so mancher Blues-Rocker, auch ein Bernard Allison, warm anziehen.
Etwas vorprogrammiert ist der Country-Zufluss des dritten Tracks, weil Dan O' Dea auf seiner Geige mitmischt. Den lässt man aber so richtig auftrumpfen. Nur in diesem Song aktiv, darf der sich mächtig austoben. Gitarren-mäßig verbündet sich das Gefiddel mit der Akustischen.
Zum Gesang: Der ist durchgängig klasse und wenn andere Band-Mitglieder mitmachen, ist der Chorus definitiv als obergut zu bezeichnen.
"Rise Above" rockt amtlich und zum Schluss gibt es einen kurzen Ausflug in sphärische Gefilde, der eher wie ein Appendix wirkt.
Mit einem herrlich melodiösen Refrain fischt Natural Breakdown in sechziger Jahre-Flüssigkeiten und Gepfeife gibt es auch in der nächsten Nummer. Mit tollen Hooklines surft Keyboarder Eric WaldMan durch den ersten längeren Track des Albums, der zwischendrin von einigen Stimmen, die vom Band eingespielt wurden, dominiert wird.
In "Grace" geht abermals, allerdings mit einem E-Gitarren-Solo ohne Bottleneck, die Post ab und es kommt, worauf man als Hörer schon gewartet hat: Das elfminütige "The Wave".
Hier ist es der Cellist Aaron Craelius, der am Anfang für eine klassische Tönung verantwortlich ist. Gut hier, wie die Gitarren-Riffs vom Streicher unterstützt werden. Nach einem Rhythmus-Wechsel wird langsam, aber stetig ein gigantisches Wellenbad aufgebaut und das Wasser tritt über die Ufer. Jegliches Dämm-Material versagt. Man gibt sich offenen Ohres den Jam-Fluten hin. Natural Breakdown ließ es vorher schon durchschimmern, aber jetzt zeigen sie in aller Ausgiebigkeit, was sie draufhaben. Farella ist ein Meister der sechs Saiten. Mit vielen Effekten und dem wohl dosierten Wah Wah zieht er die anderen Musiker quasi hinter sich her. Wie war es doch mit den eingangs erwähnten Band-Bemühungen? Mein lieber Schwan, die packen den Hörer bei den Ohren…
Dann lässt man es etwas lässiger und grooviger angehen. Die Akustische wird abermals geschultert und der Titeltrack "Inside The One" ist obendrauf auch noch mit vielen perkussiven Elementen angereichert. Das Jam-Feeling findet eine Fortsetzung und nicht erst jetzt dürfen Parallelen zu Jupiter Coyote gezogen werden.
Handtrommeln, besonders die Tabla, dominieren den instrumentalen Rausschmeißer mit indischer Atmosphäre.
Die Band Natural Breakdown muss man sich unbedingt merken, denn durch ihr "Inside The One" hat man das angestrebte Ziel voll und ganz erreicht.
Eric WaldMan (keyboards, vocals)
Dan Farella (guitar, vocals)
Gene Lantigua (bass, vocals)
Vinnie Smith (drums, vocals)

Jen Augustine (vocals - #1)
Dan O'Dea (fiddle - #3)
Aaron Craelius (cello - #8)
Mike Lukshis (tabla - #11)
Dan Aadahl (whistle - #2)
Lora Botwinick (whistles - #5)
Christie Iurato, Lisa Conrad, Lora Botwinick, Aaron Pinkus, Gili Chupak, Tommy Z (buzz)
01:Hallelujah (6:49)
02:Dropout Boogie (4:24)
03:O' Delia (4:28)
04:Rise Above (5:36)
05:Appalachian Melody (8:25)
06:Blaming Game (3:01)
07:Grace (5:31)
08:The Wave (11:01)
09:Inside The One (3:09)
10:3 AM (3:00)
11:OM-I-GOD (9:12)



"Inside the One" (2007)

"All the Paths" (2009)

Tracks from the both albums have received radio airplay on commercial, college and NPR music stations in several states including; NJ, PA, MD, OH, MI, MO, CO, and CA.

Link to video:

Live at The Sherman Theater
Stroudsburg, PA

A sampling of some of the VENUES we have played:

The Marz Theater - Wilmington, NC
The Crossroads Theater - New Brunswick, NJ
The Fox Theater - Boulder, CO
BB King's - New York, NY
Mexicali Blues Cafe - Teaneck, NJ
The Sherman Theater - Stroudsburg, PA
Mauch Chunk Opera House - Jim Thorpe, PA
The Pour House Music Hall - Raleigh, NC
The Stone Pony - Asbury Park, NJ
The 8 x 10 - Baltimore, MD
The Aggie Theater, Fort Collins, CO
The Knitting Factory - New York, NY
The House of Blues - Myrtle Beach, SC
Nectar's - Burlington, VT

Some BANDS we have shared the stage with:

Railroad Earth
Medeski Martin & Wood
New Riders Of The Purple Sage
Mickey Hart & The Rhythm Devils
Donna Jean & The Tricksters
Michael Franti & Spearhead
George Clinton and P Funk
The Roots
Karl Denson's Tiny Universe
Oteil Burbridge & The Peacemakers
Umphrey's McGee
Om Trio

please contact Chrissie Reyes



“All The Paths” is one of the best disks of the year" - Joe Brooks-

"Natural Breakdown is quickly becoming a must-see band... If you haven't heard of them yet you will!" Stephen Urban-

Much like the counter-culture revolution of the 60's, there is a Peaceful Revolution going on right now all around the world. It is a revolution of consciousness and the awakening of human potential.

Natural Breakdown is a four piece, for peace, Consciousness Raising Rock 'n Roll band that hails from Central New Jersey. The four members came together with the intention of creating a community of peace loving souls, that thrive on spiritual musical experiences.

After the release of their debut album in the fall of 2007, Natural Breakdown took off. Touring nationally, the band has played to ever growing crowds in venues like B.B. King's (NYC), The Fox Theater (Boulder CO) Nelson Ledges (OH), the Aggie Theater (Fort Collins CO) and Earthdance (Laytonville CA).

"Natty B" (as they are called by fans) has toured the Northeast rigorously and has played regularly in great venues like the Sherman Theater and The Mauch Chunk Opera House (PA), as well as many clubs and smaller venues up and down the east coast like the 8X10 (Baltimore) The Red Square (Albany), and Nectars (Burlington). By consistently performing, and cultivating a community, the band has built a solid, dedicated, and growing fan base.

As for the music, it is unique and inspiring. The interactive shows frequently include live painters, fire-spinners (outdoors only), dancers, poetry, group meditations and lots of audience participation. Through the bands singing, lyrics and musicianship, the overwhelmingly positive energy that is projected, and the warmth of the community; people come away from shows with a healing, spiritual energy.

In addition to the growing catalog of over 70 original songs, Natural Breakdown mixes in instrumentals, select covers, and plays in many styles. The music ranges anywhere from 60's style R&B, gospel, bluegrass, and old-soul, to straight up rock and get down funk. Add in to the mix; heavy influences of Latin Jazz, Afro-Cuban, world beat and North Indian Tabla rhythms, with improvisational winding jams that launch people into intense peaks, and you get a sound that is unlike any other band.

The band caters to its hardcore fans, making each show different, and encourages fans to tape shows. The band pushes the envelope with whole song improvisations, acapella jams, drum circles, chanting, meditation, live painting, and ever changing set lists.

2008 was a banner year, as it brought Natural Breakdown to Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, and California for the first time. A huge step forward was taken in terms of the quality of shows, and the size of their following, with their first appearances on the national festival scene.

2009 saw the release of Natural Breakdown's second studio effort, "All the Paths." The album is a big leap forward in the evolution of the band's sound. It was mixed and co-produced by Mike Partridge of Railroad Earth, and features a guest appearance by John Skehan of Railroad Earth.

2009 also saw Natural Breakdown breaking through. Highlights included; a return to Colorado opening for the New Riders at the Fox Theater, an official Post Phil & friends show at BB Kings, and two headlining slots at the Sherman Theater. The band also moved into the headlining position of many regional festivals, like Sterling Stage (NY), The Green Living Festival (PA) Summer Solstice in Wisteria (OH).

2010 has been a year of great shifts and great growth. Natural Breakdown welcomed a new member to the group, debuted on the national stage of Mountain Jam, and headlined many regional festivals including Treehuggers Ball (WVA) Midsummer Meltdown (PA) and many others. We are preparing to record our third album which will be a live effort, and together with our new management and sound crew, we are poised and ready to tour vigorously throughout the east and the west, wherever the light leads us.

We appreciate your time and energy in taking a look at Natural Breakdown. We look forward to working with all kinds of people, especially those who share a vision of a world in peace. Inner and Outer. We seek to be conduits of peace and light.

in that spirit....

Feel free to visit our website for VIDEO at:
or our myspace page at:

Or listen to one of many live shows posted on the archive at

In Peace,