Old Glow
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Old Glow

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Rock music wasn't Bryce Napier's first choice. "When I was a little kid I wanted to be a music conductor," said Napier, 19. "I used to listen to Mozart a lot. And I really like Gustav Holtz. "I really liked complicated stuff 'cause I was trying to achieve a really hard skill level. I wanted to be just really good. I wanted to do like four orchestras at one time playing separate pieces but they all come together. Really crazy, complicated stuff." Napier, who was homeschooled 12 years, composed his first classical piece when he was in the sixth grade. "It was kind of like 'Moonlight Sonata.' I couldn't play it, so I just tried to invent it on my own. I just started doing my own melodies and my own choruses." But he didn't just like classical music. "I was this little 12-year-old who skateboarded and liked punk rock and stuff." Then he discovered Radiohead and Coldplay. "They had really simple stuff. It was really beautiful and still kind of odd melodies." Before he got a band together, Napier played some solo gigs. His first was in a pub in Glasgow, Scotland. He and his brother were there on Napier's senior trip. "They were having an open mike so they let me go in there and I played like three songs." Last August Napier contacted some friends and formed a band, which just goes by "Bryce Napier." He's the singer, pianist and a guitarist; Derek Shipley, 24, is bass player; Philip Kenney is lead guitarist; and Mike Jackson, 19, is drummer. They knew each other from Bellevue Baptist Church, where they sang in the church's annual Singing Christmas Tree. "It's a typical youth thing to be in it," Shipley said. "It's all rows and you have to crawl up inside it and you're standing on planks." Describing what it's like being inside the five-story tree, Shipley said, "As long as you don't act the fool, you're safe. There's been a few people pass out and fall off backwards." Napier writes the songs for his band. "We don't really have any set names for them. We just have a couple of nicknames for them, but, I guess, they'll probably be the set names for them. One is 'John Elton.' The piano part kind of reminds me of Elton John. But I didn't know his name right, so I was like, 'John Elton?'" The song goes in part: "Oh, sweet rain that sings from heaven, soak me soundly in your tune. Wrap your veins of velvet streams 'round these lonely veins of mine." "Basically, it's about being lonely. The chaos and order of rain parallels the chaos and order of life. They work together." He wrote the song in English class. "My teacher was telling me something about some mathematical formula that breaks things down. I think they're called factions. Some of them are really chaotic and some of them have a lot of order. So, that's the chaos and the order of the rain." "Bloody Nose First Kiss" is their nickname for the song. "We practice at his (Napier's) house and his brother came upstairs," Jackson said. "When we got done his brother goes, 'That's like a bloody nose and first kiss all at the same time.' And we were like, 'Yeah!'" Their stage shows aren't manic. "I'm there to play music and I don't like to say much because when I watch people I'm like, 'You're here to play music. Play me some music.' I don't want to be like, 'Hey, everybody tell me how you're doin'!' I just want to get up and I just want to give everyone a smile and a nod and start playing. I want them to have a good time. I don't want to talk too much. Maybe after the show, but not right then." - Commercial Appeal - Playbook


Discography

We Grieve Not As Those Without Hope EP

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Bio

Begun in their hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, the group has garnered the respect of hundreds of loyal followers, something that only a hand-full of local bands can hold claim to. Skeptical audiences gather regularly to witness the intense and intricate stylings of alluring melodies fused with complex musical composition commonly heard about through word of mouth. With a line-up that consists of accomplished singer/songwriters and combined years of musicianship, the collaboration is impressive. The quartet is carving out a niche that is distinctive and easily fluent due to having played on each other's solo records since they were teenagers. Old Glow continues to create an instrumental depth that can only be mastered by their passionate aspirations to go beyond the potential they could have achieved as solo artists.