Overzealous
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Overzealous

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Murfreesboro rock quartet Overzealous is in the process of living up to its name.

With a new music video just recorded, a studio movie in the can and a hectic tour schedule in the works, these well-dressed rockers may be the hardest working band in town.

And oh yeah, members can sing, too.

Overzealous won a local battle of the bands in the spring of last year, and it’s that win that catapulted them into their current busy state. However, Murfreesboro audiences can judge the band’s talent for themselves when Overzealous plays The Red Rose Cafe June 25.

In the meantime, members plan to take a little time to recuperate from the shooting of their video at the end of May and the movie “Novem,” which wrapped last week.

The members of Overzealous, Dustin Sellers (singer), Josh Gifford (bass, he is quick to point out there is no relation to talk show hostess Kathy), Brad Crittenden (guitar) and Eric Hill (drums), play a rock band in the movie.

“The overall documentary is about nine college kids in the ’70s,” explains Sellers during a recent interview on his neighbor’s back porch.

Sitting around on white plastic lawn chairs, the band members joke around while the singer’s little white dogs bound around the deck.

“Nine members, nine songs, nine lucky ladies,” interjects Gifford.

“‘Novem’ means nine,” explains Crittenden as he reaches down to pet one of the dogs.

“We end up getting killed in a van accident,” says Sellers.

“Yeah, we’re going down the road with a van full of gas and a tank full of propane,” adds Gifford.

“But anyway, we end up getting killed and our music is discovered later,” says Sellers. “A family member of the band sells it at a garage sale and some kids come across it.”

Obviously Overzealous hopes their music lives longer than their characters did in the movie, and they’re using their movie debut to ensure that happens.

The band played on all 11 songs on the soundtrack, and members hope the best is yet to come.

“The guys who filmed it plan to take it to the Sundance Film Festival,” says Sellers.

To make this movie, members spent a week in Brentwood working at the Dark Horse Studios. They shared hotel rooms and basically spent every waking minute together, says Gifford.

“It was like living in an eight-day time warp,” says Sellers about the recording process. “It was definitely a really great opportunity, and we just hope it takes our music to the next level.”

But members say their new snazzy music video and hopeful impending film stardom isn’t the reason to come see them play June 25. The bass player believes it’s their wardrobe.

“We wear suits,” exclaims Gifford from his deck chair. “And it’s not hip hop.”

The singer has other ideas about what makes the band unique to the Murfreesboro music scene.

“The music is real,” says Sellers. “It’s commercial, it’s radio-friendly and it’s catchy. The cool thing about it is that everyone in the band writes, and each song has its own character, but it’s not so far in left field it doesn’t work. Just because it’s radio-friendly doesn’t mean it’s cheesy. We’ve got everything from pop songs to love ballads.”

Members are heavily influenced by The Beatles, and that influence is evident in Overzealous’ melodious strains.

“I’m just a firm believer you can’t beat a good melody,” says Sellers.

But the Beatles’ influence doesn’t stop at the songwriting. Much like their heroes, members of the band dress in suits on stage and maintain a clean image.

“We’re squeaky clean,” says Sellers. “Squeaky clean rock stars — we’ll take that any day.”

And as far as the musical content and what fans can expect, Overzealous also maintains an upbeat, optimistic feel like much of The Beatles’ music by which members were influenced.

“This is music a 10-year-old could listen to,” adds Gifford. “But I don’t want my grandparents to hear it. We don’t like all that hate in everything, either. We just want to have a good time at shows.”

“We’re happy,” adds Sellers.

- Cindy Watts/Daily News Journal


I know I've talked before about the rocker who lives behind me. Remember? He has the large yellow and purple van.
When I moved in to my house, the van was the first thing I saw, and I was kind of nervous. I knew that vehicle could belong to no one but a rocker and, hence, one day we sould get on the subject of what he did and what I do, and what would follow would be inquiries about how to get in the newspaper.
I don't mind fielding questions about that; it's what I do. I was just afraid his music would stink, and that would have been uncomfortable. I had all these plans as to what i could tell him if he were terrible, to get myself off the hook: "My editor makes all those decisions" or "I'm booked up through 2006" or "I've reached my quota of brunette rock bands and can't do anymore til next year.:
I had a plan, or several, as the case may be.
Then one day the inevitable happened.
Yep, Dustin and I were friends, and now he wanted me to listen to his CD. The mere idea of it made my palms sweat, and I contemplated telling him I was sorry, but I didn't have a CD player. However, that day, my best friend from East Tennessee was in town, ans she was struck so googly eyed over Rocker Dustin's good looks, she took the CD from him before I could refuse.
We went inside, I slid the CD into the player and prepared for the worst.
What I got was by far one of the best recordings from a local rock band I've ever received. I can't even explain what relief I felt. Not only did it not stink, but I still listen to it three months later.
Rocker Dustin's band, overzealous, sounds like an incestuous relationship among The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Nirvana, and Rocker Dustin easily has the best new rock voice I've heard in years. His voice can be smooth and lulling or powerful and commanding, and can change on his whim. I garnered that from listening to the CD, but I still wasn't completely convinced. There are so many nifty-swifty tools in recording studios today, they could make me sound like Reba McEntire or Jon Bon Jovi, whichever I preferred.
So a few weeks ago, when Rocker Dustin and his white pooches, Chester and Lucy, made their way across the back yard to invite Richie-poo and me to a show later that night, I was anxious to accept. I wanted to see if overzealous was really as good as the CD, or if the band had just found a talented engineer.
All question was banished when overzealous took the stage later that night. It would have been impossible for the CD to capture the energy the band exudes live, and Rocker Dustin's voice was as strong and clear live as it was on the CD. I must admit I bore easily and I thought we would stay for a couple of songs and then go home.
But we didn't. In fact, there were so many people in the venue on their feet, I had to climb on the table to see the band. And it seems my best friend wasn't the only one who noticed Rocker Dustin's swagger. The venue was filled with googly-eyed blondes in high heels and short skirts singing every word of every song at the tops of their lungs.
When the set ended more than an hour later, I realized I hadn't looked at my watch even once and was sad to see the show end. As Richie-poo and I walked out the door, he grabbed Rocker Dustin's hand and said, "Gosh, I'm glad you were great."
I couldn't have said it better myself.
For more information on overzealous or to hear their music, log on to www.overzealous.net.
Cindy Watts is an entertainment writer for the Daily News Journal (Murfreesboro, Tennessee)

- Daily News Journal 8/12/2004


“The harmonies were my favorite part of their CD. Their songs are quite poppy and catchy... Especially the first song, "One Day Lover". It's the kind of song that gets you singing in the car while tapping your hands on the steering wheel. I've seen some live footage of them as well. They had a great energy while performing. I've got to say that I love their outfits! The dark suits with the brightly colored ties. Very cool. I definitely plan to see them live myself the next chance I get.”
- The Nashville Pulse


Discography

Overzealous (2002)
Overzealous EP (2003)
Novem Film Soundtrack (2004, novemsongs.com)
BandPromote Sampler (2005)
Turn To Clear Vision LP (2006)
Murfreesboro in the Mix: Volume I

Photos

Bio

Originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, Overzealous was started by singer/guitarist Dustin Sellers and guitarist/keyboardist Brad Crittenden. The two wrote and recorded all the instruments for their first recordings, with assistance from friend Tim Adler on bass. While developing their heart grabbing sound, and a regional fan base with their first release, Overzealous founded Lounge Act Studios in their Tennessee home. The trio soon moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 2002 where they soon met and began playing with drummer Eric Hill. Overzealous’ first commercial release was a self-titled six song EP recorded at the legendary Wolf Studios in Nashville in 2003 as a prize for winning the Sports Planet's "Battle of the Bands".
In 2004, the band was involved in the creation of the independent film "Novem" from Bradley David Productions. "Novem" was filmed on the picturesque property of Dark Horse Studios in Franklin, Tennessee and featured the members of Overzealous as key characters playing the roles of teenage musicians. The band also had five songs featured on the film's soundtrack, four of which were songs originally created for the film. "Novem" won multiple awards at independent film festivals and attained national distribution.
Since recording at Wolf Studios Overzealous fine-tuned their pop-rock sound, and the four have played for thousands of people in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and across the mid-south. In 2006 the band recorded and released an LP titled "Turn To Clear Vision", and played the annual Fall Festival in Maryville, Tennessee for over four thousand people. Currently the band is performing as much as possible across Tennessee, continuing to write new songs, and working with Middle Tennessee State University's Scared Rabbit Records to release new recordings scheduled for a January 2008 release.