Posh Hammer
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Posh Hammer

Asheville, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Asheville, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Pop Rock

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A good number of establishments still won’t book local rockers Posh Hammer. It’s not because they trash dressing rooms or reduce sound men to tears — it’s because of the band members’ ages. “We get there and we load in, and the bands playing with us or the people already there or the owners of the venue always seem a little bit like, ‘Oh no, here’s a bunch of teenagers,’” says Navied Setayesh, the band’s 16-year-old lyricist and lead guitarist. “Then we play, and they really like us afterward.”

Along with a modernized ’70s glam-rock aesthetic inspired by David Bowie and the suits and ties of Roxy Music, the group brings its surprisingly advanced chops to a free show at the Mothlight on Wednesday, July 9, opening for fellow local rockers Alarm Clock Conspiracy and Hard Rocket.

While teen bands are an established facet of high school culture, few manage to move beyond talent shows and the occasional house party. Recognizing that time is a key factor, to better focus on music Navied and his 15-year-old sisters, twins Tasnim (vocals/guitar) and Tiam (bass/harmony), persuaded their supportive parents (Iranian-born Reza and Asheville native Eva, owners of Rezaz and Piazza restaurants) to home-school them. It’s a change the siblings view as more of an inevitability than a choice. “We always grew up with music in the house. Our parents were always playing something and exposing us to different types of stuff,” Navied says. “Then we started playing and just slowly got more into it, so it was just sort of natural that we’d really want to pursue it.”

Progressing from messing around with cover songs in their basement to writing original material, the Setayeshes booked studio time at Echo Mountain and recorded six tracks in mid-2013 with a studio drummer. Shortly thereafter, and thanks to the fact that fellow home-schooler Daniel Cracchiolo is, in Navied’s words, “the type of 16-year-old drummer who has business cards and pins them up around town,” the guitarist spotted said card on a record store cork board and set up an audition via email. Rehearsing together for a single week, the new foursome played its first gig as a unit at The Grey Eagle. Though that show was a success, their dynamic has significantly improved in the meantime.

“We’re a lot more cohesive now and we’ve been writing material with Daniel present, so he’s been putting his input on stuff,” Navied says. “It’s sort of a weird thing because me and the girls are siblings, and when we’re practicing or onstage, I can think something and not necessarily tell them that’s what I want them to do, but they’ll just automatically do it. The more Daniel plays with us, the closer he gets to that.”

Unlike their dedication to music, Posh Hammer is composed of self-professed slackers when it comes to getting driver’s licenses (“It’s a long program,” Navied says). That means a parent drives them to shows in North Carolina and the surrounding states in a creamy pistachio-colored van they’ve affectionately dubbed Oliver. Once their set is finished, the quartet tries to talk as much as possible with appreciative audience members and sticks around to hear all the acts on the night’s bill. This camaraderie has helped expand their popularity in the regional music scene, and while their booking agent and parents provide plenty of assistance with behind-the-scenes duties, the band works to be involved in every business aspect that they can. “We know one day we’ll have to take over, hopefully sooner rather than later,” Navied says.

His wish might come true faster than he realizes. In May, 11 months after their initial session, the Setayeshes returned to Echo Mountain to finish their debut album. Under the guidance of producer Julian Dreyer, they cut six more songs and went back to refine the previously recorded songs, which included Tasnim redoing all of her vocal tracks. The band agrees that the results are far more cohesive than the nearly yearlong space between studio times would suggest. With art currently being finalized, they expect the album to be released sometime in the next few months.

Posh Hammer has learned much in a relatively short time about what it takes to be successful in the music industry. The crucial secret to the musicians is establishing something unique, which Tasnim believes they’ve found with a new genre she calls “Posh rock.” Navied brushes away that claim, saying in a matter-of-fact brotherly tone, “It’s really just pop rock.” Whatever it is, it’s working. - Mountain Xpress


This ambitious debut from Asheville’s Posh Hammer is both a seasoned stylistic mix and an energetic beginning for a fledgling rock ‘n’ roll band. The album manages to compact more than three decades’ worth of musical influence into 10 tracks, blending ’80s arena rock with the trebly guitars of ’90s alt-rock and contemporary pop music. The band is comprised of teenage siblings Tasnim, Tiam, and Navied Setayesh, and drummer Dano Crachiollo. The quartet’s youth only adds to the album’s energy and expansive interpretation of musical styles. Tasnim sports the vocal prowess of Pat Benatar in tracks like “All About” and “Tonight.” - WNC Magazine


At 14, 15 and barely 16 years old, the up-and-coming rockers of Posh Hammer credit all the right people with their early buzz — the British Invasion, a bevy of local teachers, and, their parents. "They're extremely supportive. Without them, we couldn't do all of this, because none of us can drive yet," says guitarist Navied Setayesh, with a wit that would make a fresh-faced 1964 Beatle smile.

"We definitely couldn't get anywhere," agrees lead vocalist Tasnim Setayesh. The parents of Navied, Tasnim, and her twin sister Tiam of Posh Hammer, are Reza and Eva Setayesh, owners of Rezaz and Piazza restaurants in Asheville.

"They've let us home school, and they've bought us instruments. They're completely behind us," says Navied.

The group recently added drummer Daniel Cracchiolo, and after only a few shows around town, even highly tuned ears are switched on to Posh Hammer's brash and energetic sound — big beats, catchy guitar riffs, and melodic hooks like "It's not you, it's me...but it's really you," that poke fun at teen angst more than revel in it. "I mean, I'm 16, the girls are 14, our drummer's 15. So I'm not trying to write anything too serious or too heavy," Navied says. "Just trying to make fun music, you know."

Sound technician Maresllus Fariss dug the group's kind of "Bangles meets Spinal Tap" vibe at a January Grey Eagle show, saying, "Those kids play real instruments, sing real songs, and they do it real well."

"We grew up on our mom's music, which was the '80s," says Tasnim. "I remember it always blaring in the car. When we got older we really started finding other artists. It started with our mom's generation of music and then went back to the '70s, to the '60s and then the '50s. So it's always been there, and we always loved it."

"It was a natural progression. Now we're exposed to different types of music, but we still always gravitate back towards rock 'n' roll," says Navied.

As a singer, Tasnim Setayesh was inspired by Freddie Mercury of Queen. "His voice was amazing," she says. "I've been studying it. As a front man, as a performer, his vocal range and power, and all the harmonies."

Tiam Setayesh also found inspiration from across the water. "It guess it started when I got to The Beatles, it was Paul McCartney," Tiam says. "I was like, 'Hey I should play bass.' I mean, Paul's awesome. With his songs, there was a kind of form that always caught your ear, very easy to listen to, but yet interesting. His bass lines always are catchy."

Navied's biggest influences were Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and George Harrison of The Beatles. "I really like their feel and their solos," he explains. "Mick Ronson (David Bowie) was also a big influence. Even people like The Edge (U2). Just people who have really good feel for the instrument."

At least for now, Navied prefers the melodic guitarists to the more technical "shredders." "I respect what those guys have done, but it's not really my thing. I'm more into people who play with lots of emotion," he says.

A large part of the siblings' home schooling consists of music lessons. They all take piano lessons with Brian Turner and guitar with Jason Mack. Tiam takes bass lessons with Zack Page, Navied takes extra guitar with Mike Barnes, and Tasmin takes voice and saxophone. "Asheville has great musicians," says Navied. "Later today we're going to finish shooting part of our music video. And as far as school goes, just the normal kind of stuff."

The group also makes time to rehearse and write new songs during the week. "Sometimes stuff just pops into my head, or sometimes I have chord changes that I really like, so I just put the lyrics over them," explains Navied. "As far as lyricists, I really like Lennon and McCartney, and the stuff that Bryan Ferry's done with Roxy Music. They can come from anywhere.

"Normally I'll have some idea that prompts me to write. I'll bring little melodic ideas to Tasnim, but I am no singer, so then she'll take it and put it all together and make it an actual song. Tasnim does melodies and from there we'll all add our instruments on top."

A good song is a combination of things, according to Tasnim. "For me lyrics are a big thing," she says. "Amazing lyrics, and definitely melody, because that's what most people hear and pay attention to. And just how the musicians put it out, how they sing it and how they play it, like the emotion put into the song. You can hear what they were thinking, all they were going through."

As brother and sisters, Navied, Tasnim and Tiam recognize a bond that extends even to the music. "Sometimes we're playing, and without telling them what I want them to be doing they'll automatically do it," says Navied. "There's a built-in connection, like some sort of telepathy thing. We're always on the same page when it comes to playing."

Last year the band went into Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville and recorded six songs. They plan to return late in the spring and complete what will be their first album. "It's what we love to do, and it's what we spend pretty much all our time doing," says Navied. "So we figure, why not give it our best shot." - Bold Life Magazine


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

In the wild mountains just outside music mecca Asheville, North Carolina lives a trio of teenage siblings (and a drummer) with old soul and retro hair. From down, down in a basement littered with guitars, amps, microphones, and drums comes loud music for the ages. These teens play original pop-rock based music. Combining perfectly crafted hooks and catchy choruses with the energy of rock n’ roll. Start with The Beatles, layer in some David Bowie and Roxy Music, and then add The Cars or The Killers. Voila, Posh Hammer’s influences. But they make it all there own: Navied’s lyrics and lead guitar work, combined with Tasnim’s astonishing vocals, mixed with Tiam’s driving bass-lines, and held together by Dano’s powerful drumming, give posh hammer it’s own sound and vibe. Derivative? Of course. Unique? Absolutely? Fun? Way too much…

 

Posh hammer has made a career in music their top priority; even convincing their parents to homeschool them to give them the time needed to seriously pursue their dreams. They finished recording their debut album Some Other Time, Some Other Place at Echo Mountain Recording Studios in early 2014. Writing their own music and playing live every chance they get, this band is the real thing, the kind of music we are missing in today’s electronic world

Band Members