Rigby Fawkes
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Rigby Fawkes

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


LITTLE ROCK — A franchise barbecue restaurant is not the place one would expect to find the members of Little Rock band Rigby Fawkes. It's a little too cookie cutter in the all-too cookie cutter sprawl of west Little Rock to find a band known for its multifarious sound.

But the all-encompassing world of barbecue comes highly recommended by Fawkes bass player Ed Cheek, who's eaten at the chain in Colorado. Nevermind guitar player Kyle Heflin is a vegetarian; it's barbecue time with salad - minus cheese, egg and bacon - for Heflin.

At the dawn of your 20s there are no walls to hem the creative animal, and the law of the land - with apologies to Aleister Crowley - is simple: Create what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. And so Rigby Fawkes - named after The Beatles "Eleanor Rigby" and Guy Fawkes, the 17th century English revolutionary who plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament - create music that doesn't easily fall into a neat, categorical box. Taking musical direction from influences such as Ben Folds, Muse, Pink Floyd and Radiohead, Rigby Fawkes - Daniel Moody on piano and vocals, and Jordan Ryan on drums joining Cheek and Heflin -create what the band terms progressive alternative rock.

"That's the label I put on it so we can do what we want," Ryan said.

"I can't say two of our songs sound the same or belong 100 percent in the same genre," Moody said. "We can't do the same thing for too long in the same song."

The result is a roaring blast of melodic alternative rock, a joyous roller coaster ride of bouncy piano, snaking guitar, fluid bass lines and precision drums with the occasional trumpet. It's a heavy dose of youthful exuberance (The members are either 20 or 21.) and adventurous inventiveness.

"If it sounds good people are going to listen to it," Cheek said. "We want to try to do something different."

Cheek and Ryan have been best friends since the age of 8 and performed in Catholic High School for Boys' marching, concert and jazz bands. The duo played in a handful of unsuccessful bands before being introduced in March 2005 through a mutual friend to Heflin and Moody, who first met in eighth grade at Forest Heights Middle School.

"We were looking for a singer/guitarist to join the band, and the piano was an added bonus," Cheek said.

Cheek, Moody and Ryan met at Guitar Center, and the group, minus Heflin, jammed on the epic, blues sludge of Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused" during their first jam session.

"The first time we jammed we came up with a jam that we still play today," Moody said. "We almost write a new song at every band practice.

"[But] It took us a long time to write a song because we wanted to get [the verse-chorus-verse-chorus method of songwriting] out of our system."

With Heflin, who relies on an effects board the size of a six-person table, in the fold, the band was formed under the moniker Redefined, releasing the six-song EP Audio Anachronism Vol. 2 in the summer of 2005. But the band scrapped their sound and started again from scratch in 2006 under Rigby Fawkes and released their full-length debut A Penny for the Old Guy in 2006. In 2007, though, Moody announced he was moving to Los Angeles, and the band played a farewell show at Riverfest, releasing the material for their second album, Your Head is Completely Gone, online.

Band members stayed in touch, playing a reunion gig in 2008, and decided earlier this year to restart the band.

"I really think the hiatus was the best thing we could have done," Ryan said. "When we first started playing we were trying to play as much as possible. What we're trying to do now is play less, but put on a good show for the people. We are just trying to get good shows instead of a lot of shows. We want every show to be unique."

The band has also sharpened its recording schedule: Instead of recording full-length albums, Rigby Fawkes plans to focus on releasing EPs and single tunes to better market itself. The band writes tunes as a democracy - "Evolve to a Crawl" was generated out of a drumbeat and "Sara Come Home" from a single bass riff - with Moody responsible for the song structure and lyrics.

At the end of the summer, Heflin and Meek will return to Fayetteville where they attend the University of Arkansas (Meek has a band there called Steady Eddy and the Funky Monkeys.), Ryan will resume his Spanish and psychology studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and Moody is off to ... well, he's not quite sure. (Moody is currently working on a five-song EP produced by his older brother Ben Moody, former lead guitarist for Evanescence.)

But one thing is certain - new experiences will filter back into the music.

"I'm working on DJing," Heflin said. "It's more virtual DJing, working with my laptop. I love electronics. I've been so influenced by technology."

Whether a Rigby Fawkes tune is four-minutes long or 10-minutes long, it's certainly never dull or cookie cutter. Pickin - sync.arkansasonline.com


Discography

Audio Anachronism Vol. 2 (2005)

A Penny for the Old Guy (2006)

Your Head is Completely Gone (2007)

Nonstop Flight to Fatigue (2009)

Photos

Bio

Rigby Fawkes is a quartet comprised of four talented and trained musicians, with singer/songwriter Daniel Moody (little brother of former Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody) fronting the band. Rigby Fawkes combines influences from some of rock's greatest bands such as Muse, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, and Ben Folds and creates a unique blend of alternative rock that is appealing to today's mainstream audience. The band formed when its members were only 15 and 16 years old, and they have had a passion for writing well composed and creative music ever since. Currently, the members of Rigby Fawkes are in college and are working hard to finish their degrees and to make a name for their band as well.

Rigby Fawkes formed on March 2, 2005 when two pairs of best friends were brought together by fate and a mutual friend. The band released their first EP “Audio Anachronism Vol. 2” in July 2005 but was not satisfied with the direction of their sound. They started over from scratch and recorded their first full length album A Penny for the Old Guy in August 2006. The band performed several shows per month in support of their release and acquired a large and dedicated fan base as a result. The album was well received locally, but the band still felt as if they were capable of writing much better music.

In June 2007, the band released their second album “Your Head is Completely Gone” for free online. It was with this album that Rigby Fawkes finally felt as if they had found their sound. The tracks “Pantomime Paradise” and “Sara Come Home” reflect the groovy and upbeat side of Rigby Fawkes, while “They Watched” and “Birdie” explored the darker and more experimental side of the band. Shortly after the album’s release, Daniel left for Los Angeles in order to work on a solo album with his brother. The rest of the band started college and pursued other musical endeavors.

Rigby Fawkes played one show at Juanita’s in June 2008, but the rest of the year saw little activity from the band despite numerous offers from local venues. In May 2009, the band decided to get back together and write new music and perform more shows. Rigby Fawkes headlined two big shows at two of Little Rock’s largest venues, The Rev Room and The Village. One of the shows gained the attention of the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette’s Sync Magazine. In a feature article on the band, Sync wrote, “The result is a roaring blast of melodic alternative rock, a joyous roller coaster ride of bouncy piano, snaking guitar, fluid bass lines and precision drums with the occasional trumpet. It’s a heavy dose of youthful exuberance (The members are either 20 or 21.) and adventurous inventiveness…. Whether a Rigby Fawkes tune is four-minutes long or 10-minutes long, it’s certainly never dull or cookie cutter.” As of now, Rigby Fawkes is hard at work on their latest EP “The Red Front,” which will be released in August 2009.