Strum Theory
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Strum Theory

Eugene, Oregon, United States

Eugene, Oregon, United States
Band Alternative Jam




"Strum Theory"

The four-man musical phenomenon Strum Theory will be gigging Cozmic Pizza Friday for the Wellsprings Friends School Benefit. Check out Strum Theory’s new look with added trumpeter/guitarist John Hurt accompanying the quartet, whose sound has been described as part Dave Matthews Band and part Led Zeppelin. Local hip hop group Parallel Minds and award-winning poets & writers from Wellsprings Friends School will join Strum Theory for the event. Keep an eye out for renowned martial artist/emcee Rio, who will be gracing the stage with poignant spoken word and a cappella. Wellsprings Friends School is an alternative high school that has provided young people of Eugene with a unique educational experience for more than 15 years. - Eugene Weekly

"Jammin’ Theory"

Jam band Strum Theory (pictured) has been performing around Eugene in various incarnations for many years, but has only played a few gigs with their current lineup. Vocalist and primary songwriter Michael Domagala felt it would be best if I met him at south Eugene’s post office and followed him to Strum Theory’s practice space.

“The place is hard to find,” he emailed. He’s right. On the first truly summer-like day of the spring, we drive beyond Eugene’s south hills, through a secured gate and past a dilapidated red barn, arriving at bassist Paul Shroder’s home. I’m about to experience one of Strum Theory’s biweekly rehearsals — what they call their “Sunday church.”

Sitting in Shroder’s yard we talk about the influences and inspirations that got the Eugene four-piece playing music in the first place. Domagala grew up on the Beatles, and is influenced by jam bands like the Dave Matthews Band. Guitarist/trumpet player Jeff Hurt and drummer Tyler Tjernland come from jazz and blues backgrounds, and Shroder, who only started playing music in his 30s, has been heavily influenced by the hybrid funk-rock of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

We move inside the practice space. The band members kick off their shoes and begin their set with “Get Out Back,” a festival-ready tune that shows the musicians’ influences immediately. Domagala’s spidery guitar lines recall Dave Matthews as he sings lyrics about getting outside and experiencing the beauty of the world in a tenor that is too light to be called Eddie Vedder-esque but definitely shares the Pearl Jam singer’s guttural growl. Hurt adds to the jazz flavor with hooky trumpet-lines, and Tjernland’s percussion is solid, laying down the bouncy groove and stopping on a dime as “Get Out Back” swells to its climax. Hurt switches to guitar, and the band continues through their tight practice set.

The addition of Hurt as a multi-faceted instrumentalist has given the band a new wave of vigor. Talent-wise they are ready to tour and could rock any festival stage they want, and hard. But they know that music, now more than ever, is a tough business to survive in — even for a band like Strum Theory, which places more emphasis on live performance than recording. “It’s about bringing your music to the people,” Shroder says, and they will continue doing just that.

— William Kennedy - Eugene Weekly




Strum Theory is a name which best describes the band's unique and powerful sound that has rocked audiences throughout the Willamette Valley. Strum Theory executes an intricate, percussive strumming style at a high level of musicianship and energy. Guitar and trumpet solos are weaved into the tapestry of melodic/harmonic convergencesbetween rhythm, bass and beat. Influences range from the Dave Matthews Band to 90's Grunge