the humbell
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the humbell

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"The Humbell from Tallahassee, Florida stopped by to give us a taste. We met these guys at the bag stuffing, and we saw them periodically throughout the weekend. When they started playing Nathaniel's voice shocked me! Not to mention all of their harmonies. These guys have a secret weapon and it's definitely all of their voices. Wow! Is about all I can say." - Rachel Rocks - Pennsylvania Musician Magazine


Local progressive, glam rockers ex-plore the unknown
by: Shari Lesser
Issue date: 10/18/07
Section: Arts & Life

When a musician inhales, the very particles of the air, contribute to what influences them at that particular moment, in time. A person driven by the arts of humanity can witness the dainty flutter of a butterfly, and from there, a masterpiece disembarks.

As for progressive, glam rockers, The Humbell, their homegrown music reflects what seethes inside each member of the quartet.

"We write music that we already have, things that are inside of us and releases itself individually," guitarist and vocalist Nathaniel Hansberry said.

Through their collaborations, the band transposes distinctive three-part harmonies that facilitate the disparity between themselves and other Tallahassee musical ensembles.

"We are extremely versatile as a group. We come up with something palpable, and through that, a groove forms into a beat, thus making our sound equate to our own," guitarist Brett Richter said.

With such an idiosyncratic sound, The Humbell has laid the groundwork for emerging talents that offer such a raw, organic resonance.

According to their press release, "The (Humbell's) mission was to reach excellence, and as such, retrieve a sound from the archives of live, honest music."

By means of the retrieval of such an undertaking, the band, who formed in 2003, pride themselves upon the art they produce as a collective whole.

"When we came together as The Humbell, we craved creativity and flair, yet shielded away from being tawdry," drummer Ben Goldberg said. "Our sound is pretty sonic. We like loud music. When (Richter) joined the group, the sound took on a different meaning."

Merely four years after forming, their first album, Super Amazing Laser Beam came into existence.

"Our primary LP surrounded itself upon the happier side of craziness," Hansberry said.

"We aren't trying to bring anyone down with overly sensitive material."

Steering away from heavy, tear-laden ballads, The Humbell encases their music into a fictional realm, where beaming from outer space is as common as rodent spotting underneath the dark, city subway.

"Our lyrics direct itself through empowerment, rebellion and science fiction," bassist David Sabow said.

According to thehumbell.com, "If you are looking for lamentable songs about ex-girlfriends, daunting political satire or some other source of unchecked angst - you won't find that here. But rather songs about people with lovable drinking problems, that kid in that movie who would do anything to score, love songs between lesbians, zombies, super heroes that don't save anyone, and much more."

By distinguishing themselves by their comedic and versatile material, the four-piece crew continues to display their talent, devotion and adoration to the art of music.

According to their biography, "The album is tangible and ready for the masses with a bar code and a mission. That mission is to explain the method and the madness, to move with calculation and heart, to lay it all on the line and not gravitate toward something that is already mainstream."

Through the evasion of conformity, The Humbell actively avoids the categorization of the musical substance they generate; yet they all stay true to their own character.

"We are laidback, we don't let egos get in the way of the music," Goldberg said. "The primary argument that we still have yet to answer is who will win a fight, David Bowie or Prince?"

Which icon will persevere still is unresolved, but as for the science behind their harmonies, that has long been established.

According to Mary Leslie of the Tallahassee Democrat, "turning-heads and a commanding acceptance become facets of The Humbell's imprinting reputation, as they continue to push new boundaries of music and musicians alike."

In relation to the broken precincts that were torn upon the arrival of the "wholly palatable" band, XM radio has taken on the task of their "Super Amazing" debut.

In the continuation of The Humbell's everlasting pursuit of innovation and improvisation, their musical undertaking stands clear.

"Our mission is to thrive, survive and disobey gravity, all while saving rock n'roll," Hansberry said.
- FSView & Florida Flambeau


"...Songs feature good musical and melodic parts, idiosyncratic lyrics and memorable hooks. The strong vocal delivery suits the material well. The musicianship is tight, fitting and inventive and the production sounds good..." - TAXI


"Fans say that the group...sounds a little like Sunny Day Real Estate meets the Smashing Pumpkins, but the band's lyrics are what seems to be catching on with Tallahasseeans." - Mary Leslie- Tallahassee Democrat Limelight


"...The Humbell...do great at demonstrating...collective creativity, imagination and musical skills...Compositions are designed with thorough attention applied towards the importance and power of cohesive and memorable melodies. The musicianship is highly expressive, as is the use of sonic textures and instrumental tones." - TAXI


Discography

Zat Fault - 4 tracks, all played on radio
Sub Atomic Boy Single - 3 tracks, all on radio
Super Amazing Laser Beam - 14 Tracks, 7 Tracks on Radio

Photos

Bio

2003 the groundwork for the humbell was laid plain before the universe, and it began with a mission and a prayer. The mission was to reach excellence, and as such retrieve a sound from the archives of live, honest music. The prayer was to neither deceive nor be deceived. Ben began to write the progressions, Nathaniel the melody, Sabow then nailed down the rhythm and The Legendary Brett ripped through the very fabric of their existence; him and his wonderful Vantage guitar. Floyd’s Music Store received this debuting quartet with mixed feelings although they all clapped. What had just happened? The sound was something the crowd was as yet unused to and the humbell knew they needed to be refined - both themselves and their art. The road was rocky, but playing live shows, gauging the audience, studying their faces began the transformation as 2004 took them all over Florida’s capital. The writing continued to flourish.
2005, and the first promo Zat Fault was recorded. It was an announcement to all that the humbell were here and meant business. Still, the message was proclaimed and yet misunderstood. Something more needed to be added to the electromagnetism that flows through the live show. They craved cohesion and flare, and yet shied from tawdry. Could Legendary spread his wings and play keyboard as well? Could Nathaniel cater vocally to the whims and follies of the human condition?
2006 and the humbell found what they were looking for having traveled the southeast, having spread its influence far beyond it, making giant pushes on the internet, being invited more and more to radio stations, garnering a reputation for live shows. Going from people not understanding the name, “humbell” to having people say, “Oh yeah! I’ve heard of them. They’re good right?” Clubs have them back again and again. The crowds rowdy as people are responding to the ferocity, the composition, the honesty. By the end of the year, the first album is written and recorded. Even the engineer has to take note.
Super Amazing Laser Beam written and produced by the humbell: A badge of honor. The first of many they strive to attain.
2007 the album is tangible and ready for the masses with a bar code and a mission. That mission is to explain the method and the madness, to move with calculation and heart, to lay it all on the line and not gravitate toward what is already main-stream, yet produce something wholly palatable. The past is meeting the future. Taxi critics have great things to say and already XM has beamed them from outer space; the world over is beginning to take notice. The debut is working, the experiment come to partial fruition. “Do they expect the sequel?” it is pondered. Dare the audience comprehend the story that goes way beyond the stars themselves?
Planet earth, hear this:
“We’re not going anywhere and we will not be denied.”

Our mission is to succeed, survive and defy the gravity.