The Method
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The Method

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States
Band Rock Jam


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Local Listens: The Method"

“We don’t need no money, we just sing and dance around for free,” croons Scott Fowler on the Method’s “Are You Lonely.” The song, built around a wah-wah-affected bass and saxophone-led breakdowns, contains the simplest of messages: If you’re feeling down, music is always there to pick you back up. The Method proves that with foot-stomping percussion, a bouncing rhythm guitar, and an organ that plays perfectly into the song’s jubilant chorus.

Washington music venues see a wide variety of local acts, from roots rock to bluegrass, hip-hop and jazz, but very few groups are dedicated to improvisatory rock and roll. Aside from occasional stops by national acts such as Umphrey’s McGee and Widespread Panic, the jamming is saved for area jazz musicians. That makes the Method a bit of an anomaly and all the more welcome.

The group began in the summer of 2007 after saxophonist/guitarist Satya Thallam and bassist Justin Shuster returned to DC from Atlanta. They began playing with Dave Salvo, a longtime friend from Georgetown University, and drummer Tim Ward, whom they found through a Web site that helps connect local musicians. Then last year, the band stumbled on keyboardist Brian Dodds during a show at the Adams Morgan dive Chief Ike’s Mambo Room. Most recently, the band added singer Fowler, a former collaborator whom Shuster calls “the missing link.”

The band is now composed of six seemingly virtuosic musicians who excel in the loose and improvisatory live format. That made recording the Method’s first release, the EP The Boulevard Sessions, that much more difficult. “To say the studio experience presented challenges would be an understatement,” says Shuster.

Listening to the album, it’s difficult to understand why. The grooves are tight, Shuster’s songwriting is top-notch, and the improvisation, although toned back, is not sacrificed. The songs sound very much alive and in the moment. “Boulevard,” which uses a repeated saxophone melody over a funky bass line and keys, may be the group’s strongest piece of songwriting and the best use of Fowler’s raspy, bluesy voice. It’s an impressive and sophisticated release, especially for a band’s first venture into the recording studio. But how does it stack up the to live show?

Find out tonight when the Method celebrate the release of its EP with a show at the Rock & Roll Hotel. In the meantime, check out our Q&A with the band’s Dave Salvo and Justin Shuster.

Names: Dave Salvo (lead guitar) and Justin Shuster (bass guitar).

Ages: Salvo: 25.
Shuster: 26.

Salvo: Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
Shuster: McLean.

First song that made you want to play music:
Salvo: “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road” by the Beatles.”
Shuster: “Hangin’ Tough” by the New Kids on the Block.

First instrument:
Salvo: Piano.
Shuster: Piano.

Local spot to seek inspiration or write music:
Salvo: “The Shusters’ garage.”
Shuster: “I get pretty creative while riding Metro. It’s like people-watching at 60 mile an hour.”

Best local venue:
Salvo: “The Rock & Roll Hotel, hands down.”
Shuster: “Samesies.”

Best bar to hear music:
Salvo: “I’m resisting the urge to say, ‘Wherever the Method is playing,’ but I can’t.”
Shuster: “For some reason, I never fail to enjoy myself at Ragtime. Maybe it’s the beer.”

Favorite local band other than your own:
Salvo: “They play in DC enough to be considered local, so Hoots and Hellmouth.”
Shuster: “The Black and Tan Fantasy Band. I only caught them once, but it was one hell of a show.”

Best thing about Washington’s music scene:
Salvo: “The venues on U Street, Northwest, and H Street, Northeast, are starting to attract their own built-in crowds of people seeking out new music.”
Shuster: “People always knock how Washington music lacks traction because of its transient population. I disagree. I’ve lived here my whole life—I actually went to high school down the street from the Rock & Roll Hotel. In truth, it’s a small scene, but there are bands and musicians that we’ve seen around for years. We all appreciate the community that exists here.”

Worst thing about Washington’s music scene:
Salvo: “The Grog and Tankard no longer exists.”
Shuster: “RIP, G and T.”

Craziest tour memory:
Salvo: “In December, we were in the middle of our best set to date at the Rock & Roll Hotel. We launched into an ethereal, layered jam out of one of our original pieces, which could have lost the crowd, considering it was midnight on a Saturday. Instead, the audience was hanging on every note. It was the first time in my life I felt like the band and the audience were completely on the same level. It was a transcendental experience. After the show, I celebrated by attending the Bad Santa party upstairs.”
Shuster: “I’ll tell you when you’re older.”

Finish this sentence: “When not making music, you can find me . . . ”
Salvo: “ . . . composing set lists and thinking about interesting segues at work. Don’t tell my boss.”
Shuster: “ . . . studying.”

Rolling Stones or the Beatles?
Salvo: “The Beatles. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong and a terrible person.”
Shuster: “The Beatles. But if you say otherwise, I think you’re still a person of merit and deserving of love.”

Digital download or hard copy?
Salvo: “Hard copy: I grew up trading Phish tapes—come on!”
Shuster: “Digital download. I’m poor.”

Rolling Stone or Spin or . . . ?
Salvo: “I pass.”
Shuster: “Ehh . . . . ”

Club show or festival?
Salvo: “It completely depends on my mood, but it’s hard to top the intensity of a rocking show inside a decent club.”
Shuster: “Festivals definitely conjure up some pretty nice memories.”

What does the band’s emblem—on your Web site and blimp—stand for?
Salvo: “Our Web site designer, Zak Schwartz, came up with the interlocking ‘TM’ logo that kind of looks like a bug. It should stand for ‘the Method,’ but in actuality it stands for ‘Thistle Myopia.’ Zak was inspired by the blimp idea after hearing us close a show with Led Zeppelin’s ‘Good Times Bad Times.’ ”
Shuster: “Right—what he said.”

Tell us about your experience recording the Boulevard Sessions EP.
Salvo: “I never thought I’d enjoy recording the EP, honestly. Music has always been about being in the moment, not nitpicking over every last note. Surprisingly, I found the whole experience very rewarding. Analyzing the songs in such detail will pay dividends when we play them live; we learned what sounded good previously and what needed to be fixed. Also, playing 90 takes to get one measure right was worth it, because the end result was a disk we could be proud of.”
Shuster: “I concur. We’re a live band through and through. My bass lines tend to be somewhat fluid, and I actually pay little attention to how I play individual notes and phrases as I go. This won’t surprise my band members. Recording has felt unnatural in the past due to the burden of having to settle on specific, permanent ideas. The obvious upside to recording the Boulevard Sessions EP, however, was how constructive it was for our songs. It forced us to tease out each element so that the songs came together as more interesting pieces than ever before. I think they sound great.”

Are there any plans for a full-length album?
Salvo: “Can you offer us a record deal? If so, I’m all yours. If not, I’d like to do it anyway.”
Shuster: “I suppose. But this EP is a step in the right direction in that it will open up new opportunities for us and get our name and music out to a much wider audience. That’s what we’re really focused on at the moment.”

When introducing your music to someone for the first time, what song do you play?
Salvo: “Tough one. ‘Are You Lonely’ is probably the most universally appealing: It’s danceable, happy, and straightforward. For musical snobs, I’d play ‘Dog Without a Tail,’ a jazzy number that features three of the band members’ soloing prowess.”
Shuster: “I agree that ‘Are You Lonely’ is a pretty easy song to like. All the elements of our sound are there, and it’s a damn catchy tune. I also play ‘The Boulevard’ for newcomers because it has a slightly more sophisticated sound that tends to draw people in. At least I think it does.”

Favorite musician or band that sounds nothing like you?
Salvo: “John Coltrane.”
Shuster: “Bob Dylan.”

- The Washingtonian

"BTR Interview with Tim Ward"

BreakThru Radio interviews The Method's drummer, Tim Ward. Scroll to 4:00 of the clip to get to the interview.

- BreakThru Radio

"Battle of the Bands Preview"

The Method

Band members: Brian Dodds – Keyboards; Scotty Fowler – Vox/Guitar; Dave Salvo – Lead Guitar/Vocals;
Justin Shuster – Bass/Vox ; Satya Thallam – Saxophone/Guitar/Vox; Tim Ward – Drums


Where from: Washington, DC

Washington, DC
Sounds like: Catchy, funk-influenced rock featuring progressive improvisation.

Catchy, funk-influenced rock featuring progressive improvisation.
Why they should open for Blues Traveler: "We have been fans of Blues Traveler’s music since they co-organized the H.O.R.D.E. festival in the ‘90s. Our sound comes from similar jam-oriented roots, also focusing on combining free-form jams with meaningful songwriting. We will definitely make an audience ready for Blues Traveler and thankful that they came early to the show."

- Ontap Magazine

"The Method Opens for Blues Traveler @ Celebrate Fairfax! Festival"

The Method won On Tap Magazine's battle of the bands and will open for Blues Traveler at the Celebrate Fairfax Festival on Friday June 5th: - Celebrate Fairfax!

"Preview for Celebrate Fairfax Festival"

"This is where the party starts. The Method recently won On Tap Magazine’s "Last Band In" battle of the bands contest by totally blowing the crowd away at Continental in Rosslyn. The group combines rock, funk and just about anything else that gets the feet moving and the heart pounding. This tight six-piece is a truly exceptional act." - On Tap Magazine

"District of Sound Interview"

Q&A with The Method
by District of Sound on July 15, 2009

What’s the best “method” when it comes to playing, listening, or making music you may ask? DoS turned to one of DC’s favorite local jambands, aptly named “The Method” for the answers. Satya Thallam—horn, guitar and singer extraordinaire from The Method shares with us the secrets for making great music.

Q: What lessons have you learned from the recording and release of “Boulevard Sessions,” your latest EP released in April 2009?

A: We realized a lack of ideas was not our problem, which was something of a problem. We were confident in the handful of songs we decided to record, but these songs had been changing for as long as we've been playing them. In our live sets, there's always some way to twist, modulate, or stretch the basic structure. When we went in to record, we had to be very meticulous about which of those motifs and grace notes to leave in and which to abandon temporarily. Of course since finishing the EP, the songs continue to change for almost every show. If we had our way, we probably would have recorded six different versions for each track (in fact we did for a couple).

We also learned just how immensely talented Brian (keyboards) is. He'd always been a solid player, but when he got behind the mixing board he had an intuition about how to get us into a groove and get the best sound out of us. We couldn’t have asked for a better engineer and producer.

Q: What are some of your favorite local venues to perform in and to go to as an audience member?

A: The Rock & Roll Hotel has always treated us swimmingly, and the great house sound and big stage is appropriate for our style. The crowd in there can be encouragingly overwhelming, which makes those rare moments of near silence when we cut out for a couple measures even more exciting. On the eve of our second show at The Bullpen, I'd have to say I'm pretty excited about that spot becoming not only a pre-game/happy hour venue, but a real place to see bands that have put in the work to produce a tight set.

The great hegemon of DC venues is the 9:30 Club, and I hate to pile on, but I’ve never left there disappointed. Even a mediocre band gets a halo dropped on them by the flawless sound and attentive staff.

Q: If you could work with any artists and create a remix based off of one of your original songs, who would you work with and what would be the end result?

A: "Sideways" I always thought could use the hip-hop treatment, and there's no one hipper or more savvy than ?uestlove/Questlove. I imagine the end product would involve some various loops, delays, scratches, and horn punches. Other than that, I'm probably more a fan of various producers than I am of artists: Nigel Godrich, Steve Lillywhite, and T-Bone Burnett are some of my favorites.
The Method has received numerous music accolades and won several regional music contests, including an opening spot performing for Blues Traveler at the Celebrate Fairfax festival in June. How has this mainstream notoriety and recognition helped or hurt the band?

A: I'm not sure any of it provided notoriety, but it can't hurt. The thing is, we've always considered ourselves a mainstream band (by design). We take the challenge of writing songs that have instant, familiar appeal very seriously. I feel like a lot of jam bands (which I suppose we are) either recede into self-indulgent noodling, or otherwise write songs that try to "educate the audience a little somethin'" through complexity for its own sake. If we throw in an asymmetric time signature or a non-diatonic key change, it's really because we think it sounds better and because it fits the overall hook. I hope we continue to find kinship in a wider range of audiences for this reason.

Q: Your improvisational tunes affirm each band member’s musical proficiency and highlight a fun extension of your band’s sound. This may seem like an oxymoron, but have you tried to formally record any improvisational work or do you have plans to do so?

A: None of the songs start out as improvs or jams. They have a very strict structure that hopefully gets the point across. Most of the time accents or variations are added so we don't get bored and also to weave the songs together into a coherent live show. We've recorded some of our live shows, but I'm not sure if we'd try to capture that spontaneity in the studio. Not that it would be impossible, but it would be besides the point.

Q: If you had to create a new style of dance based on your music, what would it be called?

A: Root-step

- District of Sound


"Boulevard Sessions EP" - April 3, 2009

1) Are You Lonely
2) Will Is Gone
3) Hard On You
4) The Boulevard

"The Method Live at Rock and Roll Hotel" - April 2010 (DVD release)
1) Moving Day
2) Magical Mystery Tour >
3) Ain't Nothin' Wrong With Me
4) Walk Through Walls
5) Far Away
6) Will Is Gone >
7) Either/Or >
8) Disco Heaven >
9) Frankenstein >
10) Disco Heaven
11) Good Times Bad Times



"[The Method] combines rock, funk and just about anything else that gets the feet moving and the heart pounding. This tight six-piece is a truly exceptional act." - On Tap Magazine

Noteable Recent Achievements:

- Played at the venerable State Theatre in Falls Church, VA

- Documentary on The Method for the DC Independent Film Festival:

- Winner of Washington, DC-area Battle of the Bands, hosted by On Tap Magazine

- Opener for Blues Traveler at June 5, 2009 Celebrate Fairfax! festival

- Playing the post-Rusted Root concert at the June 11, 2010 Celebrate Fairfax! festival

- Runner Up in Relix Magazine's Jam Off, a national competition for unsigned artists

- Released "Boulevard Sessions EP" (April 2009)

- Honorable Mention for "The Boulevard" in Mike Pinder's Songwars Competition

- Headlined at "The Bullpen" at the Washington Nationals' ballpark complex (estimated crowd: 1,500)

- Consistently headlining well-known DC-area establishments, like The Rock and Roll Hotel and DC9.

- Played shows up the Northeast Corridor, including in Baltimore and New York City

Representing decades of collective years of music making, with roots formed from Upstate New York to Virginia, The Method has in its short time played throughout the DC and Virginia scenes and left jaws agape and dancing legs sore. Coming off the heels of a string of shows in early 2009, The Method released “Boulevard Sessions EP,” the band’s first major studio effort. The band celebrated by playing a landmark show at the Rock and Roll Hotel. A month later, The Method won Ontap Magazine’s Battle of the Bands and earned the opening spot for Blues Traveler at the Celebrate Fairfax! festival in June.

We are six guys who share an undeniable passion for music and a respect for each other's playing that translates into a truly unique brand of rock, jazz, funk, and blues infused original music. A typical Method show ranges from uptown grooves, funk, progressive jams, 70s-tinged rockers, and hooky pop numbers. Most of all, a Method show is a lot of fun. Fun for us, and definitely fun for our fans.

Unwilling to be boxed into the "jamband" stereotype, The Method has attracted a significant following thanks to catchy original songs that have a deep, danceable groove. At the same time, the band keeps the audience on its toes with dynamic jams, interesting segues, fun covers, and musical teases.

The Method has been exploring new musical territory at mid-sized venues across the greater DC/NOVA area over the past few months, and is expanding into the broader East Coast scene, including Baltimore and New York City.