The Propheteers
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The Propheteers

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"The Propheteers Genre-bending supernatural rockers"

The Propheteers
Genre-bending supernatural rockers

Watching the Propheteers play is like seeing a ton of concerts at once. They’ve got funk, blues, bluegrass, pop and folk music in their set, and their antics on stage (they even play each other’s instruments) makes for a show filled with variety and spontaneity.
“We don’t want to be classified,” says bassist/vocalist Joseph Salvatore. “We travel through genres very rapidly through a set, so I think it’s a treat. It is really different.”
The band, which also has guitarist/pianist/saxophonist/vocalist Sean Halas and mandolinist/banjoist/guitarist/pianist/vocalist Luke Yanz, can relate to its name since it came together by some spiritual forces. Salvatore met a psychic almost 10 year ago who told him he belonged in the mountains of Arizona. Salvatore, who is from North Carolina, decided to make the move to Flagstaff a little over a year ago, and he also felt strongly about dedicating his time to a band.
“The big thing that he said to me and that freaked me out for so many years is that my hands would heal, and people would gather to listen to me,” Salvatore says. “I never really put it into context of what it was. Moving out here, I wasn’t planning on playing music. I was just moving out here to get away and see what this guy was talking about because everything else in my life that he had talked about had come true, so I thought, ‘Oh my God, I can’t deny this.’”
Salvatore and Yanz, a former Northern Arizona University student, had known each other from playing in another Flagstaff band, and they recruited Salvatore’s longtime pal Halas to complete the trio. Within a week of Halas moving to Flag from North Carolina this past December, they had their first gig and have been regularly playing places like Campus Coffee Bean, the Boardwalk and Good Vibes Café ever since.
“I was looking for people of like mind, as absolutely obsessed with music as I am, and I definitely feel like I’ve found that with these guys,” Yanz says. “The camaraderie’s there and just the dedication I need. I can’t tell you how gratifying it is after years of playing with people who kind of wanted to jam. I needed to be doing this for the rest of my life.”
Their devotion is evident by the fact they’ve already completed a 12-song LP, Hot Past Midnight, which includes single-take songs recorded from their live shows and home practice sessions. Two cover songs complement the originals, whose subject matter covers a wide variety of topics. “White from Gray” talks about being in harmony with yourself and the world.
“The universe rests in your own mind,” Halas says. “Your perception is the only thing that you know and can really do.”
All three guys write the material, sometimes solo, sometimes collaboratively, and inspiration can come from anywhere. Halas was driven to write “Professional Cat” because of a so-called friend who said Halas wouldn’t be able to achieve his dream of making it in music.
“It really shocked me to have someone that close to me take a s**t on my head,” Halas says. “I woke up in the middle of the night sweating, like, ‘God, is this really what I’m going to do with my life?’ Then I realized, ‘F**k yeah, this is what I’m going to do with my life.’”
Now the band has decided to go a step further in their musical journey by moving back to North Carolina this April...
The Propheteers aren’t leaving their Flagstaff roots behind, though. They plan on coming back every few months and are working on cultivating a fan base here through their remaining shows.
“Ideally, my personal goal is to get this band up to the point where it’s its own business, working entity so that it’s going to keep us busy to the point where it’s our livelihood and what we do for a living 100 percent,” Salvatore says.
For more information on the Propheteers, see You can catch them live on Tue, March 28 at Campus Coffee Bean, 1800 S. Milton, at 8 p.m. There’s no cover. For more info on the show, call 556-0660.

- By Nicki Escudero (Flag-Live) 3/23/06

"Whaddya get when you cross Celtic rhythms with techno beats?"

You like unpredictable? You just might want to check out the Propheteers. "We don't want to be classified," says Joseph Salvatore, bassist and vocalist for the Propheteers, voicing a genre-bending sentiment shared by nearly every self-respecting band member. But the Propheteers put their music where their mouths are, staging a live show that's the equivalent of an iPod set to shuffle.

"We go through genres very rapidly during a set," says Salvatore, whose band traffics in jazz, swing, funk, hip-hop, reggae, electronic dance and bluegrass. So is their set list disconcerting to an audience which might be content bobbing to jam band grooves one minute, but not necessarily ready to swing the next?

Apparently not. Although Salvatore admits a few people have told them they should streamline their sound, they claim to hear more praise for their variety.

"There are more people who say things like, 'Wow, you just went from funk to bluegrass to R&B. You took us on this journey. What an awesome experience,'" recalls Salvatore.

"We're listening to the fans," explains drummer Mikel Allen. "They come back and say 'Hey, that one song, can you play it again?'"

With regular gigs throughout Asheville, the Propheteers are finding that fans are, indeed, coming back, and in growing numbers.

The Propheteers were born after Salvatore moved his family from Asheville to Flagstaff, Ariz. The move was a kind of vision quest, based on advice from a psychic who told Salvatore that something sacred – an awakening – awaited him in the mountains of Arizona.

Salvatore soon starting looking for music gigs. On the circuit, he met Luke Yanz, who plays piano, mandolin, guitar and banjo. The two joined the same band, but decided to break away to write their own music. Salvatore soon realized that the awakening foretold by his psychic was a reawakening of the joy that music can bring.

Salvatore encouraged Sean Halas, who plays guitar and piano, to move from Asheville to Flagstaff and find similar enlightenment in joining the band.

"I was feeling frustrated and tired of playing other people's stuff," says Halas. "So it wasn't a big sacrifice to leave Asheville. I got out there and met Luke for the first time on Dec. 5, 2005, and we were gigging five days later."

The move back to Asheville was a choice for business reasons. "Asheville is a great town culturally and very centrally located in the Southeast," says Salvatore.

Here, they combined their musical interests with Mikel Allen, who plays drum kit and percussion.

Each of the Propheteers writes material, either alone or collaboratively. "There is a huge hodgepodge of influences in our music," says Yanz.

"White From Gray" is inspired by reggae beats; "The Day Kojak Died" is classic Steely Dan-esque rock; "Khoel's Waltz" is jazzy swing; and "Melody Mae," is reminiscent of old-fashioned Celtic folk.

Halas' song, "Unit Love" (about a robot in love with its owner) mixes R&B grooves with Jamiroquai-like dance rhythms and is laced with lyrics like, "Flesh will tire and expire/ Men will lie and lose desire/ I will never fail you girl/ You are my entire world."

The band members are consistently at work, inventing and reworking their songs. "We've basically tried to push to learn new music," says Halas, "to bring in more originals of our stuff, and also take our old songs and make them a lot better."

As the band's name implies, Salvatore hopes listeners will be mystically inspired.

"I looked up what a prophet is," says Salvatore. "It is one who speaks through divine intervention. Everyone has prophetic tendencies when we are inspired by our art, our love, our passion for our world."

[Kimberly Rogers is a freelance writer based in Asheville.]

- The Mountain Xpress Jan 3, 2007 / vol 13 iss 23 by Kimberly Rogers

"Local Jam Band Will Win Your Hearts & Minds"

"Most of the songs you're hearing tonight are original - and the ones that aren'e original, aren't ours."
The Proheteers are funny guys. They're also one of the most active jam bands in Flagstaff at the moment and can be found on - Thursdays at Good Vibes off San Fransico, an impressive feet considering they just played their first show on December 10, 2005. The story goes they had formed just five days earlier and meshed so well, that they couldn't stop jamming. After five whole days of mixing folk, jazz, blues, funk, and bluegrazz, they emerged from seclusion to play their first gig at the Campus Coffee Bean.
If the Coffee Bean or Good Vibes is your scene, you'll probably dig this. There are grooves that would make Jerry Garcia rise from the grave to rock out one last time. They've got a bit of swing tingle in their sound, which brings in some of the energy that other bands within the genre seem to be so conspicuously missing.
Lyrically, they are extremely light in some areas and then saturated in others. When the singing interjects between the jams, however, it provides a simpler human contrast to the often listening-intensive jams. You get sucked into how the guitar is working with the bass and what the drummer is doing and then there's that human voice singing words. It reminds you there are actually people up there behind that sound.
Plus, they're record label is free, so this a completely do-it-yourself project and that alone warrants a tremendous amount of respect. Plus, it means this is pretty much unaltered expression. No sums of money large enough to corrupt the sound and no pressure from people trying to sell the music as a commodity. Just a few friends sitting down, and applying an obvious amount of talent to what they're doing, and being kind enough to bring the rest of us along for the ride...
-Mike Williams
The Noise arts & news - The Noise arts & news


The long awaited first LP is scheduled for release early in '08



Exploration of Sonic Textures, Energetic Melodies,
Ambient Rhythms, and Tenacious Grooves.

"The Propheteers put their music where their mouths are, staging a live show that's the equivalent of an iPod set to shuffle." The Mountain Xpress.

Adopting the phrase "Genre-bending Supernatural Rock" from a newspaper article,
The Propheteers live up to their heavy handle by crafting songs without limitations. Blending elements of worldly rhythms, funked-up fusion, organic electronica, with melodic sensibilities to present a cornucopia of sonic textures and song diversity, moving audiences from the soul to the dance floor and beyond. "Watching the Propheteers play is like seeing a ton of concerts at once...a show filled with variety and spontaneity."
-The Flag-Live

Drawing on influences from such greats as Steely Dan, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Jamirouqai, and The Beatles, The Propheteers offer an array of well crafted songs with a positive message and a colorful pallet of live performed sonic layers. Fueled by the sights and sounds of the world at-large, The Propheteers transform that energy into music from the gods & goddesses for us all to share. "The Day Kojak Died is classic Steely Dan-esque rock... Halas' song, Unit Love (about a robot in love with its owner) mixes R&B grooves with Jamiroquai-like dance rhythms" The Mountain Xpress.

Music is said to come from one’s soul, the soul our connection to the divinity or the spirit world, your higher power. Divine inspiration from our souls to yours
Thinking caps and party pants please!

-Prophet (prof'et), n. one who speaks by divine inspiration.
-Propheteer (prof'et''ear), n. a foot soldier armed with prophecy; one who is familiar with the use of prophecy, a teacher of prophecy.

The deep-rooted friendship and song-writing companionship of Sean Halas and Joseph Salvatore began in 1997 in Romeo, Michigan, while working as gas station clerks. After years of off and on recreational playing the two found Asheville, NC as the place to begin their careers in music. Officially united under the name The Propheteers in Dec. of 2005, after Salvatore convinced Halas to temporarily relocate to Flagstaff, Arizona, in order to establish The Propheteers. After wetting their feet throughout Arizona the band returned back to Asheville in May of 2006. Currently in the recording studio recording their first album which began in August '07 The Propheteers will be releasing this long awaited LP early in ‘08.