Word of Mouth
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Word of Mouth

Savannah, Georgia, United States | SELF

Savannah, Georgia, United States | SELF
Band Rock Avant-garde




"Word of Mouth Highlights Savannah Music Scene"

With eight different personalities, cosmic consciousness and pitch perfect harmonies it’s no wonder the eclectic styling’s of Savannah’s Word of Mouth (WoM) has invaded the local music scene with such success.
Though an eight-piece musical group might seem problematic, Word of Mouth utilizes individual diversity to craft a unique fusion of music that transcends every genre, which is interlaced with an encouraging message of local and global community.
The band has been together since 2010, and each of the eight members has either lived with one another or been neighbors. This close capacity has been instrumental in shaping the sound of the group.
The closeness between Word of Mouth members fostered a mixture of all tastes. Collective artistic efforts have pushed each of the members to grow musically, whether it’s playing Latin or hip-hop, while the sense of community has allowed for personal growth.
“You learn to let go and work with eight other personalities ... somebody would bring something to the table — maybe poetry — and purposefully allow group input exposing it to everything from funk to classical,” Jeff “Phunky Unkle” Derosa said.
This exposure to various musical styles benefits both group efforts and each of the artists’ individual projects as well. Through this Word of Mouth has evolved: delving into video production, organizing events and the visual arts using each creative conduit to support and further enhance the WoM experience. The purpose is to create a universal message that can be spread by any means necessary.
“It’s a revolution in music and media filled with positive messages of cooperation,” Melissa “MothaBug” Hagherty said.
Word of Mouth presents their message in every song and performance of the band; many of the tracks concentrate not solely on musical harmony but harmony amongst the group, audience and greater Savannah community. The focal point of WoM’s music is about the audience, with an overall message intended for everyone to share.
“It’s trying to find yourself in the whole,” Lucia “Electric Grandma” Garcia said.
Although Word of Mouth is already an eight-piece group, there is an eagerness in every member of the band to continue to widen their musical horizons and personal relationships, welcoming any and all inquirers to simply contact them via social media and make, what is sure to be, an enjoyable long-lasting relationship.
“It is an entity,” Derosa said. “It’s more than the band, more than the performance and music. It is an open call to join in.”
When asked about the difficulties of being an emerging band in Savannah and their perceptions of the Savannah music scene, Word of Mouth spoke earnestly and optimistically. The issue is neither a lack of musical groups in the area nor a lack of music enthusiasts in Savannah but rather structural impediments imposed by the city as well as combating the mentality Savannah does not have a music scene.
“It’s not the bands or artists,” Derosa said. “Nobody can get ahead because the city has made so many obstacles that stop shows.”
Word of Mouth, as well as a number of other Savannah artists, is making do with the city’s time constraints by performing in the first annual Squarefest Aug. 25. They are striving to potentially open up a forum for discussion on curfews for public performances but have met with resistance toward the upcoming event.
“Squarefest has had so much opposition from the city and law enforcement,” Derosa said.
Outside of these difficulties lies another — Savannah’s lack of underage venues. With four colleges in the area, a military installation and an influx of residents, many of Word of Mouth’s and other musical acts fan base are below 21.
With a lack of underage venues and the public perception that Savannah has no music scene, Word of Mouth has a remedy. Their solution is collaboration between the audience, musical acts and venues to raise awareness and support the creative city’s thriving musical scene.
“Hopefully, we are a part of changing that mentality,” Adam “Coach” Bailey said.
In an effort to combat this outlook and take the initial steps of raising awareness, Word of Mouth recently created their premier street team to help “spread The Word” to the Savannah area through a series of methods.
The group has taken to social media, allowing all interested in joining to simply message them and has been pondering the idea of beginning a “zine” for the group that would detail future events in Savannah while highlighting other emerging artists as well. - The Inkwell, Sinjin Hilaski

"Local Musician Gives a Preview to Sav. SquareFest 2012"

Lucia Garcia of the band Word of Mouth performed for "Good Morning Savannah" live on WJCL-abc Monday morning. Garcia and dozens of other area musicians will perform during Square Fest 2012 on Saturday, August 25. Watch the attached video to see the performance and then keep watching to hear WJCL's Jessica Kiss and Jonathan Myers have an in-studio chat with Garcia.

Garcia received classical piano training starting when she was 12 and then started "seriously" singing when she was 18. When asked if a singing reality TV show is something she's thought of doing, she said she's "never really been interested," but she doesn't close doors on opportunities that might help her become a big-time star.

On Saturday, Garcia hopes she and her band will gain fans during the Square Fest event at Forsyth Park. They take the stage at 9:15 p.m. and will wrap up the evening's entertainment at about 10 p.m.

Proceeds from the sale of the $8 Square Fest CDs, $10-12 event T-shirts, and excess dollars collected from the sponsors will be given to the Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire.

WHAT: Savannah Square Fest 2012
WHEN: Saturday, August 25, 2012 from 5-10 p.m.
WHERE: Forsyth Park (Bull St. between Park Ave. and Gaston St. in historic downtown Savannah)
COST: Free (drinks, snacks, and memorabilia will be available for purchase)
For more information, visit the festival's official website. Click here to see a list of the bands that are committed to play at the event.
- WJCL, ABC, The Coastal Source

"Savannah's Hottest Band Delivers Celestial Experience"

A band with eight personalities could be a recipe for conflict, but Word of Mouth focuses on harmony — within the band, with their audience, and even with the universe.

“It’s about bringing people together through different styles of music and remembering our interconnectedness to the universe,” says vocalist/guitarist Melissa “MothaBug” Hagerty.

Fellow singer Lucia Aurora Garcia, also known for her side project Electric Grandma, adds: “We integrate our energies regularly through meditation and manifestation.”

Call it divine intervention or luck or coincidence, but Word of Mouth, WoM for short, discovered after embracing their name — suggested casually by a friend when they were already playing gigs to unexpectedly large crowds — that “‘WoM’ is written everywhere,” percussionist Taylor Locke explains.

“It shows up in both ancient and modern symbols, in natural patterns and sacred geometry. It’s even written in the stars.”

WoM hopes their shows are much more than just a good time for their audiences.

“Word of Mouth is on a mission — a coalition bringing ancient wisdom, bridging the division,” rapper and wordsmith Max “Miggs” Lipson shares.

Adds Locke: “The two-year process of writing this album has been one of the most inspirational experiences of our lives. Our goal is to share that inspiration and to remind people that they are capable of doing anything.”

This mission shapes their live shows, making the performances more than just music.

“Expect a communal atmosphere of artists of every kind — an amalgamation of individual musical minds and genres,” keyboardist Matt Duplessie promises.

Savannah has proven to be a playground for Word of Mouth’s creativity because, as Jeff DeRosa — guitarist, bassist and cellist — puts it: “Everyone you meet in Savannah is a cool person and a great, multitalented artist.”

“I think the city’s connection to the arts and music is great,” adds Duplessie. “There is always a festival going on, or an event to enjoy.”

The evolution of Savannah’s music scene has also inspired the group, Lucas says.

“I am loving how the music scene is constantly on the up and up, with festivals such as A-town Get Down, Savannah Stopover and now Square Fest.”

Locke agrees: “Six years ago, when I moved here, I hardly ever heard about local music events or bands. Now, though, there’s something going on almost every weekend. It’s exciting to be a part of the growth.”

WoM is currently wrapping up their debut album, “Word of Mouth Speaks,” says vocalist and guitarist David C. Ballantyne.

“A lot of the album’s topics make light of the viral age we live in,” he notes, “and it also has a serious side to it, touching on topics of politics and more serious subject matter.”

And true to Word of Mouth — “every single song is a different genre,” DeRosa explains. - Savannah Morning News, Shawndra Russell

"Have you heard the Word?"

by Bill DeYoung

Like a Frankensteinian automobile that’s been built from the ground up, piece by unrelated piece, the Savannah band Word of Mouth consists of disparate but essentially–consistent elements.

And what do you know? This old car purrs like a kitten.

“We all come from drastically different musical backgrounds,” says Jeff DeRosa, who plays cello and electric bass in the seven–piece (and sometimes eight-piece) group. “We’ve all got our own solo side projects, and music that we write, and Word of Mouth is the combination of that. I try to say it’s a multi–genre eclectic ensemble.’”

Playing Nov. 19 at Loco’s Grill & Pub, Word of Mouth blends hip hop, reggae, folk, classical and rock ‘n’ roll, creating a sound that’s both unique and soothingly familiar.

“I definitely have more of a set structure because I was classically trained when I was younger,” explains singer and pianist Lucia Garcia. “That really stuck, the technicality. So while other people play by ear I try to go more technical with the music aspect.

“Everything’s about balance. I have a difficult time learning by ear, because of the rigidity of what I’ve learned in the past. So it’s really nice to get with these musicians who can hear by ear and explain it to me in a way I can understand. And vice versa, you know?”

Word of Mouth also includes Melissa Hagerty (vocals, guitar and that altogether freaky instrument called the theremin), rapper/singers Cameron Locke and Miggs Son Daddy, David Ballantyne on guitar and vocals and Mike McCoy on drums.

“We try to put styles of music together that shouldn’t work,” says DeRosa, who graduated from SCAD’s sound design program last spring. “We try to do it in a way that we glue it together because there’s so many pieces of us.

“There’s a song that’s on our album coming out where we put drum & bass and reggae together in the same song. We’ll change tempo, almost 60 BPM in the middle of the song, and then come right back to it.”

For Garcia, the band’s homemade, DIY appeal is simple. “We’re trying to inspire people to realize that they’re so much greater than they know,” she says. “What my personal goal is, and what I’m trying to bring to Word of Mouth, is to inspire people and make people feel good about themselves.

“Hopefully by watching us. Because we are just so completely ourselves onstage. I will be dressed up in some weird clothes, and Jeff will have his goggles on, or weird sunglasses. And I want that to reflect upon people: Hey, even though all these people are so different, they come together as one unit. And they’re completely themselves. And it works.”

The band started, organically, about two years ago. As new people arrived (Garcia, for example, recently moved here from New Mexico) and the sound got more interesting, the musicians knew they had arrived at something special.

And then there’s this: “We’ve all become really, really good friends in the past year,” says DeRosa. “ I consider this my family.”

If comparisons must be made, the easiest one is to Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, another loose–limbed hippie conglomerate with an eclectic playlist.

That, DeRosa says, isn’t really a fair shakedown.

“We try to highlight and feature each and every one of our musicians,” he explains. “It’s not like ‘Melissa Hagerty and Word of Mouth’ or ‘Lucia Garcia and Word of Mouth.’ All of us get an equal representation; we all write the songs, we pretty much all have an equal input.

“The overall mission is to bring people together under peace and love, of course. And to inspire, that’s our biggest mantra.

“It’s like, by ourselves we’re great, but when we all come together it really makes something bigger than we could ever be.”

Word of Mouth

Where: Loco’s Grill & Pub, 301 W. Broughton St.

When: At 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19

Admission: Free

Online: www.wordofmouthspeaks.com - Connect Savannah

"Local Music Now: Word of Mouth"

By Amanda Baran
November 24, 2010

Word of Mouth, an eight person musical collaboration formed less than a year ago, agrees that finding time to write and produce music can be a challenge.

Lucia Garcia (vocals and keyboard) says, however, "the only thing that's really hard is that we're such good friends that we have a hard time getting anything done because we love hanging out with each other."

The musical influences that inspire each member of the group come from all genres, including poetry, classical, hip hop, metal, jam, jazz and other backgrounds sprinkled within the beats.

Creating a song from a collaboration of all these genres starts when one band member releases an idea to the group. It is then slowly transformed into a unique song that mixes a little of each artists' background.

With an 11 track album to be released before the end of the year, the group aspires to bring people together through their music and promote the message "if you can dream it, you can do it." - Savannah Morning News

"Spreading the Word"

This past weekend, tags of the band’s logo appeared on the walls of some downtown Savannah businesses. But the tags weren’t thrown up by the band.

They think it was done by some “WOMbies.”

A WOMbie is the opposite of a zombie. The band coined the term to refer their listeners as “the dead living.”

“Too many people are dead.” T. Locke, the band’s spoken word poet, said. “We need to bring ‘em to life.”

Some members of the band were out promoting their Thursday night show with chalk on the night of the incident. They think that some WOMbies saw the logo and decided to represent.

Even though Word of Mouth is pleased that fans felt inspired to get creative and promote the band, they don’t condone defacing public property.

And for those who think the band is responsible for the tacky graffiti, T. Locke insists: “If we would’ve done the graffiti, trust me, it would have been much nicer.”

The band spoke with local authorities and offered to do their best to clean up the WOM tags on some of the buildings.

WOM originally came together in spring ’09 as part of a larger group of individual artists who were all known as Word of Mouth. The dynamic of the original band was so effective at the few parties they played together in ’09 that, after a year hiatus, the band got back together with additional members and a stronger creative energy.

“There are eight of us,” said Lucia Aurora. “And we’re so different but we work together as one unit.” The band wants to set an example by inspiring people of different styles and ways of life to come together for a cause, regardless of those differences.

Despite the graffiti incident, Word of Mouth encourages WOMbies and civilians to come to life at their free show at Live Wire Music Hall this Thursday night to celebrate bassist Jeff DeRosa’s birthday.

“We’re not trying to sell you anything,” said DCB. “We just wanna bring people together.”

- Scad District


"Write on Man" released March 2010
"Word of Mouth Speaks" to be released Winter 2013



Word of Mouth is a musical tribe comprised of diverse artists and accomplished musicians from across the United States. On a mission to stimulate and elevate, this 8-piece ensemble is renowned for their high-energy performances, uplifting message, stunning visual content and progressive musical creativity.

Word of Mouth's genre-blending approach to their compositions is a welcomed response to the eclectic tastes of today's discriminant audience ear. WOM uses the power of music, art and creative collaboration to invite it's audience to share the stage and forge a universal community of the creative spirit. Venues and fans can expect through-the-roof energy and the contagious inspiration to stimulate and elevate!