Did you know that just around the corner from us we have a rad group of guys from some of our favorite Psych Lake City bands coming together to form a brand new, killer project? Well, now you do. They major in hellraisin', Black Sabbath, and dead hummus bodies...
I'll tell you a little bit more about them before leaving you to wonder who and what the hell I am talking about.
I sat down with the band recently to have a couple of cold ones and get the inside scoop on this new group and their sound. Here is the magic that transpired during said sit-down.
Meet Sabbra - Also known as Levi (guitar & vocals), Reagan (guitar), Collin (drums) and Rhett (bass)
The Hard Chew: How did you guys meet?
Levi: "Where do we even start?
Rhett: "Well, Levi and I used to play together in a band called Dark Seas. That was maybe 6 years ago."
Levi: "Reagan moved here from Texas not too long before that and was in a band called Marla Stone at the time."
Reagan: "Yeah, I met Levi and Collin because we played shows with Heavy Dose (Collin & Levi's previous project) and then I met Rhett later on down the line and I guess we just got to talking and wanted to make music together."
Rhett: "Heavy Dose stopped being a thing too."
Levi: "Our bass player (Heavy Dose) was over it, but me and Collin wanted to keep playing. Reagan was down to play so we said 'Fuck yeah, you're in.' Then I was actually just drunk, talking to Rhett and mentioned we were looking for a bass player, and he said 'What the fuck man, I'm right here.' and it's been tight so far."
The Hard Chew: What should we call you and how did you come up with the name?
Collin: "Haha. That's been, uh... in the process..."
Levi: "It's Sabbra, with two B's, not like the humus."
Reagan: "It's like Sabbra Cadabra, from Black Sabbath."
Rhett: "Every time we tell someone the name they say, 'Oh, yeah. Like the hummus?"
Levi: "We're pretty set on it though."
Reagan: "Yeah, I like Sabbra. Sabbra Cadaver?"
Rhett: "We're just a dead humus body?"
Collin: "It's been an ongoing thing for the last 4 or 5 months... but we've established it."
"Or the Big ol' Jiggly-Wiggly Band. I think that's good. It rolls off the tongue."
Reagan: "Yeah. the name is Sabbra. I don't think we'll change it."
Rhett: "It's Black Sabbath. If you don't know that, you probably eat too much fuckin' hummus."
The Hard Chew: What are some upcoming plans for the band? Any shows? Album releases?
Reagan: "We have a show in July."
Collin: "We also have some friends coming out from Texas, called Amplified Heat, and in July we're going to play with Sunchaser... put on a show that might be sponsored by Coors."
"In October we're going back to California Street Vans. We played there last year as Heavy Dose. It was our last show and it was awesome. We were supposed to play in Vegas but that show got cancelled, so we just partied our asses off then cruised out to San Diego."
Rhett: "We've all been playing music around here a long time so the goal is definitely to play some shows as soon as we can and not just jam in the house."
What about recording?
Levi: "As soon as we get our songs down. We have a bunch in the works."
Collin: "We might do a demo or something soon since we have a couple we're pretty good with, just about getting them to where we'd like them to be then recording."
The Hard Chew: That leads into the next question then - what is the writing process like?
"We all get drunk as fuck and just go."
Levi: "Haha...no, since all of the shit is at my house I feel like it's always here for me to jam and work on stuff. Reagan writes a lot of the riffs too, and we'll kind of just say 'Alright, we want to play at this tempo" and pick up a beat, then we all just dial it in."
"We all play off of each other. Someone comes up with a riff and then we figure out where we go off of that."
Rhett: "I think it's very communicable. Is that a word?"
Collin: "It's the worst for me because I'm sitting there pushing pause, play, pause, play on the drum machine, and I am like, 'Goddammit, I have to put my tambourine down again?' It's tough."
(not really a drum machine, Collin uses actual drums... and a tambourine)
And I had a cowbell in my other hand for a minute..."
*Brief intermission while the cute puppy and band mascot (Dexter) came in the room*
What are some of your biggest influences?
Reagan: "Oh, I love this one."
"Yeah, this is Reagan's favorite question. He really loves Built to Spill."
Reagan: "Okay, on the record, I don't love Built to Spill."
(I don't know, it kind of seemed like he did)
"I like hardcore shit. Sabbath, Priest, Metallica..."
"Yeah, there are a lot of influences. Definitely Priest and Sabbath."
Collin: "I want to sound like Budgie and Scorpions."
Reagan: "Kill them all by Metallica... early Metallica for sure."
"Maybe some early Slayer."
Rhett: "Except for Reagan loves Master of Puppets..."
Reagan: "Yeah, I bought a Master of Puppets shirt last night when I was wasted and now I am an Amazon Prime member."
The Hard Chew: You just didn't want to wait for the shipping or...?
Reagan: "Nope, sure didn't. So that's on it's way."
Collin: "My mom threw away my Metallica shirt when I was younger. It was bullshit. It was the one with the dude flipping him off and the hammer and the skull-thing. It was crazy."
"Maybe you can just order a new one on Reagan's Prime account."
How long have you all been playing your instruments and what or who got you started?
Levi: "I've been playing for 12 years, I was into bluegrass then psych band, and then metal. I've always wanted to play that kind of music, I think we all have."
Collin: I've played the drums since I was 12 years old. I just wanted to hit stuff, really. So I always wanted to play drums and wanted to learn an instrument. I wanted to play piano too, actually, but my mom never took me to lessons. So I got a drum kit when I was young, and played in middle school. They said, 'Okay, you'll play the bells, or the symbols' and I thought it was bullshit. I was there to play the drums, so I just taught myself..."
(He doesn't really play the tambourine. Not in this band, at least)
"Rhett: "I started playing piano at 6, then played trombone for a bit when I was 8, and my mom taught me how to play trumpet as well. At 13 I started playing a bit of guitar. Then took drum lessons, went back to guitar, then ended up playing drums again with a another band."
Do you still play trumpet or trombone?
Rhett: "Nooo. No. I play guitar, bass, and drums these days. Sometimes harmonica. Or... the rusty trombone."
(No judgement here)
"What about you Band Leader?"
Reagan: "Yeah, for the record, I'm the band leader."
*Let the record show... Reagan is Band Leader*
Reagan: I got 'ok' at guitar around 18 -- I was a pretty lazy kid. My Dad bought me a guitar when I was 14 or 15, but then in High School I started getting into folk and country music, so I learned that stuff... my parents were super into that kind of music, being from Texas. I still to this day love Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. I don't think it was until about 3 years ago that I actually got good at guitar. I've always liked metal but I never really learned how to play it until around the last year or so. When Levi and I became friends we were both kind of pushing to learn Slayer --"
Levi: "It was kind of like a rivalry between us, but in a healthy way."
Reagan: "Yeah, so then we kind of just felt like now that we knew how to play it well we wanted to do that ourselves and write our own stuff so, here we are."
The Hard Chew: So that shaped the direction for this band?
Levi & Reagan: "Yes, absolutely."
Collin: "It's kind of funny, the first band I was in, Smelly Paul and Jackson, when I was around 15, we just played Metallica covers. But it was so shitty. I was sitting there just hitting the drums but didn't really know what I was doing. Then I started playing Rockabilly stuff for the most part. Then with Heavy Dose it was kind of a step up to more Rock n' roll."
Reagan: "Heavy Dose was the tits. I mean... don't quit this band though. But Heavy Dose was really good."
What do you guys do in your free time?
Levi: "Uh... party, drink, skateboard.."
Collin: "I go to work. I am also really good at watching Netflix and I am really good at sleeping, and that's about it..."
"We'll go to local shows, or go to the bars..."
Reagan: "Oh, I just want to say that I'm currently writing my thesis."
Levi: "Climate change and America... but our hobbies are causing my thesis to suffer. I"m not just like a dru--"
Rhett: "He's just saying that in case his Mom sees this."
Reagan: "Haha... Yeah, but I do go to school. That's basically what I do outside of this. I have a double major: political science and sociology. And one in hellraisin'!
Collin: "So that's a triple..."
Rhett: "He obviously doesn't major in math."
Reagan: "Yeah, I also don't know my months. I have to go back and count... but I do know April, and I know that May is 5."
(He does know his months, and he does know how many majors he has, but the main takeaway here is that May is 5)
The Hard Chew: Oh good, it seems like you're doing pretty well then. Is there anything else you guys would like for people to know about you? Where do you hope this goes?
Levi: "I don't give a shit about being really famous or anything, but the ultimate dream would just be if it could pay the fuckin' bills."
Collin: "I think it would just be nice to record and get some stuff out there."
"We're bad-ass. Sabbra is going to be the next big thing in Salt Lake, so prepare your anuses!"
"Nah, we just love doing this and hope to be able to do it for a long time. There is some cool stuff coming."
If you'd like to know more about this obviously entertaining bunch of guys, you can find them on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sabbraband -- you can reach them there for booking and further contact information.
Don't miss their first show in July (more details to come), and check back for updates on the band's progress and happenings!