|Photo by: Brandon Schultz|
Sometimes, it feels as if there is a lack of good hard rock in the world. While indie and folk music seem to be dominating the scene nowadays, there just isn’t enough pure, hard guitar rock that will leave listeners feeling hazy after a good musical onslaught.
On Saturday, Jackie O’s will attempt to fill that void by hosting the Athens-based bands Mantra, The Grove and LEAVE CORP. Mantra, a progressive rock band that began in 2011, is excited to play Jackie O’s again after earning second place in a Battle of the Bands there at the beginning of the month.
“Jackie O’s is always a nice venue,” said the band’s lead singer and guitarist Ben Corbitt. “It just has a great sound system and great sound onstage. And, Battle of the Bands brought a lot of people there, so it gave us a lot of good exposure.”
Corbitt is really big on the idea of exposure. Branding Mantra has been one of his main goals throughout the year with the band, as he has posted flyers throughout town with the group’s black and white logo. By continually seeking out shows to play as well, he has been hard at work at keeping Mantra in the back of people’s minds.
“I want to keep getting our name out there,” he said. “I just really want to go somewhere with [the band]. I really want to make something out of it. Just with music in general, honestly. It’s been a part of my entire life. And I just want to get our name out there because I love hearing a crowd’s response. It makes me happy knowing that I’m making other people happy dong something that I enjoy.”
Mantra, while being a rock group that finds influences in bands with such grand sounds as Tool and Muse, also focuses a great deal on minimalism. Using nothing but its instruments (no pedal boards are used in the group), Mantra aims to deliver a pure, unadulterated sound to its audience every night.
“I like the beauty in simplicity,” said Corbitt. “I love being able to create any sound that I want with just myself. I’m sure I’ll use a pedal board sometime down the road, but at least right now it’s just me, my guitar and my amp. There’s nothing in between, and it’s as organic as possible.”
That organic quality highlights the members of Mantra’s gift as musicians. Each member, Corbitt on guitar, Kevin Wheeler on drums and George Antczak on bass, are accomplished with their instrument. From that individual talent is where the band’s talent as a group stems from.
“I like bands who don’t adhere to stereotypes,” said Corbitt. “They’re in it for the music. You can tell that they’re artists, and they’re not just trying to make money. Those are usually the people that make the best art.”
Fans who attend the show at Jackie O’s should expect a raging set from Mantra that is also accessible by many different kinds of people.
“I feel like we adhere to a lot of people,” said Corbitt. “We have those rock roots, but we’re very original, I would say. We don’t sound like many other bands. So it’s also very new and refreshing.”
The Grove, another progressive rock band with a heavy guitar sound and vocals that take influence from Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Peppers, will also take the stage on Saturday night. LEAVE CORP will open up the night of music.
The show begins at 10 p.m. and there will be a $3 cover at the door. For those who want their fill of progressive rock, Jackie O’s is the place to be on Saturday night.
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