FridaysUpdate: Too heavy? Too light? Down Til Now may be just right
In most cases of local up-and-coming bands– Parachute, most notably, alongside Sons of Bill or 6 Day Bender– members are recent college grads, living and practicing together 24/7. Yet according to the rockers of local quartet Down Til Now, making waves as an under-the-radar band has its advantages when you're a certain distance from the college scene.
"We don't have a lot of breakup, relationship songs," lead singer Travis Lillard laughs. "We're just versatile and can do all different styles of music."
While they may still be a new face in the Charlottesville music scene, the guys of DTN have been a presence in Central Virginia for nearly four years. Beginning as most bands do– as childhood friends strumming guitars and writing lyrics– DTN crept up in notoriety as Lillard, bassist Mark Jenkins, and guitarist Greg Aylor moved on from high school rocking into the real world, attempting to create a steady song-writing venture. After picking up drummer Chuck Crenshaw, the dynamics of the group found more success with live shows, despite the growing responsibility of jobs and families.
"I was so impressed with these guys, they had so much fun," Crenshaw says of his first encounter with DTN. "The energy of our show is what brings people back."
The crux of their energetic performances comes from their wide-range of musical inspirations. While only agreeing to self-classify as "rock," DTN incorporates a variety of influences, from '80s rock classics to modern country and alternative-rock.
"We don't feel limited when we go somewhere to play," Crenshaw says. "We have a little Southern rock, one or two country songs, but other than that, it's not too heavy and not too light."
Although they may be known for electrifying live performances full of Van Halen or Green Day covers– which also usually include Lillard losing his shirt– look for a sprinkling of new material at Fridays (and for the frontman to stay covered up). As with most local under-the-radar bands, the group hopes to head back to the studio in the fall to refine their sound and bring DTN to a wider audience outside Central Va.
"There are a lot of original acts in town," Lillard says. "We're kind of hoping we can find our way into that scene with our original music."
"I still feel like we're a young band, but we're not 21 years old, living together in a house, jamming every night," he continues. "We're all going in different directions and have to use our time wisely."
Down Til Now plays Fridays After Five on 7/3. The Wave opens. The show starts at 5:30 pm and admission is free.