Music taste is captivating; once a person develops their music taste, they enclose themselves in this bubble where that is the only thing they listen to. The mind will question how someone could listen to a band of singers who perform jazz or a cowboy singing about his truck. Once music taste is developed, there is no other option in the eye of the beholder.
Once music taste is developed, there is no other option in the eye of the beholder.
If you asked me about rock music, I would be honest and say my education on the genre is minuscule. If you asked me about Us & Them, I would tell you I have a friend in the band and, while I haven’t met them all, I’m sure they’re great.
But then I met them and things slowly changed.I have found is that their music is sensational. I may not religiously listen to rock, but I have now listened to Us & Them, and the song “’75” is without a doubt my favorite.
I have found is that their music to be sensational. I may not religiously listen to rock, but I have now listened to Us & Them, and the song “’75” is without a doubt my favorite.
While the production of the music is essential, the chemistry between the bandmates is the bow on the shiny present. Without the chemistry, how will an audience personally connect with the music?
To Us & Them, personal connection is imperative.
Sitting in the band’s living room, I see Ian Kendall and Mike Crecca on the couch, Grayson Schweers sitting on a chair with his legs tucked into his chest and a guitar in hand, and Michael Rasille coming in and out of the room because he’s cooking a rotisserie chicken.
Kendall explains that the connection they strive for with the audience is fed by the hunger of the audience wanting to know more.
“I take what I feel, grow from it through writing about it, then give it to people so hopefully they can do the same thing,” said Kendall.
Crecca chimes in right on cue, recognizing the one consistent theme in their music, the lyrics all express growth and learning experience. The boys sit and nod their heads in approval. It’s immediately clear that these bandmates work together as a unit.
These bandmates are fortunate enough to be bandmates, roommates, and friends. The balance of the three meshes together effortlessly, explains Schweers.
I observe the guys as they talk and, it is clear they are comfortable with company in the house considering everyone is laughing at the jokes tossed around.
Rasile, who plays the drums, enters and leaves the room while making dinner, and sure enough the topic of cooking comes up. In a house of college boys, one would think the closest pizzeria is on speed dial, but that’s not the case for Us & Them.
Aside from being talented musicians, each guy has a special niche in the kitchen. Kendall’s experience working at a deli means killer lunch paninis and sandwiches, Schweer brings the beef stroganoff to the table, Rasile is known for his chicken, and Crecca’s attempts at Asian dishes are always appreciated.
Aside from the cooking that takes place every day, the kitchen serves as a central room in the house for community. The GameCube and television located on the left side of the room combined with the atmosphere of a kitchen make it a very conducive place, explains Crecca.
Throughout our encounter, I found these guys are just good people — it is as simple as that. Music or not, they are welcoming, fun and inspiring, motivated, eager and quality.
Three hours later, I left the guys’ house with a concrete understanding of why they stress personal connection so much. I walked in a stranger and left a friend, and any group of musicians who has that power in both music and in life is a group worth listening to.